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A Private Couples Retreat in Offaly IE

The Couples Retreat Irish couples have relied upon for experienced help with their marriage.

Nancy had transparency, integrity, and empathy...
 --Recent Couples retreat client

Meet a Master Couples Therapist -
One of 24 Chosen Worldwide

Couples Retreat:

Marriage Counseling working privately with both of you
 for the entire weekend.

NANCY ST. JOHN has advanced training in multiple science-based couples approaches.

Choose Experience

Nancy is a distinguished member of our international team of 24 clinicians. She has certifications and/or advanced training in every major science-based form of intensive marriage counselling. 

The training and experience of your therapist should be your first priority in choosing a marriage counselling retreat.

Senior Relationship Therapist

Nancy has advanced training or certifications in the Gottman Method, Emotionally-Focused couples therapy, Imago, The Developmental Model & Discernment Counseling.  She is also broadly trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and David Burns’ From CBT to T.E.A.M. Therapy.

Trainer of Therapists

Nancy also teaches other therapists how to work with couples. These therapists travel all over Europe to attend her Relationship Workshops in Ireland, the UK, IE, Scotland, and other locations. 

She teaches these counsellors the essence of how to instill harmony over a private couples therapy weekend.

The Premier International Couples Therapy Team:

Couples Therapy Inc.

Your marital happiness depends upon choosing the best couples counselling available. We've selected 24 of the world's top trained couples therapists in the USA, Europe, South Africa and Australia. Convenience is also important.

Weekly sessions aren't in-depth enough for many couples. Intensive, science-based help combines six months of therapy in less than 3 days. And at 70-90% scientifically proven effective, it's perfect for busy couples.

Why a Couples Retreat?

Private couples counseling retreats: To improve your greatest relationship challenges.

There are hundreds of options for a couples retreat across the world. But most are group psycho-educational experiences. Some offer couples romantic breaks or a luxury holiday in a beautiful location. But what good is a romantic weekend at Ard na Sidhe that ends in bickering and coldness? Some are faith-based, "couples boot camp retreat" groups, or focused solely on improving your communication which may be helpful for the mildly distressed.

Our retreats are different.

Private, Science-based Couples Therapy Retreats

Weekend retreats for married couples, or couples in a committed relationship.

Couples Therapy Inc. offers marriage counselling retreats which are private, therapeutic intensives. Choose weekend couples counselling if you're in relationship distress. Or if you want to dramatically improve how you are relating now. While every marriage is different, and no retreat can promise guaranteed results, our couples retreat in Ireland offers you a step-by-step understanding of what types of science-based interventions are most effective and impactful.

A couple that is committed to the process will leave with a deep, fundamental understanding of the particular challenges their marriages face. They will also discover what makes some marital problems "unresolvable," and how to work with value and lifestyle differences.

Our marriage counselling retreats aren't "marriage counselling boot camps." We help one couple at a time to reconnect, improve their communication and rebuild trust. Nancy St. John has been helping couples in Ireland for over a decade.

We're the Couples Retreat Ireland relies upon. We serve couples of all kinds: straight and gay couples, those in long-term relationships, newly engaged or newlywed couples. Even couples facing the crisis of divorce. 

Nancy St John is a Master Couples Therapist. She will help you to break down barriers, and get to the heart of your issues. She knows how to help couples address long standing areas of conflict, sexuality, infidelity, divorce threats, and other challenges such as managing early trauma histories, mental health issues, or extended family struggles that affect the partnership. Nancy sees couples from around Ireland and the world.

Marriage counselling for an intensive retreat with real science-based help.

When You are in Pain, We're Here to Help.

Nancy St John is one of the most advanced Therapists at Couples Therapy Inc. She is trained in multiple models. That means that she's learned many approaches to help a variety of relationship ills.  She's a gifted member of  IE, Scotland, UK and Europe's therapeutic community.

"Nancy is that rare and wonderful combination of kind, compassionate, clear and focused.  She is an amazing listener, but simply being heard (with past marriage counsellors) has never been enough.  With her as our skillful guide, we were able to each get at core concerns and reach a deeper understanding of what we are bringing to the table. We also felt she was a cheerleader and totally in our corner.  We had a difficult but wonderful weekend and left feeling changed and with new hope for our future together."

- Wife, Recent Couples Retreat Participant

Learn more about 40+ years of research helping couples. Learn more about The Gottman Method.

You won't find a More Broadly trained Couples Therapy Clinician conducting science-based retreats in Ireland

When weekly work is too difficult to schedule, one marriage retreat equals 6 months of traditional counseling.

Nancy's availability in this marriage counselling retreat-IE- is limited.

These are one-to-one retreats. She flies in to your location. Please book early for the best availability.

