Couples Retreats

We replay our emotional patterns over and over again. How do we develop a sense of humor about them? What are the ways that we’re difficult to be with? It’s almost a miracle that love is able to burst through these patterns. Negative self-talk: we circulate there. How do we take perspective on our drama? How can we love in spite of the drama? To the degree that we identify with those patterns, we miss the mark of love. We tell ourselves stories that either “Nobody loves me” or “You’re not worthy of my love

Can we change our patterns in intimacy?

Why purposeless men blame women.

Why heart-guarded women create drama with men.

As you become more sensitive, do you have to suffer more?

Why life’s problems seem endless.

Underneath everything, who are we, really?

Marriage retreats give couples the chance to take a break from the mayhem ups and downs of everyday life. Removed from the stresses of children, careers, and housework, couples get the opportunity to work on themselves. At some marriage counseling retreats, couples get to spend time in individualized couples therapy as well as group therapy. At other marriage retreats, however, therapy may not be such a prominent part of the program, and instead, couples will get to engage in exercises and activities that help them strengthen their marital bonds. Unless conditions are set up for therapy sessions beforehand, my usual couples retreats focus more on the couples themselves, and group work amidst attending couples.

These retreats can be useful for couples in all stages of marriage. While some couples wait until they are on the brink of divorce to attend a retreat, others sign up for a retreat to prepare for marriage. Still, others start to look for retreats when they first feel that their relationships are getting a little rocky. Either way, taking the time to focus on repairing and recharging the partnership affords the pair the best chance for overcoming negative pattern dynamics and establishing empowering alternatives.

Marriage retreats give couples the chance to take a break from the mayhem ups and downs of everyday life. Removed from the stresses of children, careers, and housework, couples get the opportunity to work on themselves. At some marriage counseling retreats, couples get to spend time in individualized couples therapy as well as group therapy. At other marriage retreats, however, therapy may not be such a prominent part of the program, and instead, couples will get to engage in exercises and activities that help them strengthen their marital bonds. Unless conditions are set up for therapy sessions beforehand, my usual couples retreats focus more on the couples themselves, and group work amidst attending couples.

These retreats can be useful for couples in all stages of marriage. While some couples wait until they are on the brink of divorce to attend a retreat, others sign up for a retreat to prepare for marriage. Still, others start to look for retreats when they first feel that their relationships are getting a little rocky. Either way, taking the time to focus on repairing and recharging the partnership affords the pair the best chance for overcoming negative pattern dynamics and establishing empowering alternatives.

My husband and I have been working with Bert for six months now. When we came to see him initially, we were really close to giving up. We had seen other counselors and coaches both as a couple and separately, but it hadn’t make any substantial lasting changes in our relationship. After a few sessions with Bert, I knew that this was the right person for us to work with; he had earned our trust, and I knew he would offer us the right mixture of challenge and encouragement. What ultimately shifted our relationship — our way of being with each other — was the experience of being with Bert; he constantly inspires and challenges us to live as our best selves, modeling how we might grow into something new, while helping to illuminate the inner dialogue or the behavior that could keep us stuck where we are. Bert has helped to map out the way that adults develop throughout their lives, and so it’s reassuring to hear him say we’re making progress, because he knows what progress really is: not just a horizontal translation into better skills and techniques, but also vertical growth into different ways of experiencing, being, and knowing. When we started, we were drowning in a sea of issues and disagreements; it’s clear now that we are on a learning journey together, and I feel so honored to have Bert on the journey with us, acting as our coach, mentor, and teacher.”

Marcy Deluce, San Francisco, CA

Bert has helped my senior management team and me personally. He aided each of our executives to become more aware of our strengths and weaknesses, and how to better play to each other’s strengths. He enabled us to see different options to resolve conflicts that we alone could not see. He assisted me personally by encouraging me to grow into the person he believed I could become. His wisdom has helped me see life another way; a fundamentally more beneficial way.

Reggie Dupre, CEO, Dupre Logistics, LLC., Lafayette, LA

For the years that Bert has served as faculty in our Notre Dame Integral Executive Education MBA program, he has offered powerful learning regarding the complexity of challenges that accompany real change. His areas of expertise involve his understanding of the hidden dimensions of the growth and development process, and how to bring communication skills, conflict management and taking broader perspectives to bear on otherwise intractable problems. Bert is congenial and well liked by the students and faculty, and his presence as a facilitator is complemented by the depth of his understanding of the nuances and sophistication of the Integral model. He is indeed a world-class expert in these regards, and our program has been fortunate to continue to learn from his many gifts.

Leo Burke, Program Director, Notre Dame

Bert is not only a world-class professional trainer, but he does so with a confidence that is complemented by highly attuned interpersonal sensitivity and empathic attunement. People are drawn to Bert as a person, enjoying his openness, authenticity and warmth. I would be delighted to furnish any further information, either written or via telephone, that might assist you in your decision-making relative to Dr. Parlee.

Rick Fort, President, ESM

As a large enterprise level organization moving towards increased global complexity, we needed larger, more empowering frameworks within which to manage our many complications and contradictions. Bert introduced us to Polarity Management and related Integral mental models, allowing us to have next level conversations with new stage concepts. Over the next few years with Bert serving as coach, facilitator, coach and consultant, our leadership team was much better prepared to negotiate the shift from a print to a digital foundation.

Vince O’Brien, President, ESM

In 2008 I was fortunate enough to participate in one of Integral Institute’s Leadership Seminars that was facilitated by Bert Parlee and other world-class integrally informed thinkers. I was so inspired by Bert’s leadership skills and presentation style that I invited him to participate in a transformative initiative being implemented by the Government of British Columbia’s Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance. By means of executive coaching and staff training seminars, Bert pla…

Wayne Reid, Manager: Transformation and Implementation, Government of British Columbia, Provincial Services

Our “next generation” management team training program has been a much smoother process due to Bert Parlee’s expert leadership. There is no doubt in the owners’ mind that Bert has been successful in ways that went beyond the current owners’ thinking and training methods for their next generation team. We are delighted that things are working much better than expected due to Bert’s leadership.

Clayton Smith, CEO, Smith Management Inc., Dallas