Private Couples Retreats*: In New England
Greater Marital Happiness
Boston, Cambridge, Acton, Amherst, Northampton & The Berkshires
*due to COVID-19, we have suspended all in-person retreats until further notice.
Now offering online coaching and online therapy
One couples therapy weekend retreat to renew your love and resolve your most painful relationship challenges.
Hi, I'm Dr K. Our couples counselors and doctoral psychologists provide science-based help for troubled marriages. A single weekend can teach you essential skills that can change around your relationship. If you are looking for a couples therapy retreat New England, read about our Team.
The Tools We Use Predict Divorce With Over 90% Accuracy!
These findings span 40+ years of research with over 3,000 couples. They've taught us remarkable things...like a predictable pattern of marital decline. We'll motivate you to take action, focus on what's wrong, and show you how to change it FAST. It's personally tailored to just you two. It makes a huge difference to the way you love.
Not all "retreats" are the same! Some teach you general information in large groups. Others focus on religious principles. Some are held in exotic places led by people with no credentials as all! And almost none do assessment before you come. They only learn about you while you're there!
Here's how we do it: We think it's more respectful to get a lot of information from you before you come. Then, our skilled couples therapists can score and interpret your every word to know what to ask when they see you.
Need "One Last Shot Couples Therapy?"
Have you made plans to leave, consulted an attorney, or even filed for divorce? If you keep hoping that maybe “one last shot” of couples therapy with someone who knows what they've doing might make a difference, you're right. It really could.
If you're asking yourself: "Could we work again with the right therapist?" the answer is a resounding "YES!"
We see it all the time. We work with hostile couples, ones that keep separate bedrooms, have moved out, or have stopped talking to one another. Marriages with little babies or grown children. Even newlyweds, engaged couples or those with no intention of ever getting married. Sometimes our clients are approaching retirement, but can't take it anymore... If nothing changes, they aren't prepared to stay unhappy like this 'until death do us part.'
There're a lot of myths out there about troubled marriage:
A BIG ONE is About Divorce:
The severity of your problems don't predict divorce. No matter how bad it is, you can be happily marriage again, according to the research. The marital endurance ethic plays a big role. These are couples who stubbornly outlast their problems. Five years later, many sources of conflict and distress have eased.
The 'Bully' and His Bride: The End of Turmoil...
One wife agreed to come to the Marital Retreat only after I promised not to 'push her into staying' in her marriage. They had been to over 4 counselors in the past 18 years, and none of them had helped.
Family and friends told them they just weren't "suited for each other." (...of course HIS friends sided with him, and HER friends sided with her...)
But everyone agreed: "You two should divorce!" (...except their kids...)
They were in Divorce Mediation when they arrived. I told her "You should really know how to stand up to him, or you probably shouldn't be in mediation." So her goal for the marriage retreat was to learn to stand up to a man who she described as "a big bully."
In their State of the Union Assessment they told me their early love story. It was full of trials and tribulation, like most of our couples. But it also was full of passion! These two were survivors, personally, and as a couple. Horrors of ex's, financial setbacks, kids' problems, you name it...and through it all, they had stayed together...until now.
This couple was still in love!
They Didn't Know How They Made It Worse...
So They Couldn't Figure Out How to Make It Better
Their previous therapists would listen and try to give them advice. But no one had taught them how to act differently or why: "Here's what you are doing, and if you keep doing it, the science says that it will be hard to exit this divorce highway. Let's work on how to change things around..."
- "You, Sir, have to change your worldview. You are the boss at your job, but you have to change your approach at home." No one told him he was being emotionally abusive. He honestly didn't realize it! As I said, he loved his wife and he wanted to keep his family intact.
- "You, Madam, have to keep your cool. When you flood, you stop thinking clearly and lose not only your clarity, but your nerve." She realized she "gave up" when he started to raise his voice. He scared her, and that dynamic had to stop. She was no longer going to just acquiesce to what he said, but she also wasn't sure how to stand up to him in a calm, even way.
It's Not "Just Our Opinion"
- Our work is a detailed, science-based approach to what you're doing wrong and how to change it.
Step-by-step assessment leads to rational, logical, science-based interventions. You'll spend the equivalent of 2 months over the weekend practicing these new skills!
- We videotape you discussing a disagreement.
