Relationship Counselling Intensives

Why do a relationship counselling intensive?

Intensives provide a way to work on your relationship in an environment free from other distractions. In a relationship intensive, with the luxury of extra time and no interruptions, you are able to cover more ground.


A significant part of relationship counselling is unpeeling layers and getting to the heart of our emotional disconnection, of seeing issues and emotional blocks that are in the way of being happy together.


Ever notice that you and your partner have solid intentions to sit down and have a serious talk about how things are going, only to find the conversation completely falls off the rails and ends in a fight or one person walking off?


In a couples’ intensive that doesn’t happen. Your therapist is there to keep you on track, to help move you through feeling stuck and keep the conversation going.


In attending weekly counselling, insights that are starting to come clear in a session can easily be lost and obscured in the business and stress of daily life. Valuable session time is sometimes lost backtracking and re-covering the same issues and insights as people tend to get re-triggered about the same hurts before they are fully healed.


In counselling intensives backtracking will still happen, of course, as we often have to see an issue again and again from every angle until finally we gain clarity about what underlies the problem. However less time is wasted in a counselling intensive in revisiting and re-exploring.


Couples and therapists find that time in an intensive takes them to a deeper level of understanding more quickly, and insights seem to get reinforced and stick. This deeper level of understanding is gratifying.


However, it should be noted that participating in a couples intensive does not mean that everything going forwards will be completely resolved. We are cautious not to over-promise that one weekend intensive will solve all your relationship issues. For some couples that is the case, which is great. For other couples, they follow up an intensive with face to face or zoom sessions – or do a second intensive in a few months’ time.


You may be able to judge which category you fit in to – how big and entrenched are your issues?


It is highly advisable that you be wary of providers who may promote their couples’ intensives as a miracle weekend – a cure all. We do not hold intensives up as a miracle weekend. We do think they are of great benefit for time poor couples, and we do think most couples can take a shift upwards that is needed and very much appreciated. From there, it’s up to you where you take it.

What is the format of our intensive?

We combine our intensive with highlights from our Hold Me Tight Workshop . We find interspersing educational material throughout the therapy makes it not as exhausting, which is important in terms of making sure the experience is emotionally safe and has a positive impact on you.


Each practitioner responds to each couple differently – the balance between educational material and therapy is really individually tailored as the practitioner assesses as appropriate.


However, in the therapeutic parts of the intensive you’ll each have plenty of time to present your point of view on the issues at hand, and you’ll find most of the talking time will be from you. Your counsellor gently, but very deliberately, facilitates and directs your conversation where it needs to go – away from your usual pattern.


Educational material will be about the workings of relationships, about what traps couples in negative cycles, with a focus on providing the tools to break these downward spirals. It will be delivered at appropriate times to shift your understanding of what might have been going wrong your relationship.


You’ll start at 10.30 am and finish at 4.30 pm with an hour lunch break. Even with the break you will probably be tired – it is intense (but rewarding) work. It might be the first time ever that you’ve really been able to talk with your partner on that deeper level. It might be the first time ever that you’ve really recognised deeper things in yourself to share with your partner. Hopefully it will be eye opening.

Pricing & Where to Stay

Ideally an intensive would be completed while you are away from home. Physically being away from home and children, in a different environment, obviously creates a space where you can focus on your bond and shifting and re-patterning your reactions to each other. If you are coming to Canberra, you can create that by staying in a near-by hotel, or if you’re from Canberra, investigate a staycation.


Our office is located in a heritage building in the leafy café and restaurant precinct of Canberra’s inner south. If you choose a hotel nearby you can stroll over to our office every morning and eat lunch in the nearby café districts.


We highly recommend East Hotel in Kingston, a 10 minute walk or 1 minute drive from our office. It’s a beautiful and contemporary space with lovely on-site food venues. The hotel is not far from Lake Burley Griffin and has bikes and scooters to loan for taking advantage of Canberra’s miles of bike paths or walk around the lake to the art and museum.


Intensive Pricing


Senior Practitioner
2 days $2990


Advanced Practitioner
2 days $3290


Deposits & Payments

We take a non-refundable $1000 deposit once you secure your dates. The balance is due 5 days before the intensive commences, and is refundable if for some reason you are unable to commence the intensive.

Who is an intensive for?

Couples who feel that their relationship is on the brink of collapse often choose an intensive retreat. Sometimes the intensity of the time together is really what is needed to regain and heal what has been a severe rupture in the couple bond.


For many couples, things start to go a little off track and they keep on pretending everything is OK, often preferring not to go through the embarrassment of couples therapy. Things get worse over the years and they end up in therapy anyway. They then realise how helpful it is, how it actually isn’t that embarrassing and most often comment that they wish they had come years earlier.


Intensives can be extremely rewarding and positive for couples like this. If it is early in your relationship or early in your relationship distress, we encourage you to consider a relationship intensive to get things on track before things become too painful or hard to unravel.


All of our therapists run intensives, as their availability differs Please contact us if you would like to see who is available and when.

Who shouldn’t do an intensive?

If you have definitely decided to leave a relationship, attending an intensive would be unfair for you and your spouse.


If you are unsure about staying or leaving, however, an intensive can be an excellent way to unpack what you both have done to contribute to the breakdown of a relationship. This could either lead to healing and the start of “marriage #2” – a wonderful phase of connection that you might not have thought possible, or a much more amicable and resolved separation.


If there are power and control, domestic violence or severe addiction or dependency issues in your relationship, an intensive couples retreat will not be appropriate.


If you think you an intensive would be suitable for you, please contact us to book to check availability.