Couples Therapy Intensives
Do You Feel Alone In Your Relationship?
Have you and your partner lost the connection you once shared? Does it feel like nothing you do is good enough for them? Do you wish you could both genuinely express your love for each other and feel secure and happy in your relationship again?
When your intimate relationship is out of balance, it can make day-to-day interactions with each other difficult. One of you might feel frustrated or anxious all the time about the lack of connection between you. When one of you is irritable, the other one may feel like they’re walking on eggshells, not knowing what to say or do. Communication between you becomes fraught with tension, as both of you struggle for words to express your true feelings.
Perhaps you are unable to get close to your partner and feel uncared for, alone or insecure as a result. Your partner may misinterpret this insecurity as controlling, demanding, or overly dramatic. They might feel like they can never do enough for you and that they’re better off focusing on work or their own activities, so they pull further away. Once this pattern is in place, it’s a vicious cycle that repeats itself.
One or both of you may feel like you can’t get it right with your partner and long to be accepted. You think that if you could just get your partner to accept, appreciate, and value you, you could relax and just be yourself. Fortunately, a couples therapy intensive can give each of you relief from the conflict and loneliness in your relationship and reestablish love, connection, and trust.
Many Couples Struggle In Their Relationship But Resist Getting Help
All couples experience times of conflict and disconnection. Many couples find themselves stuck, unable to talk to each other effectively or resolve conflicts, sometimes for years or even decades. Over time, the negative patterns of communication that develop between partners can drive them to the breaking point.
While approximately 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce in the United States (a statistic that excludes couples in committed partnerships who choose not to marry), none of us start off wanting this to be the outcome. Nevertheless, given how common it is, separation and divorce have become socially acceptable options.
Unlike in past generations, many of us put high expectations on achieving our happiness through our relationship with our partner. In Western cultures especially, we are often dependent on our partner for our well-being rather than on a larger, extended family. We also expect to be able to solve our relationship problems on our own. When we can’t, we fear judgment—both personally and as a couple—and perceive it as failure.
Many of us are resistant to seeking outside help because we are afraid that the couples therapist will take sides rather than supporting each partner equally. Or we may be concerned the therapy itself will make things worse, not better, between us. But in reality, research studies have shown that Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy helps shift approximately 85% of couples from a place of distress to a place of non-distress in their relationship.
Even if you and your significant other feel like you’re on the edge of breakup or divorce—or if you are post-divorce and want to find if there’s a way to heal and possibly begin again—, it is possible to achieve new perspectives and understanding about the painful patterns you’ve been stuck in. You can heal the emotional wounds in your relationship and move forward free of these burdens.
A Couples Therapy Intensive Can Bring You And Your Partner Closer Together
Trusted Journey intensive therapy helps couples move out of disconnection, suffering, and loss and into connection, compassion, and hope. This approach can accomplish in just a few days what typically takes months of couples counseling. It includes 15 hours of counseling over three days. As a couples therapist, my goal is to lead you to a place of safety and healing where you and your partner will feel deeply seen, understood, and supported. I will strive to earn your trust so I can guide you both in a safe and supportive way.
Online surveys filled out prior to the intensive will give me a quick snapshot of your relationship, eliminating the need to spend time asking lots of questions. We will initially go over what brought you in, and what you’d each like your relationship to look like at the end of our time together. It will also include some education about the human nervous system and how it underlies our emotional responses.
Next, I will conduct two hour-long individual interviews where we will talk about your previous relationship experiences—especially in childhood—so I can better understand the distress you each experience in your current relationship. This interview will help me see the relationship through your eyes and lay the foundation for the skill-building work we will do later on.
In our subsequent sessions together, we will focus on moments of tension, conflict, or distance in your relationship. We will gradually make sense of these moments, bringing curiosity, compassion, and understanding to both sides. With increasing safety and acceptance, we will explore these challenging moments in-depth so that you and your partner can achieve deeper levels of compassion for each other.
Intensive therapy can help repair past emotional injuries that time alone cannot heal. The model focuses on depth over breadth, concentrating on improving an issue and its underlying causes in a short timeframe. You will have new experiences of yourself and your partner, including a new self-awareness and access to deeper emotions and perceptions that past hurt may have suppressed. You will both learn new ways to express yourselves and hear, accept, and respond to each other’s needs.
