Massachusetts Couples Can Attend Private, Intensive Marriage Retreats
Have you ever felt like you were only getting warm up when the therapist told you to stop? This frustration is shared by many who have attended our intensive marriage retreats. It is important to take the time and space necessary to work on a marital relationship. You shouldn’t rush. It is important to take enough time to truly understand the person or couple and to find the truth. Otherwise, it can be painfully slow.
It is incredibly rewarding and empowering to have 2-4 hour blocks of time over three days. This gives us all the time we need to work together on deeper issues and find solutions. The time between sessions is used for individual processing and completing customized homework. This is an essential part of the process.
Get Help to Fix Your Marriage
Like most things in life, marriage counseling is a process that involves change. Together, we will explore marital issues, identify defensive patterns, and discuss why you are each triggered. We set goals and show you how to achieve them. Clients may choose to focus on one or two problems, while other times they wish to alter the whole atmosphere in their marriage. Many times, there are long-standing problems that are causing the current problems. We can help you achieve your goals by being facilitators and guides.
Our intensive marriage retreat is for you, whether your marriage has fallen apart or is in dire need of some help. The three-day retreat will teach you and your partner new communication skills that will enhance your relationship. Then, we have you practice these skills together in our sessions and as part of your homework. We will help you to identify your problems in personal relationships and show you how to fix them. We teach you how to be more respectful and less personal, which will strengthen your relationship, reduce anxiety, and decrease depression.
Your typical schedule is:
- Preparation: Upon confirmation of your sign-up we will send you a questionnaire to begin your preparation process.
- Arrive in Vermont the day before we start out and settle into the accommodations of your choice. Some couples come in from MA two days prior. Travel, hotel, and meals are not included in our fee. See our suggested accommodations.
- Meet with Israel and Cathie at their homestead at 10AM on Day 1. We begin by talking about marriage: what are the components of a happy marriage, what are the common challenges, how does sex fit into a healthy marriage, etc. Then we take a detailed history on each of you: about your family of origin, your cultural and religious influences, your current family situation, as well the roots of your romantic involvement with each other. We then switch gears and begin various tutorials and behavioral exercises focused on your specific needs. While you practice with each other and we coach you through your new skills.
- After the session you will be practicing the communications skills you are learning, talking to each other on a new deeper level about how your relationship began and grew (or did not grow), about your hopes and dreams for your self and for your relationship together, your regrets and sorrows, and where you see things going. In addition we suggest things to do together… and hope that you can have some fun and relaxation after the day’s intensive session.
- Meet again on Day 2 for several hours. This session tends to pull it all together, dealing with the deeper issues that need to be addressed. Experienced in couples therapy work, we guide you safely through those areas which have been too hot to handle in the past. When you leave on Day 2, again we give you suggestions of ways to re-connect and take your relationship to a healthier more intimate place (or sometimes to lovingly disconnect and begin to separate more).
- We will review the previous sessions and tie together any loose ends. We will discuss your progress, and have you continue working on your specific issues while you practice your new communication skills. We will create a plan with you that includes recommendations for each of you as individuals, as well as for the two of you. That may include some book suggestions or Neurofeedback/Biofeedback as well as how to keep your connection alive. We wrap up by noon. You can return home or enjoy an extra day or two in scenic Vermont.
- When you return home to MA we are available for brief questions on the communication work and other lessons you have learned, as well as on our specific recommendations for the two of you. Learn about AfterCare Options.
Only couples-to-couple retreats are offered. This is in contrast to workshops, seminars, conferences, marriage encounters, or other events where you either listen to lectures or meet with other couples. We focus on your individual problems and do not allow others to distract you.
In our couple to couple retreats, we work together as a husband-wife team. This type of marriage counseling is extremely effective because it has a balance between male-female energy, two therapists’ knowledge and involvement, and the role model of a healthy caring relationship even when there are disagreements. Traditional marriage counseling can often lead to a split between the couple. They may be seen individually by the same counselor or seek out two different counselors. Many couples feel that their spouse and therapist are bullying them. This is not the case with us.
We found that couples often stay together after completing an intensive couple retreat. This is contrary to what happens in traditional divorce proceedings. We spend most of our time together as a couple, but we also have the option to spend time with male-male or female-female couples. We can adapt our time together to meet your individual needs. Because we know how to push each other for optimal growth, we can accomplish a lot of work in a short time. It is a deep, meaningful, intense process.
Read About Our Relationship Counseling Philosophy
A recent couple described the Marriage Quest process in their own words:
“Several summers ago, things had reached such a low point in our marriage that it was impossible to maintain the illusion of well-being a minute longer. We found the Helfands’ “marriage quest” weekend on the internet and decided it would be an efficient way of tackling our issues.
“Upon our arrival, I immediately felt at home with Cathie & Israel. Their warm and welcoming presence, combined with a strong sense of professionalism let me know right away that we had made a good decision. Next, Israel impressed me with his no-nonsense approach to our case. He hit on what I felt were key issues relating to the personalities involved in less than 2 minutes flat: clearly, we were not going to waste our time here!
“Throughout the weekend, the Helfands employed a variety of approaches and techniques: they spoke to us separately and together, inside their comfortable sitting room and outside in the garden, they educated us, they asked us to make lists, to do role-plays, and of course we also conversed freely. At every step of the way, their competence was matched by their high level of compassion. Emotionally-charged topics were handled with great sensitivity, but they were tackled head-on and in a way that allowed for healing.
“We left the weekend with a ‘game plan’ which we played out to the best of our respective abilities. In the end, we both felt stronger and better equipped to go on to a healthier, happier life-which is what we have done.”
Click to see more Letters and Testimonials we have received.
Let's Get Started
We’ll be pleased to answer your questions, and provide information on available dates and pricing. In case we are busy counseling another couple at the moment, leave a message and we will return your call promptly.