Arizona Family Institute


  Marriage Intensive Retreat

Our Intensive Couples Therapy is an extreme relationship makeover.

Review our Intensive Retreats listed below along with the benefits and what you can expect. 

Marriage Intensive Retreats:

No crowds, just you and your partner.


The Benefits of Intensive Sessions

  • Most importantly, it is¬†designed for couples to change the trajectory of their relationship in a shorter period of time than traditional weekly counseling or coaching. ¬†This condensed, highly focused approach can help couples move more quickly through specific issues.
  • Techniques used in this marriage retreat are based on the research of Dr. John Gottman. Why Gottman? Science . . . this approach to relationship health has been developed from over 40 years of research.
  • Our¬†skilled therapist facilitates a calm, constructive dialogue about issues that plague you.
  • Marathon intensive sessions offer flexibility in scheduling to meet your unique needs. ¬†Sessions can range from 1 to 3 days.¬†
  • The private setting gives you ample, uninterrupted time to devote to your relationship.
  • Marathon therapy can help move couples from thinking of ending their relationship to recommitting in new ways. ¬†It can also start premarital couples on the right track to have a life-time of relationship satisfaction.
  • Two¬†days of couple intensive, is equivalent to six months of therapy.


Who is a candidate?

  • Couples who want to make changes quickly
  • Couples who live out of the area and come in town for a marathon retreat
  • Couples who work out of town or struggle with setting aside time for weekly appointments
  • Couples who have experienced a crisis and need to rapidly shift gears in their relationship


Who would not be a candidate?

  • Couples who are not committed to the intensive nature of this process
  • Couples who are struggling with active drug and/or alcohol addiction
  • When there is an ongoing or undisclosed affair
  • When there is serious violence in the relationship
  • If one partner is suicidal or suffers from a serious mental illness



1-Day Premarital Intensive Session: 


 -Relationship Checkup Questionnaire
 -6 hours of skill building to learn to prevent future relationship issues
¬†-A Virtual ‚ÄúSwag Bag‚ÄĚ of tools (Gottman Builder)

1-Day Intensive Therapy Package:


-Relationship Checkup Questionnaire
 -Couples Assessment
 -Individual interview for each partner
 -Treatment Plan
 -Intensive Therapy for 6 hours
¬†-A virtual ‚ÄúSwag Bag‚ÄĚ of tools (Gottman Builder)

2-Day Intensive Therapy Package:


-Relationship Checkup Questionnaire
 -Couples Assessment
 -Individual Interview for each partner 
 -Treatment Plan
 -Intensive Therapy for 12 hours
¬†-A Virtual ‚ÄúSwag Bag‚ÄĚ of tools (Gottman Builder)
-2 days of couple intensive is equivalent to 6 months of therapy

3-Day Intensive Therapy Package:


-Relationship Checkup Questionnaire
 -Couples Assessment
 -Individual Interview for each partner 
 -Treatment Plan
 -Intensive Therapy for 18 hours
¬†-A Virtual ‚ÄúSwag Bag‚ÄĚ of tools (Gottman Builder)

What can I expect?

Before the first session:

Once a marathon session is booked, the process starts immediately with a confidential online questionnaire completed by each partner. The assessment is a tool created by The Gottman Institute.  It illuminates the dynamics of the relationship, highlighting the strengths and areas of concern, as well as what the hopes are for counseling.

During the intensive:

When you arrive for Day 1 of the marriage retreat, you both will meet with your therapist to talk about the history of your relationship, detailing the twists and turns that helped you arrive at the current state of concern.  Your therapist will then see you each individually.  After the lunch break your therapist will share all that she has learned in your couples meeting, on-line assessments and individual sessions to talk with you about your relationship strengths and areas of concern. She will discuss the goals for therapy and explain the process of Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Once all are in agreement, you dive right into the therapeutic process, working to achieve those intentions.

Most intensives are scheduled for 6 hours each day. You will spend 3 hours in the morning with your therapist and another 3 hours after lunch with short breaks during the 3-hour blocks.  During the intensive you can expect to gain new skills and tools to build your friendship, manage conflict and create shared meaning.  You will work to repair regrettable incidents and have an opportunity to break through previously unsolvable gridlocked issues.

After the intensive:

After the inclusion of the intensive therapy sessions, you will be encouraged to have follow up sessions to assure the benefits are maintained.

How to Register:

Email our office assistants at [email protected] or call the office at (480)382-1257

Email to Register

Intensive Facilitator: 

Paige Schickendanz, LPC 

 Paige is a skilled mental health specialists who specializes in working with couples, and is committed to helping couples grow their relationships between each other. Paige is also a certified Gottman therapist.

More about Paige