Total Immersion Couples Therapy Programme

“For couples who are stuck, want to grow together and learn”

  • "A great marriage is not when the 'perfect couple' comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences."

    Dave Meurer

General

For nearly thirty years Bernd Leygraf and Associates have been developing a series of sessions known as the Total Immersion Couples Therapy Programme for all types of relationships. This method is based on decades of clinical experience in working with sexuality, intimacy and relationships. Bernd and Associates have possibly trained more relationship therapists than anyone else in the UK plus many others in West and East Europe, India, Africa and Asia.

The programme became established out of necessity since many of our clients do not reside in the UK or London and many are prohibited by busy lifestyles which makes it difficult for them to attend regular therapy sessions on a weekly basis.

The Total Immersion Couples Therapy Programme is for four types of couples:

Couples in crisis

This programme is suitable for couples who experience significant distress (such as those caused by extramarital affairs, porn addictions, break-down of communication, domestic violence, mental health issues, difficulties with kids).

This programme is suitable both for heterosexual and same sex couples.

Step 1 You will talk to one of our assessors on the telephone and together with the assessor you will decide on content and location (London or anywhere else in the world) of your Total Immersion Couples Therapy Programme

Step 2 You will meet at the venue agreed and work together with 2 therapists for five hours a day over a period of four days. The rest of each day is spent on structured homework exercises

Fees click here.

Bonded couples

This programme is intended for those who have been coupled for some time, for whom many of the major crises have already been worked through and who are now ready to improve their relationships as part of their overall maturity and development.

This programme will enable you to jointly re-member what initially brought you together and redefine it in a way which expands, re-passions and recommits you to each other. We will support you in elevating coupledom as a spiritual practice

This programme is suitable both for heterosexual and same sex couples.

Step 1 You will talk to one of our assessors on the telephone and together with the therapist you will decide on content and location (London or anywhere else in the world) of your Total Immersion Programme

Step 2 You will meet at the agreed venue and work together with 2 therapists for five hours a day over a period of four days. The rest of the day is spent on structured homework exercises

Fees click here.

Intensive for couples in France, away from it all

This programme is open to couples who need time to be ‘Away from it all’ and it combines a taught programme with couples coaching and some creative pursuits. This is offered in France only.

This programme is suitable both for heterosexual and same sex couples.

Step 1 You will talk to one of our assessors on the telephone and together with the therapist you will decide on content of your Total Immersion Programme

Step 2 You will meet in France and work together with 2 therapists for five hours a day over a period of five days. The rest of the day is spent on structured homework exercises, walking, ceramics, painting, gardening.

Fees click here.

Couples Retreat in France

This programme is open to 5 couples maximum in France, combining couples coaching, teaching, therapy, group work and peer support.

This programme recognizes that when we return to every day life, peer support maybe needed. It is suitable both for heterosexual and same sex couples.

Step 1 You will talk to one of our assessors on the telephone and together with the therapist you will decide if this programme will suit you.

Step 2 You will meet in France with the 2 therapists and the other couples and work together for six hours a day over a period of four days. The rest of the day is spent on structured homework exercises, walking, ceramics, painting, gardening.

Fees click here.

What do we offer?

What is the Total Immersion Programme?

The Total Immersion Couples Therapy Programme consists of four or five consecutive days of closely-spaced sessions in half-day blocks which may be taken at our West London premises, at a mutually agreed venue in the UK or further afield or at our dedicated retreat in Central France. For those clients who travel long distance to be with us, it may be useful to combine a residential week with our Intensive Programme.

The Total Immersion Couples Therapy Programme requires particular skills from the therapist and our associates are specifically trained to work this way. All our practitioners are highly experienced and able to work rigorously in this specialised area. Consistent client feedback suggests that this focused way of working encourages the ‘working through’ of identified core issues, while patterns of avoidance are systematically confronted and hence more speedily resolved

Rapidly accelerating the therapy engagement allows really stuck couples to address deeper, long standing issues that would otherwise not come to the surface in weekly therapy. Moreover significant life events are more rapidly identified during this programme. This gives couples with longstanding problems a major increased chance to move forward. It is therefor a great and cost-effective way to make the most of your effort to repair and rebuild your relationship.

