There are couples' retreats all over North America and overseas that can help you ignite the spark in your relationship again. Whether you are looking to just get away, or repair your relationship, a retreat can be a healing and cathartic experience. The following suggestions meet a variety of needs whether you are married, not-married, struggling or just looking to rekindle your romance.
The Texas Couples' Retreat
The Texas Couples' Retreat is two nights accommodation, with a full day of meals for two people (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks & drinks), including dinner on arrival day and breakfast on departure day. The retreat is ideal for couples who just want to get away, and it does not include therapy.
What to Expect
Unlike the other couples' retreats, this one is not about psychological transformation through therapy, but rather, the emphasis is on creating a wonderful, non-structured experience for couples who simply want to spend more time with one another or celebrate a special event, like an anniversary. Couples can expect:
- A pleasant suite, satisfying meals, and a tranquil setting
- A one and a half hour couples' bodywork massage for each person to relieve muscular stress and anxiety
- Unstructured time to walk around the grounds and enjoy the view, participate in outdoor activities, or enjoy the hot tub - but the time is unstructured so couples can spend quality time together as they choose.
The cost is $639.00 or $759.00, depending on the suite.
Healing Couples' Retreats
Healing Couples' Retreats at Soulmate Oracle is located about an hour north of San Francisco and is run by Dr. John Grey, author of the book, Five-Minute Relationship Repair. A retreat with Healing Couples' Retreats is best suited for couples (married or not) who are experiencing significant hardships and trouble. The individual work that couples do with Dr. Grey makes the experience unique.
What to Expect
Couples can attend for two to four days, and utilize either group or private sessions. The program is unique in that it is not a workshop. Rather, retreats are customized to match the personal needs of each couple and their particular lifestyles. Dr. Grey reports that couples can make rapid progress in achieving their goals by breaking away from a standardized program. Couples should know:
- Schedule starting at 10:30 am and lasting until 5:30 or 6:30 pm, with a long lunch break in the middle of the day.
- Each evening couples will have homework.
- Couples have a couples hours of preparation to do before they arrive.
- Group retreats are kept very small to maximize the benefits.
- While generally the retreat takes place in Sonoma county, Dr. Grey is open to hosting individual retreats in foreign countries for a romantic getaway.
None of the costs associated with the retreat include meals, transportation or accommodations. Couples stay at a nearby hotel and drive to Dr. Grey each morning. Costs range in price depending on your experience and whether you're doing a private retreat or a group retreat:
- The cost for a two-day private retreat is $2,900 per couple, the cost for a three-day private retreat is $3,900 per couple, and the cost for a longer retreat is an additional $1,300 for each day.
- A small group retreat will cost $1,800 total and generally starts Friday afternoon and goes to Sunday evening. These prices do not include travel, lodging, and meals.
While pricey, Dr. Grey reports that many couples find tools that they need to cope with and heal their relationships.
Gottman Couples' Retreats
Gottman Couples' Retreats is a two-day retreat in Orcas Island, Washington where you work with Drs. John and Julie Gottman. You get lectures, role plays, special exercises, and more, overlooking the sea. This retreat is ideal for married couples who feel like their marriage is in trouble.
What to Expect
The retreat has a two-part focus, the first day focuses on building friendship and intimacy. The second day deals with helping couples with conflict management and building their relationship through creating shared meaning. Every day couples will:
- Listen to science-based lectures on relationships, witness role plays, and practice exercises with their partners
- Do exercises with one another
Groups are no more than six couples. The Gottmans also offer private retreats with 'marathon therapy' which consists of five hours per day with one of the two doctors, for two to four days.
The cost is $5,500 per couple and includes accommodations and meals.
The Sonoma Couples' Retreat
The Sonoma Couples' Retreat is for couples struggling with relationship issues. It is facilitated by Imago Couples' Coach Marianne Harms, CSW (PA LCSW). This retreat is ideal for couples who really want to work on their relationship issues in a private setting. The retreat is only for individual couples, there are no group options.
What to Expect
The lack of group options makes this retreat unique. Couples can expect:
- Private garden cottage
- 10 to 12 hours of sessions with Coach Marianne where couples will learn how to heal issues of grief, rage, suffering, failure, fear, and other things that ruin intimacy
The cost is $2,500, and the fee covers materials, workbook, amenities and breakfast and lunch. (Dinner is eaten in town.)
The Inner Odyssey Couples' Retreat
The Inner Odyssey Couples' Retreat offers a small group retreat for couples in the serene setting of Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada. The retreat is facilitated by Sharon Bronstein MSW and Alan Caplan MA, who have a combined experience of 30 years working with couples.
What to Expect
Customized programs offer experiential ways to move past stuck places, as well as guided activities to explore strengths and work through differences. The retreat also includes meditation and massage, journaling and guided reflection exercises.
The cost is $895 Per Couple, and the fee includes the Communication Tool Kit.
What to Expect
During a retreat, couples may learn how to:
- Become clear on their goals as a couple
- Understand their own and their partner's personality better
- Figure out their particular style of relationship
- Create long-lasting, satisfying relationships
- Improve communication
- Work through particular issues in the relationship
- Spot the underlying dynamics that cause communication breakdowns
- Drop emotional walls and discuss feelings in an open and helpful way
- Enrich a partnership
- Patch things up when you're close to splitting up
Do You Need a Couples' Retreat?
You may want to consider a retreat if you and your partner are experiencing issues, or even if you just need to take some time to reconnect. While couples' retreats are often intensive, with a lot of psychological work packed into a few days, they are usually carefully designed not to be overwhelming. In fact, one reason these specialized workshops are often held in beautiful, resort-like settings is because it allows couples the space and time to process their feelings and insights. Couples' retreats work as well as they do because they initiate a process of transforming how a couple interact, connect, understand, and rebuild trust. Relationships heal when each person understands what their significant other has been feeling and the reasons for their reactive, unloving behavior in the past.