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This format allows partners to concentrate on making significant changes in a much shorter period of time. A two-day intensive can be as effective as six months of weekly therapy. By sitting together for an extended period of time, partners have the time to listen more patiently, express more difficult disclosures, and resolve issues more completely.

Intensive therapy is attractive to busy professionals, people who wish to dig deeper than weekly therapy allows or are worn out by weekly therapy with small increments of progress, and those who do not live in the Denver area and seek specialized providers.

Intensives pair careful assessment, powerful intervention, and follow-up care to maintain gains.


Assessment is a critical part of relationship work because it clarifies historical and current challenges and lays out the roadmap for change. Without a careful and comprehensive assessment, therapy is like wondering around in the woods without a map and people waste valuable time, energy, and money. Assessment sessions are typically done over secure video link unless partners live locally.

Structure of Assessment

Partners meet with the clinician together for a session to discuss the story of their relationship. This story is told from each person’s viewpoint and is an important interview as the relationship is the focal point of partnered therapy. This session usually takes between 60-90 minutes.

Each partner also independently completes the Gottman Connect, which comes from the Gottman Institute and consists of 337 questions about friendship, intimacy, emotions, conflict, values, and trust, as well as parenting, housework, finances, individual areas of concern, and more. Developed from over 40 years of research, this relationship assessment relies on intensive, detailed, and evidence-based information on why relationships succeed or fail.

Each member of the partnership then talks with the therapist alone to discuss their candid perspective of the relationship, personal background information, and goals for the assessment and the relationship. These individual sessions are typically 45-60 minutes and are incorporated into intervention, meaning no secrets are kept from the partner/s. If any partners are in individual therapy, the therapist will also ask for all partners to sign a release of information for the individual therapist/s. Partners are not required to release information from their individual therapy, but the therapist is interested in better understanding each partner, coordinating care with other providers, and hearing other professionals concerns about partner therapy. The cost for these collaborative phone calls is included in the cost of assessment.

A feedback session is scheduled at least a day after the individual sessions to allow the therapist to review all of the information and prepare thoughtful feedback on the results of the assessment. Partners and therapist review strengths and challenges for the relationship in areas of friendship, conflict management, building life dreams, trust, commitment, and more. The therapist also discusses how intervention/therapy might look given the current challenges and gives additional recommendations for next steps. This session is most often 60-minutes, but some partners require more or less time.

At the conclusion of assessment, partners have the choice to schedule intervention/therapy with the assessing therapist, decide to not begin therapy, or choose a different therapist for intervention/therapy. Partners who choose to proceed with a different therapist can sign a release of information with a new therapist and the Gottman Assessment results will be transferred to that provider at no cost. If the partners and the assessing therapist agree, an appointment for intensive intervention is set and a deposit of half of the anticipated cost is collected.

Cancellations can be made up to 30 days prior to the scheduled intensive with a $500 cancellation fee. Deposits of the 50% of anticipated costs are non-refundable within 30 days.


Relationship therapy is difficult. There are as many different goals for the intensive as there are partnerships. Partners can be setting aside time to concentrate on rekindling sexual desire and increase passion and romance. Others are deciding if they are able to give the relationship one last chance. Sometimes partners wait years and years to address disappointment and hurt and come with a buildup of resentments. Other times partners are in crisis after discovering an affair and are in a state of trauma and intense pain. Whatever the specific goals for the intensive, your therapist will work with you to help you prepare. Part of this preparation can include the Gottman Relationship Builder. This library of relationship tools includes 13 modules with 35 research-based exercises and 90 exclusive videos with Drs. John and Julie Gottman. This library will pair your assessment results with powerful learning and exercises to help you prepare for therapy. This library is valued at $520 and is included in the price of your intensive.

Partners are encouraged to build a self-soothing toolkit. These toolkits can include strategies learned in individual therapy and personalized coping skills. They can also contain aromatherapy, a pair of favorite socks, a mantra, breathing app, etc.

Prior to intervention, partners are encouraged to monitor their heartrate and practice taking breaks and self-soothing with the aid of their toolkits. The more efficient people are at taking breaks early, self-soothing, and returning to a conversation, the more work can be accomplished in the intensive.


