An Intensive Marriage Retreat: Private, Confidential, Effective

This is science-based one-to-one couples retreat with one skilled couples therapist per couple.  No group work. We start with an assessment so we know a lot about you before you arrive..."

An Intensive Marriage Retreat is a smart choice.

These are personalized, private, one-to-one marriage retreats (whether you're married or not) with a skilled doctoral or masters-level couples therapist, not a group educational format.  One couple per couples therapist. Real, science-based help.

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.

Couple in their late 50's looking at each other

A couples retreat enhances your fondness for each other.

  • One Week-end.
  • 6 Months of Couples Therapy.
  • Get away, and really focus on your relationship.

Don't make the same mistake I did, and allow a perfectly good marriage to go down the drain.

"Good Couples Therapy doesn’t happen in 45-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 a couple."

The End of a Marriage that Didn't Have To...​

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.

Dr. Kathy McMahon
President & CEO of Couples Therapy Inc.

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 45-minute sessions left me feeling even angrier, more hopeless, and totally, totally misunderstood. I did a video on my experiences!

Dr. McMahon was our last hope for saving our marriage, and a wonderful choice. After many years of problems, and failed attempts with local therapists, we are back on track.  Dr. McMahon was exceptional!  It was worth every dollar and minute we spent traveling from Illinois to meet with her for the weekend retreat.  I wish we found her years ago!!!   - Facebook review.
We were on the brink of divorce and had trust, infidelity, communication, partnership issues. My husband thought we couldn't possibly benefit from just three days. Marisa was down to earth, genuine, kind, nonjudgmental, a good listener, creative, funny, sincere, caring, compassionate.... More
Both my husband and I thought Angela was excellent. We have seen numerous therapist over the last three years and she by far exceeded all of our expectations.  More...

Good Communications isn't Enough in Couples Therapy

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 therapy sessions a few times 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, not my marriage, was to blame.

Couple in their 50's outside, woman laughing hard, man looking at her smiling

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 45-minute weekly sessions, or by teaching “better communications” skills.  Now I've passed this knowledge on to a select group of couples therapists 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.  A single weekend to do intensive couple retreat therapy? 

I would have grabbed it!

The Marriage  Retreat I Wish I had Back Then...

Troubled Marriages Need a Total Approach.

Through my journey to heal my own marriage, I learned that marriages, like diamonds, are the toughest “jewels” in the rocky world of relationships. But with a magnifying glass and the right tools, it take only a tap in the right place to make a big impact. Instead of 45-minute weekly sessions, it needs time--intensive time-to sit with the right therapist, and allow them to do their job.

Husband-wife team
Dr. Kathy McMahon &
Daniel Dashnaw, MS, MA, MFT 

So I put together the equivalent of 6 months of therapy, all in one condensed intensive marriage retreat week-end, that radically stops a couple's fast-moving train to greater misery or divorce.

  • Two and one-half days.
  • One week-end.
  • and a thorough analysis of you and this relationship you're living in.

A Brief Look at How This Intensive Couples Retreat Works:

Friday Evening:

• Check into your room.

• Make Saturday night Dinner Reservations.

• Begin the Couples Retreat


• Your goals

• A overview of your relationship using: “The Oral History Interview.”

Saturday Morning:

9:30-9:45 am

• Check-in

9:45-10:00 am

• Videotaping Communication Patterns

10:00 am -11:00 am

Individual Meetings: Partner A

11:00-12:00 pm

• Individual Meetings: Partner B

12:00-1:30 pm Lunch Break

1:30-2:45 pm

Feedback Session:

• Relationship strengths,

• Areas to focus on in this Couples Retreat.

We invite your own insights and feedback as well.

Saturday Continues:

2:45 pm-3:00 pm Break

3:00-4:15 pm

• We begin our work.

4:15-4:30 pm

• First Day Wrap-up and Questions.

You now know:

• Your relationship's problematic Relationship Dynamics;

• A basic understanding of the over 40 years of research findings with over 3,000 couples;

• How it relates to YOU;

• Tomorrow's goals.

  Start your Evening

Sunday Schedule:

9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Your personalized therapy continues.

Frankly, there were very few reviews of CTI online, but I liked the plan for the weekend, and the communication beforehand with Max was helpful and inspired confidence.
     Max was very diligent about using our time to the utmost and made excellent decisions about how to get past our personal resistances.
     He showed great insight into the linchpin issues. I believe we have much better ways to resolve issues now, and I have much better hope for our future as a couple.
     We're very happy we undertook the program. We were lucky to have an excellent therapist... We're grateful.  More...

Science-based + Convenience

Learn how we help couples like you every day in this intensive marriage retreat format. You'll get a detailed look at exactly what we'll be doing, why we'll be doing it, and how we use science-based assessment  for our couples retreat to determine how we can best assist you in getting back together, better than before, over your intensive couples retreat week-end.  And just like Gottman's original research, you will have a videotape of one of your disagreements analyzed for a scientific understanding of your relationship dynamics.

My clinical team and I love doing intensive 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 Gottman 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, 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.

​Or Contact Us for a No-Charge Consultation. 

Please note: 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. Please see Discernment Counseling, instead, if one of you has little motivation to continue to work on the marriage in a sincere way and is seriously considering divorce.

Could you spend a weekend away to get closer?

Preeminent researcher John Gottman, Ph.D. advises couples to get away 3-4 times a year.  
A couples retreat could be one of those "just for us" times...

When was the last time you worked on your marriage?

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