The typical approach to marriage counseling involves a couple attending hour long sessions weekly for an extended period. The benefit of this format is the ability to address recurring issues on an ongoing basis with a marital therapist or counselor providing follow up advice. There are other crisis situations that require immediate, extensive and intensive intervention to give a marriage any chance of survival. For couples in need of this type of marital ‘trauma center’, there are more immersive programs including a format known as ‘marriage counseling weekend intensives’.


A marriage counseling weekend intensive program is just that–a highly focused, personalized marriage counseling regimen usually lasting 2,3 or 4 days. In many cases, it’s an ’emergency response’ to an immediate and acute crisis threatening the marriage. Examples of situations that could necessitate this type of counseling are extramarital affairs, major fights, drinking binges or a partner threatening to ‘walk out’ of the relationship. In these and similar situations, the paramount concern is to stabilize the relationship quickly while it is still possible to salvage.

While these intensive programs all share the same goal to deal with an immediate threat and prevent the disintegration of a marriage, their methodology and physical location vary widely. Many weekend intensive programs seek to remove couples from the pressures of ‘day to day’ life to minimize stress, improve focus and facilitate intimacy. For this reason, intensive counseling programs are frequently conducted in an isolated and secluded environment. These may be as low key as a suburban retreat center or as luxurious as a mountain resort area.


The process of marriage counseling weekend intensive programs share a number of elements with inpatient ‘rehab’ treatment for drug and alcohol dependency. Although ‘rehab’ participation is often involuntary unlike marriage intervention in both cases there is a sense profound urgency involved. Both offer a personalized and concentrated response to ‘stabilize’ the situation so that in-depth treatment can begin. In both treatment programs, there is no guarantee of success or a promise of a ‘quick fix’–the objective is to ‘jump start’ an ongoing recovery process.


A marriage counseling weekend intensive program can facilitate considerable progress on a short timetable due to several unique characteristics. It provides a schedule where treatment and rehabilitation is a ‘full-time job.’ It’s common for three-day programs to include 15 to 20 hours of therapy sessions involving one or more professional counselors. The focus is squarely on treatment without interruption or distraction. The personalized nature of the program allows the therapist to customize it to a couple’s individual situation. The intensity, focus and specialization of the intensive program provides the most effective method to turn around a marriage in danger and get it heading in the right direction.


There’s no way that serious and complex marital discord can be ‘cured’ in just a few days. Nor does any legitimate intensive program promise or even intimate that they can ‘fix things once and for all’. As noted above, the process itself creates an environment where significant changes can happen quickly. The hope is to deal with immediate problems and get a couple off to a good start on the long term ‘road to recovery’.

More specifically, a marriage counseling weekend intensive can often achieve several important goals. It can provide the emergency intervention necessary to keep the marriage intact. It can help the couple manage the worst of the immediate crisis situation. At this point, the counseling and therapy can ‘jump start’ the recovery process. Finally, the couple will leave with ‘treatment plan’ along with aftercare follow-up. Hopefully, the couple ends the weekend feeling better about themselves and their marriage and with renewed hope for the future.


For couples that are already committed to trying to save their marriage and to taking the necessary steps to do so intensive programs are highly effective. It might not be a ‘cure-all’ but it can provide a starting point toward a stronger and more fulfilling marriage.

If your relationship is in crisis and you’d like to schedule a weekend marriage intensive program, please contact us here. Our intensive weekend marriage restoration program is held in Kokomo, IN with a highly trained marriage therapist. Cost are usually $1,200 per day though occasionally we can reduce this if a couple cannot pay the full amount. 3 day intensive is usually recommended for couples in dire circumstances.