In today’s world, even the most romantic love stories sometimes take a turn for the worse and marriages that once upon a time seemed as if they would last forever, somehow end up on rocky ground and lead couples to feel despondent and as a last resort, consider divorce to be the only solution.
There are many reasons for why this could happen: loss of trust due to partner betrayal, drug or alcohol addiction, failures in communication, financial difficulties, stress caused by a job, and other situations that create tension, loneliness, alienation, sadness, disappointment, resentment, and fear of the future.
Even marriages that are rooted in Christ may experience these kinds of problems and when that happens, it might seem as if even God and the church cannot help restore the solid foundation of love.
There is hope though, and there are thousands of success stories to prove it. Standard marriage counseling can often provide some help with communication issues and usually allow both spouses to gain a clearer understanding of their roles in the problems the marriage faces.
However, an even more effective type of marriage counseling can be found in much less time with Christian marriage counseling intensive retreats which involves a more dynamic, restorative and extremely focused approach to not only provide counseling from a Christian standpoint but also to give both husband and wife the chance to actively participate in deep and continuous therapy for an extended duration of time.
Christian marriage counseling intensive retreats are designed to offer solutions to marriages that are in a state of crisis and are based on the fundamental purpose of saving marriages that are on the brink of collapse.
Through one on one counseling with licensed and professional therapists, couples can openly share their fears and emotions in exclusive and private settings that are conducive to helping couples share and discuss their individual needs and wants, understand themselves and each other more, work through the issues, learn how to communicate better, and develop a plan for the future.
Christian marriage counseling intensive retreats typically have similar goals, namely to facilitate an open line of discussion and honest communication, to aid in opening the doors for clarity and understanding, to restore the love that once brought the couple together in the first place, and to rebuild the faith and hope in the marriage.
The intensive retreats also seek to provide the tools to manage the problems, communicate more effectively, and essentially move forward to a more secure and promising future.
If your marriage is in crisis, or even if you simply want to renew your faith in your marriage before serious problems arise, then you and your spouse may benefit from a marriage counseling intensive retreat program. While most of these programs share most of the same goals, there are quite a few differences in the types of services that they offer a couple.
Determining which is the best program for you and your spouse requires some consideration of those differences but with all the choices, it may be a bit overwhelming, especially if you are already going through stress with your relationship. To help make the decision process a little easier, the following is a list of the five best Christian marriage counseling intensive retreats that have been chosen based on the features of the program, the reported satisfaction of previous clients who had participated, the competency of the therapists, and of course, the overall effectiveness of the retreats for couples.
#1 – Relationship Rescue Academy
At the top of the list is a marriage therapy retreat that uses an extremely personalized and tailored approach to each couple on an individual basis. Relationship Rescue Academy is one of the top marriage therapy intensive retreats out there with a very high rate of success for couples in need of discreet, compassionate and comprehensive therapy.
The retreat is offered as either a two or three day long stay with a licensed and professional marriage counselor and during this short but intensive duration, there is as much ground covered here as would be in a 6 month long program elsewhere.
What sets Relationship Rescue Academy apart from the others is that the program is designed so that each therapist is assigned one couple to work with exclusively and with a tailored approach.
The sessions are individualized for each couple, one on one rather than in group therapy sessions which is a standard of most other marriage counseling alternatives. The reason for this is that every marriage is different and each has their own set of unique issues which can be better addressed on a more personal and more direct level instead of in a group session.
At Relationship Rescue Academy, couples can feel safe and understood through their personalized and informal sessions with a caring therapist and also can gain a better understanding of themselves and their partner through open and honest discussions that target the roots of the problems.
Couples are also provided with exercises that they can use to work through the issues and will leave with many new ways to approach the relationship, conflict, and their needs. Couples can also expect to have learned a great deal more about how to communicate effectively with each other and can feel more confident about their future together again.
The cost of the program for two days is $2800, for three days, $3500, and for four days, $6500. This price covers all lodgings, meals, materials and also includes a preliminary phone or video call consultation and the followup consultation as well.
#2 – Smalley Intensive
Smalley Marriage Intensives are retreats that are in some ways similar to those offered by Relationship Rescue Academy however their programs are conducted by trained marriage experts rather than licensed and professionally accredited therapists.
Smalley Intensives, as they are called, are different from counseling in that they focus on educating couples on the proven strategies to make a relationship work. are typically more relaxed and may include a session over lunch and the option to add a third day if desired.
The retreats are offered in eight different locations which is convenient for couples who may wish to stay closer to home and there are also interesting and relevant podcasts which couples can listen to at any time on the website. Another unique feature of the Smalley Marriage Institute is that there are classes for couples available online as well as instructional videos which can be purchased from the website. For more information on the price of the retreat, contact the Smalley Institute.
Retrovaille Community offers a program for married couples seeking to improve communication and is offered over the course of two days with subsequent sessions of 6-12 weekends over a three month long period.
These sessions involve group presentations with three other couples and a priest or three other couples and a Christian Pastor or minister. After each session both husband and wife are given the opportunity to reflect on the material presented by themselves and then to re-join with their spouse to discuss it even further.
The sessions are open to people of all faiths and even atheists and agnostics however they are a Catholic community with a focus on improving communication in marriages without offering any form of advice or counseling to the couple. The retreat is covered by your donation and depending on the location, the donation request amount differ.
The donation does cover full expenses, lodging, meals and materials so for more information on the specific location, contact Retrouvaille.
#4: The Ravines Retreat Center
The Ravines Retreat Center is another good place to turn to if you are seeking an opportunity to restore the love and unity of your marriage through the focus of inviting Christ into your marriage and learning how to be instruments of Christ as a married couple.
The sessions offered are four day long Christ-centered intensive retreats which include a total of 15 to 18 hours of counseling with a marriage specialist.
Each couple is assigned a private counselor and there is a volunteer host couple on site who attends to the needs of the couple while they are there. The director may assign different activities or exercises for couples to work on in the afternoons and evenings.
Overall, the entire retreat presents ways to improve problems that a Christian couple might encounter and teaches couples about how to rely more on Christ for direction and look to Him for guidance. To find out more about the cost for this retreat, contact the Ravines Retreat Center.
#5: Marriage Rescue Associates
Lastly, Marriage Rescue Associates offers marriage intensives that are retreats of either three, four, or five day long workshops for couples in serious marital crisis. The workshops are followed by evenings of exercises for the couples to complete on their own back at the hotel.
This program is designed to be an intensive and powerful experience that requires a committed openness and willingness to set aside the time for a continuous stream of discussion and learning and then put the learned tools into effect immediately.
The program also includes six month long telephone follow-ups to discuss the progress of a couple since the retreat and may include some pointers or suggestions about ways to make the relationship even better. The cost of the program for two days is $2795, for three days, $3695, and for four days, $4595. This price covers all lodgings, meals as well as materials.
Hopefully this list can serve as a good guideline for the various types of Christian marriage counseling intensive retreats that are available to couples who are experiencing problems or even a deep and profound crisis in their marriage.
The most important thing to remember, and what all of these marriage retreats hold as a core principle, is that no marriage is beyond repair and divorce is definitely not the only solution to resolving the problems of a marriage in trouble.
With the right kind of therapy and/ or the support of a guiding and caring hand, marriages can be restored, renewed, and love can be rekindled till death do you part!