couples-Le Sentier Tranquille ... a retreat centre in the Pyrenees
If you come here as a couple, you will have an opportunity which is very different from what is available in most relationships most of the time. It can seem like a holiday - the surroundings and the fact that your everyday needs are catered for. That can be a break, but it can also be a challenge. Hopefully you'll both be wanting it to make a difference.
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Couples therapeutic work at Le Sentier Tranquille is different from couples counselling in the normal way. For a start you are living here, albeit briefly. There may be another person here as a client-guest and there will be ourselves as your hosts. That is part of the process. The effect can be that you discover that discomfort, and perhaps distress, can be and sometimes have to be, a part of living, without defining your lives.
Another difference is that I can work with both partners together, or each on their own - whatever is agreed between us and offers a way to where you want to go. What there can never be is work which is not known about to both partners. I will never be a channel for passing information. I will offer confidentiality to each of you, but my commitment is to your relationship.
On your first full day here we will start with a session of about an hour, in which you can describe together what your world is like, what itís like coming here, what it means to you each to take this time out. Then we will work between us on what you would like to be different when you leave. At this point, if I think your expectations are too high and are going to get in the way of using your time here effectively, I will tell you. We will decide together what could be possible - this is also part of the process. We often find that it is not the answers but the questions themselves which are most therapeutic.
After a break I will have a short session with each of you, so that I can hear where you are in terms of the things most important in your life, what are your hopes and fears and wishes. I use these sessions to get a feel for you as individuals and the possible ways we can work which will be in tune with the people you each are.
Following lunch I will most likely give you a route for a walk (taking into account any health and capability issues) with suggestions for how to use it. When you return, we will have a session where we start to plan out your stay. Your days may have a kind of routine or we may find that spontaneity works best, but I will use my experience of working with the dynamics of relationships to find ways to help you listen to each other and to the resonance you can each find in the other.