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About the Gottman Private Couples' Retreats on Orcas Island

Turtleback Mountain Hills

A Private Couples' Retreat with John and Julie Gottman

Introduction | Who Should Attend | What You Will Learn

The skills you will learn come from John's internationally recognized University of Washington "Love Lab" research and from Julie's 35 years of clinical work. John's award-winning science of marriage has been cited in countless newspapers, magazines, and journals as well as in Malcolm Gladwell's book, Blink. John has also appeared on many TV shows, including Oprah, 20/20 and others, and John and Julie's numerous books on couples relationships have included the New York Times bestseller, 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work.

In response to the needs of couples 14 years ago, we created couples workshops that integrated John's scientific findings with storytelling, role-playing, teaching and exercises to help sustain couples' relationships. We've held these workshops for nearly 15,000 couples who have come from all over the world to enhance their relationships.

But repeatedly we've been asked, "how about offering something much smaller and more private?"

For the first time, we invite you to a very special 2-day private retreat in our home on lovely Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands in Washington. There will be around 10-12 couples at these exclusive retreats which will allow for plenty of individualized, special attention from us. Seated before a stone fireplace and next to the serene sea of Puget Sound, you'll learn tried-and-true ways to strengthen your friendship, deepen your understanding of one another, and spice up your intimacy. You'll learn the nuts-and-bolts of conflict management so you can build solid bridges between you.

You'll gain the skills to transform inevitable relationship conflicts into constructive problem solving and warmer understanding that can draw you closer to one another. And you'll unearth the values and life purpose you share. You'll hear lectures, but funny ones. You'll do relationship exercises, but only with your partner. And you'll receive individual and personal attention from us.

Who Should Attend

Marriage research shows that, on average, couples wait six years from the early signs of distress before they seek help. If your relationship is troubled, this weekend retreat will provide you with a road map for repair. If your relationship is already strong, this retreat will give you insights and tools to make it great.

What You Will Learn

During the retreat, you will learn how to:

  • Deepen respect, affection and closeness to one another
  • Build a greater understanding of each other's inner landscape
  • Repair past hurts
  • Keep conflict discussions calm and constructive
  • Break through and convert gridlocked conflict into compassionate dialogue
  • Strengthen and sustain the gains in your relationship

If you wish to extend your 2-day retreat into a longer vacation, our event coordinator can help you to make your romantic dream vacation come true. Featured in many travel magazines around the world, Orcas Island is a legendary retreat destination that offers a wealth of activities, including kayaking, fishing, sailing, whale and eagle watching, golfing, bicycling, swimming, and hiking. Orcas has thousands of acres of deep green forests, mountain lakes, rolling pasturelands, and dramatic shorelines.

Restaurants offer the finest of fresh, organic Northwest cuisine, and fascinating arts and crafts galleries and boutiques abound. In the village of Eastsound, there is also a cinema, the Orcas Arts Center that offers world class theatre and music, a fully-equipped indoor athletic facility and pool, and a fully-equipped medical clinic. Dotting the island are delightful B & B's that will shuttle you to our door, or you can rent your own car, bicycle, or scooter for maximum freedom. Our coordinator will help you personalize and plan the best retreat for you.

So join us, for a romantic retreat full of new learning, individualized attention, quiet star-filled nights, and sunsets that can fill your dreams for years to come.