Marriage Training Retreat vs Traditional Counseling
I have friends and colleagues whom I admire that are engaged in the field of traditional marriage counseling. I respect their work and recognize that they experience many successes in working with troubled relationships.But as we work with couples in our Marriage Retreat program we note a great many that have worked with a marriage counselor for months or even years, but have never been able to rebuild the trust that leads to healing the relationship, or establish meaningful communication that leads to effective conflict resolution. One of their common complaints is that they spend 45 minutes in a counseling session that is often acrimonious, then leave with a few things to work on; but the moment they step back into their life environment and stresses they quickly revert to old patterns of behavior and thought. When they go to their counseling session the next week they report that it feels like they are simply starting over again.This is not meant as an indictment of traditional marriage counseling. Not all counselors are created equal (just as all marriage retreats are not created equal). And some couples expect big results from counseling even though the couples themselves are not committed to doing the work that would lead to lasting change.But as we assist couples coming out of a disappointing counseling experience we virtually always see them successfully reestablish trust and heal their relationship through the Training Retreat and post-training coaching experience. While it is possible that their counseling experience has contributed to their ultimate success, the Training Retreat format and objectives simply offer some opportunities and potential benefits not provided by most traditional counseling. We will look at some of those in the next posting.
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