Relationship Intensives

Relationship Intensives

What is a Relationship Intensive

Relationship Intensives condense over a month of therapy into a one day – to fast track the healing  process.  It’s often used for clients starting therapy in a lot of distress, or simply eager to get things underway faster.

How do I decide if this is right for us?
For both intensive sessions the key criteria is both parties being willing and engaged.  Long sessions where one party is uncommitted or undecided is typically counterproductive.

Intensives and Marathon sessions are not suitable where there is active addiction; an ongoing affair; serious mental health issues or domestic violence.

Relationship Intensives are designed to massively fast track the healing and connection process for couples.  They can be used for almost any issue a couple experiences. They to do in a day or two what otherwise might take a couple of months in therapy.  They jump start the therapy process, often shifting couples quickly into a more connected, loving space making the whole therapy process more enjoyable and effective.  They can also be good for couples at a tipping point trying to decide whether to stay or go.

Follow up work and strategies are typically assigned and can be supplemented with Skype sessions.

Typical Intensive Clients
  • Strong desire to make change happen fast
  • Mutual commitment to overcome issues and get reconnected.
  • Clients with inflexible work environments doctors, builders etc
  • Travelling from overseas or other parts of the country.
  • More complex issues (trust breaches etc)

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Intensives sessions effective?​

Intensives are scientifically validated as an effective and supportive way to achieve significant relational gains in a short period of time. When accompanied by appropriate follow up activity they have been shown to be extremely effective at shortening the length of therapy required, the overall cost, and increasing the experienced level of connection between the couple.

Why do Intensives work?
Typically couples approach therapy with problems that have been existing for a long time.  Gottman’s research suggest couples wait on average over 6 years before seeking help.  Often couples approach therapy as a resort of desperation just before divorce.  So trying to address problems that existed for years (and sometimes decades) in a short therapy hour once a week is often not sufficient. Additionally the therapist needs to determine what the key issues are this takes time. Typically the first 3-4 sessions are largely assessment, engagement and basic psychological education.  Intensives allow these first activities to be done immediately and to then move straight in targeted change interventions.

Costs and Benefits of Intensives
This is something individual for each couple and is the first bit of pre-session homework.  Have a conversation with your partner to see if they are on-board.  Having a strong sense of if this is right for you is an important part of successful treatment.  If you end up not sure, simply book a normal session.  Also feel free to reach out for a brief conversation if you have a particular concern.

I’m worried I (or my partner) will be overwhelmed
Clients are often worried that it will feel overwhelming but typically this is not the case.  Unlike couples workshops there is complete privacy and all sessions are individually tailored to your needs and situation. For many couples simply booking a day or two off work is easier than multiple shorter appointments.  We take breaks for rests, stretching, food and bathroom breaks.  It will be a full day and you will probably be tired at the end of the day however resolving issues more thoroughly tends to lead to strong feelings of satisfaction – a job well done.


Where are sessions held?

During lockdown sessions are held online.

At other times, full day sessions can be done in your home if you are within 15 minutes from Central Auckland or in our Victoria Park Market offices.  Sydney-based intensives will normally done in your home or elsewhere by arrangement.

If you are interested in scheduling an Intensive, please schedule a pre-therapy consultation with Dan.

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