Weekend Couple Retreats

Private Marriage Counseling Intensives
Small Group Relationship Enhancement Workshops

Located in beautiful Boca Raton, Florida

Photo Couples Beach Chairs Sunset

Transform conflict and distance into loving connection and partnership…


Weekend Programs Uniquely Tailored To Your Needs
Private Couples Counseling Retreats – Intensive weekend programs for one couple

  •   Weekend Intensives (Friday evening & Saturday)
  •   Expanded Intensives (Friday through Sunday)
  •   Optional Follow-Up Sessions (As needed)

Weekend Relationship Enrichment Workshops – Small groups of couples

  •   Weekend Workshops
  •   3-Day Relationship Recovery Intensives (Friday through Sunday)

Retreats and workshops are conducted by Richard Loebl, LCSW, BCD, Founder and Director of the Relationship Center of South Florida, and often include a female staff therapist who also specializes in relationships and couple therapy. See staff information below.

“We would like to sincerely thank you both for the weekend Intensive Retreat.  You made us feel very comfortable thus allowing us to be open and honest regarding our issues.  Your warm, professional and helpful style gave us the confidence we needed to express our innermost concerns.  You also gave us tools and understanding with which we can use to help enrich our marriage.”      L.D. Boston, MA

Please see the full description, location, and cost of services below.

Program Counselors, Therapists, and Coaches
Our program staff has many years of training and experience in relationship and marriage counseling. Richard Loebl, LCSW, BCD, is the Founder and Director of the Relationship Center of South Florida, and is a Board Certified Psychotherapist with over 30 years experience. He has conducted weekend programs and intensives for over 15 years. All program staff has advanced training and experience in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, and other marriage counseling methods, such as the Gottman Method and Imago Therapy.

Private Intensives for one couple are usually conducted by Richard Loebl. A female co-therapist with similar experience may be included for couples who prefer a woman’s point of view – and Richard may suggest a female co-therapist during the pre-screening process (see Pre-Screening Process below).

Workshops and Relationship Recovery Intensives for small groups are generally conducted by Richard and a female co-therapist. Richard’s wife, Michele, may occasionally attend the Workshop as an informal coach. Workshop participants have commented that her presence and involvement in group discussions has been quite helpful – and entertaining! Michele and Richard have “walked the walk” – they’ve worked on their own relationship dance for many years, and happily report a successful, loving partnership in their marriage.

Our Approach to Relationship Distress
Relationships can be challenging and even painful at times. Relationships suffer when there’s too much conflict, fighting, and resentment – and sometimes the walls go up with emotional and physical distance. The powerful feelings we experience in distressed relationships are universal. We may react with blame, anger and shutting down. Then our spouse or partner reacts to the anger and distance, and this creates a relationship “dance”. A dance that is all too familiar. The specific problem areas that we address in our retreats and workshops include

  • Conflict, power struggles, and angry escalations
  • Patterns of complaining, blaming, and defensive reactions
  • Shutting down, distancing, and lack of communication
  • Emotional and physical disconnection – the “emotional divorce”
  • Intimacy and sexual problems
  • Infidelity and affairs (including problems like “sexual addiction”)
  • Trust issues, insecurities, feelings of betrayal
  • Parenting issues (including problems in blended families – children from a prior marriage)

Our approach to relationship distress is based in the new science of love. Recent advances in neurology (“brain science”), and research studies of relationship and marital satisfaction show us that our brains are hard-wired for a deep level of emotional attachment to others. Our need for close, loving relationships is not only normal but necessary. At times of relationship distress, one or both partners will react emotionally, with hurt feelings, insecurities, fear, and anger. There are unmet attachment needs – for connection, affection, emotional support, and appreciation. These unmet needs and powerful feelings drive the relationship dance. When we feel unappreciated, insecure, misunderstood, blamed, or abandoned we react – with anger, defensiveness, and distance. These reactions can be identified, understood, and unraveled – and couples can then learn a new way to respond to each other with understanding, appreciation and compassion.

“This program is something that any couple can truly benefit from, no matter how young, old, new or ongoing your relationship is. It awakens the connection and the love between partners that can sometimes get buried and forgotten under the rubble of this hectic but beautiful day to day life.” T.B.

