FAQ

Click here for our most frequently asked questions. We are happy to answer any further questions you might have. Contact us directly.

What types of couples do you work with?

We work couples from all walks of life, from all around the world. Many of the couples we see are cross-cultural, sometimes with one partner living in their native country, while the other is from a different country. Other couples we see are from the same country or culture, but are currently living abroad as expats.

English is the language we speak during therapy, however it may or may not be the native language of our clients.

Are there advantages to intensive programs?

Yes! Below are some of the advantages to our intensive programs:

  • Our programs shrink down the time spent in therapy. For example, a two day intensive is the equivalent of nearly three to five months of weekly therapy.
  • Research shows that consolidating sessions in the beginning of the therapy is more effective than spacing out sessions over time.
  • The longer time frame during intensives allow couples to get to the heart of the matter and stay there for a longer period of time before the session is ended.
  • Couples are able to go deeper with their emotions and are therefore able to connect deeper with their partner.
  • During an intensive program your therapist is completely focused on you and your partner, without the distractions of upcoming sessions or time management.
  • Scheduling is often more convenient, you will miss less work and spend less time on arranging childcare.
Aren’t intensive sessions too long?

No! Our intensive programs are broken down into two, three hour sessions per day. In our experience, three hour sessions aren’t long enough!

During the three hour sessions we often alternate between talking and watching videos of couples going through a similar experience. This is highly informative, creates hope and helps couples ease into the therapy process.

Once the process is underway and couples begin working through the emotional landscape of their relationship, it is hard to stop until there is a resolution. This makes the time go quickly and clients often cannot believe that the three hours have already passed.

Knowing that couples are often apprehensive in the beginning, we ensure that the environment is comfortable going into a three hour session. Comfy chairs, tea, coffee and refreshments are provided and we always take a short break half way through to stretch our legs.

Is there a screening process?

Yes! Deciding to participate in one of our intensive programs is a significant commitment of time and resources. Therefore, we provide a thorough screening to make sure that you choose the program that is suited best for you and your partner. 

What is involved in the screening process?

The screening process involves the following steps: 

  1. First we will meet for a 20 minute introductory Skype chat (free of charge)
  2. If we feel that the three of us are a good fit, and an intensive program is suitable, we will schedule a 75 minute session, either in person or via Skype.
  3. You and your partner will receive an invoice for the screening process as well as the initial treatment consent forms.
  4. Upon payment and return of the consent forms, you will each receive an invitation via email to complete the online Gottman Relationship Checkup, which is a research based assessment tool.
  5. During the 75 minute session, we will continue with the assessment process and confirm the date of the intensive.
  6. After the session, you will receive a second invoice via email for payment before the intensive begins.

In the unlikely event that we determine that an intensive program is not in your best interest, you and your partner will receive advice on what to do next. Some options include weekly therapy with us, either in person or online, or we might refer you to another therapist or specialist in your area.  

Are screening process fees refundable?

No, the €375 fee for the screening process is non refundable. However, the fee is included in the total amount of our intensive programs, should you decide to participate.

During the initial 20 minute non-obligatory Skype session we ask direct questions in order to evaluate whether or not you and your partner are potentially suitable, and therefore advised to go through the screening process. If we feel that our intensive programs are not the right choice for the two of you, we will tell you this upfront.

In the unlikely event that information is revealed during the online assessment that would disqualify you and your partner, we do our best to provide alternative solutions, whether that be in the form of weekly therapy with us or a referral to another therapist or specialist.

Are we eligible for an intensive or retreat?

Most couples are eligible for intensive therapy or a couples retreat.

Below are certain situations where our programs are not suitable:

  • Current ongoing (undisclosed) infidelity
  • Continual domestic violence or threat of violence
  • Active substance abuse
  • Untreated serious mental health issues or unresolved trauma
  • One partner has already decided definitively to leave the relationship

If you are uncertain about whether your personal situation would be suitable, please do not hesitate contacting us.

What is the difference between each program?

Our intensive therapy programs are custom made based on the specific needs of the couple. They are intended for couples who are having serious issues disrupting the relationship and always include a thorough assessment.

Our couples retreat is specifically designed for expat and cross-cultural couples who are in need of a relationship tune-up or want to prevent certain issues from becoming more serious.

The retreat has a standard structure based on the Hold Me Tight® program, which is an educational enrichment course for couples, not therapy. Other methods, such as mindfulness skills for stress reduction and interventions developed by Drs. Julie and John Gottman, are also incorporated into the retreat.

Which program is suitable for us?

Couples should consider the current state of their relationship when deciding between our programs. If you are in crisis and are considering ending the relationship, then one of our intensive programs is the best choice.

If you are currently not in crisis, but are interested in improving and strengthening your relationship, then our couples retreat is a good option.

If you are still unsure, please do not hesitate contacting us. After a short conversation, we can often guide you on what the better choice for you and your partner will be.

After an intensive, are we done?

While intensive programs are a great starting point for couples to make drastic changes in their relationship, most couples will need more follow up to prevent relapse. We recommend regular check-ins in the form of hourly sessions or additional intensives when warranted.

Do you offer follow up sessions?

We offer one follow up 60 minute session as part of the two day intensive program. This session can be held either in person or via Skype.

Follow up sessions are also available, at an additional charge, for one day intensives and participants of our couples retreat.

Are your programs covered by insurance?

For intensive programs and couples retreats, the answer is typically no, however we always advise that you check with your insurance provider to be sure, especially if you have international insurance.

For weekly therapy, coverage will depend on your insurance provider.

Another option is to ask your employer whether they can help cover (some of) the costs.

Are your programs worth it?

Yes! We have found that while weekly therapy can be effective for some couples, intensive programs are more effective for most couples. This is not because weekly therapy is flawed per se. Rather, it is because most couples have difficulty scheduling weekly sessions consistently. Busy work schedules and frequent travel is common for couples living abroad, and can wreak havoc on the best of intentions for therapy. Even when there is enough motivation to improve the relationship, life circumstances often get in the way.

Our intensive programs and couple retreats save you and your partner both time and money. By spending an intense period of time with your partner and the therapist, the two of you will be able to make changes quickly and dramatically. The faster you and your partner begin to make changes in the relationship, the less it will cost you over time. It is a win-win situation.