Feeling disconnected, lonely, and unhappy in your partnership?
In need of a MAJOR shift?
A Couple’s Intensive (“Marriage Intensive”) 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.
Have you attended couples therapy only to feel like your time is cut short? You get to the meat of the issue when the therapist says, “Our time is up for today”?
It can feel that nothing was accomplished. Or that you’re moving at a snail’s pace. Consequently, 50-minute sessions are hard.
Your marriage deserves more time, space, and focus. Your relationship is one of the most important relationships of your lifetime. You need more time to address the core issues; it’s the deeper issues are keeping you and your partner stuck.
Communication isn’t the problem
Most likely you struggle with a lack of intimacy, poor communication, and good conflict resolution.
You aren’t struggling in your marriage because you don’t know how to communicate; however, you know how to communicate! You communicate every day in your career and home life. Right?
The real issue is a lack of emotional connection. You know, whether you feel seen, heard, and understood. Tended to.
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
Choose the path for you
A Much-Needed Tune-Up
Spend 6 hours working one-on-one in one full day getting to the root of your marital issues. Based on your Gottman relationship assessment, attachment assessment, individual interviews, and current struggles, the counselor will provide specific tools and guides which help facilitate intimate conversations and exercises. Jennifer’s Intimate Conversations methodology utilizes Gottman’s Sound Marital House and Emotionally Focused Therapy.
Included in this session are the Gottman Relationship Checkup and a recommended book. Additionally, you’ll have access to my Private Client Resources page which has exercises to help your marriage at every phase of getting back on track.
Who is a 6-hour intensive best for? For those couples who need a tune-up, check-in, or refresh, a 6-hour intensive is best. Those couples who are not in crisis (such as an affair or substance abuse) will do well with a 6-hour intensive. This is also good for those seeking pre-marital counseling.
Learn New Tools
This intensive is completed in one full day with a 45-minute lunch break or two days (4 hours each day). Not only will you get to the root of the core issues, but also you’ll receive new tools to help you have better communication and resolve your conflict. In this appointment, you’ll receive everything in the 6-Hour Couple Intensive, plus you’ll continue to discuss your specific conflict style and be coached through some difficult conversations as you begin using your new tools.
Who is an 8-hour intensive best for? Those couples who are not currently in a crisis (unless the crisis is currently managed with another counselor). The 8-hour couples intensive is best for those couples who want to understand your individual and couple communication style, conflict style, and how your childhood impacted how you relate to your partner. Plus, you’ll do a bit of role-playing to begin using newly learned skills.
An Immersive Weekend
An immersive weekend (two days, back-to-back) in which you gain a much deeper understanding of the impact of your childhood upbringing and the inner workings of this relationship. You’ll get everything from the 6 or 8 hours intensive, plus an additional 4 hours to practice new skills. The counselor will coach you through difficult conversations. You will learn the TEA Communication Style, the CALM Connecting method of getting out of conflict, and how to recognize triggers the moment they happen.
Getting to the root of core issues takes time. Once you’re there, you’ll learn and understand your and your partner’s “Baseline Battle “(that is, what you and what your partner each struggle with the most while in conflict). Every couple has conflict. It’s how you get out of the conflict that makes the difference between a healthy relationship and one in which you feel lost, lonely, heartbroken, and alone.
Who is a 12-hour intensive best for? Those couples may be experiencing a crisis, such as an affair. However, they recognize that the relationship dynamic is the core issue, not one individual partner. (I.E., Affairs are a result of an already broken relationship. This intensive helps address that issue.) Couples who do a 12-hour intensive are not only committed to the longevity of their relationship, they realize that while they’ve heard that “relationships take work,” they haven’t really understood what this means. This weekend, you’ll get assessments and tools, then you’ll get ample practice time for your new skills. Finally, you’ll be given follow-up homework to continue work together.
Many couples are referred by their therapists to complete an intensive and then continue their work with their therapist. That works well! Simply take what you’ve learned, share it with your current therapist, and pick up where we left off. This works well for many couples.
What you can expect
Currently, Jennifer Slingerland Ryan, Ph.D., LPC-S is the only therapist providing intensive couple’s therapy. You’ve essentially just completed 6-12 hours of relationship coaching. So, think of it this way: You can come once per week for two months and get the same information as you would in a chunk of time.
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:
- Go over completed assessments that you’ve done before our session.
- Complete an Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) in which helps you each understand why you do the things you do and how you operate as a couple.
- Get education on self- and other-assessments using Jennifer’s TEA Method.
- Learn how to speak, hear, and be different with your partner utilizing the CALM Connecting procedure (a technique Dr. Jennifer Slingerland Ryan created).
- And finally, practice being in a dyadic conversation with your partner in which Jennifer will coach you line-by-line on how to hear and say things differently in a partner in a way that gets your emotional needs met. Most couples enjoy more time for difficult conversations in a coaching forum, so opt for a longer intensive if you’d like more practice. It is recommended!
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).
Read more about Gottman’s Sound Marital House:
John Gottman’s “Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” – A great book for couples who are having a difficult time talking to one another because words are disrespectful and angry on an almost constant basis. This is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) perspective for couples.
Read more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for couples:
David Burn’s “Feeling Good Together” – A great book for couples who are having a difficult time talking to one another because words are disrespectful and angry on an almost constant basis. This is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) perspective for couples.
Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight
Read more about Attachment Theory for couples:
Sue Johnson’s “Hold Me Tight” – This book examines the reason we have enraged conversations, and why we ultimately withdraw from the ones we love most – our spouse/life partner.
Sue Johnson’s “Love Sense” – A great book examining the science of love and love relationships.
Robert Karen’s “Becoming Attached” – A great book about how we attach to parents as young babies and children, and what happens when we don’t. The childhood attachment process is essential in order to have healthy adulthood.