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couple therapy

A Couple’s Intensive + Communication Coaching Will Help

Intensive couple’s therapy gives you the space and time you need to address the many issues that need to be resolved including communication, infidelity, intimacy and sexual issues, financial strains, blended families, and parenting. Most couples who schedule intensive couples therapy are experiencing a significant amount of relationship distress. Many of these couples have already started the divorce process.

If your marriage is on the rocks, a marriage intensive can give you tools for relationship success.

Communication isn’t the main problem

(I promise!)

The problem is a lack of emotional connection

You aren’t struggling in your marriage because you don’t know how to communicate. You communicate everyday at work, with your friends, and out in the world.

The real issue is how you navigate three main things: conflict, intimacy, communication.

Couples come because they feel emotionally, spiritually, and physically disconnected. You’re out of touch with one another and have felt this for quite some time. Besides, merely “communicating” just isn’t enough.

Good couples therapy helps set you and your spouse on track in myriad ways:

  • Help your partner see your inner world

  • Become good friends again

  • Manage conflict in productive ways

  • Explore your dreams and start dreaming together

  • Creating shared meaning and rituals of connection

  • Practice healthy communication and intensive listening

  • Renew trust

  • Increase intimacy


Why Choose a Couple’s Intensive?

Instead of attending one session per week for 6 to 12 weeks (that’s three months!), you’ll get all your sessions packed into one or two days. Then, ultimately, you’re ready to enter into a maintenance phase of counseling.

What will we do for 6, 8, or 12 hours?

Every couple’s therapy process with Dr. Ryan, whether it’s hour-by-hour or in intensive blocks of time, will go through this same essential process:

  1. Review the completed assessments that you’ve done before our session.
  2. Complete an in-depth interview that helps your therapist, and each partner, understand the root causes of your current situation.
  3. Get education on self- and other assessments using Jennifer’s TEA Method.
  4. Learn how to speak, hear, and be different from your partner by utilizing the CALM Connecting procedure (a process created by Dr. Jen).
  5. And finally, practice being in a dyadic conversation with your partner where you’ll be coached line-by-line on how to hear and say things differently in a partner in a way that gets your emotional needs met.

How will I know which intensive is right for me?

  • A 6-hour intensive is best for couples who want to take a deep dive into the inner workings of this relationship. You won’t get much practice time during the 6-hour session, but you will walk away with a greater understanding of yourself and your partner.
  • An 8-hour intensive is best for couples who want a deep dive into the inner workings of this relationship, then begin at least 2-3 hours of communication practice. You won’t sit and talk to the therapist the whole time. You’ll start learning to speak to each other in more productive, connected ways.
  • A 12-hour intensive is best for couples who want a deep dive into the inner workings of this relationship but then spend ample time practicing new conversations. This intensive is best for couples struggling with infidelity or in crisis and considering divorce.

Who does the couple’s intensives?

Jennifer Slingerland Ryan, Ph.D., LPC-S, developed the couple’s intensive process at I Choose Change. She is Gottman Level III and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) trained. Using these influences alongside her research while completing her doctorate, she developed her attachment-based model to help couples develop better communication, greater intimacy, and better conflict resolution. **Discounted rates are given to couples who agree to allow a therapist to sit in intensives for training purposes.

Jennifer Rodgers, M.A., LPC, has been trained by Dr. Jennifer Ryan to facilitate couples intensives. She uses an attachment based model to help couples learn to identify and express their emotional needs and vulnerabilities. This fosters a deeper emotional connection as partners become more attuned to each other’s feelings and respond with sensitivity.

What happens after the intensive?

You may choose to continue seeing Dr. Jen as you continue your maintenance sessions, or you can take all your resources to your current couple’s therapist and let them help you with maintenance. Most couples have 2-hour session check-ins once or twice monthly after their intensive.

What is “maintenance”?

Every client enters therapy in a 3-phase process: 1) Assessment, 2) New Learning, and 3) Practice. The assessment and new learning phases typically take 4-6 sessions. This is when the counselor gets to know you, understands the depth of your concerns, and understands your inner world more profoundly. After 4-6 hours, the counselor will give you new tools unique to your situation to practice in sessions and out in the world. Finally, maintenance is when you’ve acquired specific tools to help you in your case, so now you continue practicing alongside your therapist.

What other resources will help while we are in maintenance?

We firmly believe counseling should last a lifetime, even if that means monthly or quarterly check-ins. You’ll be given resources during and after your couple’s intensive. However, it is recommended that you add the Gottman Relationship Builder to your arsenal of resources. There, you’ll have 365 days 24/7 access to Dr. John Gottman as he takes you through even more communication exercises. You can login anytime to get the help you need! You’ll also have online access to the Couple’s Packet you’ll receive in our session, plus every Gottman exercise available (some we will get to, most we won’t). Other resources are listed below.

Additional Resources:

Using evidence-based counseling techniques, you and your partner will be guided into a more loving, connected space using the work of Dr. John Gottman’s Sound Marital House and Dr. Sue Johnson Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT).

Other Mental Health Resources: The Self Love Hub

6-, 8-, and 12-hour Intensives. Learn about each here…


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Copyright 2003 – 2023 © I Choose Change by Jennifer Slingerland Ryan, Ph.D., LPC. All Rights Reserved.