We know fights don't cause divorce. Escalating fights do. Or fear of having disagreements. We analyze your video, to provide you concrete examples of what's not working, and how to change it.
- Anger and sadness are both emotions.
And emotions have everything to do with effective couples therapy. Evidence-based Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy complements Gottman's science-based assessment approach.
We Radically Stop a Couple's Fast-Moving Train
to Greater Misery or Divorce...
It's more than a year later, and The Bully and the Bride who were "doomed to divorce" are happy together again. She moved back in, and is delighted to be there. Their family and friends don't talk badly about their spouse anymore, because they don't allow it! They're a team. And they still do have fights. A fair number of them.
Both know how to fight without escalating it. She sets limits. He accepts influence. They work collaboratively because they know what they are doing and why when they disagree. And now it doesn't get out of control.
You Can Spend Months in Weekly Therapy and Get Nowhere...
Or you can condense that time into a single intensive marriage retreat week-end. Like The Bully & The Bride, we'll start with a thorough assessment we call a "State of the Union." It's done online and then in person. It will take you hours to complete. We will give you the "the good, the bad, and the ugly" news about your relationship.
It's expensive because it works.
We Compete with Divorce Attorneys.
Their job is to help you end it. Ours is to help you mend it. Whether you live in New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire or anywhere else in New England, these couples retreats can help.
Most marriages can go in either direction when they are in trouble. Are you ready to mend it with the help of an expert?
In one prominent study, 66% of currently divorced couples answered "Yes" to the question:
"Looking back, do you wish you and your ex-spouse had tried harder to work through your differences?"
Only 10% of divorcing couples seek out professional help of any kind to rescue their relationship, according to John Gottman. The ones that do, go an average of only 4 sessions. Even worse, it's most likely that they saw an "All Purpose Therapist" for a 50 minute session...just long enough to start a fight, but not enough time to move through it.
That's not evidence-based treatment...
When Impacted by Marital Heartache Turn to Us.
We are: Couples Therapy Inc.
We're a group of some of the best trained couples therapists across the USA (...and in Europe, South Africa and Australia, too.)
Our passion is helping couples.
Remarkable Massachusetts clinicians are top in their field. They supervise, teach, or write books. One is a legend, winning numerous awards, and publishing four books. The American Psychological Association gave Dr. Ham an award for "Outstanding Lifetime Achievement." We've coaxed her out of retirement to help a limited number of couples each year.
We totally immerse ourselves in understanding you and your marriage. We feel it is more respectful to thoroughly understand you both, before we intervene. And our powerful credentials let you know we really get it.
All of us have written for professional journals, books, or articles for the general public. All three of us have run graduate programs...and one carries the rare distinction of "Gottman Certified Couples Therapist."
- We're Top in Our Profession.
We have run graduate programs in psychology or Marriage and Family Therapy in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
- You Are Working with Experienced Clinicians.
Half our New England team of clinicians have 30+ years of experience in helping troubled relationships.
- We Bring This Expertise Into the Therapy Office.
Effective science-based approaches using Gottman Method Couples Therapy and Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy in addition to a science-based approach to your assessment.
Boston, The Berkshires & Miami Retreats
Dr. Kathy McMahon (Dr. K) is the President of Couples Therapy Inc. She's been a board-certified sex therapist, a Fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a Gottman-certified couples therapist. She also has advanced training in Emotionally-focused couples therapy and the Developmental Model of couples therapy.
Dr. Maryanna Ham is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association. This is a distinction bestowed for outstanding lifetime achievement in the field. Her professional books and articles are required reading in the field of Marriage & Family Therapy. She has Gottman Training and is a Master Therapist with Couples Therapy inc.
Dr. Patricia Gorman is a published scholar and a prior Director of two Marriage and Family Therapy Programs. She currently serves as an Executive Board member for the Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She has Gottman Training and advanced training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.
Boston, The Berkshires & Miami Retreats
Daniel Dashnaw has advanced training in the Gottman-method, advanced training in Emotionally-focused couples therapy and the Developmental Model of couples therapy.
Acton MA Retreats
Catherine Pfunter has advanced training in Emotionally-focused couples therapy and Levels I & II of the Gottman Method. She has specialized training in working with neurodiverse couples, veterans, and substance issues.
Cambridge MA Retreats
Dr. Sejal Patel has advanced training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, two levels of the Gottman Method and one year at the Psychodynamic Couples & Family Institute of New England.
