Improving your relationship is one of the best things you can do for your health and happiness! Getting away from home to the privacy of a retreat setting where the stresses of daily life and the pressures of time fall away is one of the best ways to nurture and tend your relationship. My private office overlooking Lake Junaluska near Asheville, NC provides just that kind of setting.

Each retreat is personalized to meet your specific needs. Utilizing the most researched and effective approach to helping couples, you will learn to break the grip of negative cycles of communication and build a more intimate connection with your partner. In just a few days you can complete 4-6 months worth of traditional weekly therapy.


My name is Ned Martin and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor. I specialize in counseling couples, and I am a Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist for couples. I love providing therapy retreats because the spaciousness of the retreat allows couples to connect more deeply with one another and accomplish the emotional tasks necessary for healing and recovery to take root.

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                     The Sunrise from my office

                     The Sunrise from my office

an emotionally focused therapy retreat

Maybe you are stuck in your current therapy or looking to get a jump-start on longstanding difficulties.  Maybe the condensed nature of a 2 or 3 day intensive just appeals to you, or maybe weekly appointments don't fit well into your busy family and work schedules. Maybe you just want to get away from the busy demands of daily life in order to attend deeply to your partner's needs and your own. If so, an emotionally focused therapy retreat may be a great option to encourage the healing of your relationship. 

Intensive therapy retreats give couples the opportunity to do 4-6 months worth of therapy in a two to three day period at beautiful Lake Junaluska in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  Intensives get to the heart of the matter quickly and assist couples in addressing long standing issues at depth. 


What is Included?

  • Phone/internet assessment and consultation prior to your intensive.
  • Assessment and educational materials.
  • Up to 18 hours of Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples during the intensive.
  • Written plans for continuing progress after the intensive.
  • One hour follow-up after the intensive.

Who Can Benefit?  Any Couples who...

  • Are eager to make rapid progress in healing their relationship.
  • Prefer a focused and condensed approach to issues.
  • Are in need of immediate and intense intervention for issues that demand attention now.
  • Are referred by their therapist in order to jump start therapy or accelerate treatment.
  • Prefer to work away from home in a beautiful retreat setting.
  • Have schedules that are not conducive to regular weekly sessions.


What to expect?

The process begins with a phone assessment and a significant questionnaire for both you and your partner to complete prior to your intensive. This helps me to begin the process of assessment and give you a chance to get to know me a little more before you come.

When you arrive, our time will be divided into 90-120 minute sections. Due to the intensity of the work, frequent breaks will be available.

To begin, we will all meet together for approximately an hour and then I will meet with each partner individually for an hour each. Following the individual sessions I will give you some preliminary feedback and then we will take a break.

Moving through the rest of the first day, we will focus on clarifying your understanding of the negative cycles in your relationship, deepening your awareness of basic needs inherent in all relationships, and assisting you in experiencing what it is like to begin speaking with your partner in new and healing ways, particularly attuning to the role of primary emotions within the relationship.

Days two and three include (depending on your choice of length) deepening the learning from day one, developing a fuller understanding of the ways in which emotion is driving the negative cycles between you and learning how to engage with and share your primary emotions to create new bonding experiences with your partner. Learning to identify and express your deepest and most urgent needs to your partner, and learning to respond to your partner's needs with warmth and generosity.

Depending on the nature of your distress and the progress we make in our work, we may be able to move into discussions of sexuality and ongoing relationship rituals which can nurture your bond moving forward. Of course, these issues may be a part of earlier conversations as well.

Upon completion of the intensive, you will receive an individualized plan for how to continue improving your relationship. In cases where ongoing therapy is still needed, I will arrange for a referral to a qualified therapist near your hometown or set up follow up appointments with me.

Research in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples shows that couples continue to improve following the completion of treatment.  This makes retreat intensives ideal for this approach, as you will likely notice your relationship just gets better and better following the intensive.


Likely Benefits

  • Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples is able to assist over 70% of couples to achieve the outcomes they are longing for and over 90% of couples report significant improvement in their relationship.
  • Couples who are treated using Emotionally Focused Therapy report continuing getting better after treatment is completed.  At three month follow-ups with couples who have completed treatment, they report that their relationship is better than it was at their last meeting.
  • Intensive treatment allows for the possibility of faster results due to the focused and compressed nature of the work.
  • Leave your intensive with an individualized road map for how to continue improving your relationship.


Possible Draw Backs

  • As with any therapy, there is the possibility, even the likelihood that you and your partner will experience some difficult emotions including but not limited to sadness, frustration, anger, grief, fear, anxiety, despair. Emotionally Focused Therapy encourages couples to experience these feelings and find meaningful ways of sharing them with one another.
  • Some injuries to the relationship need time and ongoing attention to fully heal and rebuild trust, time that is not possible to create in one intensive. When needed, appropriate referrals will be made for ongoing support and growth.
  • While treatment is designed to assist you in strengthening your relationship, the nature of intensive treatment is that it can accelerate and intensify the experience of distress in the relationship including decisions by either partner to leave the relationship--which can occur in any therapy for couples.


Retreats are not for couples with these issues

  • Ongoing and untreated substance abuse/dependency.
  • Untreated severe and persistent mental illness (schizophrenia, recurrent psychotic depression, bipolar disorder).
  • Ongoing, undisclosed affairs.
  • Violence, threats of violence or fears that violence may occur.



Fees for intensive treatment are not billable through insurance and do not include housing or meals. Snacks and drinks will be available throughout the intensive and recommendations for food and entertainment are also available.

  • 2 Days: $2200
  • 2 1/2 Days: $2750
  • 3 Days: $3300

Fees do not include accommodations or meals. A $500 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of your reservation and the balance is due one week before your retreat. 

            Lakeside walkway in front of my office

            Lakeside walkway in front of my office

Places to stay

My Office is located at beautiful Lake Junaluska, NC and is only a 2 minute walk from The Terrace Hotel.  Other local resources include:

Click Here for directions



Many couples enjoy staying in the area for a few additional days in order to take in the wonderful culture, outdoor activities and events of the Asheville region.  Just click on the options below to view a little of what our region has to offer.