An Marriage Retreat
is a smart choice.
Senior licensed clinicians.
One couple per couples therapist. Private sessions, no small group retreats.
*due to COVID-19, we have suspended all in-person retreats until further notice.
Now offering online coaching and online therapy
This private marriage therapy retreat works with one couple at a time (whether you're married or not...) to heighten intimacy, improve emotional connection, and resolve conflicts. Or recover from a painful affair. You get:
Based on couples therapy research trusted for over 40 years.
In locations all across the USA and in Australia and South Africa. Cross-trained in several prominent evidence-based models, our couples therapists will help you to:
We meet, present to our colleagues monthly, and strengthen our skills in providing expert help in an intensive couples therapy format.
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Twenty-eight of our couples therapist hold only a non religious marriage retreat.
Two ministers on our team offering marriage retreats to Christian couples wanting to work from a biblical perspective with a science-based lens.
When was the last time you worked on your marriage?
Good couples therapy doesn’t happen in 50-minute weekly sessions, or by teaching “better communications” skills. It starts with a thorough assessment, a "State of the Union," and ends with understanding each person as an individual and as part of that couple.
"Using my husband's words, this weekend helped us more than 3 years of couples therapy did! We were amazed at what was accomplished in such a short time. We are so thankful that we took the leap and did this, it helped us immensely. We have a renewed sense of understanding, care and love for each other that would not have been possible otherwise."
- recent couples therapy retreat participant
If you're in emotional pain, because you aren't getting along with the person who once meant the world to you, get the best help possible.
I’m Dr. Kathy McMahon, and I’ve spent my entire professional career helping marriages function better emotionally and sexually - all the while struggling with my own misguided ideas about love. We all did back then, before science put us straight.
"Don't make the same mistake I did, and allow a perfectly good marriage to go down the drain..."
If you think that psychologists have just as many problems as the average person, you’d be right.
I’ve had my share.
In fact, these problems led me to divorce a perfectly nice guy, and father of my child, because of a lot of “pie in the sky” ideas I had (supported by current “theories” at the time...) about what makes a marriage work.
Back then, I did what most people do, "used my health insurance," and went to a marriage counselor. But instead of helping, those weekly 50-minute sessions left me feeling even angrier, more hopeless, and totally, totally misunderstood. I did a video on my experiences!
"I think that this was the first time that we both felt like couples counseling really had the impact we wanted it to, and we both feel very hopeful for our future now."
- recent couples therapy retreat participant
In my own failed marriage, I was told I should practice “good communication skills” to change things around, but I felt like that was all I was doing...yak, yak, yakking without impacting!
Like most women facing divorce, I only went to a few couples therapy sessions, and leaving upset after each one, before becoming totally disillusioned. I thought my marriage was severely, hopelessly damaged, and divorce was the only answer.
I never suspected that the marriage counselor's training, not my marriage, was to blame.
After a painful divorce and remarriage to a “completely different guy,” these same problems reappeared with my second husband.
I thought to myself: “How could I be so unlucky?”
But it wasn’t a matter of luck at all.
It has taken me more than 17 years, and five different couples therapy approaches, to fully grasp how to precisely help disillusioned spouses. And it doesn’t happen in weekly sessions, or by teaching “better communication” skills.
It's done in the format of a marriage retreat, an intensive sort of couples counseling, that brings clarity to your relationship challenges and teaches you concrete ways to work on them. I believe they are the best marriage retreats for busy couples, or couples wanting a non religious marriage retreat with proven science behind it.
It's the equivalent of 6 months of marriage therapy, all in one condensed week-end, that radically stops a couple's fast-moving train to greater misery or divorce.
Now I share ongoing knowledge of how to conduct this work with a select group of some of the most highly trained couples therapists here across the USA and internationally.
I do wish a program like this were available to me when I was facing my own painful divorce over 20 years ago.
It would have saved my daughter from running between two households and the strain she lived with balancing the expectations of two different sets of parents. If I knew there were marriage retreats near me where I could spend a single weekend to get effective couples therapy?
"We were not communicating, fighting over little things, resenting one another, making up but not resolving our feelings so things quickly turned negative again. I honestly thought a divorce was a better option than to living as unhappy as I was. And we were fearful that our problems were too big to even begin to resolve in a weekend couple's therapy retreat. But it was a life-changing experience that I am so grateful we participated in it. It has given us and our marriage a second chance. I am hopeful for the first time in a long time and I am in love with my husband again and it feels wonderful. Thank you."
- recent couples therapy retreat participant
This is a real marriage retreat with intensive couples therapy. Escape the hassles of everyday life and set aside time to be with your spouse and work on your relationship.
We believe in the "work, then relax" model of intensive couples therapy help. Work hard during the therapy, then relax and spend time enjoying your evening. Know that you've given it your all.
We assign no "homework" in our retreats, because we want you to simply enjoy your down time.
Research has demonstrated that a science-based approach is 70-90% effective in helping couples. These retreats equal almost 6 months of conventional therapy held over a weekend. Follow-up online or continue with your local therapist. We'll consult and assist in that transition.
