Couple Addiction Recovery Empowerment

Support, Education, Workshops, Online Learning

Couple Intensives

Now Offering

Marathon Couples Therapy by arrangement
Therapy and workshops
Weekend Workshops for Recovering couples

Marathon Couples Therapy is a research-based approach providing couples 10-15 hours of therapy over a two or three day weekend period. This provides couples time to address important issues that otherwise could take 3-5 months in traditional couples therapy. All Marathon sessions include a comprehensive assessment and follow-up. 

Now available for the first time, Roadmap for the Journey: A Path for Couple Recovery, is designed for couples impacted by addiction providing tools for communication and help to integrate recvery into the couple relationship. Workshops are held in  private office in San Carlos, CA and limited to three couples who are provided manuals, workshop materials, and time to practice new skills.

NEXT DATE: November 23 & 24, 2019

Why Marathon Couples Therapy?

1. Are changes in your relationship not happening fast enough, and there are pressing issues you would like to get to?

Consider Marathon Couples Therapy, an alternative to traditional weekly sessions providing 12-15 hours of intensive couples therapy over  two or three consecutive days.     

2. What is Marathon Couples Therapy?

Marathon Couples Therapy allows couples time to address important issues and can provide momentum for change. Couples often travel from out of the area for this specialized work

3. What happens in Marathon Couples Therapy?

After an interview to detcide if this approach is a match we begin with an assessment specifically designed for couples impacted by addiction. Assessment typically takes 2-3 hours and involves partners completing a research-based online confidential questionnaire, conjoint and individual interviews, and integrates each partner's concerns and goals. The therapy interventions targets those areas.  

4. What happens after the Marathon sessions?

Couples will receive recommendations for any additional individual or couple work, a follow-up consultation session, and if you are currently seeing a couples therapist and both partners agree, a 50 minute consultation with the therapist and review of the work is provided.    

Couples Need a Roadmap

The Couple Recovery Development Approach, created by Dr. Robert Navarra, is based on his research on couple recovery spanning over 15 years. The Gottman research on predictors for happy and healthy relationships provides direction to establish a path to heal and strengthen relationships.

Integrating the two models provides a direction for recovering couples in establishing, or reestablishing healthy relationship behaviors that also include issues related specifically to couples impacted by problematic substance use or behavioral compulsions. These strategies help couples lean the right way in finding their recovery path.

Finding Direction

Couple recovery is an emerging concept in addiction treatment

Finding Support

Couples need support in bringing recovery into their relationship

working Together

Couples may feel confused or even overwhelmed when thinking about addressing recovery in their relationship. Sometime fears center on concerns about the ability to keep boundaries and not lose focus on individual health and recovery concerns.This is understandable, with problematic substance or behavioral use or compulsive behaviors individual needs get lost.

The key to healthy boundaries starts with understanding the difference between “codependency” and “interdependency”. While codependency patterns involve control and silenced emotions and needs, in interdependent relationships both partners are able to express thoughts, feelings, and needs.

True or False?

Partners should

avoid any couple work in early recovery


There is no research to support the idea to avoid couple work in early recovery
Find out more

True or False?


confirms that good relationships predict long-term recovery


An 8-year study showed that healthy couple and extend family relationships are one of the biggest predictors of successful long-term recovery
For more information


Is there a roadmap

to help couples


There is a direction couples can take


Couple recovery refers to a focus on each partners own health and recovery, as well as relationship recovery from the impact of an addictive disorder. By focusing on what is healthy for each individual, and what is healthy for the  relationship partners learn to talk about the impact from the disorder as well as develop a path for going forward.

Featured on Recent Podcasts

Interviews on Couple Recovery


The Person I’m Dating Has A Drinking Problem

I was asked to write a response to the above question in the Thrive Global article series, “Asking for a Friend”. This is a question that many people struggle with, not knowing what to do when there is evidence of a drinking or other drug use problem with the person they care about.

Read More »

Couple Recovery Theory and Gottman Research: A Perfect Recipe

It has been a remarkable journey. I developed the Couple Recovery Development Approach (CRDA) in 2002 for my doctoral dissertation on couples in long-term recovery. The model is based on my research from the Family Recovery Project housed at Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California.

Read More »

Alcohol Became a Problem: Jerry and Carol’s Story

Jerry and Carol (not their real names) came in for couples therapy. They stated that they had a good marriage, but that they needed a “tune up”. Jerry talked about how he felt that stress was impacting their relationship, Carol agreed, but also expressed concern over Jerry’s alcohol use and wanted him to better control his drinking, like he used to.

Read More »