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JiL Relationship Retreats

Join Jim Marshall at his Upcoming Retreats--at your choice of world-class venues!

NOTE: Thank you for your inquiry. While we are not currently hosting retreats, we welcome your organization to host us. Please email us: Info@JourneyintoLove.com.

Now, please read on to learn more...

Is your marriage ready for something refreshing...an entirely different relationship enrichment experience that exceeds standard books and seminars--at  an extraordinary venue in Northern Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI or the Carribean?

"Less can be Much More: A message from Jim for those exploring the best way to enrich their relationships...
As a veteran relationship therapist, I am the first to recognize that big single day marriage seminars can, if led by trustworthy marriage educators, provide great benefit to couples. I just did led one such retreat by request of the Walloon Lake Community Church and 80 or so couples who attended reported that it was enjoyable and truly beneficial. I've also referred many couples to such large seminar-style events over the years. They represent a viable low cost, low time commitment way to improve your marriage. But they can also feel too time-compressed, abit shallow and sometimes feel like listening to an author narrate an audio book--heavy on lecture, light on personal heart-to-heart interaction.

I'm Jim Marshall, M.A., Director of MasterCare Institute and author of Journey into Love (JIL), the digital experience, and your personal guide on the Journey Retreat. I'm grateful you've chosen to learn about the Journey. Let me tell you more about what you can expect.
(Read on or feel free to skip to the bottom of this page to see the Retreat Program and Schedule.)

NEW! Announcement: MasterCare is now also in Ann Arbor (MI) in addition to Petoskey, so you can host retreats in southern Michigan too. AND, we now offer an exciting new JIL option for your group to host: The CARRIBEAN JOURNEY INTO LOVE RETREAT EXPERIENCE. We are delighted to announce that we have partnered with Parrot Travel to design an affordable yet extraordinary Oceanside Journey experience. With a near perfect 100& satisfaction rating from our JIL alumni couples we're ready to build on our JIL success to creat this tremendous new event, so with your feedback we will begin selecting dates for choice venues in the Carribean.

The Carribean Journey into Love is limited to 12 couples to assure comfort level as a group and to preserve JIL's highly personable and interactive quality heralded by our alumni--the great distinction of Jim' s style as therapist/retreat leader. The retreat will offer an ideal blend: brief yet powerful daily relationship learning sessions that will prepare you as partners to connect optimally as you ease into the day with generous free time to enjoy tropical resort R&R, entertainment, dining and while you venture out to explore some of the world's most beautiful nature environments.

And be assured, Jim and his wife Linda have no interest in huge, noisy, crowded vacation venues--he is an old world-traveling backpacker happily married for over 30 years to a gal who loves to hike but insists on great amenities where ever they stay--so...) Parrot Travel is helping us select the most authentic low-key yet world-class carribean destinations. And since
being stuck in a classroom all day is the last way you want to use your precious vacation time, the Journey into Love retreat will be served to you in brief but potent daily sessions followed by "to-go"  Equipping Experiences--fun yet meaningful, even transforming couples exercises you can do on your own while you're together enjoying the resort or as you adventure beyond it!

Do you like the sound of the Carribean Journey into Love Retreat Experience? We hope so and want to hear from you. We welcome your special requests and creative ideas to help us customize this retreat to fit your unique needs as a couple. So please email us: Carribean@JourneyIntoLove.com.

Now it's time to read on!
There's so much more to learn about what makes Journey into Love
an exceptional experience for your relationship, whether in Petoskey or the Carribean...

Journey into Love is designed to be a very different experience
it is a genuine retreat led by an expert guide: no crowd, more time to join as a couple in a rich experience that goes deeper. But don’t worry, men, this can actually be fun with the right guy helping out!  I promise we won't all end up in a circle singing "Cum by Ah!" I have carefully designed the Journey Retreat to be powerful yet comfortable, and to create lasting change in your life together. The small retreat size (limited to 15 couples) means you'll have plenty of direct involvement with me as your retreat leader, and help that is tailored to what your relationship needs most. While I practice and teach from a Christian perspective, people of all faith orientations state feeling at ease and at home at my retreats and in my clinical practice.

Retreat Location Matters!
  And the Journey into Love retreat happens in an incomparably beautiful setting: Northern Michigan’s “Gold Coast” in Petoskey, Michigan—a resort destination that families from around the country have chosen to “summer in” for over 150. years Our Up North area  offers fresh air, miles of unspoiled Lake Michigan waterfront and a trio of incredible small towns on the coast filled with great shops and local restaurants to enjoy...

