Intensive Therapy  - Getting Started

Getting started with Intensive Therapy is like taking the first step in a wonderful journey.
Intensive Therapy Only qualified couples who are committed to making positive changes will be scheduled for these sessions.  CloserCouples is highly committed to investigating this innovative modality and recognizes that it represents a level of intensity that is definitely not for everyone.

Who Qualifies?

  1. Couples must agree to the possibility of physiological monitoring (pulse oximeters, EmWaves and eventually Love Lab software). Suzanne has been a proponent for a long time of the use of pulse oximeters and EmWaves in session.  These are non-invasive physiological sensors that can detect diffuse physiological arousal (DPA) during a conflict discussion, (a predictor of divorce). In addition, Suzanne can use video of your conversation to demonstrate back to you how your non-verbal cues may be creating difficulties between you. DPA predicts breakup and divorce. It is when, during conflict, one or both people in the couple experience an elevation in heart rate. And when this happens, adrenaline is released into your blood stream, creating a sense of panic, and the infamous state of “fight, flight or freeze.” It is during these times that “The Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse in Marriage” (a phrase coined by Dr. Gottman) enter, which are criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling. When we experience DPA, we may not even be conscious of it. Technology can help us to be more physiologically aware of, and compassionate toward, your partner and yourself. And this leads to much, much more evolved dialogue in session.

  2. Each partner must be willing to complete a Readiness for Change Assessment. This is to protect you from getting into a protracted therapy session with a partner who has already made a decision to leave the relationship. 

  3. Before therapy, each partner must be willing to complete a Relationship Assessment from The Gottman Institute (a 1-3 hour commitment) to be sure there are no contraindications for couples treatment. After therapy, a follow up assessment (10-20 minutes) will also be sent to you.

If interested in being considered for selection click here, and you will be prompted to complete these forms. 


How Much Do Intensive Therapy Sessions Cost?

The cost for intensives is no higher than traditional therapy. The hourly cost is $200, with an option to spread the payments out over a traditional two-three month period, while the treatment itself is concentrated and focused into one day. The cost for an intensive is $1600. In order to confirm your session with CloserCouples, ½ payment, $800, must be made in advance. The remaining $800 can be paid at the time of your session or later if we have a signed payment plan agreement. Intensives cancelled with at least one week’s notice will receive a full refund, minus a $150 administrative fee. No refunds can be given when cancellations occur with less than one week’s notice. 

For example if you schedule 8 hours for a single day intensive, the cost is $1600. You could pay $533 to confirm your appointment, pay $533 on the day of the session, and then commit to pay $534 within 30 days. 


How Do We Get Started?

If this model is feasible for you, please reply here, copying your partner, and include Intensive Request in the subject line of your email. This will prompt me to send a welcome letter, a Relationship Assessment from The Gottman Institute, and a quick survey to assess commitment. If you and your partner meet criteria, she will offer scheduling options for you. For now these are limited to Sundays and Wednesdays for the One Day Intensive Options. They are 8 clinical hours, with specific times TBD (typically 9am-6pm, but this timing is somewhat flexible).

In addition to completing the assessments, I encourage you also to watch Making Relationships Work, a film on Dr. John Gottman’s relationship research.  You may rent the streaming version here: Essentially the same material is available now on Youtube in four videos, too. Those links are attached below.

Links to Gottman Research presentation:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4