Most couples drop out of weekly therapy within the first six months of treatment.
Private Couples Retreats allow you to get over the hump of weekly counseling burnout and deeper into the work, with much more efficient timing. Experience a dynamic alternative to traditional weekly sessions as you condense 6-15+ months of counseling into just a few days. Re-prioritize and enhance your relationship as you receive an industry-leading, research-based assessment process, and begin a concentrated deep-dive into your relationship needs as you build, maintain, or repair your connection.
Marathon Couples Therapy
The first day of any retreat is focused on scientific assessment process gaining data, information, and insight into you, your partner, and your relationship. Following your in-depth assessment, Marathon Couples Therapy is offered within one to four additional days for up to 5-6 hours a day.
In most cases, we recommend a three-day retreat, this allows us to work deeper into the relationship addressing multiple facets to help move toward repairing and rebuilding.
A two-day retreat is appropriate for couples seeking preventative care, couples with a solid relationship that have some minor issues to work out, and couples interested in premarital preparation.
A four- or five-day retreat is ideal for many couples with deeper more complex wounds, those that have sworn off therapy, have lost hope, battling trauma and/or simply desire more uninterrupted time to work on their relationship.
During your consultation call, we will determine which retreat schedule is most appropriate for your relationship goals and needs.
You will have time to talk in depth about the struggles and challenges of the relationship that simply cannot happen in the tradition style of couples therapy. There is time to process past injuries that have never healed, and time to understand how these injuries have impacted the relationship. There is time to learn and practice new communication skills to help you have more productive conversations. There’s time to rebuild.
The therapist will provide an environment of safety for both partners. You will be treated with dignity and respect, without judgment, throughout the process. Couples who have experienced this form of therapy usually describe it as life-changing and transformative.
Marathon Couples Therapy offers some practical benefits as well. It’s a good fit for couples whose schedules do not allow for them to go to weekly therapy sessions. It's also a good fit for couples that wish to see movement more quickly than the traditional 50-min weekly session. And finally, it’s a great fit for couples who need to get help immediately.
It is important, however, that you also understand the risks involved. Despite the “nuts and bolts” approach of this method, the Marathon Couples Therapy format may move you more quickly and intensely into the areas of difficulty to be addressed. Therefore, you and/or your partner may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, loneliness, and helplessness. Your therapy may also involve recalling unpleasant aspects of your history together and/or individually.
Upon completion of the retreat, we will schedule a 30-45 minute followup (included in the price of your retreat). Here we will assess your relationship post-retreat and identify your ongoing needs. We will create an After-Care Plan that includes frequent sessions (not included in price of your retreat).
I know this is a ton of information to take in and ponder - likely, this is one of the first times you have heard of marathon therapy or private retreats. SCS strives for transparency. The table below is an attempt to
simplify some information and differences between our Retreats.
Please review the detailed tables below as you try to determine which Private Couples Retreat is right for your relationship. Remember, consultations are always free! Email today to schedule your free consultation.
I often list some upcoming regular availability for the 3-Day Retreat online.This is not an exhaustive list. If you don't see something that fits your schedules, let me know and we will compare calendars!
Retreat Packages and Options:
* Equal to number of 50-min weekly sessions: Traditional sessions, especially those billed through insurance, are 50 minutes in length. Each 50-minute session includes approximately
15-20 minutes of greetings, weekly reflection, homework, and administrative duties. This leaves just 30-40 minutes of actual therapy time each week. Meeting for a prolonged period of time (marathon therapy) removes these
redundancies and affords an exponentially more in-depth counseling experience.
* Assessment Package Included: Learn more about the Assessment process here.
* Assessment Package: Learn more about the
Assessment process and options here.
* The Gottman Connect Love Lab Experience is an enhanced assessment process using the most updated scientific metrics. This is a more mobile version of the Gottman Love Lab in Seattle. Learn more here.
