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We understand this is a big decision.

In this FAQ video, our counselors answer common questions about our intensives and about why they are so effective. We are here to help you answer, “Is an intensive right for us?”  If you need more help, give us a call today.

What is a Group Intensive?

In this video, our counselors explain why they think a group intensive format is so powerful and an alumni couple of Hope Restored share how a group intensive saved their marriage.  Watch this video to see if a group intensive is right for you. Still have questions? Call us today for more information. 

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing a crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce. Hope Restored Intensives are all-inclusive, extended periods of counseling over multiple days that allow our team of marriage counselors to get to the root of the problem. The Focus Marital Therapy™ method is grounded in biblical principles that inform Focus on the Family’s understanding of God’s design for marriage as a sacred, lifelong covenant between a man and a woman. Hope Restored counseling tools and aftercare coaching were created to help couples who align with His intention for marriage and family.

A Hope Restored Intensive includes:

  • 20-32 hours of counseling over 3-5 days (100% satisfaction rate with our leaders)
  • 3-5 nights of lodging (99% satisfaction rate with our accommodations)
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day (99% satisfaction rate with our handcrafted meals)
  • 15 weeks of aftercare, including follow-up coaching calls (80% of couples are married and significantly happier 2 years later)
*Survey results and stats updated every 6 months from all couples who attend

The 4-Day Group Intensive structure has proven to be the most powerful format for helping couples move past the barriers that keep them from experiencing the marriage of their dreams. While it’s common initially for many couples to be reluctant to discuss their relationship in front of others, our participants repeatedly offer high praise for the group format on post-Intensive surveys.

The 4-day format includes:

  • Approximately 32 hours of marriage counseling with our team of counselors.
  • A safe and supportive environment with a maximum of five couples and two marriage counselors.
  • 4 days and 5 nights in luxury accommodations with all meals served on location.
  • A participant manual and other follow-up services with a Hope Restored coach.

The 5-Day Couple’s Intensive is our premier intensive experience, providing the most focused care of any Hope Restored Intensive.  While all of our individual programs are tailored to couples’ specific needs, this longer format allows for much more flexibility as you determine, with the counselors, the direction of each day’s sessions.

The five-day format includes:

  • Approximately 32 hours of marriage counseling with a guaranteed male/female team.
  • A safe, supportive, and private environment.
  • 5 days and 5 nights in luxury accommodations with all meals served on location.
  • A participant manual and other follow-up services with a Hope Restored coach.

The 3-Day Couple’s Intensive utilizes the same powerful principles as the 4-Day Group Intensive, yet is perfectly designed to provide additional privacy during marriage counseling, enhanced individual care, and greater scheduling flexibility.

The three-day format includes:

  • Approximately 20 hours of exclusive marriage counseling with one or two Hope Restored counselors.
  • 3 days and 3 nights in luxury accommodations with all meals served on location.
  • A participant manual and other follow-up services with a Hope Restored coach.

Call us to learn more about our intensive programs.

  • Get to Root Issues: Traditional counseling can be very effective and beneficial; however, progress is often very slow and frustrating when the issues feel overwhelming. The Intensive format was designed to allow individuals to get to the root of their issues quickly, with ample time to focus on resolution and growth. The extended amount of time spent within the Intensive setting gives couples the opportunity to go deeper without many of the distractions of daily life, and time to stay long enough to consider the solutions available to them.
  • Efficiency: One of the first steps in the Intensive process is an extensive assessment and questionnaire prior to your arrival. This allows the counselor to gather background information and get an idea of the best way to proceed before you arrive for your session. You will receive up to a year’s worth of counseling in 3-5 days, which allows you to make progress in a shorter amount of time than with weekly counseling.
  • Our Counselors: Our counselors are specialists in the area of marriage counseling. One analogy we like to use is that of the Mayo Clinic: people go to their regular physician, but they may also be referred to a specialist for help in specific areas. Hope Restored marriage therapists have been trained in the Intensive counseling format to maximize its effectiveness. In addition, several of the Intensive programs provide the perspectives and insights of two professionals, rather than just one.

The couples seeking help

Most programs are “enrichment” focused— they are meant to facilitate growth or rekindle romance in a relationship that is generally healthy or has a solid foundation. By contrast, Hope Restored Intensives are for couples who are in a marriage crisis (separated, divorcing, hopeless). These couples feel “stuck” and discouraged, and often say they have tried everything else without having a breakthrough or seeing any positive results. Couples often take part in a Hope Restored Intensive as a last ditch effort to save their marriage. Frustration and additional harm can be experienced by couples who take part in programs that are not designed to offer what they really need. Some of these programs can open emotional wounds and stir things up, but they are often not designed to help find resolution or navigate emotionally charged areas. Our Focus Marital Therapy™ method is grounded in biblical principles that inform Focus on the Family’s understanding of God’s design for marriage as a sacred, lifelong covenant between a man and a woman. Hope Restored counseling tools and aftercare coaching were created to help couples who align with God’s intention for marriage and family.


