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Couple's Workshops& Intensive Retreatswith Indiana's firstCertified Gottman Couples Therapist
Couple Therapy Session


Multi-Day Marathons

Overview  |  Benefits  |  Pricing  |  FAQ

Often times, I have couples that cannot justify spending a whole weekend in an intensive but know they prefer more than the 'cookie-cutter' one hour per week of work. Couples perfect for marathons want results quickly but desire a slightly more relaxed approach than intensives.


"Mini-Marathon" vs "Marathon" 


- We meet for 3-4 hours at a time for 3-5 days. 

- Can complete 6-9 months of counseling in a week


- We meet for up to 6 hours a day for 3-5 days. 

- Can complete more than 12 months of traditional weekly counseling into 5 days. 

This is a much more flexible option than an intensive weekend because we can schedule these sessions on back-to-back days, or over a short period of time (1-4 weeks). Mini-Marathons are offered in the evenings for added flexibility in scheduling. 

*The terms Mini-Marathon and Marathon are interchangeable in this document.

Recommended Scheduling

For many couples the 3 or 4 day Mini Marathon (3-4 hours a day - 12 hours total) is a great starting point. This is the same experience as the Private Weekend, just spread out over a couple days. 

3-5 Day Marathons (6 hours/day - 18-30 hours total) are recommended for the following couples:

  • Couples in extreme distress
  • Couples with time constraints or external deadlines
  • Couples highly motivated to make big gains



During your Marathon, you will still benefit from utilizing the Gottman Method, the same cutting edge assessments as well as my unique outlook and approach. You still can share some of the benefits and similarities to my Couples Intensives, with the added flexibility of scheduling on your time. Additionally, marathons are less intense because we typically meet for shorter periods of time over more days.

Same great experience, more relaxed approach.


Marathon pricing varies. Please contact SCS to determine available schedule and pricing. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Marathons

  • What are Marathons?
  • Why have I never heard of Marathons?
  • What situations are appropriate for a Marathon?
  • What situations are not appropriate for a Marathon (contraindications)?
  • What are the advantages of a Marathon?
  • How do I schedule a Marathons?
  • Do you offer payment plans or discounts?
  • Do you offer different Intensive options?

What are Marathons? 

The standard approach to couples therapy usually involves 2-4 appointments a month, typically a week or two apart. While this is a time-tested method, it isn’t right for every situation. A “Marathon” takes the hours of couples counseling that would usually occur over a 6-12 month period and places them in the context of a much smaller period of time: 3-5 days/nights. 

Why have I never heard of Marathons? 

Smithey Counseling listened to its couples when they asked for 'less intense' intensives. While Couple's Intensives/Private Weekends are gaining popularity as marriage counseling becomes a higher priority in society and research, and as couples are beginning to become more aware of the option of intensives. Research shows that couples counseling is more effective when the couples is able to more deeply engage. This level of engagement is best met in intensive or mini-marathon format. Standard weekly sessions often fall short of this due to time constraints, however, a Marathon allows the couple to fully engage and take their time, without being rushed. 

What situations are appropriate for a Marathon? 

Marathons can be the approach when there are long-term issues that have not responded well to once-a-week marriage counseling. Marathons are sometimes used when there has been a profound breach of trust in a marriage, when partners are feeling stuck with no option but to divorce, or when a relationship has plateaued and feels stagnant. Marathons are also great tools for couples that want to maintain their happy relationship with new tools and insights.

What situations are not appropriate for a Marathon (contraindications)?

While Marathons are appropriate for most clients, the process works best for couples who are not in:

  • undisclosed, or ongoing affairs;
  • suffering from a current active addiction;
  • have ongoing violence or threats of violence by either spouse;
  • or suffer from a mental illness that isn’t being treated.
  • This particularly includes suicidal or homicidal thoughts, or a history of serious harm you’ve done to yourself or another person.

If you have a mental condition or addiction that is currently stable and/or in remission, you are welcome to participate in the form of treatment.

What are the advantages of a Marathon? 

Once a week couples counseling is sometimes unable to penetrate the issues in a relationship, simply due to time frame. The typical counseling session is 50 minutes long. It takes a few minutes to get going, and there are business issues such as re-scheduling and payment. 50 minutes can quickly become 30-40 minutes of actual therapy. To get deep into a subject, define the problem, uncover feelings, clarify, and problem solve can be difficult to do in that period of time. The Marathon approach creates an unusually focused time, when you can get deep and stay there, allowing for clarification of problems, development of understanding between a couple, and focused problem solving with skill training. 

Here is a brief list of some of the vast benefits of scheduling a Marathon: 

  • You’re not going to hear the counselor say “time’s up!” when you are just getting to the important stuff. 
  • Scheduling is often more convenient – miss less work with evening based Marathons vs. weekday appointments. 
  • Your counselor is focused solely on you and your partner. A typical hourly counselor may have 8 appointments in one day. During the -Marathon, the counselor is focused completely on you, no distractions of upcoming sessions or time management. 
  • A Marathon shrinks nearly 6 months of weekly counseling into 3-5 days – imagine all you can work through together in that amount of time. 
  • Marathons offer all the same great benefits of Couple's Intensives but spread out the work to offer a more relaxed atmosphere and to give you time between sessions to imlpement what you are working on.


How do I schedule a Marathon?

Scheduling a Marathon package requires a phone call to determine logistics. When you purchase a Marathon package, you are scheduling all sessions at the time of booking. Contact SCS directly to schedule your Marathon.


Do you offer payment plans or discounts?

When booking a Marathon, payment is due in full at the time you book your reservation in order to secure your weekend. In lieu of payment plans, we offer 10% off for cash/check payments made in full. For payment, cancellation, and refund policies, refer to our Policy Information via email. To book with the Cash Payment discount, email adam@smitheycounseling.com for more informaiton. 


SCS is proud to support our Active Duty Military & Veterans. Save an additional 10% off your reservation of a Mini-Marathon. Military and Cash Discounts may be combined.

PreK-12 Educators:

Molding future generations is no easy task. To say 'thanks', save an additional 10% off your reservation of a Mini-Marathon. Educator and Cash Discounts may be combined.

Payment Plans:

Under special circumstances, and for an added service fee, we do occasionally offer short-term payment plans (4 or less payments begining at booking). You may also request to be invoiced through Paypal to take advantage of their 6 months 0% interest payment plans. 


Do you offer alternative options for Marathons?

Based on research and practice, the 4-Day Mini-Marathon is the most efficient Mini-Marathon option based on therapeutic outcomes, time and cost. However, for some couples who desire more/less time, we have multiple options. Contact SCS directly to inquire about pricing, scheduling, and to see if you qualify for one of the following options:

  • 3-Day Mini-Marathon
  • 5-Day Mini Marathon
  • 3-5 Day Destination Marathon (bring the Mini-Marathon to you at your favorite vacation spot. Some limitations may apply). 

We also specialize in Private Weekends.