What is Intensive Therapy?
Intensive therapy programs, or therapeutic personal retreats, represent some of the most innovative healthcare currently available. The model stems from the theory that high doses of treatment over short periods of time can produce the kind of results that are virtually impossible to achieve within the traditional weekly therapy encounter. This approach is intentionally time-limited, goal-driven, depth-oriented, and highly concentrated, making it an excellent option for resolving issues that demand immediate attention, as well as for revisiting a recurring challenge in a purposeful way.
While standard therapy practices can be effective (I continue to employ them because they work), they are not always the most efficient. Some problems are too costly to let drag on from week to week. Intensive therapy retreats afford you the opportunity to quickly get to the root of the problem and begin the journey toward making long-lasting, permanent changes, sometimes in as few days as over a long weekend.
Some of the reasons people seek out an intensive course of therapy include:
- Personal growth
- To address chronic pain
- To heal from traumatic experiences
- To treat addictions and prevent relapse
- To navigate emotions during times of transition
- To process grief and cope with losses of all kinds
- To restore a sense of hope after receiving difficult news
- To cultivate one’s capacity for intimacy with self and others
- To learn paradigms and practices to help sustain vitality and joy
By stepping away from normal routines and responsibilities, my clients are able to bring all their resources and strengths to the work at hand. Longer, concentrated block of time allow for sessions to seamlessly build upon one another, resulting in less time wasted or progress lost. And with more rapid improvement, short bursts of focused therapy might prove to be more economical than long-term treatment.
A therapeutic vacation is not designed as a chance to “get away,” but rather as an opportunity to courageously turn inward. By choosing to show up for yourself in this way, you make an unwavering commitment to uncovering layers of yourself in the service of deep healing. While not your standard holiday, many people find intensives to be an incredibly satisfying and empowering experience, and return from them not only with new tools, insights and greater clarity, but also more inspired and hopeful about the future.
Is Intensive Therapy Right for Me?
Not all clients or situations are appropriate for intensive therapy. As a solo practitioner, my intensives are designed for those who are safe and stable enough not to require inpatient care. The primary benefit of the therapy retreat is healing and resolution of problems, and I am not equipped to not offer stabilization or detox services.
While many people successfully engage in stand-alone personal retreats, intensives are not always a substitute for traditional ongoing therapy. Some people find they might require more rigorous effort at the onset of therapy and take an intensive to jumpstart the therapeutic process. This is especially helpful for clients who wish to continue working with me via secure video. Others find intensives serve as a boost when stalled or at an impasse during regular therapy. Others still choose to have regular “mini-intensives” and schedule their ongoing work in this way.
Some people attend an intensive because they have a passion for self-exploration and personal growth. Instead of viewing the retreat as treatment, they see this format as a compliment to other self-development work they might be involved in. There are many reasons you might wish to consider this model, and my interview process will help to ensure that a private intensive is the right path for you.
Intensive Therapy is excellent for people who:
- Prefer to progress more rapidly than a once a week format allows
- Lack sufficient time to meet with a therapist weekly
- Have an irregular or unpredictable schedule
- Live in areas where integrative therapists/trauma specialists are unavailable
- Prefer to see a therapist outside of their community
- Want to thoroughly address a life challenge soon after it occurs
- Seek to compliment personal transformation work already in progress
Most people will accomplish quite a lot during the retreat, but some issues or patterns are so entrenched that change can be slow. If you require more support, you have the option of returning for another retreat, following up with me in person (if local) or by phone/secure video, or you can complete your work elsewhere.
What is an Intensive Therapy Retreat Like?
Intensives are often planned as 2-3 day retreats scheduled over a weekend, but can occur at any time, from periods ranging from a half-day to up to a week. Unless otherwise agreed upon, sessions are booked in 2.5 hour blocks. While certain circumstances warrant meeting for one or even up to three sessions per day, I’ve found two sessions daily suits most people best.
Each experience is customized, but generally includes:
- Psychotherapy sessions each day
- Movement and meditation experiences
- Ample breaks for naps, walks, journal writing, and relaxation
- “Homeplay” exercises for you to deepen your exploration between sessions
Not all therapy is emotionally intense or tiring, and most people are surprised to find they are not only able to work for many hours, but find it deeply satisfying to do so. While intensives can be demanding, the hope is you’ll return from the experience with a renewed sense of trust and empowerment to be your own greatest healer.
How do I Plan my Retreat?
I will be available to help plan and guide your experience from beginning to end. Once enrolled in a retreat, I will follow up with you with details about what to bring with you and how best to prepare in order to get the most out of our time together. Costs are determined by the amount of time that we spend together and will be discussed in our initial conversation. See Policies and Fees for information on pricing and packages.
I am currently seeing clients for intensives in Troy Montana at Kootenai River Outfitters Lodge and Cabins. I can also travel to you at your cost, please contact me for details.
Next steps include:
- Pre-retreat assessment by phone to see if an intensive is right for you/right for you at this time
- Pre-retreat counseling in-person or via secure video to prepare for your personalized experience
- Prepare for post-retreat reintegration, including securing resources at home or continued follow-up with me
- Not inclusive: travel, meals, lodging and incidentals. Please plan accordingly – lodging and meals can be arranged during our consultation call for an additional fee.