What Our Former Clients Say...
I would have described our relationship as brittle. Lots of fighting and anger.
Our hesitation about starting couples therapy with Couples Therapy Inc. was primarily the cost. And that we would invest all the time and money in the therapy and it wouldn’t “work”.
I feel like our work with Couples Therapy Inc. turned us around. I think we have understanding, tools, etc we didn’t have before. I think we can move forward positively.
Dr. Gorman was very professional. That was good.
Our relationship was almost over...
How would you describe your relationship before you called Couples Therapy Inc.? What were the core issues you wanted to improve?
I was hesitant about spending a substantial amount of money with no results. However, our relationship was almost over. We had poor communication and high-stress levels. This was more of a scientific approach. Dr. K was very neutral and explained things very well. It's only been a week but our relationship has definitely improved. We have better communication and understanding each other better and the stress level between us has also decreased. I had no hope before going to see Kathy. Now I know we've got a chance to mend our relationship.
I would definitely recommend Couples Therapy Inc.
We were concerned that the therapist would use theoretical concepts that won't work in practice.
How would you describe your relationship before you called Couples Therapy Inc.?
We were in trouble. We weren't communicating that effectively. We both needed to reflect on our method of dealing with difficult topics, understand how our partner responds to our style and learn tools to get the most effective means of dialogue going. We were concerned that the therapist would take sides or use theoretical concepts that wouldn't work in practice. Instead, we learned a lot more about each other, how to communicate more effectively, and tools to avoid slipping into old destructive habits. What we left with:
(1) Understanding your partner's response to stress - tough topics
(2) Understanding how to communicate effectively given these long-held response mechanisms, and
(3) Leaving with a feeling of optimism for our future IF we continue the hard work done over the intensive weekend.
I liked all aspects of Dr. Gorman's approach to us individually and as a couple. Her sense of humor and balanced approach in listening and guiding were exactly what we needed. She is a gem.
Bottom line: The intensive approach, although difficult and exhausting, is the best way to get on track. I can't imagine trying to do what we did over several weeks of one hour sessions.
We were hesitant about the expense and fear of the unknown. Fear of what might happen.
We had become very distant from each other, very little communication or intimacy. We were at a decision point of whether to stay together or separate.
What hesitation did you have about starting couples therapy with us?
Expense, fear of the unknown. Fear of what might happen.
What changes resulted in your marriage/relationship from your work with Couples Therapy Inc.?
Mutual understanding and concern for my husband's concrete communication tools, education on communication styles and practice. Open communication about sex and intimacy.
Had you considered or tried couples therapy before? If so, how successful or unsuccessfully was it?
Yes, for many years and was unsuccessful at getting to the root of the problem.
What specific qualities did you like most and least about working with this therapist?
Dr. Kathy McMahon was very personable and genuinely interested and caring. She provided education in communication skills and allowed us to practice what we learned. I loved that she shared examples and stories to illustrate a point. She was flexible and worked with us on whatever topic came up in the exercises and made it easier to talk about difficult subjects.
Would you recommend your couples therapist and Couples Therapy Inc? If so, why? If not, why not?
Yes, definitely. It was not only "talk therapy" but educational, with proven methods and educational materials with lots of practice and support in those techniques. I developed a new understanding of my husband and his point of view. Understanding the role that trauma has played in my life and in my relationships has helped him to understand this too. This retreat has opened the door to open and honest communication for us.
Using my husband's words, this weekend helped us more than 3 years of couples therapy did! We were amazed at what was accomplished in such a short time. We are so thankful that we took the leap and did this, it helped us immensely. We have renewed sense of understanding, care and love for each other that would not have been possible otherwise. Thank you Dr. K!
We had done couples therapy several times with varying degrees of success.
We had done couples therapy several times with varying degrees of success. We have communication and trust issues, particularly my partner’s willingness to commit.
Dr. Maryanna Ham is affable, very skilled and knows how to push into the deep water. Now, there’s more honesty about where we are, more risk-taking to say what we feel/need/want.
It takes a lot of work but it is worth it in spades.
Our marriage was in dire straights. We had trust and communications problems. We had tried couples therapy before, but very unsuccessfully. And I was concerned that my wife would not be an active participant...
However, vital issues were cleared up. We have better communication and more trust.