Methods and Goals

At our retreats, intensives and workshops, we offer state of the art counseling methods, based on current scientific research, to guide couples with concern and compassion. Our methods are derived primarily from EFT – Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, developed by Dr. Sue Johnson. Research studies show that EFT is the most effective form of couple therapy today. Like EFT we use a 3 Stage model that includes

  1. Assess, De-escalate, Reconnect – Identify specific problems and relationship patterns (dance), and the underlying feelings and unmet needs that drive the dance. Reduce conflict and begin productive communication.
  2. Relationship Repair – Structure new relationship patterns so that partners can identify and understand each-other’s feelings and needs. Partners then practice acceptance, empathy, and emotional connection. When there has been infidelity or other breaches of trust, this stage includes methods for healing emotional injuries and re-establishing trust.
  3. Partnership & Creative Solutions – We help couples foster trust and collaboration with new communication patterns and problem solving methods. Loving bonds are maintained with new conversations about core feelings (especially fears and shame) and basic needs, such as affection, appreciation, emotional support and security. New solutions to old problems creatively evolve from these conversations.

Throughout this process, couples are guided through many corrective emotional experiences. Here is a poignant example of a corrective emotional experience:

During Stage 2, a husband talked about his anger, feelings of betrayal, and lack of trust after his wife admitted she had an affair that lasted over 6 months. She had apologized to him, explained why she had the affair, and promised many times this would never happen again. With our encouragement, she was able to empathize with her husband’s emotional pain and heartache. There were tears in her eyes when she held his hands and expressed her remorse. Her eyes, full of compassion, connected to the anguish in his eyes as she expressed a deep level of understanding and sensitivity. In response, her husband began to lower his defensive wall, accept her sincerity, and reached out to hold her as they cried together. Later, he recognized his part in their dance – his anger, defensiveness, and withholding behavior – and he was able to express his own remorse, empathize with her feelings of abandonment, and he began the process of forgiveness.  

These powerful emotional experiences are the most healing aspects of our program. Our primary goal is to facilitate these vital moments of change for couples. Other goals include improving communication, learning how to argue productively, and improving all aspects of intimacy.

Program Descriptions

Private Couples Retreats

These intensive programs are uniquely designed and customized for only one couple at a time.

Private Weekend Intensive

Fridays from 1:30-6:30
Saturdays from 9:00-6:00

Expanded Weekend Intensives

Fridays, 1:30-6:30
Saturdays, 9:00-6:00
Sundays, 9:30-1:00

 

Follow-Up Sessions (optional)

2-4 hour sessions at our Center, or
90 minute Skype sessions

Expanded Intensives are suggested for couples who have separated or experienced infidelity – or couples who want to go beyond repair and new solutions to higher levels of personal and relationship development.

All Private Couples Retreats include the following individually designed components:

  • Couple Assessment – The couple describe their relationship history, how and when problems emerged. Specific problem areas are identified, discussed and explored. Each partner describes their view of the relationship and specific problems. During this discussion, relationship patterns are revealed and identified. Underlying feelings and needs are discussed. Couples complete  questionnaires which are discussed and reviewed.
  • Individual Sessions – Private session with each partner to review personal and family history. These sessions also help counselors to deepen their understanding of each partner.
  • Review and Feedback – After the individual sessions, we review and discuss problem areas relationship patterns. The goal of this session is to make sure we’re all on the same page – we agree on the specific, unique goals for each couple, and we reach agreement on the way we see the problems and the relationship patterns.
  • Counseling and Exercises – Relationship counseling actually begins during the assessment stage. Richard and his staff provide ongoing feedback, and guide couples toward a deeper understanding and expression of feelings, beliefs, and needs. The most intense aspects of the counseling process occur on Saturday. Exercises are used to help couples explore each other’s attachment (relationship) style, emotional reactions and needs. Couples are guided to practice emotionally corrective conversations (a deeper level of emotional expression, active listening, and responding to each other with empathy and compassion). Other exercises include communication tools, methods for fighting fair, creating new solutions, and loving touch, affection and connection.
  • Creating the New Relationship – Each couple creates a description – a written narrative – for the “new” relationship they develop as a result of this program. This narrative includes a history of the relationship, how and why problems developed, and a description of their healing process, their new, loving and supportive relationship dance, and their new approach to partnership and problem-solving.

Relationship Enrichment Workshops

“If you are looking to understand how to improve a relationship, this workshop is the single best investment you will make. I recommend it whole-heartedly.” J.S.

These workshops are designed for small groups of 3-5 couples. Weekend Workshops are primarily educational, with some exercises to understand specific problem areas, the relationship dance, and basic tools for relationship enhancement. The 3-Day Relationship Recovery Intensives are very similar to the Private Retreats, above, but are less costly and include small group discussions and exercises.

