helping couples reconnect with retreats & intensives

3-Day Intensive Couple’s Counselling FAQs

services Couples In Step has been providing 3-Day Intensives for more than 5 years. Over time I’ve discovered the most common questions/concerns that folks have when they are considering a 3-Day Intensive. Those questions and my answers are on this FAQs page. The answers appear in response to your clicking the question.

Intensive FAQs

1. Intensive? Retreat? What’s best for us?

  • A 3-Day Intensive is just for you, your partner, and a therapist.
  • A Hold Me Tight couples and marriage Retreat is for a number of couples with both group and private couple time (no requirement to share in the larger group). »Learn more about retreats

Here’s some more about the couples who come to a 3-Day Intensive:

  • Typically they refer to themselves as being in crisis
  • One or both partners is uncertain about the future of the relationship
  • Sometimes there has been a recent disclosure of infidelity
  • There has been infidelity in the past, but their efforts to deal with the devastation of that haven’t been successful
  • Weekly couple sessions feel too short
  • They want to take the time apart to really focus deeply on their relationship

2. Can Discernment Counselling be Offered in a 3-Day Intensive Format?

Yes it can.

Discernment Counselling is a specific way of working with couples when one or both partners is ambivalent about continuing the relationship and/or about improving the relationship.

3. Are there any contraindications for the 3-Day Intensive?

Domestic violence is a contraindication for a 3-Day Intensive.

4. I just found out about my partner’s infidelity. Will an Intensive help?

Yes. If the affair is over and you both wish to work on rebuilding the relationship the intensive will focus on rebuilding and repair.

If your partner is still involved with an affair partner in an ongoing emotional and/or sexual relationship, the Intensive will take a discernment focus: gain clarity and confidence about a direction for your relationship.

5. How do we reserve one of the available 3-Day Intensive time slots?

The 3-Day Intensive is reserved for you once Couples In Step receives a $928 reservation/screening fee. You may make this payment by mailing a check or arranging an email transfer.

The second payment ($1624) is due along with inventories (see the FAQ called “How does the screening process work?). The final payment is due when you arrive at the Couples In Step office for the Intensive.

6. Is there a screening process to determine if the 3-Day Intensive is suitable for us?

Yes. Because A 3-Day Intensive is a significant time, emotional and financial commitment so yes, there is a screening process before you and your partner arrive for the 3-Day Intensive. The following FAQ describes the screening process.

7. How does the screening process work?

  1. Once Couples In Step receives the $928 reservation/screening fee each partner returns a completed intake to Couples In Step (will take each of you about 30 minutes to complete). You will receive the intake from Couples In Step after you submit the reservation screening fee.
  2. Couples In Step therapist Irene Oudyk-Suk reviews both intakes and Couples In Step sets up a telephone time to have a 20-minute screening conversation with each of you.
  3. Couples In Step communicates (usually by email) with one or both of you to confirm dates and answer any questions.
  4. This is the first evaluation point. Should you decide not to proceed at this time, you have no further payment obligations. Should Irene decide that the 3-Day Intensive is contra-indicated she will communicate that to you along with her reasons.
  5. You will each receive by email a packet of informational inventories to complete and return to Couples In Step (allow 60-90 minutes to complete).
  6. Irene reviews your completed informational inventory packets. This is the second evaluation point. Should you decide not to proceed at this time, you have no further payment obligations. Should Irene decide that the 3-Day Intensive is contra-indicated she will communicate that to you along with her reasons.

8. How is the 3-Day Intensive structured?

Sunday begins at 2 pm and concludes at 6 pm. There will be a 2 hour joint session and a 1 hour individual session with each partner. Sunday evening you’ll be asked to watch a 45 minute DVD.

Monday there will be a morning and afternoon session, each 2 1/2 hours long. Those sessions will be with both of you or they will be a combination of back and forth short individual/joint times.

There is a lengthy break between the morning and afternoon sessions. The breaks are an integral part of the 3-Day Intensive. We will plan together how you will use the break. There are options:

  • DVD clips
  • written exercises to complete and share
  • reading
  • guided conversation time
  • non-guided together time
  • exercise/walking/shopping (Yorkdale mall, touted to be one of Canada’s finest is near by)
  • lunch
  • rest

Monday evening you’re on your own. No homework unless you ask for it.

Tuesday’s structure is similar to Monday’s. The Intensive will conclude at 4 pm on Tuesday.

9. What is the fee for the 3-Day Intensive?

To request a comprehensive fee schedule for the 3-Day Intensive couple’s counselling experience please contact Couples In Step.

10. Will my extended health benefit cover the cost of the 3-Day Intensive?

In Ontario, the 3-Day Intensive may be submitted to your extended health plan for coverage under your counselling benefit. In most cases your extended health benefit will cover the costs associated with a 3-Day Intensive up to the maximums allowed by your plan.

Most couples have questions about how to access their extended health coverage for a 3-Day Intensive. I can provide you with general information to help you understand what your extended health plan will/will not cover but your plan has the final say about coverage.