The Right Retreat Approach...
Less really can be more! As a clinical psychotherapist, speaker and educator on marriage, stress, healing, and spiritual growth for 25 years, I know that adults and partners don’t learn or grow best by being lectured at for 8 hours a day—so I have created a lively, interactive retreat experience in which there is plenty of time to travel deep into subjects as a group, yet also time for you as a couple to get away and reflect together on what you’ve learned.

And time for some great casual dates exploring this incredible area! Rest assured, you won’t be put on the spot in our JIL sessions to “spill it”. As the retreat leader I make sure that both the men and women feel fully comfortable in all our group discussions.


What will you go home with?
First, let’s be frank: that partly depends on both of you. I am committed to providing an exceptional opportunity for you to gain much for you relationship. But of course, it is up to you to apply what I offer you. Still, it is okay if you come with mixed feelings about how invested you want to be; I can help encourage and motivate you to invest at the next level in your marriage. You should expect that of me! Just remember, ultimately you shape your future.

More than Quick-Fix Solutions... It makes no sense for you to invest your time or finances to gain information you can glean from the internet for free. And lecture-format seminars don’t provide you with the opportunity to really talk and explore together. It can be a bit like listening to an audio book (That’s a good thing if your spouse won’t read the book but will come to a seminar!) Yet, the small retreat experience creates a rare opportunity for your relationship...
While it is less profitable for me to conduct Journey Into Love than large seminars, you will likely find that you and your partner experience more enjoyable, meaningful discussions during the retreat than you may have had for a very long time—or ever. And I will equip you with the tools to continue connecting this way at home. 
You will have the chance to carry away a shared vision and a realistic plan to fulill it...

And you can expect to bring back fresh, very meaningful insight about life itself, yourself as a person, and yourselves as a couple that will empower you on the Journey for the rest of your life. This is especially true because the Journey Retreat is...

The Retreat with Unparalleled Follow Up Support!
Over the years when I've taught and counseled, folks will often joke: "Can we bring you home with us?" While they are kidding, they're also expressing a serious concern--that once their great experience is over they'll lose the gains they have achieved. That can happen even after the best retreat and seminar experiences. Your personal connection to the leader, the new insights you worked hard to discover, and the support you need to maintain those gains can all begin to fade. And that can be discouraging. The Journey retreat is different. When you complete the Journey weekend in Petoskey and head home, you will be taking me with you!

Okay, not literally--three's a crowd. But you will b
ring home a complimentary copy of the Journey into Love, the mulimedia training experience designed to extend your retreat experience and build new habits into your lifestyle. That means any time you want, you can open the Journey on your laptop and join me again for hours of additional audio teaching enhanced by video, super instructional powerpoint, and original music, as well as great informative articles I've written on topics such as managing anger, becoming healing partners after traumatic stress, true sexual intimacy, and more.

I spent several years developing this digital program to make sure couples can keep do great work at home; that means you can continue your retreat work at home at no additional expense-- to preserve and deepen the gains you've achieved while we were together!

Just bring your windows laptop with you to Petoskey, and before we finish the weekend all couples will download their copy, we'll tour it together so be sure you can easily use it at home, and off you go!
To read more about the digital JIL experience click here. And once we've spent the weekend together, I consider us all part of the same JIL family. That means that you've got ongoing "Relationship Technical Support".

Of course, I can't provide distance counseling to hundreds of couples at once, but I'll always respond to emails with brief support notes. (Also, Journey Relationship Coaching Sessions
conducted by phone or Skype can also be scheduled by appointment at an additional fee.) 
A Man-Friendly, Woman-Approved Experience! You will both be glad to know that my retreat leadership style assures that the men don’t feel in over their heads, or like running the other direction! And women feel truly heard! Before you read on to learn about the retreat schedule and specific content let me thank you for taking time to visit our site. I look forward to the privilege of serving you here in Petoskey this summer. All the best to you!

Jim Marshall, MA

The Retreat Program and Schedule
NOTE: Topics and sequence of activities will remain flexible to best fit the needs and requests of each specific retreat group. You will find that we cover a great deal of important ground during our sessions yet the retreat has been designed to assure you have plenty of time to truly enjoy the area. The Journey into Love is an unbeatable combination. Here’s what you can expect...

