There are many great reasons to travel: to see new places, to try different things, to learn about other cultures. What about to work on your relationship?
Linda Churchill has been a marriage and family therapist in Winnipeg for over two decades. She developed a unique and intensive two-day workshop called Deeper Connections, offered in three different locations: at Crescentwood Counselling in Osborne Village; at Calder House Bed & Breakfast near Steinbach; and, for the first time, in La Cruz Huanacaxtle, Mexico.
Churchill — the only therapist in Manitoba currently offering this kind of couples’ therapeutic retreat — came up with the idea after noticing some American counterparts were providing similar services. A change of pace and scenery can enhance the therapy process and relationship renewal, since couples are removed from usual settings, habits and routines. In addition, being away from the hubbub of the world, and in particular being close to nature, can be refreshing, restorative, and rejuvenating.
Churchill likens the journey to leading a couple out of a forest to an open clearing, giving them new clarity and insight, and helping them regain closeness. The two-day process involves seven hours of workshops on each day, and is especially useful because the concentrated period of time builds true momentum and jump-starts hope, while packing in a huge trajectory of learning.
At Calder House, the getaway includes Churchill’s therapeutic facilitation along with two-nights of accommodation in a private and secluded setting, spa services, and delicious meals and snacks from locally sourced foods. Couples enjoy the relaxing and comfortable environment and the chance to simply get away, while working on their relationship.
John and Diane from rural Manitoba have been together eight years, and were having problems "getting each other." They decided on a couples’ retreat as a positive approach to getting past roadblocks that had crept up. With help from Churchill, they were able to get to know each other in a new light, and discovered that they actually wanted the same things in life. They were able to develop new skills and communication tools, and today, chalk it up as an "amazing experience" and one of their "favourite memories as a couple."
To take the notion of a therapeutic getaway one step further, Churchill is offering couples’ retreats throughout the month of January in La Cruz Huanacaxtle. The coastal community is a 20-minute drive north of Puerto Vallarta, and has a fish market and marina, water activities, restaurants, night life and cultural events. Couples arrange their own travel and lodging, and schedule two days of workshop time with Churchill.
The Deeper Connections experience is designed for couples to experience on their own, and there is no group work involved. This way, each couple can focus on enriching their own relationship in a private environment, and learn to fall in love with each other all over again. With plenty of extra time for long walks on the beach.
RoseAnna Schick is an avid traveller who seeks inspiration wherever she goes. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
RoseAnna Schick is an avid traveller and music lover who seeks inspiration wherever she goes. Email her at email@example.com