 

Weekend Workshops

Lectures and group discussion on the following topics

1. Science of love and attachment

2. Why do relationships succeed or fail?

3. 3 Cornerstones of connection (Accessible, Responsive, Engaged)

4. The relationship dance (patterns and cycles)

5. De-escalation and reconnection

6. Communication, mindfulness, and acts of love

Experiential exercises

Couples work on most exercises in private rooms, with assistance by our counseling staff when needed.

1. Relationship connection, safety and happiness

2. A.R.E. Questionnaire (Accessible, Responsive, Engaged)

3. Relationship dance

4. De-escalate, reconnect, restore

5. Mindful connection

Brief video clips may be used to highlight certain topic areas, along with group discussion and feedback.

Relationship Recovery Intensives

This 3 day workshop is a unique combination of education, experiential exercises and counseling for married and unmarried couples. The group size is limited to 3-4 couples only. The approach is very similar to our Private Weekend Retreats for one couple, and includes most of the components of both our Saturday Workshops and the Private Intensive Retreats – with the additional support and feedback of other participating couples. The detailed description of those programs, indicated above, also apply to these weekends, and the structure of these small group intensives include

  1. Assessment and problem identification
  2. Educational information
  3. Experiential exercises
  4. Small group discussion
  5. Private mini-sessions (each couple meets in a private office with a counselor at least 3 times)
  6. In-depth focus on the reactive relationship dance, the feelings and unmet needs that drive the dance, and creating the New Relationship (healing injuries, supportive partnership and new solutions)

Pre-screening & Preparation

All couples who attend our weekend programs are pre-screened by Richard Loebl or another member of our counseling staff. Our goal is to recommend the best program for your specific needs and budget. We prefer to speak with both partners in the relationship at the same time. If this isn’t possible, we’ll talk to each of you separately. Pre-screening can be done by Skype (preferred) or by phone at your convenience. These calls are usually about 15-20 minutes in length. (Screening for Saturday Workshops only is more limited and brief.) We will ask you to briefly describe your current relationship situation and specific problem areas you want to work on. We’ll answer any questions you may have, and once you decide to enroll we will send you registration information, forms, and an assessment questionnaire.

Fee Structure (Cost per couple)

Private Weekend Retreat    (12 hours) 2 Days $ 2,975
Private Extended Weekend Retreat (16 hours) 3 Days $3,750
Relationship Enrichment Workshop (Small Group) Saturday $ 450
2 Day Relationship Workshop (Small Group) Friday / Saturday $ 675
Relationship Recovery Intensives (Small Group) 3 Days $ 1,550
Optional Follow-Up Sessions 90 minutes $ 350
2-4 hours $ 400 – $ 700

Payments and Cancellations: A deposit of 50% (or full payment if preferred) is required at least one month prior to scheduled program. Full payment is due no later than 2 weeks prior to scheduled program. Full refunds will be granted if cancellation is made more than one full month prior to scheduled program. 25% of the 50% deposit will be refunded up to 2 weeks prior to scheduled program. Refunds cannot be granted within the 2 week period prior to scheduled program.  

Location & Accommodations

All programs and workshops are conducted at our offices in Boca Raton, Florida. We are located 25 miles north of the Ft. Lauderdale airport. Our offices are 10-15 minutes from the beach, in the Town Center area of Boca Raton.

Relationship Center of South Florida
2200 NW Corporate Blvd., Suite 300
Boca Raton, Florida 33431

561-955-6090
www.RelationshipCenterofSouthFlorida.com

For additional information, please contact [email protected]

Recommended Accommodations

A wide range of resorts and hotels are available in the Boca Raton area. For additional information, please contact our staff. We recommend 4 properties representing different levels of convenience, location, luxury and rates, located within 5 miles of our offices.

Boca Raton Resort and Club – 888-543-1277
Exclusive, elegant Waldorf-Astoria property on the beach, with spa, marina, golf, tennis and world class restaurants.
www.BocaResort.com

Waterstone Resort and Marina – 561-368-9500
Newly renovated DoubleTree Hilton property, located on the Intracoastal Waterway, just across from the beach. Modern, stylish, with fitness center, sun deck, and updated waterfront pool.
www.WaterstoneBoca.com

Wyndham Boca Raton – 561-368-5200
Boutique-style retreat, within walking distance of the Relationship Center of South Florida. Health oriented, with natural and vegetarian dining options, a fitness and yoga center,
www.WyndhamBoca.com

Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel (Marriott) – 561-368-5252
Newly renovated, chic property with resort-type pool and spa. Located within walking distance of the Relationship Center of South Florida.
www.Renaissance-Hotels.Marriott.com

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