WHAT IS A MARRIAGE INTENSIVE RETREAT?
The Intensive is a powerful model of marriage therapy for helping couples identify and move beyond the barriers preventing them from experiencing the marriage they have desired. Sustained work with skilled therapists for four days provides the opportunity for couples to delve into the root issues thwarting intimacy in their relationship.
Key Components of the Marriage Intensive Include:
- A minimum of 32 hours of marriage therapy directed by a team of two highly skilled therapists
- A therapy experience tailored specifically to the couples in attendance
- A sequestered, safe, supportive environment experienced by a maximum of five couples
- Lovely accommodations and Gracious Southern Hospitality with all meals and lodging included on site
- Follow-up strategy to nurture and sustain new hearts discovered and new skills attained
Therapists and Couples report that as a result of the 4 day intensive, couples accomplish the equivalent of many months of traditional counseling.
This factor alone eliminates months of sustained stress and conflict for a couple. An intensive is an opportunity for a couple to experience a significant “ICU” event that can reunite hearts and redirect the course of their marriage.
The work and impact of the intensive is greatly multiplied by the opportunity for couples to walk the pathway to healing in the company of other couples. Couples experiencing marital strife often feel isolated from family and friends. During an intensive the discovery is made that problems and situations are startlingly similar. Marriage is challenging for everyone! Couples develop compassion for one another, and encourage and learn from one another as they share their stories.
The book THE DNA OF RELATIONSHIPS FOR COUPLES by Dr. Greg Smalley and Dr. Robert Paul provides an in-depth look at what takes place in an intensive, drawn from the well of their experience in facilitating healing in the marriages of participating couples.
The most typical couple attending a marriage intensive is one whose marriage is in crisis. They may be separated with the intention of divorcing. The intensive is a final attempt to save their marriage.
Many couples come in after having tried traditional counseling. They feel discouraged and exhausted, having made little progress.
Often pastors and counselors will refer to intensive couples who are “stuck.” Following their intensive the couple may elect to return to their counselor/pastor with renewed hope, a fresh perspective, and new tools.
Additionally couples come who are generally succeeding in their marriage, but who have long-standing issues they cannot seem to resolve.
Couples also benefit from an intensive when they find themselves at a point of major transition in their lives. They may need to learn how to reset their course as “empty nesters” or upon retirement.
Whatever has motivated them to come into an intensive retreat, couples leave with a clear sense of how and why they have arrived at this place in their marriage. They have learned to identify and avoid the unhealthy patterns that perpetuate strife and disharmony. They leave hopeful and reconnected, with tools to help them stay close and healthy throughout the rest of their marriage.
One of the questions asked of hesitant potential participants for a marriage intensive is, “Would you accept a miracle of healing in your marriage if it were given to you?”
Many of the couples calling the Clearing for help have lost hope for their marriage. We have hope for you. We believe that, with God, nothing is impossible.
The Clearing therapists are Christian. We believe that marriage is a covenant between God, a man, and a woman.
However, couples of all faiths are welcome and have comfortably participated in our marriage intensives. Our calling is to meet participants where they are spiritually, and to help them discover the roadmap toward their vibrant, mutually satisfying marriage.
Friends of The Clearing and past marriage intensive participants are faithfully behind the scenes praying for our current intensive couples.