Benefits of Relationship Retreats vs Weekly Counseling Sessions

Relationship retreats, sometimes called couples intensives, help lay the foundation for fast, effective growth and change in your partnership.  However, what type of couples counseling will be best for you and your partner?  

What kinds of couples therapy options are there? 

The idea for weekly or biweekly couples therapy sessions comes from the individual therapy model. And as someone who specializes in working with couples, I can tell you with confidence that you only want to work with someone with specialized training in working with relationships.  It’s an entirely different method of counseling.  I spent years doing the 50-minute session with couples and feeling frustrated because we weren’t making as much progress as I’d have liked.  Now I only do 90-minute weekly or biweekly sessions with couples and weekend couples intensives.  And I’ll never go back because the amount of progress that can be made with longer sessions is profound.

What are the benefits of longer sessions?

Longer sessions, whether weekly or over the course of a weekend retreat, create space and time to process long-standing patterns.  It’s less likely that we get to the heart of an issue and then “times up.” If one or more members of the partnership get triggered, there’s time to slow things down so that you don’t leave the session feeling overwhelmed as often. Most of the time we don’t need to meet as frequently or for as long to make the progress that folks crave. 

What are the benefits of weekly or biweekly relationship sessions?

There are several benefits to meeting weekly or biweekly. At the beginning of couples therapy, repetition can be helpful. If you struggle to break habits or change routines, the weekly or biweekly reminder can help you get it into your bones.  Many couples also like the structure and support that comes with more frequent check-ins.  Having the weekly cadence can be comforting if you’re in crisis or going through something very tough. 

What are the benefits of a couple’s retreat? 

A couple’s retreat, or relationship intensive, offers you the ability to carve out a chunk of time to focus solely on improving your partnership.  I offer these private and personalized experiences over the course of two full days in Denver, Colorado. Like any kind of intensive training, there are benefits to being immersed in the concepts for an extended period.  I’ve often heard the feedback from couples after an intensive weekend that it feels like they got months of couples therapy in two days.  These are for the folks who want to make big progress quickly.  For the new learning to stick it will take practice outside of the weekend, but that’s something that is accounted for and built into the process. Couples will sometimes travel to Colorado to spend the weekend together and do this work. For busy professionals or couples with kids, it can be sometimes easier to carve out one full weekend than weekly or biweekly sessions over the course of months. 

Can you combine them both? 

Yes! For many couples, especially those with lots to work on, starting with an intensive can give you a huge head start and help you rekindle the hope and love that may have gone missing over time. Many couples will start with an intensive and then we decide together what makes sense for follow-up work.  For some, a biweekly or monthly check-in is all they need to keep the progress and growth moving on their own.  My goal is always to work myself out of a job.  I want to help you create new habits and ways of connecting as quickly and efficiently as possible. I know you don’t want to be working on your relationship forever. 

How can you get the most progress for your investment?

I love starting with new couples through an intensive and then following up with them biweekly or monthly, as needed.  That way I can teach you a ton of information about how your brain gets in the way of conflict and new ways to connect and how the past may be showing up in the present in an unwelcome way. You then have the foundation and the language to change those ineffective ways of communicating for good.  Achieving a new way of connecting and communicating takes time, effort, and ultimately a financial investment.  Intensives help you frontload those investments so that you can have the relationship you want sooner.   

To learn more about how I work with couples intensively, check out this page of my website and reach out if you’d like to schedule a free consultation to learn more.