Considering a Couples Therapy Retreat? Ask These 5 Questions!
A couple’s therapy retreat has the potential to completely transform your marriage (or long-term relationship). The truth is that every relationship – even the most perfect ones – will sometimes go through rocky patches. There are times when life becomes stressful, and we can’t help but take it out on one another. There are times when challenges and problems will present themselves that are seemingly just too hard to overcome. And then there are times when we will feel as though we’ve grown apart from our other half.
Choosing a couple’s therapy retreat means choosing not to ignore the problem – not to bury it and hope it goes away. It means choosing to fight for your relationship. And very often, it is this choice that ends up saving the marriage.
Successful relationships aren’t the ones that never face any problems. They’re the ones that the couples deem worth fighting for. Choosing a marriage retreat is making a commitment to your partner and to your desire to improve. And it is acknowledging the help of people who know precisely what you’re going through.
But for a marriage retreat to have the desired outcome, you need to choose the right one. This is a big and courageous step, so you need to ensure you get it right.
Here are the five questions you need to ask.
How Much Does it Cost?
This might not sound very romantic, but the truth is that it’s going to be the most important question for a lot of couples.
You have a fixed budget. There is only so much you can afford. And spending too much will only introduce yet another new strain on your marriage!
Luckily, with so many retreats in operation across the country there is literally one for every price range. Less expensive marriage retreats are often group orientated retreats, while private, one-on-retreats are a bit more costly.
Cheaper marriage retreats like workshops and seminars often times involve a lot of group work where other couples are present. Of course accommodation and food (if included) are also reflected in the price.
The price range for marriage workshops will usually be in the neighborhood of a few hundred bucks on the high end, while other church affiliated retreats are sometimes completely free.
Since a private retreat only accommodates one couple at a time, the cost is a little more expensive. I’ve seen them as high as 15k for three days on the high end to just a little over $600 on the low end.
If privacy is something that you covet when looking for a weekend intensive than a private couples retreat is likely what will work best for you.
On the flip side if you don’t mind learning in a group setting, than a marriage workshop or a seminar is a way to get great marriage advice on a budget.
The most important thing is to make sure that you are staying within the price range that you can afford. Make certain that you aren’t overextending yourself when looking for a couples retreat to attend.
Group or Private?
That brings us nicely to the second question: does the retreat consist of group activities, or is it all about the one-to-one time with a therapist?
There are strengths and weaknesses to each here. Some couples enjoy hearing from others that are going through something similar, and even relish the chance to make new friends. Others don’t feel comfortable airing their dirty laundry in public. Of course private therapy means that you can get much more intimate help from a professional, and that is also important to consider.
Is it a Christian or non religious retreat?
There are a lot of religious marriage retreats, to the point that some people even assume all retreats are Christian!
This is not the case, but it is worth checking just to be sure if you don’t see it mentioned anywhere on their site!
Of course, some people love a retreat that is grounded in their faith, while people from other faiths (or who prefer to keep spirituality out of their relationships) may be put off by this. As with all these things, there is no right answer: it is simply a matter of finding the kind of experience that you will feel most comfortable with.
What is the Accommodation Like?
Not all retreats include accommodation, and this is important to bear in mind when comparing prices. At the same time though, you should also ask what the quality of the lodging is like. Some retreats feature beautiful log cabins set in incredibly scenic locations, with all the modern amenities you could hope for. Others are very basic hotel rooms with no food provided!
Going for more minimal accommodation is of course one way you can save some money. But if you stay somewhere that is like having a holiday in a five star hotel, then you’ll find that the opportunity to relax somewhere beautiful can actually be an amazing tonic all in itself.
In fact, changing your environment is one of the most important ways to combat any destructive patterns in your life. And the nicer than environment, the easier this is to do!
Training and Expertise
Finally, it’s very important to make sure that the therapist(s) that you are seeing are properly trained and qualified. You should be looking for a licensed therapist with a degree from an accredited University.
A marriage therapist have a great understanding of how to get couples unstuck from gridlock issues. They can really dig deep and get to the bottom of your issues in order to help you to get to a happier and better place.
Moreover, a fully licensed marriage therapist has had to have attended a four year University, plus complete a graduate program in order to even be eligible for a license in their respective state.
Note though that experience is also highly valuable – and someone who has been in the game a lot longer is more likely to have met a couple just like you, and helped them!
In conclusion For Georgia Couples Looking For a Marriage Retreat
There are many more questions you can ask besides the five I just mentioned. You could ask for instance how much one-to-one time you will get with the therapists. You could ask how many nights you’ll be staying for. And it’s always good to look into aftercare – do they follow up with you after the retreat?
But if you use these five questions as a starting point, you’ll get a very good idea of what to expect and whether or not the retreat is right for you. There is something to be gained from all these experiences, but if you find the perfect match for your personalities, you’ll find it’s truly life-changing.