Marathon Couples 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

Couples’ Retreats can produce immediate and sustained results.

Relationship struggles are normal. Conflict, distance or mistrust can all happen in every relationship. Far from being a sign that everything is broken, these things can help you work through fundamental issues within your relationship.

Managed in a functional way, relationship struggles can lead to greater intimacy and deeper relationships.  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 over 40% of people seek psychological help for relationship conflicts (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, those who have hectic schedules, 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?

Before a Marathon, each partner will complete a comprehensive 2-hour online survey called the Gottman Relationship Health Checkup. This assessment allows your therapist to rapidly develop an understanding of your relationship and 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 individual survey takes approximately 45 minutes.

Once both partners have completed both surveys, your therapist 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 the results are received.

The Marathon itself is condensed over two consecutive days of structured, evidence-based couples therapy with just you and your therapist.  Each activity your therapist includes in your Marathon is based within the Gottman framework and has been subjected to rigorous testing and research.  In this way, your individualised Marathon helps you move forward to a place of hope and reconnection.

What skills will we learn?

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

  • Transform relationship conflicts
  • Deepen your understanding of one another
  • Repair old hurts and resentments
  • Unearth the needs, values and life purpose you share
  • Strengthen your friendship
  • Spice up your intimacy

Marathon Couples Therapy 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. 

Our Marathon Therapist

Michelle Janssen is an experienced couples counsellor using the Gottman Method, a renowned evidence and research based relationship framework. A thorough assessment of the couple’s relationship is conducted, with interventions applied based on the Sound Relationship House. Michelle believes couples doing counselling can have a huge, positive ripple effect on all things in their lives.

What do previous clients say?

“I wanted to thank you for all your input and for holding a space for us. The process has been hugely beneficial for me personally. I could ramble but to be succinct, I feel it has been quite the turning point in my relationships and my insight into the way I connect with others. It was honestly the best decision to start this process…Therapy is a beautiful thing!”

The Marathon created the opportunity to focus on our relationship without other distractions. The setup of the marathon requires each person to commit to the process. After each break, Rachel checked in with us to see what each of us were feeling. The Marathon really forced us to face our issues. Rachel focussed us on our feelings and needs and showed us ways to communicate that cut through our avoidance of problems. Rachel noticed how we were feeling and struggling in the moment and gently guided us to deal with our experiences rather than sweep them under the rug. The Marathon was an amazing opportunity to get away from the busyness of life’s demands and focus on how to make improvements to our communication and our future. I would recommend the Marathon for anyone who wants the opportunity to re-centre and refocus on their relationship”.

What is the investment?

And we use the term investment deliberately because you ARE investing in your future. A Marathon Therapy program currently costs $5000 in total, which includes all the various aspects outlined below. If you wish to save money by organising and paying for your own accommodation in Brisbane, the cost is reduced to $4000. You must ensure the accommodation you arrange has a fridge to store food and a living area for the therapy sessions approx. 3m x 3m with enough seating for three people. Call us to discuss.

A good deal of preparation for your Marathon is undertaken by your therapist, as well as the years of training and experience they have invested to become a skilled couples therapist.

If you have Private Health Insurance with Extras Cover, you 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 therapist who has extensive training in the Gottman method of couples counselling
  • 7 hours of focussed, structured therapy each day, broken into 4 x 90-100 minute sessions
  • A Gottman relationship check-up assessment
  • Morning and afternoon tea as well as 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)
  • Accommodation at the beautiful Oaks Mon Komo, Redcliffe.


Do I need to have done couples therapy before? 

No, you don’t need to have done couples therapy before. We accept partners who have and haven’t done couples therapy previously.

Do you have a payment plan?

Yes, this can be arranged if you have financial difficulties. Give Dr Rachel a call to discuss on 0478789321.

What happens afterwards?

We will schedule follow-up sessions with you individually and together within the following 6-8 weeks of your Marathon to ensure you have a maintenance program to keep you on track for the long-term.

Do you see same sex couples?

Yes absolutely, the Gottman Method has been used with all types of couples.

Do you see people in polyamorous relationships?

Yes we do.

What if one or both of us have a mental illness?

We can definitely see you for marathon couples therapy. Before the marathon couples session, we would also like to speak with you to see whether you need individual therapy prior to or alongside your couples therapy.

Do you work with relationships in which an affair has occurred?

Yes, many people seek couples therapy for this reason.

Apply Now for Marathon Therapy