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Marriage Retreat


    For over 25 years, John Grey, Ph.D. has helped couples to succeed in creating happy, healthy and rewarding relationships. He offers a uniquely powerful marriage retreat in Sonoma County, California.

    The marriage retreat offers a fast track to positive change — an intensive, supportive place to achieve profound results.

    In a concentrated program, your marriage will be transformed. And you will take home new tools to keep your marriage growing in a positive direction.

"I don’t know how to begin to thank you for all you did for my partner
and me, and our relationship..." — from past clients
  (read more)

    Transforming Your Marriage

    Our marriage retreat is unique in how it creates deep, personally meaningful change. It isn't a workshop. It isn't a one-size-fits-all program. It isn't based on religion.

    Your marriage retreat will be tailored to meet your specific goals, needs and circumstances. The tools you will gain, and the work you will accomplish, is personalized for you in a way that supports you to achieve your goals.

    Your marriage retreat is presented by John Grey, Ph.D. John got his Doctorate in Psychology from Stanford University, one of the top psychology departments in the nation. In working with you, John masterfully draws from a broad range of state-of-the-art strategies and tools to help you to achieve the positive change you want.

    Printable Version of Retreat Info
  Info on Costs, Location, Schedule
Contact Us
Click the button above to
inquire or ask questions
about a couples retreat

    After attending a marriage retreat with John, couples report that they return home with renewed spirits, having vital new tools and strategies to keep building on positive changes they make. Their relationships grow in visible ways: marriages saved, trust built, commitments increased.

    The marriage retreat is offered througout the year in the charming small town of Sebastopol, in rural Sonoma County, California near the Pacific ocean, redwood forests, and wine country. Photos on this page show some of the natural beauty of our area. Located about an hour north of San Francisco, the retreat takes place in a warm, comfortable, peaceful and healing environment.

The Marriage Retreat + Your Coach
A Powerful Combination for Change

    John offers marriage retreats that are two to four days in length. If it works for you, a three day length is highly recommended. Most couples have said they got more in a few days than in months or even years of regular counseling! What makes this couples retreat so unique and powerful?


The Dedicated Timespan — Time spent away from daily stress, to focus on you and your marriage. The committed timespan allows clarity and change to emerge more strongly and deeply than in week-to-week counseling sessions. This intensive approach supports you to get rapid and profound results. Most retreats are three days long. Lengths of two to four days are available.


Get Tools, Not Just Talk — Couples often report how traditional talk therapy did not help. At the retreat they realize they didn't need that type of talk — they needed new tools. Weekly sessions typically overlook or cannot provide these. But at the retreat, the emphasis is to learn a powerful assortment of tools to make positive changes. You will get results-oriented, versatile and highly effective coaching. And you will take home new tools that will keep you growing on a positive track.


A Different Approach — Having trained hundreds of therapists in advanced communication tools, John knows how normal therapy is often ineffective in helping couples. The retreat offers you a major qualitative difference in ways to resolve issues in a productive way. The range and effectiveness of the tools you will get is vastly broader than the standard counseling fare.


Practical Results, Not Just Theory — Before becoming a relationship coach, John was a research psychologist at Stanford University. He knows the difference between practical results vs. someone's personal theory. What you get is consistent with current scientific findings in psychology and neurobiology. What you learn has been informed by contemporary research in marriage satisfaction and studies of the factors underlying relationship deterioration.


A Highly Effective Format — Choose from two powerful formats for your retreat. One is the Private Retreat for one couple. This offers a rare level of personal coaching and a profound depth of impact to make meaningful changes in a relationship. It can be set up on relatively short notice to meet your scheduling needs. The other retreat format is the Shared Group Retreat.


    John works in a highly supportive way, respecting and responding to your individual needs. This enables you to make rapid progress in achieving your goals.

    Standardized programs and typical one-size-fits-all group retreats are not able respond to the different personality styles of each individual participant.

    But in reality, each of us is different, so each couple is different. Our retreat is customized to match your needs and your particular styles — so you can get deep, personally meaningful help.


    Over a 25-year span of helping couples, John has mastered a broad repertoire of coaching and counseling techniques, which allows him to flexibly address your specific wants and needs. He has learned how to understand and effectively work with very different personality types — and to appreciate how each couple is a unique combination of two personal styles.

    John has trained therapists in effective communication and change techniques that address the needs of each individual, including NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP). As a workshop leader, he has presented relationship skills programs at the University of California, Stanford University, Scripps Medical Center and the Esalen Institute in Big Sur.


    Being a former Stanford research psychologist, he follows current studies on relationship satisfaction and integrates this into his work with couples.

    He also follows the latest research in brain science, neurobiology, and attachment styles — fields that help us better understand underlying factors in relationship dynamics and what leads to success or failure.

    And, he has authored several relationship books, including an interactive self-help system. Please explore these materials on this website.


    In this retreat, you know that you are getting effective coaching. John has a reputation for his versatility, skill and effectiveness. The retreats are even attended by psychologists and other helping professionals, who come for help in their personal relationships.

