Every week my office gets calls from couples interested in fast tracking their therapy. Sometimes the desire is driven by location (out of state clients) or schedules (Let’s face it, most of us live fast-paced lives full of work, family and kid obligations). Other times however, the need for something other than traditional weekly therapy is simply driven by a strong sense of urgency to address the issues in the relationship in a focused, meaningful way.
We call it a “Marriage Intensive” or “Couples Intensive”.
A Marriage Intensive compresses months of therapy into a session of one or two full days. During this time, you concentrate exclusively on your spouse and your marriage, using customized guidance and support from our counselor. We conduct these couples intensive sessions in person at our headquarters in Richardson, Texas, and past participants include clients from the local area as well as clients who have flown in from around the country and beyond.
Why does it work?
You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but I’m still regularly blown away by the strides we see couples take during these sessions. In the analysis I’ve done, I believe the effectiveness of Marriage Intensives comes down to three key points:
#1: Focused momentum. Concentrated time together has a way of clarifying issues, as long as an experienced counselor is guiding it. You get to the root issues much more quickly since you don’t have the starts and stops of traditional therapy, and other interruptions like kids and work.
#2: Emotional breakthroughs. No one likes to process pain, but sometimes the pain is so bad you simply must find some relief. An intensive session gets it all out in the open and accelerates you down the path to solutions and healing.''One or two days in a couples intensive session will tell both of you where your marriage is and help you decide where you want it to go.'' Click To Tweet
#3: Comprehensive retooling. Over the course of years, we all develop some bad habits. An intensive session helps you clean out the rubbish and retool. You and your spouse walk out with new relationship tools to start applying to your marriage immediately.
Will it save my marriage?
In many cases, yes, but not in all. At a bare minimum, a Couples Intensive session will tell both of you where your marriage is and help you decide where you want it to go in the future. For most couples, that means a renewed optimism about the relationship and a roadmap for moving forward. For a few couples we’ve worked with, it clarified the need to end the marriage but helped them plan the path forward in a productive and healthy way.
Couples Intensives help get your relationship over the hurdles. We’ve had couples come into an intensive session where one of the spouses was determined to leave the marriage, but by the end of the session had a new commitment to making it work. We’ve had others who came in committed to the relationship but were living with destructive behaviors, and who left the session with new ways to support each other and help the marriage thrive.
Regardless, a Couples Intensive is a life changing, and life giving. Instead of treading water in your marriage, you’ll move forward with confidence and energy.
A couples intensive session is perfect for those who …
As I’ve said, I think just about any marriage can benefit from this approach. Over the years, we’ve seen it be especially effective for couples who:
- Have tried traditional couples therapy, but experienced no breakthroughs.
- Have at least one spouse who simply doesn’t have the patience to stick with traditional approaches.
- Have experienced infidelity and need to move past the trauma.
- Are at the end of their ropes and are dying for new ways to deal with one another.
- Have one spouse who isn’t sure they want to work on the marriage.
Although we address divorce as only a last alternative, those who take that path can use a Couples Intensive to learn how to collaboratively co-parent. We have techniques and tools we teach that uphold the dignity of both parents while protecting your children’s emotional health.
Renew your perspective, renew your life
Why stay stuck in the same repeating patterns of conflict and hurt? Why continue to live with the damage you’ve inflicted on one another (and your kids)? Why settle for a relationship that could instead give you so much more joy and fulfillment?
With the Couples Intensive approach, you can gain a new perspective on your marriage now, rather than over a series of weeks, and take home new, proven tools that will break you out of mold in which you’re stuck. If you’d like more information on how an Intensive could help your relationship, please contact us.