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Holding Hands

Couples Intensive Therapy

Research supports that Intensive couples therapy, often referred to as marathon therapy due to the amount of time reserved, has better therapeutic outcomes than weekly standard sessions. It is short-term and provides a condensed and highly focused approach that can help couples move quickly through specific issues and learn new skills in a short period of time.  


Is your relationship in crisis or in need of some repair work? Are you feeling overwhelmed or like problems just cycle without getting anywhere? Are your schedules demanding?  If so, Couples Intensive Therapy may be a good fit for you.


Some couples can feel that the standard session time is just too short and is not enough time to get traction, which can feel frustrating and like progress is at a snail’s pace. Couples Intensives allow the couple to carve out a block of time with the therapist to dig deep intentionally and learn new skills that can support relational movement and progress. 

At STIR Psychology, Couples Intensives are private appointments where no other couples are present. This style of couples counselling is a time just for you and your partner. The program begins with an online Gottman Relationship Check-Up assessment and two individual check-ins, followed by a block of 10 or 12 hours of couples counselling (over two consecutive days). This grants the time needed for the in-depth work of uncovering the root of issues and patterns, addressing relationship trauma, setting goals where change is desired, and learning research-based interventions to make lasting improvements.


After the initial time is completed in the Intensive program, standard sessions are staggered as needed for ongoing support, accountability, and treatment planning. STIR Psychology also provides resources that set the couple up for continued independent work to practice new ways of communicating, connecting, and deepening empathy and understanding.


Check out this blog:  The Benefits Of Intensive Couples Therapy

2-Day Couples Intensives Program:
  • Private with only one couple in attendance.

  • Online Gottman Relationship Check-Up Assessment (each completed separately).

  • Individual check-in with each partner and the therapist.

  • Please note that there is a no-secrets policy, and the therapist will not be responsible for holding secrets. An essential part of therapy success is transparency.

  • 10 or 12 hours of relationship counselling over two consecutive days (in-person at the Edmonton clinic).

  • Take-home package of tools and supplementary materials. 

  • Follow-up appointments are available for scheduling according to the treatment plan. 


  • Option 1:  $2800 (including GST) includes online Gottman assessment, two individual check-ins, feedback and goal setting, 10 hours of relationship counselling, and a take-home package of tools and supplementary support materials; a 50% deposit is due upon scheduling and the remainder is due 2 weeks prior to the booking.

  • Option 2:  $3360 (including GST) includes online Gottman assessment, two individual check-ins, feedback and goal setting, 12 hours of relationship counselling, and a take-home package of tools and supplementary support materials; a 50% deposit is due upon scheduling and the remainder is due 2 weeks prior to the booking.


Cancellation Policy:

  • Cancellations can be made up to 30 days before your scheduled appointment with a $300 cancellation fee. 50% is non-refundable within 30 days; the full amount is non-refundable within 14 days. 

  • Your session can be rescheduled one time. However, the new date must be within three months of your original date. 


Couples Intensives are for couples that are:
  1.  In crisis and have specific problems they are facing. 

  2. Experiencing trauma in their relationship, such as dealing with the aftermath of an affair 

  3. Seeking recovery and reconciliation through couples therapy.

  4. Who seem to cycle through the same problem without seeming to make any progress

  5. Who are seeking to enhance their communication and conflict management skills.

  6. In a location where they must travel to receive therapy and therefore prefer to attend for a condensed period of time, rather than travelling weekly.

  7. With special scheduling needs.

  8. Who have a solid relationship and want to continue to be intentional about building the relationship of their dreams. 


The Couples Intensive program may move you more quickly and intensely into the areas of difficulty. Therefore you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, loneliness, and helplessness. Your couples therapy may also involve recalling unpleasant aspects of your history together and/or individually.


As with couples therapy in general, there are limitations and Couples Intensives may be unadvisable in the following situations:

  1. If there is active alcohol and/or drug addiction by one or both, from either partner’s perspective

  2. If there is current domestic violence in your relationship, threats by one or both partners that serious violence might occur, or fear of such violence on the part of one or both partners

  3. If either partner currently has an unmanaged major mental illness (schizophrenia, recurrent psychotic depression, or bipolar/manic-depressive illness.) This does not include past, successfully treated psychotic episodes (e.g. post-partum depression with psychosis).

  4. If there is an undisclosed, current affair that you are not willing to disclose 

Paula Gurnett has completed Gottman Level 3 training, Gottman Couples and Addiction Recovery, and Gottman Treating Affairs and Trauma. She is passionate about her work with couples and believes that all individuals have the right to design a life they love, including a happy and healthy relationship.


Paula admires the determination that couples hold and who have the courage to do the work it takes to be intentional about their relationship, family, and environment. She is committed to meeting each couple where they are at, as she promotes the seeking of understanding and holds a space founded on respect.

For booking inquiries or more information about couples therapy in the Edmonton area, please email 

Couples Intensive Therapy bookings are available 7 days/week in Sherwood Park, AB (5 minutes from Edmonton). 

Areas of Practice

Individual Therapy

Gain the support to overcome personal barriers and build an empowered life of personal purpose.

Couples Therapy

Building bridges within your relationship and discovering how to move forward in healthy and fulfilling ways.

Relationship Assessment

Bring hope for a solid future, as understandings and agreements are uncovered and created.

Couples Intensive Therapy

Build lasting, healthy relationships through regular and intensive relationship counselling using the Gottman method.

"Paula literally saved our marriage. We were emotionally and physically drained and unable to communicate effectively. We saw each other in such negative light that we could not connect and express empathy. We were against each other. One weekend with Paula turned that all around. We are now on the same team and can see the person we fell in love with. We have a solid foundation for connection, friendship, trust, respect and admiration. We both cannot say enough good things about this session."
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