We provide the "jump start" you need for focused, effective work.
Preeminent researcher John Gottman, Ph.D. advises couples to get away weekend retreat for 3-4 times a year to maintain a healthy marriage. A couples retreat could be one of those "just for us" times... expanding Valentine Day to more than one 24-hour period!
"We had tried couples counseling for a couple years before we filed for divorce and it seemed to do more harm than good. We were worried this was going to be the same way and we would waste our money. But when we showed up, our therapist already understood what our main issues were.
We didn't waste time going back through the details. She took the time to make sure she understood what both of us were looking to get out of the retreat. She never let us get caught in a fight and instead stopped us and guided us through how we should be handling our issues.
She gave us tools and exercises to do (things we had begged our previous therapist for for years). Our therapist was engaged and warm and seemed to genuinely want to help us. She made us talk about and deal with and have the tough conversations that we had been avoiding or were never able to have constructively.
She is also a sex therapist so she was able to give us great advice on how to increase our intimacy."
- RECENT COUPLES THERAPY RETREAT PARTICIPANT
Learn how we help couples like you every day in this marriage retreat intensive format.
You'll get a detailed look at exactly:
...to determine how we can best assist you in getting back together, better than before, over this intensive couples therapy retreat. Your couples therapist will analyze one of your disagreements for a scientific understanding of your relationship dynamics.
My clinical team and I love doing 2 1/2 day marriage retreats. It has been so rewarding to have couples enter treatment on the verge of divorce, or anxious to get their marriages back on track, and leave with a new sense of commitment, connection, and resolve.
A private intensive marriage retreat is great for couples who can't find a skilled couples therapist closer to home. They are also perfect for those who don’t want to commute for more traditional weekly sessions.
We can help you find the right therapist, with the expertise and location you need.
Many couples find that they're able to make more progress with an intensive marriage retreat. Being away, in an exciting urban location or surrounded by nature, they have the time to resolve entrenched problematic dynamics. As they relax, it is easier to learn new ways of relating to each other.
BOSTON • WASHINGTON DC • CHICAGO • THE BAY AREA • LOS ANGELES & ORANGE COUNTY • HOUSTON • AUSTIN • SAN ANTONIO • KANSAS CITY • LAS VEGAS • CHARLESTON • GREATER VANCOUVER • FALLS CHURCH, VA • ASHLAND, OR • ATLANTA • MINNEAPOLIS • THE BERKSHIRES/AMHERST/NORTHAMPTON • BOCA RATON • SAN JUAN • MISSOULA, MT • BOISE, IDAHO • BRISBANE, AU • HERMANUS, ZA
A typical couples retreat schedule (click on day):
1:00 - 5:00 PM - Check-in to your hotel
6:00 - 8:00 PM - Meet your therapist and continue your assessment.
9:30 AM - Check-in
9:45 AM - Videotaping communication patterns (Gottman-focused therapists only)
10:00 AM - 1st Individual meeting
11:00 AM - 2nd Individual meeting
12:00 PM - Lunch
1:30 - FEEDBACK SESSION*
2:45 PM - Break
3:00 PM - We begin our work
4:15 PM - Wrap-up and questions.
9:30 - Your personalized therapy continues
4:15 PM - Wrap-up and questions
4:30 PM - End.
*Your Feedback Session will address:
And we will invite your own insights and feedback.
You will now know:
You will be responsible for your arranging travel, hotel accommodations, car rental and meals, however, we will provide you with detailed travel instructions from the airport and suggest exceptional food and lodging locations that others have enjoyed.
Many of our couples arrange entertainment and recreation ahead of time i.e., fly fishing in Montana, golfing in Charleston, spa treatments in Orange County, even an South African safari! Contact us to learn more.
We also have created a program called "Fly Me" therapy. In this case, our therapist is able to fly to your location. Additional fees for travel and lodging would apply.
Given the exceptionally high level of training on our team, our couples retreat intensives are in high demand. It's a serious mutual commitment, for you and for us. We set aside this large block of time only for you, and you do the same for each other. You both commit to your relationship, as we commit to helping you.
For this reason, full payment is due at the time of scheduling.
If for any reason you decide to cancel, a 50% refund will be given up to 60 days prior to the scheduled start date. If you cancel less than 60 days prior to the scheduled start date, your fee is non-refundable.
"Don’t give up on your spouse." -Kansas Marriage Retreat Couple
"Put in the work. It’s worth it... Don't hesitate! Go into it with an open heart and an open mind and you’ll come away more aware of how to have a healthier, more loving relationship." -Boston Marriage Retreat Couple
Do it! It's worth it! -Los Angeles Marriage Retreat Couple
Contact us for a no-charge 20-minute consultation. See below to schedule
If one of you have little motivation to work on your marriage in a sincere way and are seriously considering divorce, please consider a Discernment Counseling Retreat instead of our couples THERAPY retreat. Your willingness and interest in improving your marriage is essential for this work to succeed. It takes both of you to be open and willing to change.