Are you and your partner at a crossroads and need help NOW?
Is your relationship in crisis?
Are you or your partner… threatening divorce? living separately? having gridlocked conflict? shattered by betrayal? facing unresolved mental health, substance abuse, or other addiction issues? Going through the motions like roommates?
If so, Lana Isaacson, LCSW, CAC III offers a couples intensive.
A couples intensive is a 1-2 day program for couples who are in pain and their relationship needs to be fixed now.
The purpose of an intensive is to transform your relationship from one that feels OVERWHELMED by…
- gridlocked issues (same fight over and over again) and animosity
- a recent crisis (an affair or other betrayal, a loss or other significant issue)
- lack of connection and love (no longer cherish your partner and have become roommates)
~ into a VIBRANT relationship that is boldly authentic, passionate and meaningful.
I will support you in courageously facing, working through and healing from crises, conflict and disconnection that has devastated your relationship, so you can become each other’s greatest support again.
In guiding couples to work through betrayals, I use EFT’s (Emotionally Focused Therapy’s) evidenced-based AIRM (attachment injury resolution model) process that has proven positive results I have witnessed professionally and personally.
I have a special interest in the research on trust, betrayal, and how to rebuild trust again. Watch my video on this process (coming soon…)
I am continually reading and training in best practices related to “couple repairs” (forgiveness, letting go of resentments, healing from attachment injuries, etc.) since it is not the mistakes that end marriages, but the lack of effective repairs. My passion for helping couples heal from betrayals and rebuild trust led me to create and lead a couple’s workshop called, “Have Each Other’s Backs Again“.
I will also help you increase your awareness of the painful stuck patterns (“negative cycles”) that have overtaken your relationship and guide you in changing your moves so you can create more “positive cycles” of connection.
It is rarely the content (sex, mess, kids, work, money, in-laws, religion/spirituality, addiction, etc.) that is the real issue. I will help you go below the surface to get to the crux of the matter that fuels your conflict and hurt in order to help you heal, express your authentic emotions, and resolve the REAL issue.
During our intensive, I will help you get to the heart of the matter by guiding you to express your deepest needs, longings, fears, hopes and dreams for yourself and your relationship.
This fierce level of intimacy will allow you to get needs met that perhaps never were and/or to rekindle the spark between you and your partner so you can remember that you were lovers before you became roommates (and parents if applicable).
As you strengthen your bond with your partner, you will also strengthen your communication skills. I will also coach you both in learning how to attune (read your non-verbal body language & emotions) and emotionally respond to your partner in order for both of you to feel deeply understood, seen, heard, and cared for.
“Lana, thanks again for a powerful intensive weekend. The intensive helped drill deep into both of our feelings and put some things on the table that we needed to deal with in a much more intense manner. I was finally able to truly understand the level of hurt I had inflicted on my wife with my outside relationships. Conversation 5 (EFT’s forgiving attachment injuries) was the deepest work we’d ever done and we need to continue with it. Even though my wife and I have had a very long relationship, before the intensive, we could barely communicate in part because of the pain I caused. After the intensive, we were able to talk better than we had in months, so that was good. Though our goals were lofty, we made steps toward achieving them. We are very hopeful we can repair our marriage and improve our relationship. I look forward to more couple’s work with you.”
Sample Schedule (1 or 2 day programs are tailor-made for each couple)~ offered during the week or weekend:
- 15 minute greetings, set intentions (light a candle & find a reading? &/or your relationship is your legacy to future generations- Terry Real quote- you’re courageous!!) ) and guidelines (with couples input- emotional safety and learning/challenge zone when possible) for two days
- 75 minute session – Love story, a favorite memory, (9:00) A.R.E., 5 different levels of relationships; How you get stuck/blocked~ Conversation 1- begin tracking cycle- “What was your relationship like before the betrayal?”)
- 1 hr 45 minute session (45 minutes relationship education- Johnson & Tronick video, “the cycle”- Conv. 2- underlying emotions and attachment needs/longings/fears, what a secure functioning relationship looks like) + 1 hour session- Couple Bubble exercise (include 3rds) & process
11:50-1:00 Lunch (& clean office)
1:00-2:00 (Tonna’s office) Rebuild/Heal
- Two 30 minute individual sessions (other partner gets a break when not in session); Partner can fill out Intimacy inventory
3:15-4:30 (Tonna’s office) Rebuild/Heal
- 1 hr session (It’s not the mistakes… it’s all about the repairs- slow to fast, how to rebuild trust- Gottman’s video, emotional responsiveness exercise, review Gottman’s trust handout, apology handout, & attachment injury info- PPT)
- 15 minute wrap up (eye gaze & partner meditation + one take away & appreciations)
= 5 hours, 30 minutes
- 15 minute greetings (reviewed 1st day, eye gazing to “I love you for a thousand years” & set intentions)
- 75 minute session (Each partner reads their “Appreciate, Regret, Hurt, & Request”………… apology letter
- 1 hr 45 minute session – Conversation 5 “Forgiving Injuries”
- (& closer and farther, beckoning, or River of Feelings or video playback if time)
- 1 hr couple session – Conversation 4 “Hold Me Tight”
- (trust catch, lover’s pose, river of feelings, or video playback? )
- 45 minute session (Couple Vision with sandtray & Agreements)
- 30 minute wrap up (with candle again; back to back meditation or Kornfield forgiveness meditation – take aways, areas of growth, reflections, Quote by Esther Perel about marriage, etc.)
