Aspley and Stafford Heights

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Marathon Couples Therapy

Couples’ Retreats For Immediate and Sustained Results

Marathon Therapy is a Masterclass in Relationship Skills

Relationship struggles are normal. Conflict, distance, mistrust, or ‘we’ve just become housemates’ can all happen at times in every relationship.  Far from being a sign that everything is broken, these things may actually be useful because they signal unmet needs, hurts that need healing, or hopes and dreams that need to be heard. 

The good news is that, managed in a functional way, relationship pain can lead to greater intimacy, deeper relationships, and each person understanding the other better.  The aim of couple’s therapy is to give you the skills to manage conflict, process past hurts, and actively engage in building your own future full of hope. By giving couples these skills, we hope as therapists to make ourselves redundant as quickly as possible!

Which Couples Benefit from Marathon Therapy?

Couples seek out marathon therapy for a range of reasons, including:

  • emotional disengagement
  • power struggles
  • problem-solving and communication difficulties
  • jealousy and extra-relational affairs (emotional and physical)
  • value and role conflicts
  • sexual dissatisfaction
  • emotional abuse and violence

Far from being unusual, research shows approximately 40% of people seek psychological help for relationship reasons (Gurman & Fraenkel, 2002).

We Can Work It Out!

Marathon Therapy is a dynamic alternative to traditional weekly or fortnightly couples counselling. A Marathon is especially suitable for couples who don’t live near a trained Gottman Therapist but can travel to north Brisbane, those who have hectic schedules but can take 1-2 days off work, or couples who require immediate, intensive help to move through a particularly rocky patch. Preliminary research on Marathon Therapy shows that Marathons can help to quickly reduce distress, resolve specific conflict issues, and increase a sense of closeness and intimacy, leading to a stronger, more resilient and more satisfying relationship (Gottman & Gottman, 2015).

How Much Time is Involved?

We follow the wisdom of the old saying ‘measure twice, cut once’ with our Gottman relationship assessment process.  So, before a Marathon each partner completes a comprehensive online assessment for which you should allow two hours.  These assessments allow your therapist to rapidly develop an understanding of your relationship – an understanding that may otherwise take five to ten hours of ‘normal’ therapy or conversation. 

This assessment allows your Gottman-qualified Psychologist (all our therapists are registered Psychologists) to pinpoint specific needs in your relationship, and to design your Marathon accordingly.  Before we meet with you, we also give you an individual background survey. This takes approximately 30 minutes. So, please allow 2.5 hours in total for the pre-Marathon surveys.

Once both partners have completed the survey, your Psychologist receives a report via the Gottman Institute with your results to give you feedback. We aim to book the Marathon therapy date(s) as soon as possible after results are received. Discuss the timeline with your Therapist.

The Marathon Couple’s Therapy itself is condensed and focused over two consecutive days of intense, structured, evidence-based couple’s therapy with just you – one couple and one therapist.  (Don’t stress the ‘intense’ part – each day is split with regular breaks and opportunities for time out).  Each activity or ‘intervention’ your therapist selects for inclusion in your Marathon is based within the Gottman framework – and has been subjected to rigorous testing and research.  In this way, your individualised Marathon paves the way for you to move forward to a place of hope and reconnection as rapidly as possible.

What Skills Will We Learn?

During your Marathon, you both work together to learn new skills to:

  • Transform inevitable relationship conflicts so you can build solid bridges between the two of you
  • Deepen your understanding of one another
  • Repair old hurts and resentments
  • Unearth the values and life purpose you share
  • Strengthen your friendship
  • Spice up your intimacy

The Marathon Couple’s Therapy approach has been demonstrated to have significant benefits for couples. In many cases, it has moved couples from thinking of ending their relationship to recommitting to it in new ways.  Couples who have engaged in this process have reported that they were able to process a range of unresolved issues, ‘leave the baggage behind’ and go home with a renewed sense of commitment, closeness and hope for their future. 

Where is Marathon Therapy Held?

Unless you have another preference, the Marathon Therapy will take place in a private hotel room at Oaks Mon Komo in Redcliffe, a short drive from Brisbane and the Brisbane airport, overlooking beautiful Moreton Bay. The blue water views are calming and the venue is near to cafes and restaurants. Out-of-town (or Brisbane-based) clients are welcome to stay at Mon Komo for no extra charge.

Who are the Marathon Therapists at NBP?

We currently have 3 very experienced Gottman therapists available. 

Dr Rachel Hannam, Pia Jones and Nahum Kozak are all registered psychologists, and have each completed Level 3 Clinical Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy.

What is the Investment?

And we use the term investment deliberately because you ARE investing in your future, like training or studying for a career. The Marathon Therapy costs $2000 per day ($4000 for the two days), which includes all the aspects below. A good deal of preparation for your Marathon is undertaken by your therapist, as well as the years of training and experience s/he has invested to become a skilled couples therapist.

If you have Private Health Insurance with Extras Cover, this may offset some of the costs of marathon therapy. We often say that it is cheaper to get good therapy than to break up! Talk with us if you feel marathon therapy is right for you but the cost is prohibitive.

Inclusions for Marathon Therapy:

  • A highly experienced psychologist who has extensive training in the Gottman method of couples counselling
  • 6-7 hours of focussed, structured therapy per day, broken into 4 x 90-100 minute sessions
  • A Gottman relationship check-up assessment
  • Morning and afternoon tea plus tea and coffee provided (lunch options nearby in Redcliffe)
  • A personalised booklet containing the strategies relevant to your relationship to ensure you can continue to implement these strategies once therapy has finished (e.g. strategies to manage conflict, solve ongoing issues, how to communicate your needs, improve connection, & improve intimacy)
  • Free accommodation at Oaks Mon Komo, Redcliffe.

Apply Now for Marathon Therapy

“Marathon sessions get so much momentum. Couples are so focussed on their relationship that they really move through interventions and process attachment injuries much quicker” – Julie Gottman