Leaders in some programs are kind people with a heart for marriages, but are not trained professionals.  One key distinction of our program is that all of our counseling staff members are trained counselors/therapists or psychologists (requiring either a Masters Degree or a Ph.D., licensure requirements by the state, thousands of hours of experience and supervision, etc). While pastors, lay helpers, and marriage mentors can be wonderful facilitators offering compassion, life experience, and testimonies, that is very different from the type of assistance provided by a trained professional equipped with the knowledge, skills, and experience to address more complex dynamics and deeper needs. Meet our counseling staff here.


This is the most significant distinction. Hope Restored Intensives are NOT a typical seminar, workshop, or marriage retreat. There is not a fixed schedule of specific lectures and presentations. We do not offer a cookie-cutter approach to the situations and problems you are experiencing. Our team of clinical professionals has collaborated very closely over the years to develop a personalized approach along with specific techniques that best meet the needs of each couple and encourage change in their relationship. We gather detailed information from each spouse prior to your arrival so that our counselors can get a sense of the unique concerns to consider for each person. Our therapeutic counseling approach and tools are based on biblical principles that inform Focus on the Family’s understanding of God’s design for marriage as a sacred, lifelong covenant between a man and a woman.

A Focus on the Family Hope Restored Intensive addresses a variety of topics including communication, infidelity, intimacy and sexual issues, financial strains, blended families, children, and career conflicts. It offers a unique, holistic, and scripturally-based counseling approach that combines the heart, the mind, and a couple’s faith. This approach has proven amazingly effective. In fact, we routinely survey Intensive participants about their experience. Responses to the survey show that roughly 80 percent are still married two years later, with significantly increased marital satisfaction.

We do offer pre-marital Intensives in a limited capacity. For further information, we encourage you to call us and speak with a Hope Restored representative.

We do offer private intensives for couples who are seeking reconciliation after divorce. For further information, we encourage you to call us and speak with a Hope Restored representative.

Just like a physical doctor can’t call his patients and say, “I think you have a cold–please come in for an appointment”, our ethics don’t allow us to pursue your spouse on your behalf. We have a few recommendations to begin the conversation with your spouse:

  • Present this as something you’ve come across that you are interested in trying. Ask if he/she would be willing to watch one of our testimony videos with you.
  • Don’t use high-pressure. Allow them the safety of coming to the decision in their own time.
  • Your spouse may feel better to hear that we are not interested in forcing or guilting anyone to stay in their marriage. We create a safe and healing environment for the individual first, and then the couple. It may help your spouse to see this as an opportunity to find healing for their own heart.
  • You are welcome to give your spouse our number (866-875-2915) so they have have their own questions answered safely and confidentially.
  • Download our ‘How to Talk to Your Spouse About an Intensive‘ sheet for ideas and tips on how to approach the subject of an intensive program.  

Additionally, in the Intensive programs we emphasize the importance of “self-care.” If your spouse is unwilling to attend an Intensive, we still want to help your heart walk this journey in a healthy way. While the majority of our programs are designed for couples in crisis, we do have a program that is designed to help individuals get to a healthy place personally and be an encouragement toward positive change relationally. Call us for personalized information on our 3-Day Spouse’s Intensive.

We hear this concern quite often. For many, it sounds intimidating to think of sharing in a group setting. Many couples arrive dreading the group marriage counseling format, and yet our group format has a 99% satisfaction rate! The group setting does not use a cookie-cutter format, and is very customized and practical.

Benefits of a Group Intensive:

  • Many people think their issues are uniquely weird or bad. When you see others dealing with similar issues, there’s a big relief to move from thinking “We’re terrible!” to “We’re not terrible, we’re just struggling!”
  • Private counseling only allows you to bring up issues you are aware of. We often see people in the group setting witness things in other couples that they realize are true of them, too. Without the group, they may have never known the issue existed in them or their marriage.
  • Many who struggle with affairs, pornography, or childhood abuse have found it very therapeutic to discuss their battles with others in the group under the leadership of a counselor. Processing through private struggles with other caring persons and a caring counselor helps the person not feel so isolated and alone in their struggles. 
  • It’s common to feel emotionally overwhelmed when in the “hot seat” of therapy. This can hamper your brain from remembering and applying the principles of the session. Group work gives your brain some “rests” to learn, grow, and heal in a less emotionally charged way. We often hear from people that some of their biggest insights come from what they see happen in the other couples.

Our trained consultants are just a call away to answer your questions about the group setting.

There are three circumstances when we may suggest that a couple seek an alternative route:

  1. Current substance addiction: The individual would need to complete, or be actively involved in, a rehabilitation program before participating in a Hope Restored Intensive. To have a fair chance of being effective, individuals need to be attentive throughout the Intensive without chemical influence or impairment.
  2. Current physical or emotional affair: The program’s effectiveness depends on two individuals who are focusing on their marriage. The affair must be cut off, and both partners need to focus and commit to the present relationship prior to registering for an Intensive. Even if you are unsure about the future, there needs to be at least a temporary commitment to focusing on this opportunity with an open heart.
  3. Case of domestic abuse or violence: We would need to do additional screening to determine if our programs would be the best fit for you.