= 5 hours, 30 minutes
All couples have relationship issues at different points in their journey.
3 stages in relationships….
The key to an amazing relationship is learning how to move from disharmony to repair.
Couple Therapy Sessions Are:
Evidenced-based – I draw from the most effective and evidenced-based couples therapy models (including EFT, PACT, RLT, Esther Perel, & Gottman) today. Since every couple is unique, it is my job to decide on the most helpful skills and concepts to match each couple’s needs. I primarily draw from the EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) model, which has the highest success rate overall in couples therapy- 95% of people feel better, and 75% of couples report their issues are resolved.
Strength-focused – You have strengths as an individual and as a couple that deserve recognition. When others see the best in you, you feel safe and more open to change. You can also feel more hope as a couple when your strengths are honored and reflected back to you.
Heart-centered & emotionally-focused – Grounded in attachment theory, I will elicit greater authenticity, empathy and understanding for you and your partner by drawing from your your current feelings and relationship dynamic, childhood, and previous intimate relationships. You will be supported to speak and listen from your heart, so you and your partner’s needs, hopes, fears, and longings will be heard, understood, validated, and empathized, and your relationship dynamic can be changed to a more supportive one.
Active-oriented & Practical– You will face each other as I coach you to better express yourself, attune, and care for one another. You will practice in real time different solutions related to your problems and/or goals, ex. effective communication, conflict resolution, rebuilding trust, and intimacy skills. You will rediscover the fun, sense of adventure, and passion you previously had to continue writing fabulous chapters in your love story.
Collaborative/empowering – Since every couple is unique, I will follow your lead with you identifying your relationship goals. My job as a couples therapist is to help you reach your goals by providing “process (communication) consulting”, skill coaching, drilling down together to the root of your struggles, and supporting you in taking small steps to reach your desired goals.
What Sets Me Apart as a Couples Therapist
- I have been married for 20 years and am incredibly fortunate to have a spouse who is as devoted as I am to relational growth. We reap the benefits of continually learning and growing and are committed to passing down a legacy of a loving, fulfilling, and vibrant relationship to future generations.
- I am an adjunct faculty member at University of Denver where I teach a couples therapy course, and have presented at professional conferences on couples in recovery.
- While many therapists in private practice complete their education (except for the required minimal CEU’s) when they earn their master’s degree, I continued on in a two year rigorous post-graduate training in Marriage and Family Therapy at Denver Family Institute.
- I have completed The Gottman Institute’s training, “Couples and Addiction Recovery”, PACT Level I training, and RLT Level I and II training.
- Currently, I am focused on earning my EFT certification since this model has the highest success rate overall in couples therapy- 95% of people feel better, and 75% report their issues resolved.
I’m considering your couples intensive, but still have questions and concerns…
Do intensives really work?
Yes! Personally and professionally at retreats and intensives, I have witnessed couples have breakthrough moments and engage in deeper work at a higher rate than couples therapy. This is in part due to the high motivation that these couples bring since they are willing to make a significant investment in their relationship. ……………..
I can still remember the anxious moment I asked my husband (who has a degree in engineering) to attend our first two day couples retreat and how pleasantly surprised I was to hear an instant, “yes”! I probably registered us within the next 59 seconds. Both my husband and I found that first retreat to be transformational and he is willing to go on any couples retreat now.
I’m worried about the cost and time since we’ll have to find childcare. How long will it take for us to see some improvement?
Couples therapy is one of the best investments of your money, time and energy because your relationship is a blueprint for marriage and a legacy to your child. Ask yourselves, “What type of intimate relationship do I want to experience in this lifetime and to pass down to my children?”
As a parent, I also understand the challenge of securing childcare and parents feeling spread thin. Thus, I offer my intensive on the weekend so you can more easily find childcare and be able to fully participate in this process to get the best outcome.
Research shows that a one day intensive workshop can equal 3 months of private couples therapy!
Do you work with diverse couples? (LGBTQIA, different religions, race/ethnicities, etc.?)
Yes! I grew up in a diverse community in a Chicago suburb, attended Pride since I was a child since my uncles and parents owned businesses on Halsted Street (“Boys Town”), and purposefully sought work as a teacher and therapist in diverse communities as I find life is so much richer when a variety of perspectives and wisdom can be shared. I also believe that at our core, humans have more similarities than differences.
Next steps…toward creating an amazing relationship
Simply contact me for a free 30 minute in person consultation. You can conveniently schedule your consultation or first session on my on-line calendar or call Lana Isaacson, LCSW, CAC III, Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy at 720.432.5262.