A couples therapy retreat refers to a trip taken by a couple, often in the company of other couples, to a location where counselors and other professionals work with both partners in an effort to improve the relationship. Sometimes this may be a one on one counseling session between one couple and a counselor or counselors, and other times it may involve a combination of seminars, individual therapy sessions, couples counseling, women's therapy sessions, men's therapy sessions, and group therapy. This is sometimes combined with activities couples can participate in to bond and reconnect in a fun and relaxing settings.
The purpose of a couples therapy retreat is to allow couples to improve their marriages. They may be tailored toward those with serious marital conflicts or crises, or toward those who simply want to strengthen an already stable marriage. Retreats can consist of one couple paired with another couple who are trained counselors or retreat leaders, or it may include several couples who spend time together as well as with individual counselors or therapists. Most retreats take place in a relaxing location away from the stresses of everyday life, such as a cabin in the woods or beach house.
Many times a couples therapy retreat will also include workshops or seminars discussing specific issues that most marriages face. This may include effective rules of communication, dealing with work and family life, or making time for one another. Some retreats are also focused on a specific faith or religious affiliation. For example, many Christian organizations sponsor marital retreats which feature both traditional counseling and faith based teachings.
The retreats often provide a strenuous and intensive multi-day therapy-based getaway for determining what the problems in a marriage are and finding solutions to those problems. Couples are often invited to share problems they may be having. In group retreats, couples are also typically encouraged to interact with each other so that they can gain insight and support from one another. This takes away the illusion that "no other couples have this problem" and gives a more realistic perspective on marital problems. Retreats are often followed by traditional counseling or ongoing workshops.
Sometimes a couples therapy retreat may be more like a vacation. For instance, couples cruises are offered by some organizations which combine marriage-building workshops with the fun of a cruise and week-long vacation. Speakers also sometimes attend to give presentations. Oftentimes these speakers are well-known public figures, celebrities, or counselors.
The cost of a couples therapy retreat depends on many factors, including the length, location, and offerings. Some may have payment plans available, and some may be partially covered by insurance if mental health coverage is provided. Vacation-styled retreats often allow partial payment to be made in order to reserve a spot on the retreat, with additional payments made as the event grows closer.