The modalities I use are Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), and Polyvagal Therapy. Each takes a different approach to establish a compassionate connection between couples. In EFT, I will walk alongside both of you and join you in your journey of discovery. Together we will identify and examine the deeper emotions that underlie what you say to each other so that your communication becomes more clear. I will express curiosity about your experience, in search of deeper resonance. Through safe and guided connection, you will each gain more clarity and self-appreciation.
In IFS, my goal is to invite you to experience your own self-energy—the infinite source of curiosity and compassion that exists within yourself. You will each explore your own internal worlds and discover and befriend the parts of yourselves that are burdened. By welcoming all the different parts of yourself into your personality, you can connect to yourself and your loved one on a deeper level.
In Polyvagal Therapy, I help you map your nervous systems, so you can understand and befriend your natural and unique responses to threat in your relationships.
After a couples therapy intensive, you and your significant other can deeper gain understanding and heal the underlying emotional pain you’ve experienced. You can rediscover the closeness you once shared and rekindle your intimate relationship.
But you may still be wondering whether a couples therapy intensive is right for you…
What if we don’t get far enough in the time we have together?
My intensives accomplish about the equivalent of 6 months of couples counseling. This is enough for most couples to experience significant relief. While couples intensives are completed in a matter of days, I aim to go at whatever pace is comfortable for both of you and will not rush you. When there is more work to be done, we will review your available options to develop a plan. Frequently, couples return to me for another therapy intensive. Other couples maintain or complete the work with a different couples counselor.
My partner has a strong personality and is not open to therapy.
Most of the time, this is not a problem. I can understand and relate to those who are not initially open to therapy. Besides, I often find that the person who least expects to be understood by others often benefits the most from the therapeutic experience.
One of us doesn’t want to stay in the relationship.
It is natural to feel hopeless and want out of a relationship when you feel helplessly stuck in painful patterns with your partner. However, marriage therapy empowers you to rise above these patterns and develop hope and a renewed commitment to your relationship. Even if you ultimately choose not to stay together, it’s important to achieve understanding and healing before moving on, especially if you have children together.
Experience The Freedom Of True Intimacy With Your Partner
Trusted Journeys is an invitation to find the wholehearted, empowered self and relationship you deserve. Here you can find safe shelter and a respite from challenging relationship issues. For a free, 30-minute consultation, please contact me.
“I can dance with fire, and I can dance with ice — I see the beauty in both energies, and teach you to see the beauty for yourself.”
— Lori Marchak
Is Intensive Therapy the right choice?
heal wounds and unburden hearts
Whether you’re confused, hopeless, or in the midst of a storm, Lori’s approach is an antidote to the stories and self-protection that keep us stuck. Trusted Journeys is an invitation to find the wholehearted, empowered selves and relationship we deserve. Here, couples can find safe shelter, a respite from challenging internal or external circumstances.
Is Intensive Therapy Right for You?
When traditional once-a-week therapy models are too little or too late, or when you and your partner want relief quickly, an intensive provides a successful and meaningful path to individual and relationship clarity and connection. This format creates opportunities to focus on issues and dive deep, while providing emotional support and professional guidance throughout the experience. Ideal for complex problems or relationships in crisis, intensives offer a proven 70-90% success rate.
Intensive Therapy can help if you...
- Need relief from conflict, pain, or loneliness in your relationship
- Want to reestablish respect, love, and trust
- Are in a relationship crisis
- Want to work together to heal one or both partners’ suffering
What to Expect
- Intensives are typically scheduled Monday through Wednesday, or Friday evening through Sunday, with three four-to-seven-hour sessions held once per day.
- A typical schedule: Day 1 (4 hours): Introductions and overview; Hour-long individual sessions; First couple session.
- Day 2 (7 hours): Morning and afternoon couple sessions, with 10-minute breaks as needed, separated by a long lunch break in the middle of the day.
- Day 3 (4 hours): Couple sessions with 10 minute breaks, as needed.
- Intensives are based in the Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) model, which is evidence-based and shown to bring significant improvement to up to 90% of couples.
- The sessions also draw from the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model, for a uniquely effective combined approach.
Couples Intensive may not be for you if...
A couple intensive is not likely to be helpful when there are significant, active struggles with addictions; untreated post-traumatic stress; psychosis; threats of suicide; or danger to harm others.
In these cases, please call Lori for a consultation. An individual intensive may be appropriate as an entry to couples work.