Couples Intensive FAQ

Consultation call

Opportunity to speak with the therapist to see if it is a good fit.

Feeling comfortable with your provider is one of the best predictors of treatment outcomes.

Identify possible barriers to a couples therapy intensive.

There may be concerns that are better addressed in a different treatment format.

Answer any questions you may have about the experience.

You will likely want to know more and we will have a chance to address anything you are curious or concerned about.

Schedule a time to meet for the intensive.

If we decide an intensive will be a good fit for you we will be excited to get started!

Questionnaires to get started and focus the experience

Opportunity to think about your relationship and what you would like help with.

It is helpful to spend some time ahead of meeting in person to reflect on and narrow down what you want to focus on in our two days together.

Identify personal experiences and habits that contribute to dynamics.

Past relationships teach you how to interact with others, and reflecting on these can help you define how you show up with your current partner.

Get a head start in knowing yourself to optimize what you bring to the couple’s work.

The only person you can change is yourself, so identifying what you currently bring to the table and how you wish you could show up for your partner makes all the difference.

Show your partner your motivation and commitment to improving the relationship.

Completing the questionnaires is the first step in showing how important it is to you to improve your relationship because it does take some time and serious thought.

Customized experience

Therapist will use information from the consultation call and questionnaires to customize the two days for your specific needs.

Each individual and couple is different, so I will review both of your answers to help narrow down what might be most beneficial to focus on in our two days.

We can work together to find a time that works for everyone’s busy schedules.

You have lives! Often there are obstacles to finding a consistent weekly time that works for three people. This way we can identify just two days (preferably consecutive but not required) that works for all of us.

Take time away from day-to-day life (e.g. work/kids) to focus on your relationship.

Couples often appreciate the time spent getting away from their normal activities to focus on improving their relationship. It allows for dedicated time to prioritize one another and reconnect.

Two full days of undivided attention

Therapist is fully invested in this experience with you and not attending to multiple clients simultaneously.

The intensive format allows me to devote my attention specifically to your needs because your relationship deserves it!

Uninterrupted time to explore topics with no time limits.

We will have pleanty of time to dive deeper into topics rather than feeling pressured or rushed to finish up a conversation.

No week-long interruptions in the process that may impede progress.

Often new conflicts arise and old patterns reemerge in-between sessions, but we will be able to focus on practicing new skills and interrupting those old patterns so that your brain can retain the new way of interacting more easily.

Enough time to receive a lot of education, coaching, and practice.

By the end of the two days you will understand a lot more about yourself, your partner, how the brain impacts relationship, how to change your brain’s patterns, and I will help you to practice your new skills.

Psychoeducation about the brain and relationship patterns.

Understand how your brain functions to protect you, but inadvertently may contribute to dysregulated emotions and conflict.

We often feel more comfortable when we understand how/why something happens.

Normalize common behaviors that couples engage in and know you are not alone.

Criticizing yourself or partner for undesirable (yet understandable) behavior can worsen the conflict.

Real time coaching on coping and communication skills.

If emotions become hightened you have time to practice self regulation skills before addressing them directly with your partner’s support.

No one can think straight, let alone speak calmly and rationally, when they are upset. Learn and practice taking the time you need to regulate/calm your body in order to resume the conversation.

Your partner can also learn to help support you through difficult emotions and interact in new ways that are less likely to activate them.

Therapist can observe, interrupt, and encourage new communication skills as negative habits emerge that typically lead to conflict.

Emotions are a normal and necessary part of the human experience and there is no stopping them. I can help you to recognize what they are and how they impact your interactions while adjusting your reactions and how you communicate when they emerge.

Kickstart new healthy habits.

Developing a new habit takes time, practice, and repetition.

The intensive is designed for your brain to get many chances to practice new skills so that it can more easily access these when you return home.

You will have much more time to develop the skills and practice them than in a traditional couple’s therapy setting.

Dive deep to navigate identified challenges.

Have the luxury of taking as much time as needed to explore deeper levels of a topic(s) of your choice.

Understanding why things are a big deal to you, how you learned to react in certain ways, what you do to cope with big feelings, and how these impact your partner can take some time to unpack. We will have this time!

Your partner will have my support in learning to listen and understand in a new way that feels supportive and connecting rather than judgmental or dismissive.

Everyone wants to feel heard but we often never learn to truely listen. I can teach you how to stay grounded rather than reactive while listening to your partner.

A binder of resources to take home to support growth over time.

Take home a binder of resources and activities that we will cover in the intensive so that you can reference it and continue honing your skills long after the intensive is over.

Relationships don’t typically come with a handbook.

Two hour follow up call to assess progress.

This gives us an opportunity to evaluate how things are going at home about six weeks after the intensive.

You may have follow up questions and I will want to know how things are going!

We can decide if you need additional support at that time and I can provide references if needed.

The skills you will take home are wonderful and can be used for different topics forever! However, sometimes couples still want more support and that is completely fine!

Save time and money otherwise spent on months or years of therapy.

Get the equivalent of six months of therapy in two days.

Since traditional therapy is broken up into 1-2 hour sessions meeting once a week or less, and life happens in between, it can understandably take a long time to learn and practice new skills.

You will leave with the skills necessary to navigate issues in your relationship on your own at home, even if we arent able to address all of them in two days.

The intensive is designed to help you adjust the way you interact with your partner. These skills can also be applied to other relationships (e.g. with kids, friends, family members, coworkers).

Dr. Julie Griffin offers free phone consultations to help you determine if therapy with her might be a good fit for you.

Contact Dr. Julie Griffin

About Dr. Julie Griffin

Dr. Griffin uses an integrative psychodynamic approach to psychotherapy in order to help clients better understand themselves within their life context. She specializes in healing relationships, both through couples counseling and individual therapy.

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