Issues which bring couples into our Total Immersion Couples Therapy Programme vary, but it is rare that we focus only on the usual topics presented in couples therapy, such as extra-marital affairs, loss of sexual connection, porn “addictions” or sexual dysfunctions such as erectile problems, loss of desire, vaginismus and others. We believe that these are symptoms rather than core issues, which threaten the quality of relationships. Instead we identify where individual spouses may be stuck in certain patterns of behaviour and where partners may be experienced not as irritants but as allies in healing.

  • “To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.”

    Rainer Maria Rilke
Sex and Intimacy Enhancement

The Intensive Therapy Programme can help you and your partner explore your sexual potential and capacity for intimacy. Many people are sexually better in their 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s than they were when they were younger. If you seek deeper emotional connection, greater passion, or help with sexual problems, our programme offers ways to increase your capacity for intimacy and eroticism, and will help you turn a conflicted relationship into a great one, which is much more meaningful and mutually satisfying. This programme consists mainly of talking therapy, however there will be also free time ‘homework’ which includes exercises that will help you to build on trust and intimacy.

Getting “unstuck”

We see lots of distressed couples that seem hopelessly emotionally gridlocked. Some withdraw from each other and avoid critical issues. Others have volatile conflicts that leave both partners hurt and angry. If there are children, they too may suffer.

Our programme intends to:

  • Move beyond complaining about the other and instead take responsibility for your part in repeated negative interactions
  • Teach you how to get beyond circular arguments
  • Support you in giving up defensive stances
  • Provides a structure to discuss intensely critical and sensitive issues
  • Enables you to take responsibility for change, progress and to make it happen
  • Empowers you to build a meaningful, satisfying relationship
Resurrect your relationship

Has the bedroom become your place of failure? Have you lost hope or desire to stay together? In many couples we see that one partner wants to end the relationship while the other desperately hang unto it. In others, both partners are burnt out, fed up, and ready to give up.

Demoralization is therefore a serious problem in many couples we see. The best cure for feeling more and more hopeless is seeing how your efforts effectively and rapidly improve your relationship. Speed is important because improvement and progress create hope. If you’re willing to do what it takes to change your relationship, the closely spaced sessions of the Intensive format will help you see the fruits of your labours. Approaching things through our framework of “marriage grows people” can make you more resilient as an individual and as a couple.

Individual attention

Our Total Immersion Programme focuses on you as an individual as well as part of a couple. Working on individual issues is an integral part of the process. The Intensive Programma will help you work on becoming a more mature, grounded and whole person. This will transform you into a better partner. Opportunities for personal growth occur both in-session and between sessions.

A new way forward

All Total immersion Programmes have some things in common:

  • A unique understanding of how love relationships really work
  • A new picture of yourself, your partner and your relationship
  • A “cradle to the grave” approach that applies to you and your partner but also the relationships with your children, parents, siblings, friends, and co-workers
Overall Gains

Couples’ results vary because their gains are largely determined by their own efforts. Changing your relationship requires talking things out, and then doing things differently by taking risks. If you’re willing to do that our progamme can help you develop:

  • Self-respect and respect for each other
  • Authentic communication in a non-threatening way
  • A strong collaborative alliance
  • Greater emotional resilience and commitment
  • A new way of defining coupledom
The Process
  1. Couples contact us via an initial contact form or telephone call.
  2. Free Assessment session by phone or Skype, can take up to 90 minutes.
  3. We recommend one of our packages and couples sign up. Half fees payable. Full fees due for residential retreat France
  4. Sessions/retreat take place.
  5. A programme completing report is issued, outlining the work that was done. Remainder of fees payable.
  • “Let's continue the fantasy of finding an Other willing to carry our individuation task for us. Well, in time, that Other would grow to resent us, even though he or she was a willing signatory to the silent contract. That resentment would leak into the relationship and corrode it. No one is angrier that someone doing 'the right thing' and secretly wishing for something else.”

    James Hollis
Residential Couples Retreats in France

Our Residential Couple Retreat is intended to get you away from your daily routine and to take you into a harmonious and suitable therapeutic environment. You will, under the guidance of our team of therapists disconnect from what got you hurt, stuck, disappointed, exhausted, hopeless and instead you shall re-connect to the purpose of being together, supported by an array of communications, conflict resolution and intimacy skills.

Traditionally couples therapy takes a long time. Even the initial assessment in itself often takes place over several weeks. Our Residential Total immersion Programme will enable you to have overdue conversations in a matter of hours.

