The Relationship Retreat

Build the relationship you dream of in a matter of days…

Does that sound impossible? It did to me at first, too, but now I know different

When I first discovered this delivery of Couples Therapy, I remember thinking, “Wow, that is intense!” I also remember thinking, “How can that even work?” Guess what, it is, and it does!

As I have shared before, I’ve been to therapy, lots of types, including relationship therapy, including Gottman marathon therapy. Therefore, as an experienced Gottman trained (Level 2) relationship therapist, and from lived experience, I can say that IT WORKS!

Research shows that marathon sessions are an effective form of couples therapy (Gottman and Gottman, 2015). These sessions help promote a better understanding between couples and their ability to navigate conflict, reduce distress, increase friendship and intimacy and bring a stronger feeling of satisfaction between partners.

What works from a therapist’s perspective

When people come to me to improve and strengthen their marriage or relationship or heal from wounds or move out of crisis mode and into healthy connection mode, I hear from them the (usually very long) list of the topics/incidents/challenges that they want to address.

There is a sense that the best way to heal, indeed, maybe the only way to heal, is to address each pain point individually.

It is not the case. My job, part of it at least, is to assess the wounds they need to heal from or behaviours that need to change and categorise them, then work with the themes that are emerging.

There may be many historical incidents that have caused gridlocked conflict, but they may all centre around trust, values, communication etc.

I am privileged to have sat with couples and watched as deep understanding and organic change coming from clarity has happened in our nest together. I have been witness to someone who felt disconnected from their partner, unable to reach an understanding of their perspective, or had no connection to their feelings, dive deep and have those beautiful ‘aha’ moments during longer sessions.

Essentially if you start to think of the process of being vertical instead of horizontal and you recognise that going deeper into ONE experience is invaluable to healing and that the linear or horizontal approach of going through one experience at a time over a short space of time, you start to understand the immense power and value that longer sessions can have on rebuilding, or in some cases building the marriage or relationship that you dream of having.

“Marathon sessions get so much momentum. Couples are so focussed on their relationship that they really move through interventions and process attachment injuries much quicker” – Julie Gottman

What works from my experience as a client

When my husband and I went to work with the great Elizabeth Neal for marathon therapy, I was a little nervous; what could be achieved in a couple of days? Well, there were watershed moments for me that simply wouldn’t have been possible if my husband and I had dipped in and out of weekly sessions.

I am pretty much an open book, but my husband takes more time to process and express his emotions (which is a wonderful thing in our household; balance is helpful for our family; otherwise, if I had my way – we’d spend our day’s navel-gazing and checking in on each other every 2 minutes 😉) he responded so well to having that deep rapport building time, patience and time to process internally first before sharing externally.

We chose to seek therapy outside of where we lived, and one of the reasons was to try to take a breakaway and truly focus on each other; we treated ours like an extended date (which included some uncomfortable conversations and tears, which aren’t usually part of our dates!)

What it meant was that when we had left our therapists space, we were able to go back to our hotel and be together, truly together. Not trying to sort the kids out or right back to the domestic chores we had just been battling about. We were able to feel like a couple of married and in love people.

For me – the retreat part, the breakaway to truly immerse ourselves in our marriage, was so effective in the work we did and the benefit we found in it.

I have wanted to be in a position to offer this to the people I work with, and I am so excited that the time is now right and it is possible.

I became a therapist because of my love for it and how it has helped me, for my warmth and gratitude to the therapists I have worked with. This new chapter is no different.

I have listened to my mentor, trainer and supervisor, John Flanagan, talk about the huge benefits of working this way. I have witnessed the wonder and grown and benefited from the amazing work that Liz did with us, and now I can offer that to you.

Who is this for?

  • Do you want to experience significant change and get your relationship back on track quickly?
  • Do you have difficulty attending regular ongoing sessions due to work or family commitments?
  • Do you want to explore what needs healing and what you create in a deeper way than is possible in shorter sessions?
  • Do you want an uninterrupted, immersive approach to therapy?
  • Are you time poor?
  • If you answer yes to any of these questions, then The Relationship Retreat could be what you’ve been searching for

How to apply?

Check out the online booking form on our homepage and book a “Couples Marathon Free 10 Minute Consultation”.

If you are struggling and have questions about our counselling services please contact us

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