Please discuss fees and extended health coverage with Couples In Step before you arrive at the Intensive.

11. What is your cancellation policy?

  • The initial $928 payment is both a screening and a reservation fee.
  • You and your partner have 5 days to complete the 3-Day Intensive intake form (which you’ll receive upon receipt of the reservation fee)
  • If your two intakes are not returned within 5 days, Couples In Step considers that as an indication you are no longer interested in attending the 3-Day Intensive. You will receive your reservation/screening fee back minus $464.
  • Once Couples In Step receives your completed intakes the reservation/screening fee is non-refundable.
  • After the intake and screening call Couples In Step will send you a packet of inventories for you each to complete along with a request for a second payment of $1624.
  • Should Couples In Step not receive the 2nd payment ($1624) along with the completed inventories by the date requested Couples In Step considers that as an indication you are cancelling the Intensive.
  • If after the intake review, screening phone calls, and inventories review Couples In Step decides that an intensive is contra-indicated you will receive your 2nd payment of $1392 back. If at this time you decide you wish to withdraw from the intensive you will receive the second payment ($1392) back but not the $928 reservation fee.
  • Should you decide at some point during the 3-Day Intensive that you wish to terminate, you will be asked to pay for the hours of the 3-Day Intensive that you have attended, plus a $600 termination fee.

12. What if we change our mind during the 3-Day Intensive?

You are free to terminate the intensive at any time during the screening process. You may also terminate the intensive at any point during the actual 3 days of the intensive. Cancellation fees will be applied.

13. We are already involved in couple’s therapy. Will the 3-Day Intensive benefit us?

If you are seeing an EFT couples therapist a 3-Day Intensive will augment and deepen your couple’s therapy beautifully! With your permission, Couples In Step therapist Irene Oudyk-Suk will work with your therapist to co-ordinate treatment.

If you are seeing a therapist who is unfamiliar with EFT, the 3-Day Intensive will still be of benefit, however the match between the 3-Day Intensive and your ongoing therapy may be a little less congruent. With your permission, Irene will be happy to have a telephone call with your therapist to explain the EFT model of couple’s therapy and to acquaint your therapist with the 3-Day Intensive.

14. How long have you been offering 3-Day Intensives

The first intensive I offered was in 2008. Initially I offered 2-3 intensives a year. Currently I offer between 10-14 intensives per year.

15. Is there follow-up after an Intensive?

While couples make a lot of progress during the 3-Day Intensive, most couples still require regular follow-up sessions (weekly to bi-weekly) after the Intensive to consolidate the 3-Day Intensive gains. So, when you book the 3-Day Intensive, begin considering how you will do follow-up counselling.

If you live near near the Couples In Step North York, Toronto location you may be able to arrange face-to-face counseling sessions there.

Follow up sessions are also available at Couples In Step via on-line video conferencing interspersed with a face-to-face 3 hour session every 2 – 4 months. On line video conferencing is an accessible and low cost way to access distance counselling.

I may be able to arrange follow up counseling for you with a (EFT trained) therapist in your area.

16. Where does the 3-Day Intensive take place?

The 3-Day Intensive takes place at the Couples In Step North York Office.

17. Do you have accommodation suggestions while at the 3-Day Intensive?

Nearby hotels, all within 10-20 minute drive from the Couples In Step office:

    • East – Hotel Novatel Toronto North York, 3 Park Home Ave., North York, ON CA, M2N 6L3 (416-733-2929). Given traffic patterns, this hotel is easiest for back and forth travel to the Couples In Step office.
    • South – Holiday Inn Toronto Yorkdale, 3450 Dufferin St., Toronto, ON, M6A 2V1 (416-789-5161)
    • North west – Homewood Suites by Hilton, 618 Applewood Cres., Vaughan, ON, CA, L4K 4B4 (905-760-1660)
    • North west – Monte Carlo Inn, 705 Applewood Cres Vaughan, ON, CA L4K 5W8 (905-761-7170) The Monte Carlo has received good reviews from at least one couple who stayed there during an Intensive. Especially appreciated was room cleanliness and the restaurant on site.
    • North west – Courtyard Marriott, 150 Interchange Way, Toronto, ON, CA L4K5P7 (905-660-9938)
    • West – Comfort Inn Toronto North, 66 Norfinch Dr., North York, ON, CA, M3N 1X1 (416-736-4700)

Couples in Step is an approximate 25 minute drive east of Pearson International Airport. There are many hotels in the airport vicinity. This Toronto Airport Hotel Guide provides many options.

You may wish to take advantage of one of Toronto’s many fine Bed and Breakfasts.

18. Will I be able to maintain contact with work while attending an Intensive?

It’s best if each partner is completely freed up from work demands, email, smart phone, etc.

Heart and tools. Concept: Renovation of heart. On wooden background


For more information or to reserve an upcoming intensive contact Couples In Step or call 416-459-0956.

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