If you have hit ground-hog day and keep running into the same old problems in your relationship, having repeated arguments or if you have lost the intimacy, then it might be time to take time out and seek professional help.
If you think a couple’s retreat sounds interesting but you (or your partner) are worried it might be cheesy and uncomfortable, then think again. A couple’s retreat can actually lift your relationship to new heights – it all depends on choosing the right one for you. Here are some top tips to help guide you:
1. Location location – from dusty community halls, share houses and remote huts, every couple’s retreat has a variety of accommodation and facilities. What’s important is choosing the right retreat for you and your partner. If you like to bond with others, then choose a retreat that encourages group meals and shared accommodation. If, however, you want to take the time out to enjoy the benefits of couple counselling in a private and beautiful setting, then opt for a retreat that allows for that. A careful balance of therapy and down-time such as walking in nature, taking a spa bath and relaxing over an intimate dinner for two, can set the scene for connection and rejuvenation on an intimate level with your partner.
2. Group and 1:1 Sessions – being with other couples working in specific couple activities on their own relationship as well offers a wonderful opportunity to gain insight into a variety of common issues couples face. In a group setting you have the opportunity to normalise your experiences as a couple and learn that other couples may be going exactly through similar situations to you and your partner. Make sure when you choose a couple’s retreat that there is also time for one-on-one sessions with your therapist. These sessions give the opportunity to go deeper into any issues you and your partner may be facing and gain professional help and guidance to move you forward, so that when you leave the retreat you have some techniques to draw upon to help you work our your problems and bring you closer together.
3. Choose Your Therapist - these days, it’s all too easy to go online and Google an expert, however, if you are going to give your time to a couple’s retreat, then you need to do your research. Make sure your chosen therapist has the correct qualifications for the job, a good track history and some credible recommendations. Check that the therapist has an approach and also the experience that fits what you are looking for, that way, you will get the most out of your weekend away.
4. Be Honest – before you commit to a weekend away, it’s important to take a rain-check on your relationship. Ask yourself honestly; ‘Do I still love him/her?’, ‘Am I committed to our future?’ If you have serious issues such as mental health problems, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, then private therapy, either individual or together, may be a better option than going on a couple’s retreat.
5. Think Ahead – before choosing the retreat that’s right for you, visualise what you want to achieve from it. How will you be feeling when you sign out of your weekend away? Will you be holding hands looking forward to going home together? Will you be feeling connected, having enjoyed a beautiful balanced weekend away, sharing thoughts and feelings and yet taking time out for yourself? Will you be feeling committed to your partner and clear on the work you each have to do to in your relationship? Will you have had the chance to be honest with your partner in a safe, nurturing environment and are you ready to march forward together, taking on your unique personalities and challenges and working to forge a happy future together, owning your differences yet feeling committed to the one you love? Setting your objectives can help steer you and your partner towards a successful outcome, giving you a fresh new start and, with the support of your therapist, giving you the strength and skill-set to achieve a happy, loving and fulfilling future together.
Please visit full details about the Couple's Retreat I am presenting 12 - 14 October 2018 in the romantic Blue Mountains.
For more tips, daily quotes and information about love, dating, relationships and happiness visit my Facebook page Melissa Ferrari - Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert. Also available is information about couple therapy and how it can help your relationships.