Marriage Intensives

The standard approach to couples therapy usually involves 2-4 appointments a month, typically a week or two apart. While this is a time-tested method, it isn’t right for every situation. A “Marital Intensive” takes the hours of couples counseling that would usually occur over a 3-4 month period (10-18 clock hours) and places them in the context of a much smaller period of time: 2-3 days. As an example, a Marital Intensive schedule might be a 1.5 hour morning couples session, a late morning 1 hour session for each person, and then a 1 hour afternoon couples session, 1 hour individual, concluding with a 1 hour couples session. Repeated over a 3 day period this would be 16.5 hours of counseling, with two therapists present. (Couples exercises are often assigned between sessions or in the evenings.)

What situations are appropriate for a Marital Intensive? Marital intensives can be the approach when there are long term issues that have not responded well to once-a-week marriage counseling. Intensive are sometimes used when there has been a profound breach of trust in a marriage, when partners are feeling stuck with no option but to divorce, or when a relationship has plateaued and feels stagnant. Intensives can also be appropriate for couples who want to counsel with Dave and Hollis and are coming from out-of-town.

What are the advantages of a Marital Intensive? Once a week marriage counseling is sometimes unable to penetrate the issues in a relationship, simply due to time frame. The typical counseling sessions is 50 minutes long. It takes a few minutes to get going, and there are business issues such as re-scheduling and payment. 50 minutes can become 40-45 minutes. To get deep into a subject, define the problem, uncover feelings, clarify, and problem solve can be difficult to do in that period of time. The Marital Intensive approach creates an unusually focused time, when you can get deep and stay there, allowing for clarification of problems, development of understanding between a couple, and focused problem solving with skill training. Another advantage has to do with the team approach. There is an additional dynamic that occurs when a male and female therapist join skills to counsel together. Dave and Hollis, both licensed counselors with 40 years combined experience, can bring that male-female team dynamic to assist you in the repair and strengthening of your relationship.

How much does a Marital Intensive Cost? There are several options: The One-day Intensive; The Two-Day Marital Intensive; The Three-Day Marital Intensive; or the off-site 3-5 day Marital Intensive.

Prior to the start of the Intensive you will complete a written packet which includes an extensive personal history, personality profiles and testing, and marital assessment. Each individual should anticipate investing approximately 5-7  hours into the assessment.  The assessment is returned to us prior to the intensive for scoring, evaluation and initial treatment strategizing.  This assessment package allows us to “hit the ground running” from the beginning and make the most of you time.

Each day of the intensive includes 5-6 hours of direct counseling (plus three hours of prep, strategizing and debriefing by Dave and Hollis). All counseling is done by Dave and Hollis as a team (individual sessions occur as needed with Dave and Hollis splitting up and each working with one individual).

A one day intensive is $2500, a two day Intensive is $4500, the three day intensive is $6500. Couples typically seek comfortable lodging near the River Ridge Offices.  These all include the assessment package discussed above.

Where do couples stay during the intensive?  There are a number of options available.  AirBNB has numerous locations close-by.  There is a Best Western Hotel within walking distance, and the Resort at the Mountain is an easy commute.  There are number of mountain-type lodges in the Mt. Hood corridor.  If you would like advice in locating an appropriate location Hollis is glad to give assistance.

What is the “Off-Site 3-5 day Marital Intensive”? Some couples prefer to combine the marriage intensive with a favorite vacation or recreation/retreat spot. Dave and Hollis are available to be scheduled to meet a couple at a location of their choosing. The schedule for counseling would follow a similar pattern to the on-site intensives listed above. Contact Dave and Hollis for pricing information.

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Next Speaking Engagement

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Dr. David Wenzel will be teaching the Advanced Integration class at Western Seminary San Jose
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