90 days is several days over 12 weeks, close on 13 weeks.
For the 12 weeks we do a minium connection of two times each week which is One individual session for each partner and One joint session. No formal sessions are scheduled for Week 13. This week is for any final clatrification and we book any sessions we need to get the optimal result.
Then on top of that you have access to me for 15-20 minutes support calls every business day for the whole 90 days.
Plus we do two “tune up” sessions around a month apart after the 90 days to ensure you are doing well.
Why 90 Days? There is substantial research across multiple life areas showing that over 90 days humans can focus optimally and make required or desired shifts. Examples abound on Google around physical fitness, body wellness, weight loss, rehab after injuries, learning new sporting skills, learning a new language.
For couples rescue whether it be when a relationship has broken down due to high conflict or cold detachment or after an affair crisis, in my 30 years experience 90 days is the right time frame to keep a couple focussed and keen to learn new ways, follow and execute guidance.
In this specific 90 day model a significant aspect is the multiple connections every week. Two individual and one joint sessions has worked out to be the most effective combination to deliver the fastest soothing and healthiest repair for long term sustainability. This brings a momentum to the rebonding transformation that simply cannot be achieved with less frequent contact. It is like a sous chef being supervised and guided by a senior chef daily, or a trainee surgeon operating under the teaching of an experienced senior surgeon several times a week, a junior lawyer under the daily guidance of a senior lawyer. All of these bring day to day guidance building layer upon layer of knowledge and practice to build and refine the techniques for optimal performance. Practice makes perfect, it’s the same with couples.
So why not 120 or 180 days? My experience and rationale is that for one spouse or both it seems too long which translates into “too hard”. Patience and tolerance wears thin and slip backs occur more and more as time stretches out. I know. I’ve tried it. Couples start reducing their sessions down from 2 per week to once weekly, then to once a fortnight and momentum is lost.
Whereas 90 days feels within reach for most couples. It’s a sprint not a marathon. Enthusiasm is easily maintained as the required shifts are seen and felt from day to day. It doesn’t feel like grudge trudgery plodding along. Mutual respect is restored quickly which each spouse warms to and a refreshing connected ‘care-factor’ replaces the disagreeable disconnected vibe that brings most to this situation.
Occasionally a couple may have progressed well over 90 days but more is needed on top of the 2 tune ups included in the package. In that instance I offer a further 30 or 60 days and price it as ⅓ or ⅔ of the initial fee.
Why so many sessions weekly?
Well, 3 days out of 7 each week does not leave much time for each spouse to take their eye off the game and get into too much of a downward spiral. Of course flare ups occur in the early weeks then gradually decrease as new ways of interacting are put into action. Because they meet you meet with me not long after a flare up, hurts don’t fester, each spouse can vent separately to me, they’re more likely to admit their part in it and accept guidance on how to do better if it occurs again. Modifying with a goodwill attitude is front of mind and stays front of mind. It’s similar to the Personal Trainer for fitness – instead the PT for couples.
Why Individual and Joint sessions?
Many traditional therapists will hold a strong opposing view on my approach here. This is because for so long the view has been that both spouses must know everything that is shared with the therapist.
Hence my position here may cause some resistance. The reality is that each spouse has vulnerabilities and emotional hurts often from way before their current marriage, fragility they don’t want to lay out in a joint session. They may even dread revealing these to their spouse hence they don’t. Then things get stuck.
This may not be due to only fragility but also to personal dignity, sense of self and even to difficulty finding words when feeling under threat.
When couples are in a very high angst hurting space any of these can be misinterpreted and misunderstood. The individual sessions are simply the best to facilitate each spouse acquiring new responsiveness personalized for their attachment style, their personality, their life experiences and their tolerance threshold,
The weekly joint sessions tie together the guidance from each spouse’s individual session and aligns them from a more balanced emotional place instead of having to repeatedly manage reactivity in these sessions. Instead joint sessions forge unified bonding which rebuilds reassurance and trust.
Why ER support calls?
Being available for daily access for short personal guidance calls on 5 business days each week provides the perfect safety net to prevent more damage and keep couples on track. I call this the ICU for Couples. Or for some countries the ER. It has a massive impact on repair when just a few words from me help the spouse who reached out to reduce his or her emotionality and maintain a balanced perspective. If an apology is required that can happen more easily, more genuinely, warmth is maintained, positivity is retained.
When I first trialed this intensive method I referred to it as “accelerated” because I think there is a negative connotation to the notion of “intensive” being “hard”. This has worked well and continues to be the key descriptor of the package – “Accelerated Relationship Repair”.
So I tested. It was overwhelmingly positive. So I did it again with the same positive results, then again and again and again since 2018 until here we are. In 2020 I packaged it more formally and haven’t looked back.
You are typically very busy people who have to move things around a lot to fit this in. And over just 90 days most can do just that. I have had lawyers moving court days and times, significant business owners postponing rescheduling board meetings, one couple deferring the start date for a housebuild(which if they had divorced would have had to be abandoned and all planning and development costs lost, gone down the drain), Mostly the juggles to fit this in are feasible when looking at just 90 days or 12/13 weeks.