Longer Therapy Sessions, Deeper Results
Who are Therapy Intensives For?
Therapy intensives are longer sessions for individuals and couples ready to get to the heart of their issues, and address them head on.
Couples Therapy Intensive
Couples therapy is for partners having problems in their relationship. The partners aren’t the problem; the problems are the problems.
Couples therapy is for couples who:
- Aren’t seeing a way out of their current dynamic, but really want it to change for the better.
- Love and care about each other and want to be better at showing it.
- Want their relationship to be stronger and healthier.
- Want solid ways of dealing with any hiccups in the future.
Couples therapy is not a crusade against your partner. We are here to heal and get stronger.
Longer sessions allow us to stay within the problem longer. We get a clearer picture of where the discord is coming from and can resolve it with care for results that last.
Individual Therapy Intensive
I see individual clients for intensive work with a variety of concerns including:
- Substance Use (because who wants to stay stuck in that cycle?)
- Work Stress (stress is a signal that change might be in order)
- Work-Life Balance (yes, that’s real and it’s not a pie-in-the-sky notion)
- Burnout (what’s that smell? could it be you getting fried? Not good.)
- Relationships (with an intimate partner, a business partner, a parent or adult child, a best friend…the list goes on but you get the idea)
- Identification of Purpose Driven Goals (again, not mumbo-jumbo, but what science tells us is vital for our long term health and overall happiness)
- Charting What’s Next In Retirement (are you wondering what to do now that your professional identity has shifted or took a left while you weren’t looking?)
Your day to day does not need to feel exhausting, overwhelming or out of control – you have options and together we can identify what’s going to work for you, based on what you already know about yourself.
Individual intensives are perfect for busy professionals who know what they DON’T want, and need to get moving toward what they DO want.
In longer sessions, we look at those lifelong patterns and the new things you’ve tried. In the end, we narrow down the actions that have a much better chance of working this time…and the tools to pivot again, if needed.
The intensive model supports you while helping you move further, faster toward the change you’re seeking or growth you recognize is just around the corner.
Working Intensively may be a better fit for you, your life and your goals.
Gottman Method – Done Lisa’s Way
There are a couple of heavy hitters when it comes to evidenced-based treatments to couples therapy. The Gottman Method is one of them.
I am trained in level 1 and 2 of the Gottman Therapy model. The core principles of the Gottman Method revolve around understanding the dynamics of a relationship. My aim is to enhance your connection by providing you with practical tools. The Gottman Method focuses on three main areas: building friendship and intimacy, managing conflicts, and creating shared meaning.
You want a therapist trained for relationship therapy.
Relationships are central to our lives, and therapy with someone who knows how to support you when you’re figuring out your life, can only benefit you.
I take a client-centered approach, meaning we don’t go anywhere you don’t want to go. This is not to say I won’t challenge you, but building trust in a therapeutic relationship will help you develop trust in the relationships that are already in your life.
Communication Hurtles & Hurts
There are four well documented behaviors we all have the tendency to fall back on when we’re starting to have a hard time in our relationships. The Gottman’s refer to them as the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” and they are a hallmark of the Gottman Method. These apply to both individuals and partnerships of all variations. These destructive communication patterns include criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. In the Gottman Method, the research suggests these behaviors indicate the beginning of the end in a relationship.
I don’t think these behaviors mean your relationship is doomed. Smoke doesn’t always mean there is fire, but we should take a look. (Did you know that what sometimes looks like smoke can also be steam from that person who likes to take the 30 minute shower?!)
In our time together, we’ll call these out the patterns which are no longer working and replace them with healthier alternatives. As I mentioned, these communication patterns are well researched and I’m confident you will see their usefulness.
The science and research behind this approach is one of my favorite aspects. As a therapist, I understand the significance of feelings and emotions in our work together. In order to see when our emotions may be leading us astray, we need a solid understanding of science-backed concepts.
An Integrative Approach to Therapy
I provide an integrative therapeutic experience using evidence based practices each session. I spoke about the Gottman Method, and it’s important you know not everyone responds to it. That’s OK. I use a dynamic and integrative approach in all my work. I haven’t found a single form of therapy that supports each of my clients perfectly. I’ve developed my therapy skills over many years, with lots of specialized training so I can support my clients as they are, with what they have.
I am not a cookie cutter and you aren’t a piece of dough. We will work with what we have. And what you have is enough.
With that said, my clients are smart and I know you are too. You know there’s a logical solution, and it, unfortunately, happens to be in an area you have yet to “master.” Many of my clients are skilled in their fields, have set up fantastic lives, and still need support with this relationship stuff.
My integrative approach recognizes your eagerness to:
- Quickly explore the problem and its origins.
- Identify the course of action or actions it would take to resolve or prevent them from happening in the future.
- Come up with plans and practices that will support those resolutions.
I know I am appealing to your logical and rational side when I say, Well done, logic!
