I am thankful to you for opening my eyes to the “bigger picture”. I feel we have gained more skills in our toolkit to plan for success. I learned a lot and as the days continue to unfold I am happy to be able to apply it to even more areas of my life. I am learning to say what I am feeling and not assume people know. I think some of the things you covered are basic in nature but complex in practicality. The sessions help to create awareness and get conversations started.
We are doing great and I have to say, a lot of things through the years have come up and we have dealt with them from what the two of you have said and taught, all positive outcome, so again…thank you both!!!
To have helped me pass on to new avenues in my life, cleansing some of the demons, awakening the spirit inside of me that I had stopped listening to – being a father to my children and a partner to my wife and reinforcing the path I am on is sacred – for those who have led me as well as to whomever I may have the opportunity to lead – this and more are borne by work we have shared.
I shall always be grateful for your patience and for understanding me. You have helped me to open up my life in so many ways. May the best be yours always.
It was great to meet both of you as well. I appreciated your style, enthusiasm and the warmth of your presentation. It has already made a difference. Thanks so much.
I never thought that it would be enough time… but now after doing it I realize that it was a lot of time.
Working with you at your place, there were virtually no distractions; just beauty all around us. We addressed deep issues, ones that we could not find on our own… or weren’t willing to.
Thanks for introducing us to some techniques and thoughts, but way more importantly, for making us look clearly at what we would lose if we continued on the path that we were on.
I am extremely grateful for your help and guidance this past weekend. I do wish we had met you 15 years ago but nonetheless you have been incredibly caring, insightful and have played a crucial role in improving our lives.
I have often thought of writing you, mainly to thank you. I don’t know how I would have gotten through these difficult times without the retreat. It was such an amazing experience! I wish we could do it every month. Since the retreat we have done very well, but have not been working hard enough as far as reflective listening and our other work. We just recently discussed that, after our first big argument and agreed to spend more time on this. I hope you have a wonderful summer. We miss those awsome sandwiches!!!
Thanks you all for your home, your woods, your energy, and the chance to learn more about each other. I have decided to head out and take my new self into the world. It has been a great experience, one that will change my outlook forever.
There aren’t enough people like the two of you in the world… let alone great couples.
I have worked through so much emotional garbage. I am happy in a way I never have been, I am making choices, feeling free! I am able to love my kids like never before. I like being a single parent, I enjoy my work, I have some good friendships, my relationship with my parents and siblings is changing, I just met a young man with whom I can communicate like I have never ever been able to. Real intimacy!
Thanks again. I’ve navigated some pretty tricky waters over the past decade, and I have to say that the work I did with you and Israel was important and formative in terms of being ready for it all.
I have reached a point where I can recognize ‘the problem’ and best of all, I can now talk about it. I no longer feel the frustration of being ‘trapped’ and know I can make it on my own. You are not only professional, but just plain super! Thanks!
It’s hard for me to believe there are people such as yourself in the world. You showed me such hope. I want you to know how deeply your caring, sharing, and understanding have touched my heart… my life. Because of you and your support, my life will never again be the same. I will never again be the unknowing victim accepting pain and shame as a fact of life. I have a long path to walk, but you have shown me that life will allow for peace.
Thank you from my heart, I feel such gratitude for your caring and compassionate help.
Thanks. It was a powerful weekend for us-vastly exceeded my expectations.
We are doing great! We are enjoying each other and our wonderful family. We take the time to talk and share with each other. We really enjoyed our weekend with you both and learned alot about ourselves and each other. It was hard work and worth every bit of the effort. We immediately felt closer and it put us on the right path for success. Thank you again for everything!!
I guess we’re in a little honeymoon period right now, which is a wonderful little break – and we’re going to keep working. No matter what happens I wanted you to know that your collective skill has had a tremendous positive influence on me, and for that I am most grateful
Thank you… Wow… I didn’t believe it was possible.
I can’t believe that the whole world doesn’t know about you guys!
Thank you for your skill, your ability to see our true natures, and your insight into our relationship. I don’t think I could have done this without that serious push from Israel.
