Living through a struggling marriage is one of the most stressful experiences in life. Sometimes couples even go through years of therapy or multiple therapists with little to no progress. If you think your marriage is on the brink of breaking apart, rest assured that there is hope and an intensive counseling retreat might be your best option. In fact, intensive counseling, also known as a marriage retreat, saves struggling marriages which traditional couples counseling couldn’t repair.
Marriage retreats quickly and effectively identify the root causes of the couples’ issues and then equip them with the skills and tools to strengthen and repair their relationship. In some cases, the goal of the retreat is to determine if the marriage can survive.
Instead of stretching therapy over weeks and months, intensive counseling usually takes place over one to four consecutive days, often over a weekend. Time is exclusively dedicated toward repairing a damaged relationship and helping the couple figure out how to move forward.
Why Intensive Counseling Works Heal Marriages On The Brink
A marriage retreat is worthwhile for couples for whom traditional therapy hasn’t worked or for those who want to supercharge their counseling journey. Even couples who are considering divorce can revive their relationship with professional support as long as both spouses commit to working things out.
The greatest benefit of intensive couples therapy is that you get results much faster than standard couples counseling. During a weekend retreat, the couple’s only focus is working on their marriage – there are no interruptions or competing responsibilities. With guidance from the therapist, the couple is able to go deeper and make quicker progress. This positive momentum builds and focuses the couple on finding long-term solutions and healing.
Rebuilding Emotional Connections
In order for a marriage to thrive, the couple needs to feel emotionally connected. Much of the work that takes place in intensive counseling focuses on reestablishing this emotional connection. Moreover, the couple learns the process of maintaining their connection and repairing what’s broken. It is possible to save a marriage on the brink even after the most painful relationship ruptures such as infidelity, lack of sexual intimacy, or a breakdown in communication.
Furthermore, long term success of a marriage is more likely when both partners understand the process of repairing and building emotional connection so they can repeat it on their own. It’s much better to know how to fish than to be provided one a single time.
Learn And Practice Actual Skills
Marriage retreats which apply pragmatic, solutions-based methods tend to work best for marriages in crisis. Most marriages can succeed as long as the partners have the skills required to make their relationship work and know how to apply them. This solution-based approach focuses on skill development and practice.
The basic idea is that your relationship will reinforce whatever state you put it in. This behavioral science approach means that if you want to have calm discussions instead of volatile escalations, you should learn and practice how to keep your cool during arguments. During intensive counseling, the therapist will help the couple learn and apply communication skills to achieve better outcomes. It is the job of the therapist to make sure every conversation and most interactions are productive and will lead each spouse towards their goals.
Create An Aftercare Plan
The last phase of a marriage retreat is to provide suggestions that will help the couple make ongoing progress. These might include specific exercises to do together or individually. Additional supports include homework assignments, reading recommendations, or other activities that engage you both in making positive steps towards your relationship goals. A good aftercare plan provides guidance for continuing to heal and strengthen your relationship long after the weekend marriage retreat.
Remember that the purpose of a couples retreat is to teach you a process that you can replicate on your own. The aftercare plan is designed to offer instructions which help the couple continue building their emotional connection and healing past hurts.
What To Look For In A Marriage Retreat
It’s important to understand the differences between marriage retreats and regular couples counseling before you can evaluate whether a retreat is a good option for you and your partner. The most effective marriage retreats will focus on problem solving and skills development.
A good couples therapist will work with the couple on identifying core issues which require fixing. They will then provide the couple with guidance and supports toward a practical resolution and an achievable aftercare plan. Couples retreats which focus on rehashing the past or playing the blame game tend to be less helpful in the long run.
The best marriage retreats offer practical approaches toward rebuilding and reconnection for many years to come. With the help of an experienced couples therapist, intensive counseling can help a marriage on the brink heal over a weekend.
To learn more about LifeWise intensive counseling retreats, follow the link below