When your relationship faces stress, infidelity, or the threat of divorce, don't wait.

Get a jump-start and change around your relationship dynamics with a thoroughly trained expert with decades of science-based experience. This is the Couples Retreat IE relies upon.


Remarkably, yes, it can. It provides a firm foundation for real ongoing change. Bring us your most distressing problems. Happier couples attend, too, for a tune up. You'll learn how to change around marital unhappiness to team collaboration. "Hopeless" to "Hopeful." All in a single science-based weekend.

Almost ready to leave the marriage? Read about Last Shot Couples Therapy & Discernment Counseling.

Locations to Serve You:

Visit Nancy in Tullamore

What's a 'Fly Me' Therapist?

Tullamore D.E.W. Old Bonded Warehouse

Tullamore is home to the famous "Tullamore Whiskey." Charleville Estate, located on the edge of this town, is one of Ireland's most splendid Gothic buildings. Tullamore is also sport oriented and has won three senior football championships and one senior hurling championship in recent times.

A woman stands in an airport watching a plane take off

Nancy flies to your loc​ation.

We've created and perfected the concept of a "fly me" therapist for couples that prefer to work in their own city, town, or village. Our couples therapist takes a holiday cottage or hotel suite and the therapist conducts the couples therapy weekend in their chosen location.

Where to Stay?


Some couples want a luxury holiday while working with a highly trained clinician. If they plan to enhance their sexual intimacy, they may want a romantic weekend. They prefer a weekend with outstanding natural beauty, a hot tub or country house. They want to combine a romantic weekend with the work of improving their marriage in expert couples counseling. Let us suggest:

The house, built in the 1820s, is widely acknowledged as one of the most important examples of nineteenth-century neo-classical architecture in Ireland and is famed for its elaborate interior design in the Empire style.The restoration project has taken nine years – significantly longer than it took to build the house in the first place!

The house has been furnished with a collection of Irish art and antiques from around the world, fine Irish mahogany, French chandeliers and mirrors by Thomas Chippendale.  The result is spectacular, and today one of Ireland's most endangered great houses has emerged as a place of grandeur, yet warmth, providing the kind of welcome envisaged when the house was first built.

#1  Best Hotel in the World - Travel & Leisure Award 2018

(Conde Nast Readers Choice award 2016)

#1 Top Hotel Resort in UK & Ireland

#1 Top Resort in Europe

  • 614 acres to explore including a lake grotto.
  • Explore by horseback, walking, or boat
  • Dine on produce from their own garden.
  • 20 bedrooms insures your utmost privacy

Are you looking for the “best” weekend couples retreat in Europe?

You can find it yourself.

It looks confusing with an array of choices, but it’s pretty easy really:

Sort out whether you want a “group” or “private one on one" couples retreat. Figuring out the best couples retreat for you and your relationship is based on a few simple guiding criteria.

Private Couples Retreat or Group Retreat in Europe: What's the difference?

  • Group retreats are relatively inexpensive compared with private one-to-one couples retreats. Look for a Group Couples Retreat in Ireland or Europe that teaches basic skills... or are just for fun. 
  • Intensive Couples Retreats are a more serious business. These Couples Therapy Weekends are for couples who want to enhance their intimate relationship or really turn around serious marital issues.

Here’s more about the differences so you can know how to judge:

Group Couples Retreat

  • Can be a psycho-educational, fun, physical, yoga, healing retreats, spiritual or religious retreat.
  • A workshop can offer insights and tools... but it's not couples therapy.
  • Ask for a curriculum or outline of the day’s events.
  • Examine the underlying structure and theories of what’s being presented.
  • Typically designed to teach communications skills to foster closeness, friendship, and trust.
  • The group experience might contain 3-300 couples or more held in an office, hotel or auditorium.
  • Typically they offers psychoeducational materials to take home and study.
  • Usually cost £350-£1000 weekend retreat.

Private, Intensive Irish Couples Therapy Retreat Criteria

  • These are private therapy marriage retreat experiences.
  • Run by a professional trained in the science of couples therapy. Or should be.
  • Look at the actual clinical skills of the couples therapist. That should be listed and clearly spelled out on the website. Look at their graduate training, post-graduate experience, objective training credentials in couples therapy and related recognition of professional certifications.
  • The Couples Therapist should have demonstrated skill and clinical experience in a science-based couples therapy approach. It’s been proven effective!
  • Estimate the actual cost of the Couples Retreat. You are paying for intensive Couples Therapy.  Count up the number of actual clinical hours you’ll be in couples therapy. “Two-day” or “three-day” is a meaningless comparison if you only spend a few hours a day in actual couples therapy.
  • Figure out what comparable lodging will cost in the area (if that’s included). Subtract that out in order to determine the actual “cost” of your clinical couples therapy.

