It appears that marriage counseling retreats can take many forms these days, but most likely they will be held by a church. However, there are retreats/workshops held by private counseling practitioners also.
The following material is an overview, and is followed by some links to specific marriage counseling retreats held by various denominations.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marriage Encounter (M.E.) is a religiously-based weekend program designed to help married couples improve their marriage, grow closer to each other, and improve commitment to each other.
Originally a Catholic marriage renewal program, Marriage Encounters are now offered by a variety of Protestant, Jewish, as well as Catholic groups. Most all of them are open to couples of any or no religious persuasion.
The weekend programs usually begin on a Friday evening and conclude Sunday afternoon. Although they are not retreats in the classical sense, everyone stays the entire time at the hotel or other lodging facility where the program takes place. Meals are provided on-site.
Over the course of the weekend, attending couples learn and practice a structured method of communication, which emphasizes mutual respect and healthy couple communication.
The couples are encouraged to include God in their life together, though there is usually not direct religious instruction.
Organizers say that a Marriage Encounter is not a traditional retreat, marriage clinic, group sensitivity training, or a substitute for counselling.
Team members, though well trained in the materials they teach, are not marriage counselors.
Couples may benefit from learning the communication methods that may parallel some counselling methods.
A further attraction of Marriage Encounter weekends is the opportunity for M.E. alumni couples to meet periodically for renewal meetings after the weekends, called "spirals" in many Marriage Encounter programs.
Structure and Process
The leaders, called a Presenting Team, typically consists of three trained married lay couples and a clergy person or couple (priest at Catholic M.E. weekends).
The leaders present a series of "talks" about specific issues, usually framed within some Biblical or religious text or concept.
The participating couples write out letters and responses to questions to be read to and by their spouse in response to the talks. Then they ask each other some clarifying questions with guidance and structure from the leaders.
In the terminology of many Marriage Encounter programs, this process is called "dialogue".
This process helps the couples learn to listen thoroughly to their partners, and then ask about things that are not clear in the supportive environment of the weekend experience.
The Marriage Encounter movement began in 1952 in Barcelona, Spain, as a Catholic marriage renewal program in Spain. It was known as the Encuentro Conjugal and founded by Father Gabriel Calvo, a Diocesean Laborer priest.
Fr. Calvo and a group of "encountered" Spanish couples first brought Marriage Encounter to the United States in 1966 . The first M.E. Weekend in English was held on the University of Notre Dame campus in summer 1967. A national organization was founded in 1969.
In the early 1970s, Marriage Encounter split into two separate Catholic organizations.
The original group that continued more in the tradition of Father Calvo became National Marriage Encounter, based in Minneapolis.
An alternative group, Worldwide Marriage Encounter, was founded in New York City under the direction of Father Charles ("Chuck") Gallagher, a Jesuit priest.
The programs presented by National Marriage Encounter and Worldwide Marriage Encounter are similar, with the latter being more structured, presentation formats more standardized, and greater concern for its mission of renewal of the Roman Catholic church.
Both organizations seek to elicit positive change in marriages, and in turn to help change the world by preparing and motivating couples and priests to be open and outreaching as they continue to strengthen their own relationships.
It is estimated that more than 5 million couples in 97 countries have attended a Marriage Encounter.
While the program began in the Catholic church, both National Marriage Encounter and Worldwide Marriage Encounter organizations have provided generous assistance to help in the formation of Marriage Encounter expressions for other "specific faith believing communities."
In addition to Catholic M.E. groups, today there are many Marriage Encounter organizations affiliated with Protestant denominations and nondenominational groups. There is a Jewish Marriage Encounter as well.
Similar programs, called Engaged Encounter and Pre-Cana Encounter, are available to couples considering marriage.
Priests and avowed Religious are also encouraged to attend Catholic Marriage Encounter weekends. The same principles of love, commitment and communication that help married couples stay together can be applied by the priest or Religious to his or her parish or community.
When I was beginning my personal growth journey, a wise person told me that when I was feeling resentful or afraid or sad, that I should remember the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was ready to feel better. That phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.
Would you share what you are most grateful for? Your story could be just what another person is searching for to renew themselves? Thanks.
Or get our
Awaken the higher mental, emotional, and spiritual capacities with Heartmath.
See products we recommend in our Amazon Store
Dec 26, 17 04:31 PM
Christmas day has come and gone for another year...along with all the carbohydrate temptations...well, almost all, as I still have cookies from my ex-wife...she does these Christmas logs that are so d…
Dec 16, 17 05:41 PM
Did you know that keto diets deliver a high amount of nutrition per calorie? I know that carbs, especially packaged carbs, offer very little in the way of nutritional value. I also did not know that m…
Dec 07, 17 07:48 PM
Went to see my functional doctor Tuesday, to check the numbers after a blood draw. She is working on my thyroid and testosterone and vitamin b, among other things like CoQ and omega-3 levels. Basicall…