For whom:

Our Residential Couple Retreat in France is designed for couples who may be:

  • Experiencing significant distress in their relationships
  • Looking for quick results with proven techniques based on what makes a great relationship
  • Having the conversations that you are meant to have within a matter of hours!
  • Wanting to strengthen and deepen their connection with one another and relate to one another better
  • Unable to attend the traditional-style therapy sessions each week due to work commitments or other obstacles

How does it work:

In brief, we shall have an initial conversation with you, usually by phone. Based on this discussion we shall put together a bespoke couples retreat, usually lasting four days. Each day will include teaching and skills training sessions interspersed with time on your own, for reflection or skills practice. There will be outward bound and creative activities, integrated into the programme, such as walking, cycling or ceramics. You will be accompanied near full-time by a team of at least two therapists.

Practicalities:

Allow half a day to get to us and another half day to return to the UK.
Our nearest airport is Limoges and there are flights by Ryanair from several UK airports. Eurostar travels from London, via Paris and onwards to Limoges over 5 hours. We are happy to arrange a pick up from the airport or train station.

You shall stay in a traditional French gîte, in a rural setting and you will be responsible for your own breakfast. Tea, lunch and evening meals are provided (based on your dietary requirements) and at times meals may be taken together with your therapy team.

Couples Group Retreat in France

The life of a couple is demanding. We know that over 40% of the distress partnered people experience is caused by their domestic life as a couple. Many couples are struggling on their own, worried about what others might think and hesitant to share problems with friends or families.
Our group therapy programmes recognises that couples don’t live in isolation and that for changes to last, weekly therapy might not be enough. More intense and/or diverse help is required. A group environment enhances the resources available in the room and couples can support and learn from each other under the guidance of therapists.
Our dedicated Couples Group Retreat programme intends to bring together a small number of people for an intense structured programme of learning, therapeutic support, homework assignments, creative work, being in nature and dining together. We offer this three times per year to a group of up to five couples. The couples meet with two therapists over five days (allow one day for arriving and one day for returning home) at a dedicated retreat centre in France.
For 2020 schedule click here (Easter, June and September each year).

A typical timetable:

  • Arrival and settling into your accommodation, meal at a restaurant, first night – meeting each other.
  • Day 1 – Day 5 we work together
  • Participants leave the next morning after a shared breakfast.
  • “The paradox of individuation is that we best serve intimate relationship by becoming sufficiently developed in ourselves that we do not need to feed off others.”

    James Hollis
Fees

Assessment by telephone of ca. 90 minutes: free

1. Couples Therapy Total Immersion in London at NAOS premises
You pay for your own travel and hotel costs.
4 days therapy with 2 therapists: £8,000.00 (+ 20% VAT).

2. Couples Therapy Total Immersion outside London
4 days therapy with 2 therapists: £8,000.00 total (+ 20% VAT) plus travel costs and hotel for both therapists (4 or 5 nights depending on location), plus renting costs for a room to work in.
Our chosen romantic retreat venues (click here)

3. Residential Couples Retreat in the Haute-Vienne , France
5 days therapy with 2 therapists: £10,000.00 (+ 20% VAT) plus your own travel costs. Included are: full time therapeutic support, teaching and teaching materials, accommodation and lunch and dinner, resources such a bikes, artistic materials, use of studio

4. Residential Couples Retreat with more couples in the Haute-Vienne , France
£4,950.00 a couple (incl 20%VAT), plus your own travel costs. Included are: full time therapeutic support, teaching and teaching materials, accommodation and lunch and dinner, resources such a bikes, artistic materials, use of studio. 4 couples maximum.

  • “Love is wanting the other to be.”

    St Augustine
Our team

Bernd Leygraf

Director NAOS, Director London Diploma in Psychosexual and Relationship Therapy, psychotherapist, psychosexual and couples therapist, trainer, OD Consultant. 40 years experience in working with couples

Judi Keshet-Orr

Director London Diploma in Psychosexual and Relationship Therapy, Consultant, psychosexual and relationship therapist, trainer, author, mediator. 30 years experience in working with couples

Jaap Westerbos

Director NAOS, Psychosexual and Relationship therapist, coach, trainer, supervisor, author, OD consultant. 10 years experience in working with couples

Effie Soultani

Psychosexual and relationship therapist, hypnotherapist, DIT and EMDR therapist, clinical supervisor and trainer. 21 years experience in working with couples

Anastasios Argyropoulos

Counselling Psychologist and Counsellor/Psychotherapist, trainer, OD Consultant. 10 years experience in working with couples