Retrouvaille begins with a weekend experience in which couples are helped to re-establish communication and to gain new insights into themselves as individuals and as a couple. Weekends are typically held at either a local hotel or a retreat facility. This part of the program is presented by three couples and a priest or minister team. The presenting team has experienced disillusionment, pain, and conflict in their own lives and offer hope as they share their personal struggles of reconciliation and healing.
You will find courage and strength in the realization that you are not alone in your struggle. You will not be asked to share your problems with anyone else. However, you will be encouraged to put the past behind you and to look beyond the hurt and pain, in order to rediscover each other in a new and positive way. The Retrouvaille Weekend provides tools to help couples with communication, forgiveness, and trust. It teaches a dialogue process of meaningful communication.
The weekend is not a spiritual retreat, not a marriage encounter or marriage seminar. Although it does have characteristics of each of these, the weekend offers so much more. The team presents a technique of communication that enables you to take a good look at many areas of your relationship. The team does not provide marriage advice, but does provide practical tools and a living example of how using these tools will improve your marriage. They will share how they were able to benefit from these techniques themselves. After each presentation, you will have a chance for reflection and discussion in complete privacy with your spouse.
A series of follow-up sessions is the next important phase of the Retrouvaille healing process. The hurt and pain of a struggling marriage cannot be healed in a single weekend experience.
The Post Sessions include a series of 2-hour talks by additional couples that expand on the weekend concepts. Each Retrouvaille community establishes the Post schedule, over either a 6 or 12-week period. Most couples, without a doubt, find this to be one of the most productive components of the program and where the most growth in the marriage occurs.
The weekend is not a ‘miracle cure'; therefore, the post-weekend sessions have been designed to continue the marriage renewal begun on the weekend. The post-weekend phase is as crucial, maybe more critical, to the healing of marriage problems. During the post-weekend sessions, the technique learned on the weekend is further developed and is used to explore additional areas of the marriage relationship.
The final phase is a monthly small-group support meeting, called CORE (Continuing Our Retrouvaille Experience). It allows for a casual and supportive interaction with other couples who have attended the Retrouvaille program. This monthly meeting continues to reinforce the communication tools learned on the weekend and it is a positive and welcoming space that allows couples to form strong and lasting bonds as they continue to heal their marriages.
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