Friday: Welcome!
We’ll greet you at the ground floor entrance of the Perry Hotel to begin your retreat experience...
·         9:00 a.m. to 9:50: Group Session 1: “Let’s face it! Who really knows what to expect of Marriage before we’re in it?” A kind-hearted look at the reality of how huge an idea coupleship really is, and how unprepared most of us were for the challenges couples face in living it to the fullest. Jim Marshall will introduce you to “Gottman’s Four Horsemen” and “Compassionate Wondering”--a force for good to drive the Horsemen out of your relationship!
·         10:00 to 10:30: Private Couple Conversations, Focus 1: Using Jim’s discussion-guiding questions you’ll create a Criticism-Free Zone for enjoyable dialog and practicing Compassionate Wondering. Expect to find fresh gratitude for what is good in your partner and your relationship!
·         10:40 to 11:10: Group Session 2: “How did we get here? Recognizing how unclear expectations and unresolved emotional pain drives judgments and contempt. Gaining a fresh view of each other’s needs using Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages (by permission of G. Chapman). How to recognize and plan to meet them! 
·         11:20 to Noon: Couple Conversations, Focus 2: Exploring & Realizing your Partner’s Love Languages: A potent yet simple activity to help you  experience greater fulfillment of your needs in the relationship.
·         12:00 to 2:00p.m. LUNCH, Rest, Explore... On your own in Petoskey (or other great venues where you may join us for JiL retreats)!
·         2:00 to 2:50: Group Session 3: “The Missing Key in Success as a Couple—the Stress Factor Revealed. Discovering how even the best intentions are sabatogued by unmanaged stress, and what we can do about it! Four skills to help you master your stress
·         3:00 to 3:30: Solo Exploration: “Where does MY stress come from?” Exploring your personal life stressors, preparing a plan for relief to enjoy your life together more!
·         3:30 to 4:00: Couple Conversations, Focus 3: Sharing and Strengthening your Stress Relief Skills and Plans together (practice and chat!)
·         4:00 to 4:30: Group Wrap up: Reviewing our day; assuring your gains, helpful guidelines for a great evening on your own. Hint: Less is more (sound familiar?) Enjoy!
·         Evening on Your Own! (Jim Marshall will be available for informal support upon completion of the day. Optional confidential support sessions can also be scheduled with Jim upon request.)

Day 2:
·         9:00 a.m. to 9:50: Group Session 1: A)“Let’s Check in! (Carrying Day 1 experience forward... B) “Why ‘Communication Training’ Usually Fails and What We Can Do About it!” Battle Two with Gottman’s Four Horsemen: Emotion Management for Partners. Hint: Arguing isn’t necessarily ‘bad’ and managing emotions is more than avoiding blow outs. What we don’t express can be just as important as what we express poorly!
·         10:00 to 10:30: Solo Exploration, Focus 1: Jim will provide you with a "Journey Within" Question Set to help you identify your own emotion-management style. Boosting this awareness is a gift to your partner!
·         10:40 to 11:10: Couple Conversations, Focus 1: Sharing with each other what you’ve learned about your personal emotion management style.(No advice, no lecture from partner. Just teaching and taking note. )
·         11: 20 to Noon: Group Session 2: “Creating ChoicePoints to Manage Emotion Recognizing how unclear expectations and unresolved emotional pain drives judgments and fuels drift: Creating ChoicePoints to attune more, rejoin quicker, and repair conflicts faster 
·         Noon to 2pm: LUNCH, Rest, Explore... On your own in Petoskey (or other great venues where the retreat is held)!
·         2:00 to 2:15: Brief Group Discussion: Focus 2: Q&A about ChoicePoints!—Fortifying your understanding of this critically important concept before you try using it together
·         2:15 to 2:50: Couple Conversations, Focus 2: Experimenting with ChoicePoints together    
·         3:00 to 3:50: Group Session 3: The Power of Listening: “Is that what you’ve been saying all this time?” Our gender differences set us up for Train-Wreck Communication. But we can experience the most intimate, least stressful, and most encouraging discussions of our lives as partners using the “A-B Pathway of Health Communication.” 
·         4:00 to 4:30: Couple Conversations, Focus 3: Test Driving the A-B Pathway Together. Jim will make the rounds coaching your maiden voyage using this powerful connection strategy to assure your best outcome.
·         4:30: On your own for the evening! (Jim Marshall will be available for informal support upon completion of the day. Optional confidential support sessions can also be scheduled with Jim upon request.)
Day 3:
·         9:00 a.m. to 9:50: Group Session 1: Designing Your Couple’s Legacy:  Envisioning the future you desire and finishing well together—what would it look and feel like? We'll explore this question, then by working backwards to the present day, you'll identify the steps on the path you can take to fulfill your biggest hopes for life together. Jim will provide and explain the Journey Questions you’ll then use in solo exploration and in your Couple Conversations to envision and define your own unique Legacy as a couple.
·         10:00 to 10:30: Solo Exploration, Focus 1: "Fulfillment of the WE begins with me": answering the Journey Questions to affirm your own distinct personhood, identify internal blocks to fulfilling my aspirations as a person and for the partnership
·         10:40 to 11:20: Couple Conversations, Focus 1: Sharing what you’ve learned from your solo exploration of the Journey Questions. You’ll use the A-B Pathway to create a Safe and Critic-Free Zone in which you can gain support, understanding and establish how to join in the first steps beyond the retreat towards fulfilling your Couple’s Legacy. Exploring, affirming together what you've gained this weekend. Pledging what you'll try to live out beyond Petoskey!
·         11: 30 to 11:50: Introducing your Digital Journey! a preview of the digital Journey into Love to help you use this program at home (complimentary with your registration) to maximize your retreat experience for enduring progress together.
Noon-12:20: Closing Session: Bringing it all Together: affirming and celebrating the work you've done this weekend. Good Byes...
·        12:30--1:00: Renewals of Committment (Optional, as fits your relationship status--no pressure!) You’re free to go, enjoy the area (Note: Jim will stay on site until 2:00 for support as needed to assure you are heading home on the best note possible!)
 Retreat Costs, Lodging and other related Information
·         The cost for this Journey retreat weekend excludes meals and lodging. Your total registration fee as a couple is $349.00 and includes all retreat materials, healthy snacks during sessions and a complimentary copy of the complete Journey into Love (JIL) multimedia experience for couples ($14.99 retail value. Click here for more information). Full refund is available with cancellation 14 days or more prior to the retreat date. Cancellation seven to 13 days prior to retreat results in a 50% refund while registration is non-refundable if cancellation notice is received less than seven days prior to the event.

