Contrary to what many marriage therapists will tell you, couples therapy is not rocket science.
When our Director of Operations informed me we had a waiting list of over 200 couples, my heart sank. As much as having “too much” business might be a great challenge for many entrepreneurs, I have no desire to profit from the suffering of others. In my couples therapy fantasies, everyone would come to couples therapy for preventative and wellness care. We’d see couples for a quick tune-up and send them on their way. Marriages on the cusp of catastrophe or locked in years of gridlock and loneliness would be a rare occurrence. We’d be more like primary care doctors who emphasize wellness than cardiologists who do open-heart surgery.
But those are my fantasies, not reality.
The reality is that the average couple waits six years from the onset of a problem to seek marriage counseling. That everyday relationship challenges like bumps in communication and differences in spending habits metastasize. Cracks turn into chasms, and trust erodes. Love rarely dies from one swift blow; it more often fades (think death by a thousand cuts). When COVID19 hit, it created a national mental health crisis, and this crisis was not unique to individuals; it hit families and couples — Hard. For the first time in 10+ years, people calling my center regularly burst into tears when we told them we no longer ran a waiting list — that the wait for a weekly therapist is indefinitely long. Desperate spouses reiterated intake after intake that they were hitting a wall — that most couples therapists were not even returning their calls, and they feared there was nowhere (or way) for them to receive help.
So I set about doing what I always do when I feel like I’ve hit a roadblock. I scratched my head and took a deep dive into creative brainstorming. I got to work.
What (if anything) could I offer couples on the brink and people who can’t attend couples therapy? Is it even possible to digitally provide a quality, impactful and meaningful service that benefits failing relationships as much as marriage counseling, or even better, a private couple retreat? I was skeptical for sure.
Ultimately, I landed on the idea of creating a digital signature class that I titled Crisis to Connected (C2C). I knew from the get-go I had my work cut out for me as it was clear that the course must hit many benchmarks (I’m a stickler for quality); otherwise, I’d be wasting people’s time (and money) plus my own.
I’m now gearing up to launch C2C for a second time this September, and I’m thrilled to say that after 600+ hours of work and tons of feedback from Crisis to Connected alumni, I’ve hit the benchmarks, including:
C2C is Interactive
As a relationship expert, I built C2C to be interactive because you need to have a relationship with me to trust me. In my experience, couples who trust me are more likely to do the hard work and improve their relationships. It’s my job to earn your trust, and I do that by showing up wholeheartedly, with my humanity, skills, humor, knowledge, and passion for helping people love well. Plus, my relationship with you allows me to create the best digital class possible by keeping a pulse on your unique needs and situations. The last thing I want is to have C2C be another cookie-cutter online class; for you to feel alone during an already lonely time. I built C2C to be a pillar of support, with me as your guide as you navigate the class materials and exercises.
Additionally, I’ve designed each module (there are seven) to be released weekly, one at a time. And every week, I devote a third of the 90-minutes in each class to live Q&A. Plus, I’ve discovered a fantastic tool called Videoask. Videoask allows you to send me a message (via video, audio, or text) and for me to respond (via video, audio, or text). The communication is “asynchronous,” so my responses are personalized, and there is a back and forth quality to the interactions. Through Videoask, I offer supplemental relationship coaching to the weekly modules and “where to go from here” feedback. And because responsiveness matters, I’ve pulled in the expertise and support of Rachel Stein, NCCT’s Director of Clinical Services. That way, we can answer your questions promptly and support you every step of the way.
C2C is Customizable
Some of us are visual learners, and some of us prefer audio. Some people like to take deep dives (I’m in that camp), and others want to sample or handpick what they need and disregard the rest. For this reason, I built C2C to cater to a range of people, styles, and needs. Whether you are flying solo due to a reluctant partner refusing to attend couples therapy or want specific guidance in healing from an affair, the class has modules, resources, and tools to support you. You can take what you need and save the rest for later.
Nothing frustrates me more than spending money on a class only to find out I have access to it for three months, and then it’s gone! Once you pay for C2C, you have lifetime access to it. Including Videos, modules, homework assignments, resources, worksheets, and your complimentary copy of Developing Habits for Relationship Success, Brent Atkinson’s groundbreaking book on how to end gridlock and empower yourself (and your partner) to get unstuck and heal from betrayals.
C2C is Affordable
I built C2C to be affordable. Couples therapy (even with insurance benefits) can cost well over a thousand dollars. Private retreats (due to the nature of skill and time involved) start on average at $3500. C2C covers everything you would get in one year worth of therapy or private intensive(s) with me. Plus, the cost of a failed marriage is immeasurable. C2C is $975, including everything: Videoask coaching support for the entire duration of the course, 7 Modules, The Ultimate C2C Relationship Resource Libary, a personalized copy of Developing Habits for Relationship Success, Worksheets, Exercises, Downloads, and more.
C2C Emphasizes Quality Over Quantity
There is a reason I only offer C2C two times a year, and that reason is the same as why I don’t have a collection of couples therapists scattered all over the US. It takes years for me to train a solid couples therapist. NCCT consists of a handful of phenomenal relationship experts that we’ve handpicked based on talent, brains, life experience, and a passion for helping couples through the tough times.
The reality is if I produced C2C for the masses, I would not be able to offer much of what makes it exceptional. Things like supplemental relationship coaching via Videoask and Atkinson’s Developing Habits for Relationship Success workbook. Most importantly, I would not get to know you or be able to customize each class to meet your needs and requests.
C2C is Private
When your relationship is struggling or in crisis, you feel vulnerable. Even if you don’t succumb to the stigma inherent in a culture that romanticizes couplehood, it is understandable to crave privacy while working through the tough stuff. To want to avoid suffering unnecessarily from the angst that you will bump into a neighbor or colleague virtually. To want to protect your children from more information than is good for them when things in your marriage are uncertain and without resolution. Given this, I’ve built C2C to provide you total anonymity. You will be able to see me, interact with me, and participate in discussions, but you can opt to keep your face and name confidential, as well as any correspondence we have. Because even though C2C is a relationship class, I treat it with the same privacy standards I apply to all healthcare information, not because I have to, but because I get that your privacy is essential.
(Most importantly) C2C is Hopeful
I believe that couples therapy is not rocket science; that the field of marriage therapy sometimes takes itself too seriously and under-emphasizes the power and potential inherent in every individual, and in turn, every couple. That with the proper tools, knowledge, and practice, you can have sparks flying from your fingertips that are game-changing in love and that you never have to set foot in a couples therapist’s office to accomplish this if you are committed to the work. Relationship wellness is doable and C2C is the most comprehensive roadmap if you are stuck in relationship-limbo-hell or crisis. That’s why I have C2C students offering testimonials like:
“This online course resulted in more breakthroughs in understanding my partner than years of therapy had previously accomplished.”
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If your relationship is in crisis or stuck in gridlock, or you are on the fence and unable to decide whether couples therapy, a private retreat, or a digital class is the right fit for you, consider attending my upcoming webinar, Is My Marriage Worth Saving? I am offering it three times in September, and there will be a live Q&A with me at the end of each discussion.