Some bad news:Your logical and rational side have contributed to where you are today. When the outcome is calm and clear, like those bullet points, we don’t always notice the emotional side of things.
Our emotions are well intentioned, but cloud the logical and rational side of our brain. We need them to work together, not separately. That’s what we’ll do in session.
What is an Intensive Therapy Session?
Sessions are 3 hours to a day and a half of committed, thoughtful and meaningful engagement. Some people find that 2 full days help them ‘move the needle.’ Together, we’ll determine the length of your intensive sessions.
Don’t worry, we’ll have space for mental breaks and debriefs as we move through the session. Your presence along every step is required, and I’ll teach you how to do that.
I don’t do traditional 50-minute sessions for this approach. I won’t send you on your way with a 10-minute exercise you’ll do once. Together, we’ll set you up to get as close to the heart of the problems as possible. In session, you’ll discover how to move forward with love, respect, and confidence.
Therapy For Doers, Not Dwellers
My clients appreciate my straight-forward approach. Emotional work is tough work. I’m not intimidated by complicated and nuanced emotional work.
I am encouraging, rational, and compassionate. When the conversation gets challenging, I will not sit on the fence with you. Together, we will face challenges head on.
If this sounds like something you and your partner are ready to do, send me a message. This approach will bottom line your relationship challenges, so positive change happens now.
Therapy for Addiction Recovery
If you or your partner are in recovery from drugs and alcohol, you’re in the right place. I’ve worked with individuals and partners in recovery for many years. Whether it’s a new development or a long-term lifestyle, (well done on both accounts!) knowing when and how to support yourselves is a little different than non-addicts and alcoholics.
For folks in recovery, using 12-step work and supportive fellowship means there is already insight that problems may be of their own making. While self-help strategies are tremendously helpful, there are limits. In therapy, we develop this insight so we don’t overlook any blind spots.
Navigating the ins and outs of sobriety in an established relationship can feel like a minefield. There might be history and triggers around seemingly simple interactions, so yes, it is a minefield!
I have extensive training and experience in mental health conditions and substance use recovery. I’m also a neutral third party. I’ll be working for what you’re working for. When you run aground and can’t see what to do next, I will come in to show you the options to get you moving forward again.
WHO THIS IS NOT FOR:
- If meeting weekly works better for your connection style, sense of trust, security, trust with therapist
- If you work better by taking small steps weekly, rather than taking a big dose of therapeutic progress all at once
- If you’ve recently struggled with deep feelings of sadness, hopelessness and worthlessness, including thoughts of self-harm
- You’ve not gotten treatment or help for significant trauma including experiencing dis-regulation, disassociation and physical acting out that you feel isn’t within your control
- The pending or recent arrival of a new child in your life has thrown you and your hormones into the Dance of Chaos (not to say that I don’t want to support you but now might be the perfect time for a weekly therapist!)
- You tend to see issues in terms of black or white, right or wrong or believe that your way is The Way
Don’t worry, you don’t have to know if this is right for you. We can talk (for free) on a 10 – 15 minute screening call and I can help you sort that.
RESEARCH ON INTENSIVE THERAPY IS POSITIVE
Intensive application of trauma-focused therapy seems to be well tolerated in patients with PTSD, enabling faster symptom reduction with similar, or even better, results, while reducing the risk that patients drop out prematurely. Learn more here.
Intensive short-term dynamic therapy in a private practice setting has been found to be effective and cost-effective. Learn more here.
An intensive program for marital therapy Learn more here.
The economy is compelling: even compared to other trauma therapy, the intensive format may decrease treatment time, because of time not spent on a) checking in at the beginning of each session, b) addressing current crises and concerns, c) focusing on stabilizing and coping skills that the client won’t need after trauma healing, or d) assisting the client in regaining composure at the end of the session. Learn more here.
OUR TIME TOGETHER INCLUDES:
Pre-consultation interview to assess for candidacy, as well as whether there is the potential for a good clinical ‘fit’.
Personalized treatment workbook, which allows you to work on your treatment goals before, during, and after our intensive sessions. (at an additional cost to you)
A customized treatment program with targeted treatment goals. Therapy is done either in person or virtually, with a schedule we design together.
Post-treatment interview to assess and support your adaption to positive changes from our work.
REASONS PEOPLE WISH TO TAKE BIG STEPS ALL AT ONCE:
“I’m functioning well but recently learned that while I thought we were “poor” growing up, my parents see things very differently. It’s messing with me. Can we talk for a few hours and sort it out?”
You notice the same thing coming up over and over in therapy, but you need a deep dive to really understand what’s under it, rather than treating the “symptoms” with “tips”.
You’ve done weekly therapy and feel like you were just “talking to a friend” but not really making progress on your therapy goals.
You’ve had the sense that of the 3 issues you had hoped to cover in that couples session, you only got halfway through the easiest of them.
