Usually intensive therapy encompasses two full days, with a few hour intro session the evening before. Retreat or Marathon therapy sessions were designed for people who must travel to be seen by a Gottman clinician, and for professional clients who have difficulty scheduling weekly sessions into their lives. Because there are so few Certified Gottman Therapists in some parts of the country, I offer these intensive marathon therapy sessions that last for two consecutive days.
Prior to coming in, you both will separately complete an assessment and go through a screening process. This assessment will give me a lot of very helpful information about the current status of your relationship as well as family history, etc.
The following criteria would preclude a couple from doing a marathon session as they would need more intensive private therapy and/or individual therapy or intervention:
If there is active alcohol and/or drug addiction that is not being addressed by a recovery program.
If there is serious violence in your relationship, threats by one or both partners that serious violence might occur, or fear of serious violence.
If either partner currently has an untreated major mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar, or dissociative identity disorder.)
If there is an undisclosed, or current affair that either partner is unwilling to give up
If either partner is currently experiencing suicidal or homicidal thoughts, or has a history of serious suicide attempts or harm to others.