Find the right Couples Therapy Retreat in Ireland by asking five simple questions.

  1. Who offers these couples retreats in Ireland? What’s your philosophy?
  2. Who actually runs that private marriage retreat we will be going to?
  3. What do the marriage retreats look like?
  4. Who should attend these couples retreats?
  5. How much do they cost?

1. Who offers this Couples Retreat?

It’s a basic question. Who are you? Who runs this company? Remarkable on some websites, that's hard to determine.

About Couples Therapy Inc.

Couples Therapy Inc. is a group of skilled couples therapists offering couples retreats across the world. Our practice is proudly composed of 24 experienced couples therapists licensed as psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and mental health counselors (or trainees). We have over 558 collective years conducting graduate and higher diploma psychotherapy in Europe, the USA, and across the world. We specialize in science-based or evidence-based treatment to help couples in intensive couples retreats. 

Understanding Science-based Skills in Couples Therapy

There are many approaches to helping couples and many writers on intimate relationships.

However, there are only two demonstrated methods of science-based couples therapy:

  • The Gottman Method and
  • Emotionally-focused Couples Therapy (EFT).

Each have levels of training associated with them:

  • The Gottman Method has Levels I, II, and III, and Certification.
  • EFT has 1. Externship, 2. Core Skills, and Certification.
  • There are also “supervisors” and “trainers of therapists.”

Look for a licensed therapist with the most advanced training in these methods that you can find, or, ideally, someone with experience in both. Nancy St John has advanced training in these and other models as well.

Who Owns Couples Therapy Inc?

Dr. Kathy McMahon, a clinical psychologist with over 30 years of experience, owns and runs Couples Therapy Inc with her husband and fellow couples therapist Daniel Dashnaw, MS, MA, MFT.

Together they began Couples Therapy Inc. with the goal of pulling together the best couples therapists they could find to conduct easy-to-access couples therapy anywhere on the globe.

And we think we’ve done a darn good job, especially for those of you who live in Ireland.

We offer a wonderful skilled couples therapist, Nancy St John.

We’re proud to talk about our highly-skilled clinician running a couples retreat in Ireland and the UK in just a moment, but first let’s talk about our philosophy about these Couples Therapy Retreats offered in Ireland and across Europe:

Dr. K and Daniel Dashnaw, MS, MA, MFT

What is your philosophy about helping couples?

We believe in principled, science-based couples therapy.

If you are religious, we don’t believe you should have to choose between clinicians who have deep faith and someone with a fundamental understanding of science-based marriage counseling.

If you hold no religious beliefs, we believe that a skilled clinician trained in science-based couples therapy should be your foremost criteria for finding the best couples retreat.

We see couples of every age, ability, income, race, nationality, profession, religion, abilities, and sexual orientations.

We are both secular and faith-based counselors.

Some of us are ministers. Some of us have no religious affiliation. But all of us share a deep belief in an organized study of couples.

We’ve chosen as our collective starting point a science-based approach from the famous Gottman Institute. But some of us have incorporated training in the OTHER science-based method, Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy and clinically-grounded methods such as the Developmental Model or Imago Therapy.

For couples with a strong faith-based Christian perspective, we also have two ministers on our team (in Kansas City, Missouri metro area and in Missoula, Montana) with that same, pragmatic, science-based approach, but who also can help you bring a greater awareness and understanding of what’s gone wrong in your marriage by incorporating a Christian-based or biblical-based approach into your couples intensive retreat.

2. The Therapist Offering Couples Retreats in Ireland

What’s the therapist’s name and credentials running these Intensive Couples Therapy Retreats in Ireland?

Nancy St John is attained a Higher Diploma in Counselling (Hons), HETAC Level 8 (2010) St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth; Certificate in Counselling Skills, HETAC Level 7 (2006) NUI, Maynooth; Leaving Certificate (1976) Honours in Higher Level English and Economics; and Professional Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (2011) PCI College, Dublin.


Nancy's Evidence-based Treatment Models


Advanced Training

EFT:  5-Day Externship; Core Skills Training; Healing Affairs through Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

Advanced Training with The Gottman Institute. (Levels 1, 2, and 3)

Advanced Practitioner & Therapist Trainer: The Developmental Model of Palo Alto, CA

Certified as a Couples Discernment Counselor by the Doherty Institute 

Advanced Training

3. What do your Couples Retreats Look like?

These retreats aren’t a “couples bootcamp” of fun activities. They are private, individually-tailored retreats for couples in distress that are scheduled typically over a weekend.