We realize that rooming arrangements might be a concern for some couples because they are currently separated or they simply don’t feel comfortable staying in the same room together. We are committed to making sure each couple’s stay is as safe and comfortable as possible. If additional rooms are needed, our team is happy to provide you with the needed information to make these arrangements (the additional room cost will be the couple’s responsibility).

Focus on the Family recommends that all clients contact their insurance company or human resources department prior to coming to an Intensive to clarify what benefits may apply. When requested by the client, we will provide a detailed receipt with a diagnosis and CPT code for your insurance purposes. This receipt will show the marriage counselor and clinic information, EIN, License number and the amount the client has paid. However, Focus on the Family currently does not submit to insurance companies on behalf of participants of Hope Restored Intensives.


For Intensives in Branson, we recommend:

  • Springfield-Branson Regional (1 hour drive)

  • North Arkansas Regional airport (2.5 hour drive)

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma; Kansas City, MO; St. Louis, MO (all about 3.5-4 hour drive)


For Intensives in Greenville, we recommend:

  • Grand Rapids Airport (45 minute drive)

  • Detroit Airport (2.5 hour drive)

  • Chicago O’Hare Airport (4 hour drive)


For Intensives in Rome, we recommend:

  • Atlanta airports (1.5 hour drive)

  • Chattanooga airports (1.5 hour drive)


For Intensives in Wimberley, we recommend:

  • San Antonio International Airport (1 hour drive)

  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (1.5 hour drive)


For Arizona intensives, we recommend

  • Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (about an hour drive)
  • Phoenix-Mesa Getaway Airport (1.5 hour drive)

A Hope Restored Marriage Intensive is a one-time service, but our goal is the long-term health of your marriage. With this in mind, we have several resources for our alumni:

  • Participants are given a Hope Restored manual to work through to supplement the experience following the Intensive, along with a 15-week resource to be studied in the weeks following the Intensive.
  • Each couple is assigned a coach to provide a minimum of two follow-up coaching calls.
  • For couples who were working with a therapist in their area prior to attending a Hope Restored Intensive, our counselors can connect with those local therapists in order to update them on progress made during the Intensive. This is subject to the disclosure process.
  • Alumni often return to the Focus on the Family Retreat Center in Missouri and Michigan for discounted “retreat weekends” to get away together for a refresher on specific topics.
  • If further help is needed, couples are eligible to participate in a second Hope Restored Intensive at a 25% discount.

Our Statement of Faith reads as follows:

  • We believe the Bible to be the inspired, only infallible, authoritative Word of God. (Matthew 4:4, Matthew 5:18, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21)
  • We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4, 2 Corinthians 13:14)
  • We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father and in His personal return in power and glory. (Zechariah 4: 4-11, Matthew 24-25, Luke 1:35, John 1:1, John 1:14, John 14:1-3, Acts 1:11, Romans 3:24-26, Hebrews 7:25, Titus 2:13, Revelation 19-20)
  • We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful humanity, regeneration by the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ is absolutely essential. (Genesis 1:26, Genesis 3:1-24, John 1:12, Romans 3:23, Romans 5:10-12, Ephesians 1:17, Ephesians 2:8-12, Titus 3:5-6)
  • We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life. (John 3:3-7, John 16:7-11, Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Galatians 5:16-25)
  • We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost, they who are saved unto the resurrection of life and they who are lost unto the resurrection of damnation. (Matthew 25:31-46, John 5:28-29, John 11:25-26, 1 Thessalonians 4:14, Revelation 20:12-13)
  • We believe the institution of marriage is a sacred covenant designed by God to model the love of Christ for His people and to serve both the public and private good as the basic building block of human civilization. Marriage is intended to be a thriving, lifelong relationship between one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:22-24; Matthew 19:4-6)
  • We believe in the value of male and female. God created humans in His image, intentionally and immutably male and female, each bringing unique and complementary qualities to human sexuality and to relationships. Sexuality is a glorious gift from God to be offered back to Him in marriage for procreation, union, and mutual delight. (Romans 12:1-2)


The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself — as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of humanity — is the sole and final source of all that we believe. The therapeutic counseling approach and tools used at Hope Restored are based on biblical principles that inform Focus on the Family’s understanding of God’s design for marriage and family. For purposes of Focus on the Family’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Board of Directors is Focus’ final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.

Call Now

Contact us to speak to a Focus on the Family adviser who is ready to confidentially and sensitively answer any questions about our Hope Restored marriage intensives.

Hope Restored

Thank you! We’ve received your inquiry about our Hope Restored marriage counseling intensives. Your concern is important to us. A reply may be expected no later than 2 business days. Please call 866.875.2915 if you are in a crisis situation.