Attend one weekend marriage retreat in Maryland or the surrounding areas to renew your love and resolve your most painful relationship challenges.
*due to COVID-19, we have suspended all in-person retreats until further notice.
Now offering these couples therapy retreats online!
- "Fighting? Yes, and over the stupidest things, in front of the previous therapist, who just sat there.."
- "No, not a lot a lot of fighting. It's just really cold between us...like roommates."
- "Sex? No, that never came up, and I wish it did. We weren't having any, or talking about it anywhere."
Hi, I'm Dr K. Our couples counselors and doctoral psychologists provide science-based help for troubled marriages. It's a remarkable fact that a single weekend dramatically impact your relationship.
"Loving well is an art. Perfecting it is a science."
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.
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. It's a proven fact. 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 marriage retreats in Maryland work is a detailed, integrative 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 monitor your heart rate.
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 Month after Month 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.
And it's expensive because after spending your valuable time on it, and our therapist's valuable time reading it, it works.
We Compete with Divorce Attorneys.
Their job is to help you end it. Ours is to help you mend it.
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?"
According to John Gottman, only 10% of divorcing couples seek out professional help of any kind to rescue their relationship. 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 Relationship Heartache Turn to Us.
We are: COUPLES THERAPY INC.
We're a group of 30+ couples therapists - some of the best trained across the USA (..and in Europe, South Africa, and Australia too...). Clinical master trainers of therapists. Academicians. Authors. Supervisors. Many have 25-40 years of experience.
Our passion is helping couples.
Our licensed therapist holding retreats in Maryland, Virginia, and DC Angela Voegele is top in her field, and speaks three languages.
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.
Our couples therapists have written for professional journals, books, or articles for the general public. Three of us have run graduate programs...and our couples therapist in Maryland carries the rare distinction of "Gottman Certified Couples Therapist" AND Sex Therapist.
- We're Top in Our Profession.
Angela is a Certified Gottman Therapist and Board-Certified Sex Therapist.
- You Are Working with an Experienced Clinician.
We have many 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.
Angela Voegele, M.S.W. is one of our most popular Couples Therapists. She enjoys the rare distinction of being one of a handful of professionals worldwide who is both a Gottman Certified Couples Therapist and a Board-Certified Sex Therapist. In addition to English, she is fluent in German and conversational in French. Her couples rave about her results. See the testimonials below.
Tim Donovan, M.S.W. has been a Field Instructor at Johns Hopkins University and Clinical Instructor at University of Maryland at Baltimore Therapists. Along with all of our Maryland couples therapists, he's a Certified Gottman Therapist and Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He also has expertise in addiction processes, post-recovery and affair recovery.
Dr. Scott Wolfe is a clinical psychologist, researcher, and one of twenty Master Trainers and supervisors with the Gottman Institute. He also has advanced training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. He has served as Adjunct Faculty at the California School of Professional Psychology and has been a psychologist for more than 30 years specializing throughout in helping couples.
What Our Clients Say About Our Effectiveness
“Even after just the two days we feel that our relationship is stronger and better....”
"Past therapy in the past was slightly helpful but not providing useful tools to solve the problem.
It was recommended to us that we try the Gottman Method. We looked for a therapist with full training in the Gottman system, and we chose Angela Voegele.
We feel that Angela provided us with an extremely beneficial 2-day "total immersion" which was much more effective than piecemeal 50-minute therapy sessions. In the retreat, Angela provided us with practical, immediately usable tools that we could practice with her and then use on our own. Even after just two days, we feel that our relationship is stronger and better because we discovered techniques to avoid anger and fighting in ways that we didn't know before.
Angela is gentle, warm, fair, and knowledgeable. She inspires confidence. She knows the Gottman tools well and was very skillful in putting them into practice with us.
We now have better confidence in our relationship, practical tools to use anytime, and comfort in knowing that we can come back to Angela if we need to.
What would you say to couples that are considering working with Couples Therapy Inc.?
The Gottman Method is excellent and Angela is an excellent practitioner of it.
