Private Retreat Intensives

Enjoy a personal and individualized therapy experience with Jonathan!

These weekend retreats are a great opportunity for a couple to get away from the normal patterns and routines of life to explore your relationship’s strengths and weaknesses.

Need an intense forward step toward healing?

In order to best serve clients and help them on their journey to healing, Jonathan Shippey holds weekend intensives for couples. The intensive modality has been likened to the effectiveness of 6 months of regular therapy - but accomplished in just a few days instead. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns. If you'd like to discuss dates and secure a time on my calendar, please let me know when we may have a phone call in order to process payment and discuss scheduling.

What is a couples intensive?

A Couples Intensive offers the opportunity to have focused and dedicated time for several hours or several consecutive days with a research-based couples therapist. It is essentially a private retreat, tailored just for the two of you. I am a regional specialist in working with couples, having trained extensively in two research-based models: 1) Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), based on the research of Dr. Sue Johnson, author of the book Hold Me Tight, and 2) Gottman Method, designed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman and based on their research and clinical work spanning 40+ years with over 3000 couples.

Couples who have experienced this modality and have been in typical counseling sessions consistently comment that being able to work through their issue(s) in a concentrated format allows them to experience previously unimaginable breakthroughs. They report that by not being rushed, the safety needed in order to share more freely and deeply is built into the structured length of the intensive.

The Couples Intensive is a highly focused modality. What you can expect from an intensive is to foster respect, affection, and closeness and begin to rebuild trust when it has been damaged or lost. Create a shift in partners' interactional positions and initiate new cycles of interaction, in order to build and share a deeper connection with each other’s inner world. Keep conflict discussions calm and experience breakthroughs on gridlocked perpetual differences. Expand and re-organize key emotional responses and foster the creation of a secure bond between partners. We will also develop a plan to strengthen and maintain gains in your relationship that you’ll be able to implement once the intensive is complete.

We start out by identifying the goals and intentions of the intensive process right from the outset. Prior to coming in, you will purchase and complete an online relationship assessment which you will each fill out separately. In this assessment you will be asked numerous questions exploring your individual perspectives on the current state of your relationship, as well as what it is you hope to achieve during the intensive. I will review this packet of information prior to meeting with you.

From the observational research of John Gottman, research-based therapists envision three primary goals in working with couples. We want to facilitate clients in rekindling and sustaining romance and intimacy through the fundamentals of friendship; learn to manage their conflicts well; and create a shared sense of meaning that will knit their lives together.  Almost all of the issues couples typically want to work on can be viewed through the lens of these three broad goals, but within this overarching framework we will tailor the intensive to meet your particular needs as a couple.

I am available for intensive sessions any day of the week, including weekends (if that is the only time that works for you as a couple).


Who could benefit from a couples intensive?

  • Any committed couple who is experiencing marital or relationship distress and wants their relationship to stay together or would like to explore where they are in the relationship.  It helps if you are committed to the relationship; however, many partners in relationships that have suffered a setback are just not quite sure. This is OK and I can work with that as well. 

  • Any couple who does not live in the vicinity of Louisville, KY


How does this work?

You will schedule three or more hours in a row, or two to four days in a row, for the intensive. You would stay in a local hotel or commute back to your home depending on distance to travel. You may also invite me to travel to your location, if that makes it easier for you to set aside the time for the intensive. Depending on how the intensive progresses, you may choose to come back for follow up sessions every couple of weeks or months. You would reserve your days by making a 50% deposit, with payment in full required no later than 3 weeks prior to attending sessions, and there is a 3 week cancellation policy. If you wish to cancel prior to 3 weeks before a scheduled retreat, you will receive a refund, less a 10% cancellation fee. No refunds are available within 3 weeks of a scheduled retreat. Your experience can be rescheduled one time; however, the new date must be within 3 months of your original date. Fees for rescheduling are $150 if done prior to the 21 day window, and $250 if the change is made in the final 21 days. I will make myself completely available for you and clear my schedule for these sessions, so it is imperative that you keep your appointment and are committed to this process.

Rates: $1800/day (includes 5-7 hours of therapy, exclusive of breaks, with a lunch break midway through each day). Please note: there is an up-charge of $200 per day for scheduling intensives across weekend days (Saturdays and Sundays), bringing the cost for weekend intensives to $2000/day. Payment via PayPal Credit offers a payment plan of six months interest-free; I can provide you with more information about this payment option if desired. Please feel free to call, text, or email, and I will answer any questions you may have.