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Generation after Generation,
Monday, February 19, 2018
Sunday, February 4, 2018
FamilyLife Blended is a new offering from the Family Life Ministry that also does the Weekend to Remember conferences around the country, with which you might be familiar if you've been at Believers any length of time.
FamilyLife Blended has a wealth of resources to share for our stepfamilies. Cathie and I have seen some of the material from the ministry and it looks wonderful.
is the Director of FamilyLife Blended®, a ministry of FamilyLife®, and is the author/coauthor of the books The Smart Stepfamily, The Smart Stepdad, The Smart Stepmom, Dating and the Single Parent, and The SmartStepfamily Marriage. Ron voices the FamilyLife Blended short radio feature and is one of the most widely read authors on stepfamily living in the country. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist who frequently appears in the national media, including FamilyLife Today® and Focus on the Family, and he conducts marriage and family seminars around the country. Ron and his wife, Nan, have been married since 1986 and have three boys.
If you have any questions, or want to know about other resources, please contact us...
Blessings, Rob & Cathie Searcy
Monday, January 8, 2018
Monday, December 25, 2017
|June 17, 2014 By Richard Asa, Special to Tribune Newspapers|
Couples can reap big benefits by attending a retreat — but first, they both need to agree on one
There are hundreds of options for couples retreats — and as many different approaches and . Some are based on reducing stress in beautiful natural surroundings, others are faith-based, still others focus on improving communication and intimacy, provide practical tools to apply in specific situations at home and teach techniques such as yoga, meditation and tantric rituals. Some are for married couples, others for those considering a permanent commitment.
It's very easy to find one.
It's very easy to find one.
It's harder to find the right one.
"Couple's retreats come in all different flavors," says Jon Caldwell, a psychiatrist with The Meadows treatment center in Wickenburg, Ariz. "Some are quite general in their approach, while others are specifically geared toward certain problems, processes and goals." The retreat leader or therapist, he says, can make or break the experience.
"Of course, the retreat leader's technical skills are important," Caldwell says, "but equally important is his or her perspectives and personality. It is wise to do your homework and find a retreat that is right for you."
Caldwell says retreats generally are focused on identifying and practicing practical solutions for greater communication, respect, trust and intimacy.
"They tend to be hands-on and solution-oriented," he adds.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Before finding a retreat, both partners have to agree on attending one, says Judi Cineas, a Palm Beach, Fla., therapist who often runs couples retreats. She says reluctance stems from discomfort with the unknown.
"Once they start to realize that it is about (helping) them, (skeptical partners) tend to start relaxing," she says. "Many individuals hesitate because they worry this puts them and their issues at the forefront, which adds to the pressure for things to change."
Sean Horan, assistant professor at Texas State University and a relational communications expert, says issues surrounding communication are the key reasons to seek help.
"The content of these (retreats) should focus on communication. Things like conflict, maintenance, affection, support, etc.," he says. "Your relationships are initiated, created, sustained and maintained by verbal and nonverbal messages; thus, (retreats) should focus on communication."
Prime candidates for a couples retreat? You might be surprised. Longtime marriage and family therapist Terri Orbuch, a research professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, says longtime couples who have gotten into a lifestyle groove can benefit big-time. They're the ones taking care of everything, from bills to kids — everything, that is, except their relationship.
"When the relationship gets put on the back burner, a couples retreat reminds us about the importance of our partner and relationship," says Orbuch, author of "Five Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great." "It teaches us again how to pay attention to our partner and our relationship. It is like a relationship tuneup; we all need a relationship tuneup now and then no matter how happy or we are in our relationships."
Orbuch encourages couples to consider retreats that focus on education rather than therapy and are designed to help them learn tools to enrich and strengthen their relationship. This gives them time together away from home in a nice setting, and joining other couples learning the same material, such as remembering how to reignite the excitement in their relationship.
Not everyone, of , goes to retreats to simply shore up a healthy relationship. In fact, many couples are desperate to keep their relationship intact.
A Boca Raton, Fla., couple on the verge of divorce after 16 years of marriage signed up for a retreat on the recommendation of Cineas. They did not want to be identified. Structure and specific exercises opened the door to what they were not seeing.
"Something as simple as creating a collage of our relationship to share how it started, where it is now and where we want it to be brought us so much closer," the wife says after attending Cineas' retreat. "We were looking at each other more the way we did at the start (of the marriage).
"A year later we still feel that it was a good decision. We understand each other and communicate much better. I really wish we had done something like this before we got married or earlier into our marriage because we would have saved ourselves many years of pain and turmoil."
The weekend included a focus on communication, mindfulness, active listening and mutual respect and compassion. It was on the high end of such getaways: $15,000 including accommodations in a hotel setting, which begs the question of cost.
A good couples retreat doesn't need to cost thousands of dollars. A recent weekend workshop conducted by Caldwell, for example, cost $300 per person and was offered to both couples and individuals. The setting was a rec room in the basement of a convent. Suitable, but hardly beautiful to the eye.
No one cared about amenities. As Caldwell says, it's more about the facilitator than the setting.
Cineas agrees with Caldwell that retreats need a
More tips from Cineas:
Friday, November 24, 2017
Monday, November 6, 2017
|By Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott, June 14, 2017|