"I would highly recommend making the investment in your relationship."
Couples Therapy Inc. was a great experience for us. The weekend retreat was just what we needed to effectively talk through our relationship. It provided the time to really discuss and understand what was going on with us. The therapist was very knowledgeable and taught us the tools and concepts that really helped us. His goal was to help us make our relationship a success. I would highly recommend making the investment in your relationship.
I enjoyed working with Scott Wolfe. He was calm, gave good perspective and provided tools to help us. It gave us a safe environment to talk about issues, provided tools to communicate and build from to strengthen our relationship, the ability to recognize what each of us could do to improve our relationship.
I am writing to express my/our deep appreciation for our work with our therapist at Couples Therapy Inc. We are a married couple of 24 years and have been actively considering divorce for the past several months. As a last-ditch effort, we let go of our previous marriage therapist and began working with you, first in 3 sessions online, and then in an intensive. Our therapist has been an extraordinary support for both of us. Her style is both structured and flexible. I appreciated that she listened exceedingly well. She brings evidence-based research into the mix. Perhaps most of all, she is optimistic, thought not in an unrealistic way. She has been instrumental in helping us develop new patterns of communication and engagement.
We are very, very grateful.
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...
Maryland, Virginia and DC are just one of our dozens of locations across the USA & in Ireland, South Africa, and Australia.
Kathy McMahon, Psy.D.
President of Couples Therapy Inc.
One of 350 Gottman Certified Couples Therapist, Sex Therapist
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 taken even a single course in couples therapy. I look for certifications and specialized training before I hire, and a dedication to helping couples. Certifications mean proven skill. Angela is one of the best."
If Your Relationship is Thriving, Go to an Inexpensive Psycho-educational Retreat
We don't do generic, educationally -oriented group training for a crowd of couples. But our team does and they've great for happy couples or those in mild distress. Our intensive work is 'one couple at a time.' And we learn as much as we can about you before you come. Your time will never be wasted in our face-to-face work.
We want you to be fully informed about the vast number of option available to you in a retreat format. The reason is simple: We believe we offer the best Marriage Retreat available for moderately- to highly-distressed couples. These are designed to be impactful, turn-around retreats, not generic advice. Sign up for our Science of Love newsletter and get our six-paged Definitive Guide to Couples Retreats right away.
There are Cheaper Alternatives Out There
Our retreats held in Maryland with Angela Voegele are under (Virginia and Washington DC retreats are a bit more...). But this is not just a financial investment. We expect a lot from you. This includes the time and energy you'll devote to completing the online diagnostic evaluation we call: "The BIG BIG Book." We do our part, but you must also do yours to get the most out of this experience. If you aren't willing to put effort into this extensive assessment process, then we're not for you...
Who We Work With and
Who We Don't
These retreats, run by expert psychologists and couples counselors, target particular couples:
- Couples in moderate to severe levels of relationship distress.
- Couples who are actively willing to work on their marriage/relationship.
- Couples who have good reasons to stay married, but are ambivalent.
- Couples who are emotionally dysregulated (loud fighting, shouting, emotional outbursts, crying), or are struggling in the aftermath of an affair.
- Couples who are disconnected, distant, asexual, or cold.
- Those who are unhappily living together, or separated.
- Couples who have ongoing physical violence between them.
- Couples with one partner who is actively drug or alcohol addicted and in need of in-patient care.
- When an active and untreated mental illness is destroying your marriage.
- When an affair was only discovered within the last week. Fresh disclosures are too stressful for intensive work.
- When in an undisclosed affair (see us for Discernment Counseling, instead...)
- Couples where one partner refuses to complete the assessment ahead of time.
A Brief Look at This Intensive Couples Retreat in the Germantown, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC
- 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 a minimum of 3 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...) The Berkshires is a vacation destination, 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 are the closest airports to this Maryland Retreat?
You can fly into Ronald Reagan National Airport. We're also about a 45 minute drive from Washington, D.C.
Who can we talk to for more information?
You can , we will get back to you within one business day.
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.