*Gottman Relationship Builder is a collection of videos, tools, resources, and lessons to augment your therapy experience. Learn more here.
* Therapist Exclusivity: While most therapists schedule multiple sessions back to back, during a retreat, you are the only couple we work with. This creates an immersed experience where the therapist's only focus is on you - without distractions of other clients' needs. We believe this enhances and deepens your counseling experience.
How many days is best for us?
The most commonly recommended schedule is the 3-Day Retreat. It lends enough time and space to make significant headway towards your goals. However, some couples might need more intensive support after the 3-Day Retreat. During the consultation we will determine a retreat package that is therapeutically recommended. We will then unpack any obstacles to scheduling the recommended package (i.e., finances, work schedules, childcare, etc).
If after the consultation you are unsure what package might be best, completing the 1-Day Assessment will provide adequate insight into proper scheduling. After the assessment, we will determine how best to move forward.
Cost/day breakdowns (up to 6 hours per day):
Weekday (8-3pm) = $1,500/day
Evening (3-9pm) = $2,000/day
Weekends (8-4pm) = $2,500/day
Around Holidays = $2,500/day
Urgent/Emergency Scheduling = $3,000/day
*Urgency is determined by a need to be seen immediately instead of waiting until the next regularly available openings. This requires overtime work, rescheduling others’ appointments, and other efforts to accommodate urgent needs.
Marathon Therapy is offered in the following formats:
- Online via Zoom
- Your Preferred Destination*
Presently, most couples prefer the convenience, safety, and availability of meeting Online via Zoom. However, we can also meet in-person if that is your preference. (SCS does not have an office).
* SCS travel within 30 miles of Martinsville, IN is included. SCS travel up to 60 miles from Martinsville incurs a $200/day travel fee. Travel outside of the 60 miles from Martinsville, IN travel radius will incur additional travel/stipend fees and a custom estimate will be given prior to booking. SCS is able to meet in nearly any location you choose (Hotel, Cabin, AirBnB, etc).
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no difference. The terms 'retreat,' 'intensive,' and 'marathon' are often interchangeable. All condense a large amount of counseling into a short amount of time.
The standard approach to couples therapy usually involves 2-4 appointments a month, typically a week or two apart. While this is a time-tested method, it isn’t right for every situation. A Private Couples Retreat takes the hours of couples counseling that would usually occur over a multi-month period and places them in the context of a much smaller period of time: 2-5 days.
Couples Retreats are gaining popularity as marriage counseling becomes a higher priority in society and research, and as couples are beginning to become more aware of the option of retreats. Largely popular on the East and West coast, weekend retreats are beginning to make their way toward the Midwest. Research shows that couples counseling is more effective when the couples is able to more deeply engage. This level of engagement is best met in intensive format. Standard weekly sessions often fall short of this due to time constraints, however, a Private Retreat allows the couple to fully engage and take their time, without being rushed.
Couples Retreats can be the approach when there are long-term issues that have not responded well to once-a-week marriage counseling. Retreats are sometimes used when there has been a profound breach of trust in a marriage, when partners are feeling stuck with no option but to divorce, or when a relationship has plateaued and feels stagnant. Intensives can also be appropriate simply for couples who want to counsel with Adam and are coming from out of town.
Should you have any questions regarding the following issues, please contact us for clarification about whether Marathon Therapy is suitable for your situation. These issues are:
- If there is active alcohol and/or drug addiction on the part of either or both partners, from either partner’s perspective
- If there is serious violence in your relationship, threats by one or both partners that serious violence might occur, or fear of such serious violence on the part of one or both partners
- If either partner currently has an untreated major mental illness (schizophrenia, recurrent psychotic depression, or bipolar/manic-depressive illness.) Note: This does not include past, successfully treated psychotic episodes (e.g. post-partum depression with psychosis)
- If there is an undisclosed, current affair that you are not willing to disclose (such secrets predict marital therapy failure)
- If either partner is currently experiencing suicidal or homicidal thoughts, or has a history of serious harm inflicted on him/herself or another person
This is a common question that we receive. The answer is no, we do not predict divorce.