·         Retreat location. As noted above, retreat locations vary. The Petoskey JIL Retreat is always held at the Historic Perry Hotel, situated in Petoskey's Gaslight Shopping District and overlooking Little Traverse Bay. The grounds of the hotel, Pennsylvania Park, Waterfront Park, and Sunset Park are all within a minute or two for great walks and ideal outdoors locations for your private Couple Conversations or a picnic lunch.  Petoskey’s famous Gaslight District features streets lined with an incredible selection of appealing shops unique to Northern Michigan. And you can escape to other extraordinary coastal towns in less than 20 minutes...

“Charlevoix the Beautiful" (17 minutes’ drive) and Harbor Springs (12 minutes). Both are also world class venues and are surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty ideal for hiking, swimming, biking, golfing, and more. For more local tourist information, click here.

Harbor Springs

·         Lodging for the Petoskey JiL Retreat: Below is a group of areas hotels, some of which are offering a discounted rate to our retreatants.(Call to confirm rates below since they are subject to change.) All hotels are within a few minutes of the Perry. Feel free to also explore hotels and B&Bs in Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, and Boyne City.

Comfort Inn: 231‐347‐3220; $125.99. To receive this rate, you must mention you are with Journey Into Love/Mastercare Institute.
Appletree Inn: 231‐348‐2900 $79 (Thursday) $159 (Friday/Saturday)
Terrace Inn: 800‐530‐9898; $119
Gingerbread House B&B: 231‐347‐3538; $135‐$185
Super 8: 231‐ 439‐8000; $59.03 (Thursday), $101.58 (Friday/Saturday)
Perry Hotel: 231‐ 347‐4000; $159‐$299
NOTE: These prices may be subject to change so be sure to check with each hotel you're interested in.

Restaurants: the Perry Hotel features one of several award winning waterfront Stafford restaurants. In addition several outstanding local restaurants offer a selection of casual to gourmet menus to choose from. For an incredible breakfast or lunch we highly recommend the Twisted Olive Cafe just 3 doors down from Perry and overlooking Little Traverse Bay.
Register today. Class size is limited to the first 15 couples. Registration fees can be paid online with your credit card, or by sending a check payable to MasterCare Institute at 704 Petoskey Street, Petoskey, MI 49970.

  For more information and to find out dates for upcoming retreats please email us at Info@JourneyintoLove.com or call Deborah at 231.622.1600.

Important Note: If you are experiencing serious long term problems or current crisis involving your mental health or relationship we urge you to seek immediate clinical assistance from a licensed mental health professional in your area.  The Journey into Love retreat cannot substitute for marital therapy but it can join with therapy to be very beneficial. We request all registrants to inform us in writing of any such struggles so we can discuss your current status and assure the appropriateness and value of the retreat experience. Please email your confidential description to Jim at MasterCareInstitute@hotmail.com . Thank you!