What does a transformational retreat include?
The specifics of your transformational retreat will be hand-crafted to the issues, needs or conflicts in your relationship. As a result, every retreat is unique. We might work on communication, conflict resolution, time management, trust, affection and romance—to name a few. But our transformational retreat will also include intensive assistance with specific problems or emotions unique to your relationship. The goal is to eliminate or reduce the power of those issues, and to forge agreements between the two of you so that those issues are reduced or extinguished entirely. See schedule for some of the activities that are often included in the retreat.
Why not go to regular marriage counseling instead?
You may need a more intensive transformational retreat in order to more quickly repair what’s broken. Or you might just need a slight adjustment, and an opportunity of relating without distractions, in order to get back to your usually positive relationship. Either way, a retreat is a faster way to reach your goals.
1. You need more intensive counseling in order to help stabilize your relationship.
There may be several reasons for this. It may be that you’re caught in repetitive arguing or conflict that you can’t get out of. It may be that you are caught in the routine of child-rearing and work in such a way that you feel you have totally lost your connection. It may be that there is so much anger in your relationship that you can’t talk about and resolve issues anymore. It may be that you’re trying to recover from an affair or any other betrayal of trust. It may feel that you are headed toward a divorce/break-up if you don’t do something fast, effective and in-depth.
2. You don’t live in delaware and repeated sessions over time would be too difficult and you don’t like to meet online.
More than 75% of the couples who attend my Journeys of the Heart Transformational Retreats are from out of town. Some times they come to Delaware and stay at one of the nearby hotels. Other times we go to a special location of both our choosing and enjoy a very special experience there. And there are those that like to go on one of the more special twice a year group Journeys of the Heart to an international location. Although this option is usually more expensive, it’s also more special. Remember that you deserve to have a first class relationship! Therefore, you deserve a first class destination!
3. One (or both) of you are not sure you want to remain together, but you need to co-parent or work together.
In this case, you must learn how to talk, negotiate and deal effectively with each other. These also needs intensive work.
4. Trust has been ruptured and you need it repaired quickly.
You may not have the luxury of going to couples counseling for months on end to fix what’s wrong. Maybe after going through the one day Marriage Repair Challenge you realize you need a longer time to be able to work through the anger and pain and to get out of the negative spiral you are living in.
How is this different from a Marriage Workshop or Marriage Conference?
Private, personalized attention
In a marriage workshop or couples workshop, you have 5, sometimes 10 couples attending at the same time. Everyone gets the same approach and the same exercises, regardless of what issues brought you there. In the Journeys of the Heart Transformational Retreat, it will only be the two of you–there will not be any other couples present–and you will receive my personal, undivided attention the entire time. All the skill-building activities will be hand-tailored to you. This will be your own private retreat, exclusively for the two of you. This kind of couples retreat will enable you to repair major issues, disputes or conflicts quickly and effectively.
Master instruction in effective relationship skills and/or how to repair your relationship
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, and I have been in practice since 1980. My relationship coaching and advice have helped thousands of couples in Latin America, Europe, and the USA. Learn more about my experience and qualifications →
Research shows the techniques are effective
The techniques I use have been scientifically shown to be effective. They have also proven effective with the many couples I have helped. You don’t want to leave your relationship to chance.
What is the typical schedule of a transformational retreat
The specifics of your marriage therapy retreat will be hand-crafted to the issues or conflicts in your relationship, and as a result, every retreat is unique. We might work on communication, conflict resolution, trust, affection and romance—to name a few. But a marriage retreat will also include intensive assistance with specific problems or emotions unique to your relationship. The goal is to eliminate or reduce the power of those issues, or to forge agreements between the two of you so that those issues are reduced or extinguished entirely.
Here are some of the activities that are often included:
Interview: What brings you two in and what are you wanting to achieve or accomplish?
Time alone with each person to explore any personal issues that might be affecting the relationship
How to choose peace over irritation
Each person is invited to bring one issue they want resolved.
Facilitated dialogue using an entirely new set of “skills” designed to quickly resolve these issues
Learn to use these skills yourselves, and practice them, so when you go home you can sustain the gains.
What do I want to improve as a spouse/partner?
Listening for the longing and needs in your partner’s complaints
Couple’s communication activity to assist you in connecting and warming up to each other
Each person is invited to bring a second issue they want resolved, using the state-of-the-art skillset introduced yesterday.
What is empathy, and how to be better at it.
Are you walled off? (self-evaluation) How to take walls down.
Boundaries versus walls
Guided visualization to understand and explore your wall
How to be able to be more vulnerable
Identifying disconnection in your relationship
Invisible divorce: exploring all the ways you may be withdrawing from your relationship
Deepening the connection between the two of you
Who gets your negative energy?
Love languages that you’re wanting to receive
Each person is invited to bring a third unresolved issue, using the new set of skills.
What do you think your spouse/partner is actually fighting about?
What is romance? How are you doing it, and how could you improve?
What is your sexuality showing
Relationship wellness checkup
How to add more fun to your relationship
Becoming a “learner” husband or wife
Accepting responsibility for your relationship
Specifically how you could improve as a spouse/partner
Creating a vision for the future of your relationship
How do ideal couples make their relationship work so well?
Anger reduction techniques
Your habitual ways of protecting yourself in a conflict
Forgiving the unforgivable
Letting go of grievances
Your safe place, developing a daily practice.
Are you the seeker or the sought after?
How jealous are you?
Do you feel worthy of love?
Are you controlling?
How critical are you?
Financial issues and money conflicts
Deepening the relationship
Loss of sexual desire
The best sexual questions to address with each other
How to prevent a divorce or a break-up
10 ways to improve your relationship immediately
Anything left unfinished from days 1-3
Breaks will be taken as needed. At the end of each day, you are free to do what you want. Dine in one of the many great restaurants in the area, take a drive, hike, explore or just relax. There will be plenty of fun things to do.
What if we’re getting along well—or not married?
A couples retreat is not always centered around conflicts or disagreements. Frequently couples come because they want to deepen the connection and intimacy in their relationship, and an intensive transformational retreat offers the opportunity for closeness far more quickly than weekly couples counseling appointments can.
A couples retreat also makes a perfect gift for pre-marital couples, for newlyweds, or for long-married couples desiring to strengthen the connection, closeness and intimacy in their relationship. For non-married couples, a couples counseling retreat offers the same benefits as it does for married couples–if not more–since the best time to prevent any issue is before it starts.
Can I expect lasting positive change from a Marriage Retreat?
That’s my intent. One way the two of you can help yourselves achieve that end is to create a list of goals you would like me to help you fix, change or resolve. Bring these goals into the first session, so that I can address your intentions, wishes and desires throughout the entire transformational retreat. I may also guide the two of you to create a shared vision for the future of your relationship and an action plan to get there.
Not sure if a marriage retreat is right for you? Book now a complementary consultation where you can ask me any questions about this option.