You’re a helper yourself, and you know you are only going to do the work if you can go deep, and stay there until things are truly resolved!
You feel “pressured” by the 45-50 minute hours, you get distracted by the clock ticking down so fast in regular sessions, so you often leave feeling that you’ve not covered the ground you want to cover.
You want to “do the work” but you don’t want to do it every freaking week.
We’ll have breaks.
There’s tough emotional work, but also straight up tips and suggestions.
You’ll have time for reflection, quiet processing and decompression.
Why might Working Intensively be a better fit for me than weekly sessions?
Weekly sessions are great and may be just the most perfect fit for you; I’m not knocking it! But for many, it is far more productive to tackle the big projects and then take some time to settle in, see how the ‘new way’ feels and what challenges they have to navigate before they dive into the next ‘big project’ or ‘big changes.’
Where and when will we work together?
I support my clients who are physically located in New York, Maine, South Carolina and Florida (keep reading if you’re not living in one of those states!) 3 ways:
Adjunct intensive therapy (2-6 intensive sessions) in collaboration with your primary talk therapist
Personalized treatment programs for individuals (Intensives)
Personalized treatment programs for couples (Couple’s Support).
For the sake of ease, I am currently supporting my clients virtually. If you are able to travel to the historic Hudson Valley area and wish to work in person, we can discuss that option as well.
Does this even work if it’s virtual?
Yes! I was working virtually with clients well before the pandemic, starting over 20 years ago when clients required phone support. While it’s not the same to do our work via video, it has very clear advantages as well: it’s less expensive than traveling to and lodging in the historic Hudson Valley area, you have the comfort of your own space and, for those with a complicated schedule, it’s easier to arrange.
Do you have an in-person option?
Yes, if you’d like to discuss that we most certainly can do so.
What if we/I live out in one of the states you didn’t list?
So glad you asked! I am able to see people in person, regardless of your home state, if you’re able to travel to me. I realize this isn’t ideal for some but it is an option…and I like to let you know all the options.
What are your fees?
Sessions are half-day to multi-day programs that include a customized client workbook specific to your goals. Fees are based on your needs and program design, and are communicated ahead of time in accordance with the No Surprises Act. Typically intensive therapy is $432 /hour.
I do not offer free phone consultations beyond an initial 15 minute screening call. You can schedule a 45-minute initial session to see if we wish to work intensively together. The rate for our first session is $450.
A deposit of 50% is required in advance of our time together.
Intensive spots are available – are you ready?
Can I use my insurance to pay for this?
Maybe ~ I’m just being honest here! Many insurance companies reimburse a portion of the cost of psychotherapy. For insurance purposes, I am considered an out-of-network provider* for our time and will provide a monthly invoice for you to submit for reimbursement. It’s wise to determine the exact details of your policy ahead of time, including what benefits are available regarding out-of-network providers. Our time together may well not be covered given the longer length of our sessions so please plan accordingly. (*if you have Aetna insurance please ask me directly about the status on my participation with them)
Are we a good ‘fit’?
Great question! Let’s find out. It’s important that you feel safe with your therapist. Therapy is your space to do your work. The clients who work with me report that it really does feel like a ‘work zone’. My style and approach isn’t for everyone, so it’s important to know that it’s OK to say how you feel. If we feel we are not a good fit after our initial session, I am happy to share additional referrals of trusted colleagues.
What does it mean when you say you’re a ‘straight shooter’?
If you’ve been looking around my website, you’ve likely seen a video or two of me saying just that, “I’m a straight shooter.” If you aren’t familiar with the term or aren’t sure how that would apply to a therapist let me explain; I tend to be clear and plain-spoken. I don’t favor jargon or lean heavily into quoting research. While I very much enjoy staying up to date on effective therapeutic tools and research, I want you to hear what you need to hear in a way that it can be heard by your brain. Not in a mean way nor a hurtful way but presented in such a manner that you can grab hold of it quickly.
Where did this come from?
So glad you asked! Starting 2016, I brought together a group of my current clients who were very much in the same place on their journey to make big changes. We gathered in a rather unique way ~ over a dinner that we cooked together and then ate in a lovely dining room with oak paneling. That time quickly become one of the highlights of my month and later, for my dinner guests. We laughed, joked, shared and through it, each of them individually, made massive changes.
When I reflect on that time, before the pandemic shut down the space we were using, one of the most valuable ingredients was the time we spent. In three hours we learned, heard and reflected on more than I had ever heard in a standard session with these same people.
There is something about time we spend with others, bearing witness to their lives and the changes they seek, that is one of the most powerful things we can experience.
It is from this base that my own desire to add intensive work to my practice took root.
Given the logistics of scheduling an intensive block of time, refunds can only be honored if our time is cancelled with at least 30 days notice. Sessions cancelled within 29 to 15 days will receive a 50% refund and any work cancelled within 14 days is not refunded at all.