The Gottman Method was created to change the trajectory of a couple’s relationship, not predict whether couples will divorce. The couples in the original studies did not have the benefit of this information to change their outcomes.
The Gottman Institute has developed effective methods and resources to change predicted outcomes. We now teach tactics and tools to help you move your relationship into a more positive direction.
The majority of the couples I work with have tried and failed in therapy before. Some couples might be unsatisfied in their current therapy arrangement, or they have plateaued in therapy. Many partners are also in individual therapy. When appropriate, I will connect with past or present providers to ensure that we are all in your corner working towards what is best for your relationship.
Some couples and current therapists, especially those that have plateaued, might find it beneficial to pause current treatment, schedule a retreat to move through the "stuck," and then return to your current therapist for ongoing work. In these instances, I will work closely with your therapist to design an After-Care Plan that they can continue in support of your relationship.
Previous therapy is not a requirement to attending a retreat.
Once a week couples counseling is sometimes unable to penetrate the issues in a relationship, simply due to time frame. The typical counseling session is 50 minutes long. It takes a few minutes to get going, and there are business issues such as re-scheduling and payment. 50 minutes can quickly become 30 minutes of actual therapy. To get deep into a subject, define the problem, uncover feelings, clarify, and problem solve can be difficult to do in that period of time. The Couples Retreat approach creates an unusually focused time, when you can get deep and stay there, allowing for clarification of problems, development of understanding between a couple, and focused problem solving with skill training.
Here is a brief list of some of the vast benefits of scheduling a Couple's Retreat:
- You’re not going to hear the counselor say “time’s up!” when you are just getting to the important stuff.
- Scheduling is often more convenient – miss less work with Private Retreats vs. weekly appointments.
- Your counselor is focused solely on you and your partner. A typical hourly counselor may have 8 appointments in one day. During the intensive, the counselor is focused completely on you, no distractions of upcoming sessions or time management.
- A retreat shrinks 6-15 months of weekly counseling into just a few days – imagine all you can work through together in that amount of time.
I realize that a Private Retreat is a major financial (and time) investment for your relationship. At the same time, I don't want finances to be the only hurdle to your relationship receiving the support it deserves. I offer a range of services at various price points (workshops, retreats, standard sessions) to help ease any financial burden. IF the Private Retreat seems like the best fit, I will work with you to find a payment arrangement that meets your needs.
When booking a retreat, payment is due in full at the time you book your reservation in order to secure your weekend. I offer a range of payment plans and discounts. For payment options, cancellation, and refund policies, refer to our Policy Information via email.
Discounted rates may be available for First Responders, Healthcare Workers, Military/Veteran, K-12 Educators, and Clergy, as well as for cash payments. For payment options, cancellation, and refund policies, refer to our Policy Information via email.
Based on research and practice, the 3-Day Private Couples Retreat is the most efficient Retreat option based on therapeutic outcomes, time and cost. However, for some couples who desire more/less time, we have multiple options. Refer to the tables above for some of that information and Contact SCS directly to inquire about pricing, scheduling, and to schedule your free consultation.
If scheduling 5-6 hour days seems daunting or undoable, ask about a Mini-Marathon. Here we spread out the retreat into multiple shorter days. For instance, a 3-Day Retreat becomes a 5-Day Mini Marathon with five 3-hr sessions. Contact SCS to inquire about alternative scheduling, pricing, and availability.
Yes! I present a popular weekend couples workshop called The Art and Science of Love. This workshop is shown to achieve results similar to those of 6 months of marital therapy and 96% of participants report a positive experience.
I also provide slightly more traditional scheduling with weekly sessions. We schedule 90-min sessions weekly, phasing out to every other week and eventually monthly.