    The retreat format, combined with John's broad experience and background, gives you a uniquely powerful opportunity to make a fundamental breakthrough in your relationship.


    What Kinds of Couples Come to a Retreat?

    The retreat benefits couples in all stages of relating — unmarried or married. Whether together for a couple of years or several decades, most couples arrive in some form of distress. The retreat helps renew a positive connection, with deeper understanding and acceptance of each other.

    Many couples come when their relationship is severely troubled, to get tools to resolve deep problems and turn things around. Couples report how this work is much more effective than any traditional counseling they tried.

    Get More Details and Information

    Find out costs, location, scheduling, what a retreat is like, how it is different from traditional counseling, and what results you can get:
   Costs, Location and Schedule
   What results can you get?
   What's a retreat like?
   How's this different than traditional counseling?
   Are certain beliefs involved?
    Get more information about our retreats by clicking the frequently asked questions in the yellow box to the right.

Contact Us

    We would be happy to answer any questions you have about our retreats. Feel free to contact us by filling out a form on our site or calling us. Click the button above.

  Costs, Location and Schedule  
  Two types of retreats, pricing and
our retreat calendar... (read more)
  What results can you get?  
  The retreat is aligned to your
personal goals... (read more)
  What's a retreat like?  
  It's about getting tools to make
positive changes... (read more)
  How's this different than
traditional counseling?
  "What you get in a retreat is markedly different..." (read more)  
  Are certain beliefs involved? 
  Is this retreat based on religious
beliefs? Not at all... (read more)
  Reviews by experts...  
  "Powerful tools to expand joy
and happiness..." (read more)
  Feedback from clients...  
  "You saved our relationship. We
were going down..." (read more)

About Your Coach


    John Grey, Ph.D. is a relationship coach, workshop leader, and author. He received a Doctorate in Psychology in 1975 from Stanford University, where he taught psychology and codirected a National Science Foundation sponsored research center. His research papers in psychobiology have been published in major scientific and professional journals, and are widely quoted in college textbooks. He has extensive training in cognitive and behavioral psychology, aimed at short term, goal-directed coaching to achieve specific practical results. For over a decade, he studied the psychology of personality structure with Helen Palmer (author of The Enneagram in Love and Work), focusing on how to resolve relationship distress caused by differences in personality styles. John has specialized training in somatic psychology, trauma resolution, and Somatic Experiencing, the work of Peter Levine (author of Waking the Tiger). Using training in brain science and attachment theory, John offers tools to help adults overcome reactive patterns and form a secure, happy, intimate bond. He has extensive training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), the work of Sue Johnson (author of Hold Me Tight). He also has been trained in a Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT), the work of Stan Tatkin (author of Wired for Love). John is a Core Faculty member of the PACT Institute, training couples therapists to utilize this state-of-the-art approach.

    John has been in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1980. Over the past three decades, he has also presented workshops in communication techniques and relationship skills at places like the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, the University of California Berkeley, Stanford University, the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, and at venues throughout the Bay Area. He has given numerous professional training programs for counselors, therapists, coaches, and other helping professionals on how to effectively help clients improve their relationships and achieve personal growth. He was on Dr. John Gray's (author of the bestselling Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus) referral list of couples counselors, and he worked with John Grinder, teacher of Tony Robbins and the developer of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). Additionally, John has authored multiple relationship self-help books and created an interactive relationship self-help system, which can be explored on this website. His latest book, Five Minute Relationship Repair: How to Quickly Heal Upsets, Deepen Intimacy, and Use Differences to Strengthen Love, will be released by New World Libraray in January, 2015.

    Read more details about John's background...

Letter from Past Clients


     Dear John,

     I don’t know how to begin to thank you for all you did for my partner and me, and our relationship. We came to you seeking help and understanding, and what we left with was far beyond our highest expectations. You possess exceptionally unique skills for moving people through difficult and sensitive topics and situations with both competence and empathy, yet with strength and conviction. Your passion and love for your work emanates through you.

    The amount of work and preparation you did on all sorts of levels was apparent. I felt very confident that we were working with a consummate professional in the area of relationships and personal growth, development, and healing.

    I have been doing a lot of reflecting and soul-searching since spending those precious three days with you. I believe the greatest gift I took away from it was a personal and spiritual wakeup call. I was awakened to see who I am and what I need to do to grow individually and through my relationship. I was awakened to who my partner is and his needs. I'm able to appreciate and listen to him in an entirely different ways. I now have new tools for dealing with situations as they arise. I truly believe that we’re becoming soulmates as a result of our time and experience with you.

    Words cannot express my thanks and gratitude.

