Couples Intensive Services
NCCT offers intensive 2 day retreats for couples in the form of marathon therapy. Marathon therapy is an intensive form of couples counseling where partners work with a therapist for long sessions over a short period of time. Each session is essentially the equivalent of attending 4 to 6 hours of couples therapy in one day. The premise for it relies on studies which demonstrate that couples therapy can be more effective and address issues more quickly when it is offered in intensive doses initially and then phased out to less frequent treatment.
"I was initially very hesitant to do couples counseling with my partner, especially because I felt responsible for the problems in our relationship. But Kerry immediately helped put me at ease, and made even the most difficult issues seem resolvable. She helped us uncover and articulate issues that had been hidden for years. I went into every session feeling nervous and left feeling optimistic about the relationship, understood by Kerry and my partner, and excited about the future."
Is marathon therapy right for us?
Marathon therapy may be right for you if:
- You want to stabilize your relationship quickly by gaining insight into chronic, problematic dynamics, and by learning new skills to break through gridlock.
- You live a distance from the Northampton area (for example Boston or the Berkshires) and do not wish to commute weekly for traditional couples therapy
- You are currently in couples counseling with us and want to engage in more intensive work.
When is marathon therapy not advisable?
Marathon therapy is not recommended for you if you or your spouse are struggling with:
- An undisclosed, ongoing or recent affair.
- Active addiction (drugs, alcohol, etc.).
- Serious violence in your relationship, threats of serious violence, or fear of serious violence on the part of one or both partners.
- An untreated, diagnosable mental illness (bipolar, psychotic disorders and major clinical depression). This does not include past and successfully treated mental health conditions that are currently stable and/or in remission.
- Suicidal or homicidal thoughts, or a history of serious harm inflicted on another person.
- Lack of commitment to the therapy process.
How is marathon therapy structured?
Our first session is six hours with a one-hour break scheduled in the middle of the day. While the majority of the session will be spent meeting with the couple together, there will also be time allotted to meet with each of you individually.
During this session you can expect:
- To engage in an assessment process that will illuminate the dynamics underlying the crisis that has brought you into therapy.
- To begin to learn skills that will help you achieve specific goals in order to resolve a current life crisis or specific issue in the relationship. Please note ~ because time is limited this does not include a full relational assessment or the teaching of every skill included in the Gottman Method.
You may, as a result of this first session, feel an increased sense of relief and hope about the potential to move through what had previously felt like a hopeless and immovable situation. It is nonetheless important to understand that the intensity of these sessions, and the difficulty of the areas being addressed, may also stir up feelings of guilt, sadness, anger, loneliness and helplessness. It is normal for these feelings to occur and to be temporarily amplified before you reach a level of decreased distress and resolution.
In subsequent sessions we will meet for 4.5 hours (including a half-hour break scheduled midway through the appointment). The duration of marathon couples therapy ranges from 2 to 5 sessions and will be structured depending on the issues we aim to address and your goals for therapy. During these sessions you can expect to:
- Learn new tools, which will aid you in moving through the obstacles that have prevented you from addressing your current relationship issues.
- Experience a significant reduction in feelings of distress.
- Find resolution to specific problems for which you are seeking treatment.
Fees and Payment Information:
The fee for a two day marathon therapy session is $2350. This includes a 6 hour session on the first day, a full Gottman Relationship Assessment, and a 4.5 hour marathon session on the second day. Couples should allot additional time for lunch and breaks. Subsequent marathon sessions will be 4.5 hours and are $900.
For initial appointments, deposits via credit card are required to hold your slot. Payment for future services is collected at the time of service. NCCT accepts all major credit cards as well as cash and checks.
All clients are required to give a minimum of two weeks notice if they need to cancel or reschedule their marathon therapy appointment. Initial deposits are refundable when a cancellation occurs two or more weeks before our scheduled appointment. Cancellations after this period will be charged the full fee for the marathon therapy session, plus related session-specific services. Additionally all cancellations regardless of notice will incur any credit card processing fees that NCCT incurred in processing Marathon deposits.
*Note ~ Due to the severe nature of New England weather, exceptions are made in the event of hazardous driving conditions and weather emergencies.
How do we get started?
NCCT reserves a small number of slots for marathon therapy. If you're interested in learning more about marathon therapy, please fill out the inquiry form for new clients and submit it to NCCT. There is generally a 2 to 4 week waiting period for your first appointment, but on occasion we can schedule clients sooner, so it is always worth inquiring.
Once we have scheduled an appointment, NCCT will send you a series of questionnaires to fill out and send back to us before the first meeting. It is imperative that NCCT receive these assessments a minimum of one week before your first meeting to allow time for your therapist to review your answers and begin to formulate an understanding of the dynamics that have brought you in for counseling.