Dr. Gorman was our couples therapist. She asked pertinent and vital questions. Was able to direct the sessions in the right direction for constructive results. We got very positive results. Our intensive prevented a divorce, increased communication, and we're able to enjoy each other again.
I would recommend it. It takes a lot of work but it is worth it in spades.
I was anxious going into the weekend knowing it would be a difficult one, and it was...
Dr. Gorman, I wanted to thank you again for this past weekend. I was anxious going into the weekend knowing it would be a difficult one, and it was. But I don't think we could have selected a better therapist. You put me at ease from the first evening we were together. I appreciated how thorough you were going through our Big Big Book. I am amazed at how many times you referenced something we said or a family member we talked about by name.
Your genuine interest/concern for us came through very clearly to me. It made me feel very comfortable and able to express the things I haven't been able to previously. I learned a lot about myself and how I chose the path I did (even though sub-consciously in many ways).
I am also grateful for the tools you gave us to help communicate more effectively. I do believe that my partner and I have both tried really hard and we are both good people. Although he and I are still struggling with how to act around one another, I am hopeful we will work together to improve that.
Our departure on Sunday from your office felt very sudden (although I knew our time was winding down). We were also so emotionally drained at that point, I didn't feel I gave you a proper goodbye. I really want you to know how much I appreciate everything you did for us.
My husband and I both agreed on our ride home (regardless of the outcome of our relationship/marriage) that we were glad we went.
Choose highly trained specialists with demonstrated Couples Therapy Skills.
Save time by completing "The BIG BIG Book" Online Assessment.
Gain a thorough understanding of your destructive patterns...
Massachusetts is just one of over 25 locations where we offer retreats. You can also schedule a Marriage Retreats all across the USA, with over 30+ advanced couples therapists.
Kathy McMahon, Psy.D.
President of Couples Therapy Inc.
One of 350 Gottman Certified Couples Therapist,
Board Certified Sex Therapist (1982-2018)
From the President
"I review over 1,000 resumes each year, searching the globe for the most qualified couples therapists.
It's remarkably hard to find exceptional talent.
Many therapists (80%) believe they are already skilled at providing couples therapy.
The reality is alarming: less than 12% who claim to be "couples therapists" have
course in couples therapy. I look for certifications and specialized training before I hire, and a dedication to helping couples. Certifications mean proven skill."
If Your Relationship is Thriving, Go to an Inexpensive Psycho-educational Retreat
There are Cheaper Alternatives Out There
Who We Work With and Who We Don't
These retreats, run by expert psychologists and couples counselors, target particular couples:
A Brief Look at This Intensive Couples Retreat in the
Berkshires of Western Massachusetts
- Friday Evening Warm-up - 6-8 pm (unless otherwise scheduled)
- Saturday Morning - Videotaping & Individual Interviews - 9:30 - Noon
- Saturday Afternoon - Feedback Session and Start of Treatment - 1:30-4:30 PM
- Sunday Morning - Check in and Treatment Continues - 9:30 AM - Noon
- Sunday Afternoon - Intensive focus on Key Problem Areas - 1:15- 4:15 PM
- Late Sunday - Wrap-up and Feedback - 4:15-4:30 PM
Frequently Asked Questions
How quickly can our Retreat be scheduled?
We usually need 3-6 weeks lead time to allow you time to complete your BIG BIG Book. Contact us for "emergency" retreats.
What do we have to do before we meet?
You both need to complete your own version of The BIG BIG Book, and make travel and lodging accommodations (we'll send you our favorites...) Our locations are vacation destinations, so we encourage you to book early.
Can we talk to our therapist beforehand?
Absolutely. Call or email our office to schedule a mutually convenient time.
Will insurance pay for this?
Not likely. Few insurance companies pay for couples therapy. However, Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA's) may. Ask your Accountant or Compensation and Benefits Administrator if you qualify for FSA's.
Which airports to Boston or Western Massachusetts?
You can fly into Logan Airport for Boston or West Hartford, Albany, or Boston. We're also about a 4.5 hour drive from Manhattan.
Who can we talk to for more information?
Send us a message and we will get back to you in one business day or less.
P.S. These retreats are in high demand and offered on a first come, first reserved basis. We can't hold your retreat without payment.
Could this make a huge difference in your marriage?
Don't put it off.