Our marriage was in the final days of divorce. We mutually decided to put the divorce on hold and to give one last attempt at intensive counseling. The weekend experience was phenomenal! Israel and Cathie were great to work with and very professional. They have an innate way of getting to the ‘heart’ of the matter; promptly and actively working through communication issues; and coaching us through role playing scenarios. We have learned many positive communication strategies and have been able to practice them since returning home in our daily lives.Whatever the future holds for our marriage, we have both learned important things about ourselves individually as well as about relationships. If our relationship endures, we will definitely consider an additional weekend in the future or at the very least have tools to take with us into future relationships. Thank you Israel and Cathie for all of our new communication techniques!
Thanks for a very productive weekend – really broke the logjam we had built – we’ll see how we go over the next few weeks but at this stage of post workshop enthusiasm, it’s been great!
Your insight and compassion have opened our eyes to feelings locked away for years. We have a found a new connection and understanding of each others feelings, wants, and needs that seemed out of reach until now.
I want to thank you both for the wonderful sessions we shared with you. I feel strengthened by the tools provided and hopeful for our future.
I am thankful to you for opening my eyes to the bigger picture. I feel we have gained more skills in our toolkit to plan for success. I learned a lot and as the days continue to unfold I am happy to be able to apply it to even more areas of my life. I am learning to say what I am feeling and not assume people know. I think some of the things you covered are basic in nature but complex in practicality. The sessions help to create awareness and get conversations started.
What a powerful experience! We arrived uncertain and pessimistic about our future together. Through the work in the intensive sessions with the two of you, we were able to leave with a sense of hope in our future based in large measure on the effective communication methodology you taught us. Also profound was the way in which you zeroed in so quickly on each of our individual core issues which in the past had left us equally unable to connect in a way that truly promotes intimacy and understanding. So, not only did you help us as a couple, but you helped ME understand myself better.
We both especially appreciated the weekend format, which allowed us to process so much more than we would have in a great many more weekly sessions. We left with a real sense of progress and a new deeper understanding of each other, now empowered to continue the work, either on our own, or with our counselor here at home. But frankly, the two of you have almost spoiled us now for regular counseling – your customized approach, the focus on just us, and the sheer amount of ‘stuff’ we covered in a weekend (!)- that level of effectiveness just can’t be duplicated in a long series of weekly sessions. Also, the way the two of you work together, jumping in and taking a variety of roles as we worked through tough issues, made me feel as though we had our own personal coaches or trainers.
We’re applying what we learned with you, and are still somewhat amazed at how effectively and deeply we can now communicate when we use the Relationship Enhancement approach. We still have much work to do, but now we have a path and the tools. Now we have hope that we stand a chance. Thanks to you both.
I came to you when my life seemed to be at its darkest. I felt as if I was losing everything and there was no hope for me. I saw my life as the half-empty glass. You allowed me to see the glass as half full. At a time when I had no faith in anything, you gave me faith in the future. It’s a small step on a very long journey but at least I found the path to take. I still need help, but at least now I can admit that I do, and I can seek out those people who can provide that help and not be afraid to show my weaknesses to them.
You provided a piece of our puzzle to help us be at peace with our divorce. It still sucks, but it makes a bit more sense. It is so wonderful that you open your home to share your knowledge and experience to help guide people.
We really seem to have gotten our “groove” back, and we are having fun together in life like we always did before we got off-track. Every day and every moment isn’t 100% sunshine, such is life; but we have both really grown in our ability to resolve conflict, tame our tone, and keep the love up-front. This really is a happy home. Thanks, again, to both of you for helping us get back on-track (in particular from me to Israel- for scaring the crap out of me with the horrible reality of what I was about to lose).
Marriage Quest in Vermont was well worth the time and money spent to help determine if my marriage was worth saving and if it could be saved. The Helfand’s are very good about getting to the roots of the problems and about helping you put together an action plan post retreat. My marriage was worth saving and could have been saved, but my husband(ex) did not want to work beyond my deal breakers, although he committed to doing so at the retreat. When I put an end to our marriage (one year after the retreat), I felt resolved that I tried all I could do to avoid divorce but knew that to continue in my marriage was a betrayal to myself and a constant compromise to my values.
