Couples Retreat Chicago:
Working privately with each of you
for the entire weekend.
"I would trust him to work well with anyone I love."
--master Couples Researcher John Gottman
Over Twenty-five Years Experience
Dr. Michael McNulty is one of the earliest certified Gottman Couples therapists in the nation. He blends this science-based couples work with his extensive training in psychoanalytically informed psychotherapy.
Senior Certified Gottman Relationship Therapist
Master trainer and workshop leader. Personally trained by Drs. John and Julie Gottman. Dr. McNulty conducts trainings and acts as a consultant to the Gottman Institute's professional development program.
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
School of Social Service Administration and The Institute for Clinical Social Work. Lecturer and Adjunct Faculty member teaching Masters students. Taught in the professional development program for 10 years.
Recommended by THE Premier Couples Researchers:
"Dr. McNulty is that rare combination of gifted therapist and teacher who possess profound wisdom, deep compassion, and brilliant skill. He is one of the best clinicians we've had the privilege to know...He is a gift to us and hopefully will be to you, too."
- Drs. John & Julie Gottman.
Private couples counseling retreats: To improve your greatest relationship challenges.
There are hundreds of options for couples retreats across the country. Most are group psychoeducational retreats. Some offer a beautiful location and luxury accommodations. Many offer marriages a "couples getaway Chicago" experience. Some are faith-based or focused solely on improving your communication. Ours are different.
Couples Therapy Inc. offers marriage retreats which are private therapeutic intensives. Pick a Couples Retreats Chicago location if you're in relationship distress. Or want to dramatically improve how you are relating now. While every marriage is different and no retreat can promise guaranteed results, these retreats offer 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 can leave with a fundamental understanding of the particular challenges their marriages face, what makes some marital problems "unresolvable," and how to work with true values and lifestyle differences.
Our marriage counseling retreats help one couple at a time to reconnect, improve their communication and rebuild trust. Dr. McNulty has been helping Chicago couples for a quarter century.
We're the Couples Retreat Illinois relies upon by 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.
Dr. McNulty is a Master Couples Therapist helping you to break down barriers, and open up to the heart of the issue. He knows how to help Illinois couples address long standing areas of conflict, infidelity, divorce threats, and complications such as managing early trauma histories, mental health issues, or extended family struggles that affect the partnership. He sees couples from around the country and the world.
Marriage counseling for an intensive retreat with real science-based help.
Dr. McNulty is one of 7 Master Therapists at Couples Therapy Inc. A gifted member of Chicago's therapeutic community.
Dr. McNulty has received five Fulbright Senior Specialist grants for his international work in Sri Lanka. He has made presentations on teaching The Gottman Method at two Annual Gottman Conferences, and an event in the Chicago area with John and Julie Gottman as commentators. John Gottman has also referred to him as: "a highly sensitive, intelligent, and intuitive clinician...His work demonstrates the kind of care and deep understanding people in other cultures that is unique in my experience. "
Learn more about 40+ years of research helping couples. Learn more about The Gottman Method.
You won't find a More Highly Skilled Clinician in Illinois
When weekly work is too difficult to schedule, one marriage retreat equals 6 months of traditional counseling.
These are one-to-one retreats. 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 Illinois relies upon.
708 Church Street, Suite 258
Evanston, IL 60201
735 St. Johns Avenue, Suite 100
Highland Park, IL 60035
Some couples ask us to suggest a romantic inn. If they plan to enhance their sexual intimacy, they want a romantic setting. They ask for a weekend with the flavor of a romantic getaway with a hot tub or whirlpool tubs. They want to combine a romantic weekend with the work of improving their marriage in expert couples counseling. Let us suggest:
A great option is the Harvey House Bed & Breakfast. This ultimate romantic B and B is the perfect location for those wanting access to Chicago and Oak Park! Close by the Inn are incredible dining experiences, charming shops, and galleries.
Harvey House Bed & Breakfast is located in Oak Park, Illinois, just 8 miles from the heart of downtown Chicago. Oak Park offers a diversity long gone from the average city street. The "EL" train is within 3 blocks, and departs every 8 minutes for Chicago.
Harvey House is your place for relaxation and comfort with an attention to luxurious detail. A perfect place to retire to after a day of intensive counseling.
You can find it yourself.
It looks confusing with a vast array of choices, but it’s pretty easy really:
Sort out whether you want a “group” or “private” couples retreat. Figuring out the best couples retreat for you and your relationship is based on a few simple guiding criteria.
You don’t need someone else to “rank” your therapist or facilitator in a group or private individual couples therapy intensive. You can do it yourself.
Here’s more about the differences so you can know how to judge:
It’s a basic question. Who are you? Who runs this company? Remarkable on some websites, that's hard to determine.
Couples Therapy Inc. is a group of skilled couples therapists offering couples retreats across the USA. Our practice is proudly composed of 23 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 post-masters psychotherapy here in the USA. We specialize in science-based or evidence-based treatment to help couples in intensive couples retreats. And our two clinicians in the Midwest offer both private therapy retreats and group couples retreats.
