Whether you have a lot of work to do on your marriage or very little, anyone can benefit from an intensive marriage therapy retreat. Marriage counseling retreats are a great way to work on your marriage because they take you away from your busy, busy life to spend some time working on only your relationship. Whether your relationship is new or old, spending some time working on things that matter to you and your partner can make your relationship even stronger.
Intensive marriage therapy retreats vary in what they offer. In some settings you work with individual counselors and in others you work alone. Some programs work primarily with therapy and others work with activities to strengthen relationships. It’s important to find the program that works best for you. Here we list the top ten marriage counseling retreats based on program features, customer satisfaction and settings.
1. Relationship Rescue Academy
Locations: Kokomo, Indiana (2-Day Retreat)
Cost: $2,500 per couple includes lodging
Relationship Rescue Academy is RankMyTherapist.com’s pick for the best marriage retreat in the country. It might not have all the bells and whistles like horseback riding and hiking activities offered by some of the other retreats on this list, but it consistently grades very high by past participants.
Relationship Rescue Academy stands apart from the rest because they work with no more than two couples at a time on any given weekend. This means that you will get personal attention from your therapist, rather than just sitting in a group setting. The program has a variety of goals like teaching couples how to effectively communicate to each other in a manner that will get positive results each and every time.
Program coordinators first take the time to get to know you and your marriage goals. That way they’re not imposing any one-size-fits-all solutions that aren’t going to work for you. Even before the retreat you have important work to do, by filling out questionnaires that help the counseling team discover what you need to accomplish and how they should proceed to help you get there. Trust, intimacy, conflict resolution and dealing with past issues that won’t go away are all fair game for people who attend this program.
Attendees spend two days at a beautiful lodge in Kokomo, Indiana. There are two, three and four day programs so you can choose what’s right for you. The lodge is fully appointed with a kitchen, wireless internet and snacks. There are activities available onsite and the setting is cozy and inviting.
This program is our favorite because it consistently receives rave reviews for its personal and attentive service. Couples typically report complete satisfaction and an enjoyable and insightful weekend. Many couples book return visits for what they consider to be the best marriage counseling retreats available, but with only four spots available every weekend, it’s wise to book quickly.
The one negative about this couples retreat is that they are really strict, and they will not accept couples who are actively engaged in domestic violence, couples who are actively engaged in substance abuse and/or couples who are actively engaged in an ongoing affair. If one of these three key issues are present in your relationship don’t bother because they will not accept your registration.
2. Marriage Quest
Locations: Cabot, Vermont (3-day Retreat)
Cost: $4,500 per couple (Price does not include Lodging)
Marriage Quest is the #2 choice on our list, and is owned and operated by a husband and wife team on a farm in Vermont. The owners, Israel Helfand, PhD, MS, LMFT, CST and Cathie Helfand, MS, MFT are highly trained marriage and family therapist. Dr. Israel Helfand and his wife, Cathie Helfand, facilitate all Marriage Quest retreats at their home in rural northern Vermont.
They have been working together as a couple since the early 1980s in their practice of Marriage and Family Therapy, and have been running Marriage Retreats since 1993.. Their retreats work with just one couple at a time, so you get a lot of personal attention.
The retreat facilitators are willing to talk about whatever you need to address in your marriage, including how to rekindle that spark if you’ve lost it. Rebuilding trust after an affair is another specialty topic at this retreat. Transitioning through phases in a marriage is also on the table, so if your kids have recently moved out of the house or you’re thinking of starting a family, they can provide expert guidance for any phase of your life.
3. Healing Couples Marriage Retreats
Locations: Sonoma County, California (3-day Retreat)
Cost: $5850 per couple (Travel, meals and accommodations not included in price)
This retreat is based in neuroscience, and Dr. Grey aims to equip couples with tools to address stressors and concerns in their marriages. Grey helps couples identify their problem areas, and couples might not always be aware of things that can cause problems in their relationships. Once couples have identified their biggest issues, he helps them find new ways to tackle problems and grow emotionally. This retreat takes place in picturesque Sonoma County, California, so if scenery inspires you, it’s a great retreat to consider.
4. Sedona Soul Adventures
Locations: Sedona, Arizona (3-day Retreat)
Cost: up to $2800 per peson (This price does not include lodging)
Couples retreats are just one of the many things that this organization offers. Based in beautiful Sedona, Arizona, their retreats are private, and they address the entire person and your relationship in a customized setting. This is a large, well-established service that has a large number of practitioners available. That means they assign people to work with you who have the expertise to address your specific needs.
5. Marriage Rescue Associates
Location: Charlotte North Carolina (3-Day Retreat)
Cost: $2,795.00 per couple (Cost does not include lodging)
From picturesque Charlotte, this retreat is best suited for Christian couples. Its primary client base is people who have separated, have filed for divorce or have already divorced but are reconsidering. Retreats range from three to five days and they encourage their clients to come expecting miracles from desperate situations.
6. Life Marriage Retreats
Location: Multiple locations are available (4-day Retreat)
Cost: Up to $9495 including all meals, private sessions, lodging and AfterCare Sessions
This program encourages couples to consider what they want from their marriage so that they can tailor a program that meets your needs. This organization offers several locations around the country including Texas, California and Utah. For financially savvy people, this retreat offers all-inclusive pricing that includes gourmet meals. There is also an in-home option if you want to bring the retreat to you.
7. The Gottman Institute
Location: Orcas Island, Washington
Cost: $7,500 per couple
This retreat is for people who want adventure as well as marriage work. In addition to the time you spend working hard on your relationship, you can enjoy things like walks, hiking and dining, so there is something for everyone. In fact, one of the things that couples work on at this retreat is how to enjoy a vacation without tiny irritations and fighting.
The retreat takes place on an island. It’s a romantic setting to focus on intimacy and learn more about your partner. There are discussions, lectures and exercises waiting for you to help facilitate the process. They have an event planner to assist you with taking care of the details. This retreat is only available several times a year.
8. Retrouvaille Marriage Retreats
Cost: Costs vary from location to location
This marriage counseling retreat gets its name from the French word for rediscovery. The goal is to help couples find the original things that made them fall in love with their partner at the beginning of their relationship. People attending the program can expect to spend their time focusing on communication, specifically ways to talk to their partner that are effective, encouraging and positive.
The Retrouvaille retreat is unique in that it is a retreat series. You attend for an intensive weekend and then there are follow up sessions on a regular basis throughout the next several months. This company says that it’s best for couples who are considering divorce or separation. They are Catholic based in their philosophy, with ministers providing some of the services, but they welcome people from all Christian traditions. Costs vary depending on where you attend, and you are asked to make a donation to cover expenses
9. The Smalley Institute Reignite Marriage Intensive
Location: Several locations around the US
The Smalley Institute is a the perfect marriage intensive retreat for couples who have tried traditional counseling to no avail.
The Smalley Reignite Marriage Intensive have certified coaches all over the country that will help couples reduce conflict and promote intimacy through their 2 or 3 day retreats.
Smalley Institute’s one-on-one program have been endorsed by notable Christian Relationship Author, Jimmy Evans, and have proven to be effective for many couples around the country. The approach is to reconnect couples and rediscover what once brought you two together.
10. The Marriage Fitness Tele-Boot Camp
The Marriage Fitness Tele-Boot Camp course by Mort Fertel is an online base course, which includes several weekly phone consultations. This program is uniquely set up for couples who want to improve their relationship without having to go anywhere. Everything is done online without having to traveling anywhere.
Mort Fertel does a really good job of designing this program for couples who want to improve their relationship privately. We recommend this online retreat type program for couples whose marriage are in a very delicate and desperate situation.