How do we thank you? …words fall far short… …Israel and Cathie helped us make more progress in 9 hours than we were able to accomplish in 11 years of therapy… the sessions were non-confrontational, rational, and focused. As long as you are able to be honest with yourself and your spouse; are committed to doing whatever it takes to save your marriage; have an open mind and heart; and practice the techniques you are introduced to, you have an excellent chance of a positive outcome…
I always felt that you had our best interests in mind
We have decided to stay together as best friends… cohabitating and sharing our lives together. The relationship is constantly changing as we rediscover each other and what we value in our relationship. Each day is better as we talk, share and grow, seperately and together. Thank you for starting us off in the right direction and giving us the tools to make us better.
Our weekend with you was so powerful for us. We have certainly had our ups and downs since, but have managed to hang on. I know we’ll be back up some day.
It opened doors, [I can] start building bridges.
It brought up so much emotion in my husband that we had to pull over to the side of the road on our way home so we could talk…
I really learned a lot from our sessions and do see things differently now. Mostly I am less combative with myself and the world. Well, I mean I still come on very [aggressive] but am learning to give others a chance. The kids helped me with that attitude real quick. Ha Ha!
My husband is talking to me!
I have been learning to trust my own feelings and judgements during this very confusing time. We are slowly working things out and building up the trust again.
I have learned more about my husband in 3 days than I have in 7 years.
Thank you very much. We are still using the process, for the most part. It seems to have leveled out, with the process coming into play when one of our buttons gets pushed. We have been reading a couple of the books that y’all recommended for us, and they seem to help with insights (for me, can’t speak for my wife.)
We were both impressed by the weekend and the good it has done. You both are real ‘pros’.
I am so thankful that my husband is starting to realize that he has been lost in the dark desert. I have not had my husband in 1-1/2 years because he detached from the family. So much is clear now, even for the children. Thanks again.
I learned more about my wife in the last 2 hours than in all of our past therapy sessions together.
Something major occurred. Some shift in the universe. A huge weight is gone. The sun seems to have come out on both our souls… The new lighter existence kicked into place before we left Deeper Ruts Road. You are both incredible to work with… The transformation seems dazzling and joyous.
It was scary! It was hard!! It was intense!!! It was great!!!! It was perfect!!!!! revitalized !!!!!
I believe you gave me a lot of the tools I need… and I am grateful to you. I find myself talking with my husband in very different ways now… sharing my fears and insecurities, rather than blaming and accusing him. I can remember one conversation I had with you when we role-played… this has been so helpful to me as I now can talk to him about me and my feelings, rather than blaming. I also find that my husband and I are doing things much differently with conflict. We are not perfect, but we are definitely so much better. Instead of ignoring/stuffing it, we deal with it. Yeah!
Thank you, thank you, thank you. – You have saved our marriage. Intimacy was a real mystery to us and you gave us the roadmap to our souls in a gentle and caring way. We feel a real miracle has occurred and we will treasure and nurture it. Your warmth and kindness was very comforting throughout the re-programming sessions we were privileged to attend. We wish that any couple in need of marriage repair could find their way to your doorstep!
I have had more fun in the bedroom than I have had in years.
The fear and anxiety of being at fault or manipulated evaporated in the first 15 minutes. Firmly and with sensitivity, Israel and Cathie enriched our understanding of underlying behavior issues in our 15 year marriage without judging or blaming. We arrived as strained husband and wife and left as best friends knowing that our personal development was to be best served by going forward apart, yet with the desire to enjoy each other as friends.
Things have been much better between us since our retreat session with you. We both know it will only be a matter of time before our new lifestyle and communication skills will be even more fulfilling and get more comfortable. Thank you for all your help with getting us to jump start our lives back on the road to recovery; you were exactly what we needed and had searched for. Joey loved it so much he was wishing we had one more day to spend with you!!!
I think we both needed this retreat to motivate ourselves to connect and move on together in a positive direction. Your directives and coaching are very valuable and we will definitely practice the skills you have discussed with us.
I am in a better place, and that is because of our weekend with you. Thank you again for opening my eyes and my mind, and guiding me down a path to find ‘my truth’.