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:
Each have levels of training associated with them:
Look for a licensed therapist with the most advanced training in these methods that you can find, or, ideally, someone with experience in both.
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 the Midwest.
We offer two wonderful choices of skilled couples therapists, Dr. Michael McNulty in Chicago, (practicing in both Highland Park and Evanston, IL) and Dr. Doug Burford in Overland Park, Kansas, right in the Kansas City, Missouri metro area. (Read more about Dr. Burford (HERE).
We’re proud to talk about our highly-skilled clinician running a couples retreat in Illinois in just a moment, but first let’s talk about our philosophy about these Couples Therapy Retreats offered in Chicago and Kansas City Missouri Metro Area.
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, sexual orientation, income, race, nationality, profession, religion, abilities, and sexual orientations.
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.
Dr. Michael McNulty is a doctoral level clinical social worker who has been praised by Drs. John and Julie Gottman as being “a highly sensitive, intelligent, and intuitive clinician” whose “work demonstrates the kind of care and deep understanding [of] people.”
That’s from two of the most recognized American psychological researchers and clinicians who have done extensive work over four decades on divorce prediction and marital stability.
Dr. McNulty has won five Fulbright Senior Specialist grants for his international humanitarian work in Sri Lanka helping train local professionals managing trauma. He studied both "self psychology" and qualitative research in his graduate studies before finding the evidence-based John Gottman model of Couples Therapy. He works from an attachment framework, carefully helping couples heal the wounds of betrayals, early trauma, affairs, and personality problems.
He’s one of the earliest certified Gottman Method Couples Therapists alive today and has gone on to train literally hundreds of graduate level clinicians in this powerfully-effective method of helping couples.
Dr. McNulty offers his Midwest couples retreats in the Greater Chicago, Illinois area in both Evanston, and Highland Park.
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.
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.
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.
Then, in the couples intensive retreat in Illinois 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 capture on videotape and analyze. We use this tape to determine the presence of “The Four Horsemen” and begin to tailor 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 itself.
When therapy begins, it is highly focused, clinically relevant, and “you informed” work. You know what we’ll be working on and exactly why.
This intensive couples therapy is for those who are serious about change. Our couples are not only highly motivated but are ready to bring concrete action to learning 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 concentrated 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 the Midwest, the USA, and internationally too.
Beyond the buzzwords, an intensive marriage retreat is all about two things: The therapist and the approach.
Couples attend who already have a strong, healthy relationship, and couples who have been impacted by relationship damage such as affairs, poor fighting skills, resentments, long-standing anger or painful regrettable incidents.
This 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 Dr. McNulty, a Gottman-trained therapist, in his weekly psychotherapy practice.
Read: Relationship Experts Reveal 6 Secrets that Help Power Couples Stay Together (Business Insider)
You are booking your couples therapist for 2 hours on Friday night, and 7 hours 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 $3000 to $5000 (the owner, Dr. K charges more…) for 18.5 hours of clinical time, depending on the skills, credentials, and location of the therapist. Dr. McNulty, as one of our most respected therapists, charges $5000.
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.
Led by Senior Master Trainer Michael McNulty from the Gottman Institute, come and learn why couples worldwide have benefited from the Gottman Method over the last 40 years.
The Art and Science of Love group workshop gives you new insights and research-based skills that focus on dramatically improving the intimacy and friendship in your relationship and help you manage conflict in a healthy, positive way.
John and Julie Gottman have designed this curriculum from their 40 years of research studying more than 3,000 couples. Dr. McNulty is an experienced trainer and brings The Art and Science of Love to Midwest couples.
It’s developed from research on what actually works in relationships that are happy and stable, not naïve notions or unreliable theories of what a relationship should be. On day one, you will learn how to build friendship in your relationship and express feelings of respect and affection. On day two, you will learn how to manage conflict and communicate effectively.
94% of couples report positive results according to the Gottman Institute’s research on those who attend, based on exit surveys.
If you’ve already attended a Level One workshop in the Art and Science of Love, you can refresh your skills and deepen your understanding of the Gottman Method by attending The Art and Science of Love 2. It’s an advanced workshop for couples.
No public discussion or disclosure is involved. All work is done as a couple and Dr. McNulty and other Gottman-trained therapists are available to support you one-on-one during exercises.
This educational workshop may not be appropriate for couples dealing with addiction, domestic violence, or other serious relationship issues.
I'm not in Illinois. Do you hold a couples retreat near me?
Most likely. We hold our retreats within 300 miles of most major cities in the USA.
BOSTON • WASHINGTON DC • CHICAGO • THE BAY AREA • LOS ANGELES & ORANGE COUNTY • HOUSTON • AUSTIN • KANSAS CITY • LAS VEGAS • CHARLESTON • GREATER VANCOUVER • ASHLAND, OR • ATLANTA • MINNEAPOLIS • THE BERKSHIRES/AMHERST/NORTHAMPTON • BOCA RATON • SAN JUAN • MISSOULA •
DUBLIN • BRISBANE, AU • HERMANUS, SA