  • One highly skilled counselor and one couple at a time.
  • Our retreats offer you an intensive couples therapy experience.
  • You meet for two hours with a skilled couples therapist on Friday night, and
  • Two full days on both Saturday and Sunday 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. 

That’s 7 hours of intensive couples therapy work each day, (not including breaks). Sixteen hours total face-to-face with a skilled couples therapist.

It’s not for the faint of heart. 

Many other alternative couples retreats offer marriage retreats that are half-day intensives of couples therapy work each day. This may be suitable for a couple in less relationship distress or those who want to allow time for sightseeing.

Our couples schedule a vacation if they want to sightsee.

The Couples Retreat begin with an “Assessment” of your Marital Relationship.

We begin with a relationship assessment prior to the start of your couples therapy retreat that has over 40 years of research behind it, the famous Gottman Method Couples Therapy assessment. But we don’t stop there.

Our assessment instrument that we call “The BIG BIG Book” has over 800 questions in it. It will take you 2-3+ hours of work to complete. We want a thorough understanding of your relationship and its challenges. Each of you complete it online, separately.

It’s then scored, examined and your every word is interpreted several weeks before your intensive couples retreat, so that your couples counselor has the chance to understand your goals and needs more thoroughly.

We make it convenient for you, as each of you complete it online in the privacy of your home or office.

In-Person Assessment During the Couples Retreat

Then, in the couples intensive retreat IE we continue this “State of the Union” assessment in person, meeting first with both of you to gather a relationship oral history and problem profile. That’s enough for the two hours on Friday night.

The following day, we use a clinically-structured “disagreement” that we analyze. We use this to formulate our treatment plan.

After this, we meet with each of you alone, to provide the opportunity to get a more in-depth look at the way you personally see your relationship struggles.

None of this is “guesswork.” 

All of it is a part of a science-based protocol designed by the Gottman Institute.

When therapy begins, it is highly focused, clinically relevant, and “you informed” work. You know what we’ll be working on and exactly why.

4. Who should attend these Marriage Retreats in Ireland?

This intensive couples therapy is for those who are serious about change. Our couples are not only highly motivated, but are ready for concrete action. They want  to learn what’s wrong in their relationship and how to fix it.

And they trust an organized, research-driven, science-based approach with decades of experience and demonstrated results behind it.

Couples Therapy Inc. offers couples retreats designed for extremely busy, high-powered couples in distress. Most of our couples have tried weekly couples therapy, and “failed.”

Despite their strong commitment to working on their marriage, weekly work with an “All Purpose” generalist was inadequate to meet their needs. And fortunately, they gave up on the therapist instead of their marriages and looked for an intensive marriage retreat.

They wanted a more focused couples therapy retreat with the most experienced couples therapist they can find.

In place of actual clinical skills, many retreats offer you “support.” They promise to be “nonjudgmental” and motivated to helping you reach your goals. And to give you their “undivided attention” and “privacy.”

At Couples Therapy Inc. we believe these are basic psychotherapy skills we teach our graduates students, but they’re not enough.

Our practice of skilled, experienced couples therapists offer marriage retreats, couples retreats, and online couples therapy across Ireland, the UK, the USA, South Africa and Australia too.

Beyond the buzzwords, an intensive marriage retreat is all about two things: The therapist and the approach.

Couples seek us out for a variety of reasons. Some have a strong, healthy relationship and want to keep it that way. While other couples have been impacted by more serious relationship damage such as affairs, poor fighting skills, resentments, long-standing anger, or painful, regrettable incidents.  

Our intensive couples therapy is not appropriate for couples dealing with addiction, domestic violence, or other ongoing psychiatric issues that require hospitalization, psychiatric medical care, or weekly work.

In those situations, we recommend seeking a clinical assessment and possibly ongoing counseling with Nancy St John, in her weekly psychotherapy practice.

5. How much do these Private Marriage Retreats cost?

You are booking your couples therapist for 2 hours on Friday night, and 7 hours each for the next two days. And scoring the BIG BIG Book takes 2.5 additional clinical hours. That’s 18.5 hours. Our retreats range in price from £2350 to £3915 (the owner, Dr. K charges more…) for 18.5 hours of clinical time, depending on the skills, credentials, and location of the therapist.

If you were seeing an  “All Purpose Therapist” for a classic 45-minute session, that would be almost 25 weekly sessions, or about 6 months of weekly help.

I'm not in Ireland. Do you hold a couples retreat near me?

Most likely. We hold our retreats within 300 miles of most major cities in the USA and can fly* our skilled therapists to a location near you globally.

Healing Relationships Worldwide


* We respect all restrictions placed on psychotherapists in some countries and may need additional time to become licensed in those districts or countries if needed.

Copyright 2018, Couples Therapy Inc.

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