Our 3-Day Marriage Intensive is for couples are looking for in-depth counseling over a short, concentrated period of time, or who, because of the seriousness of their situation, need more than traditional marriage therapy can provide. It would take at least 4-6 months of normal marriage counseling to accomplish similar results. For any relationship in crisis, anger or hurt, it’s a remarkably quicker way to repair what’s gone wrong or been damaged.
The intensives are conducted by Dudley Bienvenu, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Board Certified Christian Counselor, and Licensed Minister with over 35 years and 30,000 hours of counseling experience. (See my bio.)
Each marriage is different and has its own unique set of challenges, so every intensive is individualized to meet specific needs. The intensive is done with one couple privately over three consecutive days. The structure includes 6 hours of actual face to face counseling time and 2 hours of counselor preparation and treatment planning per day and most likely the equivalent of client assignments and homework. A typical schedule would be counseling sessions from 11 AM to 2 PM, break for two and a half hours for lunch and rest, and then to meet again for counseling from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Exact times during each day are flexible.
The counseling is done at Bienvenu Counseling Services in Dudley’s office unless otherwise requested and negotiated.
Whether from out of area or local residents, in order to receive maximum benefit from the experience, it is strongly recommended that couples make accommodations at a nearby hotel in order to help remove distractions such as work and children. Intensives can be scheduled over any three consecutive days depending on client preference and counselor availability.
Although the content and methods will vary according the couple’s needs, of the 18 hours spent with counselor, the general counseling format will involve about 6 hours devoted to assessment and clear understanding of the problems and how they developed and 12 hours of focused therapy using Emotionally Focused Therapy as the primary therapeutic method to help the couple communicate and resolve their problems.
For couples seeking Christian counseling, my approach will be Christ centered, Spirit led, based on Scripture, and include prayer.
Why not regular marriage counseling?
- You need intensive care and immediate help to stabilize your relationship. There could be several reasons for this. Maybe you’re trying to recover from an affair or some other serious damage to the relationship. Maybe you’re caught in a negative cycle of arguing and conflict that you can’t stop. Maybe there is so much resentment and tension in your relationship that you cannot talk about the issues without fighting or shutting down. It may feel that if don’t do something fast, effective, and in-depth you will end up separated or divorced.
- You don’t live in Southwest Louisiana and repeated sessions over time would be too difficult or expensive. Many of the couples who I work with come from out area, town, or state and most typically stay at one of the many nearby hotels.
- One (or both) of you are not sure you want to remain together, but you are not ready to throw in the towel before trying everything you can. In such cases, especially if you have children that need co-parenting, even if you separate or divorce, you want to learn how to talk, negotiate and deal effectively with each other.
- Trust has been ruptured and you need it repaired quickly. You may not have the luxury of going to couples counseling for months on end to fix what’s wrong. You may need a more intensive marital therapy retreat in order to more quickly repair what’s broken.
What is the cost?
The cost is the counselor’s hourly fee charged at 8 hours a day for 3 days; a total of 24 hours. (At Dudley’s rate of $200 per hour the total would be $4,800.) A $1,000 deposit is required to book a date which becomes non-refundable seven days prior to the start date. Another $1,000 is due on the first day, with the balance of $2,800 due upon completion. At the current time discounts and scholarships are not available.
How is this different from a Marriage Workshop or Conference?
In a marriage or couple’s workshop, you have 5 to 10 couples attending at the same time or in a conference maybe even a large group. Everyone gets the same approach and the same exercises regardless of what issues brought you in there. In my 3-Day Intensive it will only be the two of you with me. There will not be any other couples present and you will receive my personal, undivided attention the entire time. All the activities will be individualized to meet your specific needs. This will be your own private retreat, exclusively for the two of you. This will enable you to repair major issues, disputes or conflicts quickly and effectively.
My goals are for you to…
- Understand one another and your relationship like never before
- Recognize your destructive cycles stop fights before they start
- Replace reactive with deeper more vulnerable conversations
- Resolve your biggest conflicts and past hurts
- Gain greater intimacy, deeper connection, and a more secure bond