    Diane R. Ludgate, Ph.D. / Psychologist and Corporate Trainer


Feedback from More Couples

    "You saved our relationship. We really couldn't have done it without you. We were going down into a deep hole. We were stuck and could not have come through it without your help. As far as we are concerned, you saved the relationship. So much so, that we've been giving your book as wedding presents. And if we could afford it, we would give your retreat to all couples we love. Your work is invaluable."
O and S, Mediator / Lawyer

    "We were truely at a crossroad in our marriage. You gave us the tools we needed to communicate effectively, to have an understanding and appreciation for each others thoughts, personalities and needs. Through using these tools we have been able to heal old wounds and begin laying the foundation for a new, strong and healthy marriage. The knowledge you gave us is beyond words. Not only have we begun to understand our individual underlying fears and desires (and how to communicate them with each other), we are very excited to start applying this information to the way in which we communicate with and nurture our children."
— B and A, Executive / Sales Rep


    "Your retreat greatly improved our marriage. We were anxious when we got there. But we quickly became comfortable in your presence. You showed us how to resolve issues which had been threatening our stability as a couple. You taught us tools we continue to use over the year since our retreat with you. This has helped us increase happiness, and kept us from falling back into old traps. We are very grateful."
A and C, Construction Engineer / Educator

    "Thank you so much for giving us so many tools to improve our relationship. When we came to you we were in a stalemate. It seemed that there was no way to communicate. We got preoccupied by being busy and we didn't even make time to try anymore. After the weekend with you, we did not only learn to open up communication again. We found ourselves sharing a whole new honeymoon all over again!"
J and V, Medical Administrator / Doctor

    "Our retreat was utterly extraordinary, simply magnificent. John is a superbly skilled, wise, authentic, supportive guide. His program is magnificently suited to genuine transformation. The shifts we experienced, the understanding that emerged, and the capacities that we steadily and rapidly built, all went far beyond our wildest expectations of what could happen between two severely wounded, alienated people in two days. What did happen was an undeniable breakthrough. It was facilitated by John's incomparable presence, knowledge, ability to tune in to each of us and support us to bring forward our best. The intensive format worked amazingly well at safely revealing and healing toxic patterns. The tools we were given are priceless, elegant, simple, and they really work. The schedule, the homework, the containment, the safety, and the setting were all so supportive each step along the way. Our hearts are again open to each other; it feels like a miracle, but it's very grounded and real. I feel as if I've found my dearest friend again, still alive and breathing, and still in love with me, thank God. Moreover, I also regained access to my own sense of wholeness. I have opened up in ways I've been yearning for. This retreat has been a total blessing on every level. Thank you."
D and T, Therapist / Coach


    "We did not know what to expect at your retreat, whether it would be ineffective like counseling had been, or overbearing like on TV talk shows. What we found was compassionate, authentic and supportive, a coach that could mentor us in new tools and show us ways out of the box we were stuck in. It was like a visit with the wise friend we always wish we had, who could help us through our rough spots back to the love we originally shared."
D and M, Executive / Nurse

    "We were stuck in a place where we fought over stupid things. I felt so resentful that intimacy had long ago stopped. We could be civil, but we felt the happiness we used to have was lost. Your retreat helped us move through some big blocks, understand new things, and heal issues we couldn't talk about. I discovered things about him I didn't know even after a decade of marriage! Deep, wonderful things. It's like I found the great guy I originally met, only more so."
L and R, Mother / Hall of Fame Athlete

    "I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the great help you offered us. We felt like we were on a real honeymoon, after we left our retreat with you. And we feel still blissfuly happy, being able to connect in different ways, with still many things to explore. Somehow I still feel as if a miracle had happened in a big way with you as a wonderful and dedicated guide. Once again I want to express my deep gratitude for your fantastic help! Amazing things you taught us, and so many helpful tools. We are in an unbelievable different mood. No longer bickering or fighting! Instead we experience enjoyment, happiness and thankfulness for the deep connection and love we found again."
H and C, Director / Musician

    "The retreat opened doors for us to renew the spark. We had grown complacent. We are now growing more happy and passionate with each day. The same outside stresses are still there in our lives, children and work. But the tools you gave us help us to check in with each other on a daily basis, in ways that open our hearts to each other and refresh our love for each other. Thank you so much for this gift!"
J and R, Architect / Consultant

    "We greatly appreciate all your work with us in our retreat with you. We both learned a great deal. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted now that I don't have a secret sadness/loneliness. I also now know that my partner really cares. You have a great gift - thank you for all your work with us. You helped us to really understand ourselves and each other - and to put value in our connection and relationship. "
G and L, Entrepeneur / Mother

    "The retreat was a great two days, with excellent organization and materials. The weekend is a turning point in our relationship. It will be remembered as the place we got the tools to move into a loving and nurturing relationship. And given where we were when we got there, I'd say this... Even if a partner thinks they might not want to go to a couples retreat, how could you possibly go wrong in going?"
J and K, Sales / Real Estate

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Frequently Asked Questions + More Information
   Costs, Location and Schedule
   What results can you get?
   What's a retreat like?
   How's this different than traditional counseling?
   Are certain beliefs involved?
   Reviews by experts...
   Feedback from clients...
   Map Directions & Places to Stay
Contact Us
Click the button above to to discuss a marriage retreat.
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