John works with a wide range of presenting situations, and his intensive format is an excellent fit and will meet the needs of most couples. Whether you’ve been together for years unable to overcome certain issues — or you’re a new couple wanting tools that ensure lasting happiness — working intensively with John can well serve your needs and goals.
As a pioneer in the field of intensive marriage retreats, John has decades of experience helping couples resolve a wide range of relationship issues and circumstances. Here are some typical problems and goals couples bring to a retreat:
A retreat with John offers you a powerful and supportive place to acquire new skills, to get unstuck, to resolve issues, to heal past wounds, reconnect, to deepen intimacy, and to learn how to prevent reactive cycles or downward spirals.
You will learn to operate as a securely functioning couple, to communicate in ways that enable you to maximize shared pleasure and minimize distress or upset. All of us, old or young, can benefit from knowing the language of lasting love.
Below are some of the typical kinds of situations couples are in that come to work with John and our experience with them…
Married Couples vs. Unmarried Couples
Whether you are married or not does not matter. Couples are couples and relationships are relationships. All couples deal with the same kinds of patterns and issues, to one extent or another. All couples need to have certain skills to thrive in long term love. Couples in all stages can benefit.
John offers premarital counseling to acquire effective communication tools, to learn the language of lasting love and intimacy, and to discover how easy it is to prevent the typical reactive cycles and other mistakes that damage long term relationships.
Relationship Tune-Up or to Reconnect
John’s intensive approach is great for a marriage tune-up. It’s always easier to catch problems in your dynamic earlier than later. All couples will benefit from learning the tools to build and maintain an intimate, emotional connection and know how to operate as a couple so that you continue to maximize shared pleasure and minimize distress.
On Brink of Divorce or in High Distress
Most couples who come to John are in serious trouble and are suffering significant levels of distress. In many cases, one or both partners are contemplating divorce. Often they have been stuck in reactive cycles or distancing for years. Some have been living like roommates or suffering the empty next crisis. For levels of distress like these, we strongly recommend a three or four day private retreat to transform a stuck dynamic, re-establish trust, hope and connection, and master new tools.
Surviving Infidelity or Filed for Divorce
For particularly intense situations like recovering from infidelity or dealing with a divorce in process (or even considering getting back together post-separation), John’s work offers a place to heal deep emotional wounds, really learn what went wrong (it’s never what you thought it was), reconnect more authentically than ever, and find out how to operate differently if you do choose to stay/get back together. Given the depth and obvious intensity of the challenges and difficulties you have been confronted with, a minimum of a four day private retreat is recommended.
Situations We Need to Discuss
The following situations need to be discussed with us before signing up: physical abuse, threat/fear of violence, alcohol/drug addiction, history of harm to self/other, suicidal/homicidal thoughts, mental illness, or an ongoing current affair. An out-of-town intensive retreat may or may not be an appropriate format for you at this time. We should discuss if you would best also have a local therapist as a resource back home. We might even recommend that other pieces be put in place before you come to a retreat. We would be happy to help you think through what would work best. We have often been thanked for the guidance we offer for complex situations.