If you have found this page you have probably tried everything you know to fix your relationship, and now you feel stuck. It’s not working and you’re losing hope. You might be seriously considering divorce or separation.
If you want to know what’s possible for you and your partner, then the private marriage retreat (or couples retreat since you don’t have to be married) is the right choice for you. The private couples retreat is a time to dive into it, discover your potential and see if you can turn things around and save your marriage. After working with hundreds of couples I’m confident that change is possible, and it can happen faster than you think!
The private couples retreat provides maximum attention to you and your partner, in an atmosphere that enables deep insights and transformative interactions. This intensive format helps you to continue moving forward every session, immediately building on the insights and progress made in the previous one.
The marriage retreats are usually two or three days long. During the day we do an extended morning session and an extended afternoon session. Breaks or times can be adjusted to the couple and their needs.
Getting ready for the retreat: Your work will start before arriving at the marriage retreat. First, you will receive a questionnaire to fill out and send to Gal. The questions will help you reflect on your current challenges from a different angle, and inspire you to think about your goals for the work we’ll do together.
Finding the real causes: Most couples are surprised to find that the real causes for their distress are different than what they thought. It’s not so much what you fight about; it’s the underlying pattern that causes distress in your relationship. And those patterns are usually unconscious. Otherwise, how would two great people with the best of intentions end up in a difficult relationship? Once you recognize the real causes of distress, the blame in the relationship disappears, and you’re on a path of positive action that leads to closeness and intimacy.
Going beyond “talking about it”: Often words can distract you from the real topic you need to focus on, the real under the surface cause (as we wrote above). Gal’s unique approach offers experiential exercises to help cut through the words and create a direct experience. This experience can help you understand why you’re stuck and immediately give you a sense of how to create change.
Gal is unique in his use of the wisdom of the body-mind connection to help create effective change. You have probably heard that most communication is non-verbal, meaning your tone of voice and body language are the most powerful messages that your partner hears. Utilizing this non-verbal information to understand yourself and your partner and create change is a unique, powerful method that few therapists are skilled at.
Repair and resolve: When relevant, we’ll focus on repairing past hurts, finding ways to get close to each other and enhancing intimacy. It’s likely you’re both starving for love and intimacy at this point, and communication challenges are often exacerbated by this lack of closeness. Learning how to reconnect and be intimate with each other, the right way, can be a real transformative experience.
Clarity about separations: Sometimes the best step forward for couples is to break up or divorce. Yet the stakes are high, so you want to be sure that this is the right step for you. The couples retreat can help you clarify – how you got here, and what each one of you needs to stay in the relationship; and if that’s impossible, then understanding your next steps forward. Separating from a place of clarity and mutual understanding can be very relieving and empowering.
Coaching after the retreat: Your work as a couple might not be over after the retreat. Gal will be available for in-person or remote sessions with the couple to build on the work done together in the retreat.
Don’t just take our word for it – see what other couples have to say about their work with Gal!
The retreat is done in our private home office in the hills of El Cerrito, California (close to Berkeley). The office area is peaceful and green and is a great atmosphere for this work. The retreat schedule is roughly 9am-noon and 2pm-5pm each day (2 hours lunch break). Adjustments can be made based on the couple’s needs and the needs of the sessions.
Outside of sessions the Bay Area offers countless opportunities for hiking, sightseeing and leisurely activities. See more about the retreat location here. The cost of the couples retreat is $1500 per day. This does not include accommodation or food.
Founder of The Couples Center, Gal Szekely, works in a unique and effective way that is unlike many other therapists. After an in-depth study of several different approaches to marriage counseling, Gal came up with his own style which is direct, experiential and effective. Gal has a talent for noticing and zooming in on the underlying patterns that are causing distress in your relationship. Gal can help you avoid hashing out all the disagreements and grievances you have with each other, and instead touch directly into the underlying causes of the problems. Oftentimes these causes are hidden for both partners.
Besides leading The Couples Center, Gal teaches psychotherapists in university and post graduate settings on how to work effectively with couples. He holds two Masters of Psychology and is a popular speaker and presenter. Read More