Intensive relationship intervention focuses on the goals each partner crafts for themselves and the relationship between them. Examples include revitalizing a currently stagnant or absent sexual life, learning skills to communicate to eliminate loneliness, repair relationship wounds, understand and come to an agreement about a problem area they continue to fight about, make a significant relationship transition (becoming parents, make a career change, becoming empty nesters, etc.), or begin recovery from an emotional and/or sexual betrayal. Your assessment results will inform the structure of your intensive and your therapist will discuss this roadmap of therapy with you.

Concentrated therapy in this format offers partners a timely way to address relationship issues because it is offered over days instead of weeks or months. Each day is typically 9am-4pm with an hour for lunch. Partners are encouraged to take additional small breaks during the day to breath, stretch, and engage in self-care.

If you are interested in adding therapeutic yoga to your intensive, please discuss this option with your therapist.


For partners who accomplish their goals for therapy by the end of the intensive, 90-minute follow-up sessions are scheduled at six-month intervals for two years.

Some relationships need additional time in therapy. These partnerships have options to continue meeting with the therapist in weekly, monthly, or quarterly sessions. Encouragement is given for partners to use the skills they have learned and practiced in the intensive and sessions are spaced out to give partners time to do as much work on their own as they are productively able. Session lengths are also scheduled in as few as 15-minute increments to support and guide the partnership during the early days following the intensive.

Utilization of the Gottman Relationship Builder can also be part of follow-up care. This library of exercises and videos can help partners continue to learn and practice healthy relationship skills, maintain gains made in therapy, and reduce the likelihood of falling back into old destructive habits.

Follow-up sessions must be conducted in a state/s where the therapist is licensed or has the ability to practice as a licensed professional. Psychologists who are verified PSYPACT providers have the option of practicing for limited number of sessions in PSYPACT states. This site has current states who are part of the interjurisdictional practice of psychology: › page › psypactmap. Drs. Frank and Sauder are PSYPACT providers.

Colleen Ryan, LSW, is licensed in Colorado.

If you live outside of a state your therapist is able to practice and wish to have follow-up care in your hometown, your therapist will help you coordinate this care with a new provider.

Because follow-up care is customized to each partnership and ranges so greatly, this cost is not included in the package price of the intensive. Follow-up sessions at the conclusion of an intensive are billed at the regular hourly rate of the therapist and can be broken down into as little as 15-minute segments.


The following situations are not conducive to intensive therapy and need individual therapy prior to scheduling intensive relationship work.

  • Intent to deceive the other partner/s by not being transparent. This can include any manipulative behavior, including undisclosed betrayals around money, emotional or sexual affairs, addiction, etc.
  • Untreated addiction/s, or failure to comply with addiction recovery plan/s.
  • Serious violence, threats of violence, or fear that violence may occur.
  • Suicidal or homicidal thoughts or untreated/undertreated mental illness (bipolar disorder, major depression, schizophrenia, etc.
  • Inability to take breaks, self-sooth, and return to therapy within 20-minutes.

Please discuss any of these concerns with your therapist. They will work with you to find specialized individual therapists, collaborate with these providers, and time relationship work so that it is safe and effective.


Costs for intensives are based on education, years of experience, credentialing, and areas of specialization.

Prices are based on dyad partnerships. If your relationship includes three or more people, pricing will vary due to the lengthening of assessment and intervention time. Please reach out to your therapist and they will be happy to discuss individualized pricing with you.

Heidi A Sauder, PhD, is able to see partners in the state of Colorado, California, and PSYPACT states.

Centennial Office or Video Therapy Assessment $1,700


  • 90-minute joint session
  • Two 45-minute individual sessions
  • A 60-minute feedback session
  • Gottman Connect questionnaire
  • Gottman Relationship Builder (valued at $520)
  • Phone consultations with individual providers (if requested)

Two-day Intensive $4,300 + $1,700 Assessment = $6,000


  • Two days of therapy that typically are from 9am-4pm and an hour for lunch.
  • Relationship toolkit (valued at $225)

Three-day Intensive $6,500 + $1,700 Assessment = $8,200


  • Three days of therapy that typically are from 9am-4pm and an hour for lunch.
  • Relationship toolkit (valued at $225)

Follow-Up Sessions $360 an hour/ $270 for each 45-minute segment

Remote Colorado and California locations and PSYPACT state intensives are billed at the same rate as listed above with expenses reimbursed at cost for hotel, airline, parking, etc. Travel time is billed at $100 an hour up to four hours per day. Meals are reimbursed at the government meals and incidentals rate.