"This program and our Coach saved our marriage. We were professional arguers with 17 years of experience. No one had taught us how to love and communicate and we are smart people. I would recommend it to anyone. I wished we had come sooner." A Couple's Testimony
if you have marriage problems right now, you feel like you need to get in an Intensive, we’ll get you all connected with the Smalley Institute.
[Jimmy Evans 0:00] Well, over thirty years ago I started as a pre-marriage and marriage counselor. And over the last thirty years, I’ve taken hundreds of people through marriage counseling -- many times, it’s a great experience. But a lot of times, an hour of counseling or two hours of counseling just simply isn’t enough because the problems are so severe, they’re chronic, in many cases there’s a couple on the brink of divorce. An hour or two of counseling won’t even come close to helping them.
[Jimmy Evans 0:26] You know, our frustration here at Marriage Today, for many years, has been we have a lot of people contact us having severe problems and needing help in their marriages and, until recently, we didn’t have a solution for them. But we have now partnered with the Smalley Institute in what is called Intensives. The Smalleys invented Intensives. Gary Smalley and now Michael Smalley and Amy Smalley, they have carried on the tradition. This is Michael and Amy Smalley. God Bless you guys. Good to have you with us.
[Jimmy Evans 0:55] I absolutely love what you do. Now, I want you to explain: what is an Intensive.
[Michael Smalley 1:01] You, know, in essence, Amy and I, we’re going on twenty years of marriage and we’ve been to marriage counseling over the years. So, even though we’re supposed to do this for a living, we get in trouble. And the frustration with marriage counseling is that an hour, like you just said, it really all it ends up doing for a couple is ticking them off to where they’re upset and they have a really rough week. They come back. And so the average couple only goes twice to marriage therapy which, really, as we know is really nowhere enough time.
[Michael Smalley 1:27] And so the Intensive, what makes it different is really two huge factors. One is time. So, our Intensives are two or three days in a row. You go from nine to five with a lunch break. It’s all day. So now you’re getting roughly fourteen hours just processing and identifying what’s broken in the relationship and then what you can do to fix it. And that’s really the second thing is the marriage education piece.
[Amy Smalley 1:52] Absolutely. The marriage education I feel like is the biggest difference because a lot of times, people just get that reflection or they just get, “Yes, uh huh. So how does that make you feel?” Instead of going, “Okay wait a minute. How that just came across. Wow. I totally understand maybe where you’re coming from, that you’re hurt.” And so we tell them why they’re arguing. What’s at the root of that. Those buttons that are underneath that. But we also tell them, “Okay, now how can you communicate that?”
[Amy Smalley 2:17] You know and you talk a lot about how to communicate with compassion and with gentleness. We teach them how to do that and process through their issues and process through in such a way that there is gentleness., that there is resolution, that we get to a solution that works for their marriage.
[Jimmy Evans 2:34] So, in a two day Intensive or a three day Intensive, they’re alone with a therapist. It’s private. And so they’re going to get the therapy -- the professional therapy -- that the need and the training so they don’t just leave with some of their problems kind a massaged around. They leave healed and educated.
[Michael Smalley 2:53] Well, I think, you know, we actually have a 99% with the Intensive program. So 99% of the people the come through say 100% we recommend anybody. And that’s even from the ones that don’t make it. So, there’s couples, obviously, that don’t make it. And so what really helps with that is it’s very goal oriented. I think couples get frustrated in traditional therapy settings that it’s just a long -- hey let’s wait until they figure it out. And in the Intensive program, when they come -- within the first hour or two -- we’re asking you and writing down, “What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish?” And they have it they know exactly, man, “Our sexual intimacy is not where we’d like it,” “There was an affair, how do we repair that?” Some people come in, “Should I even stay in this marriage?”
[Michael Smalley 3:43] It’s intense stuff but what’s fun is when you ask someone, “What do you want to accomplish,” then what we do -- every Intensive is catered to that couple in that moment. So we basically hear what you need and we apply - you know since 1979 everything that we’ve learned, that my father learned, things that you teach, and we apply that to their specific situation.
[Amy Smalley 4:07] And then we get a game plan together. That game plan together is, “What do you want to be held accountable for?” Say, you’re the male, you say, “You know what, honestly I want to respect my wife and I want to not be chauvinistic. I want to be gentle with her.” Okay, we’re going to hold you accountable to that because you’ve said that’s been a kind of struggle for you. As a wife, I really do not want to browbeat my spouse; I don’t want to nag. So, okay, there you go. We’re going to hold each other accountable to that. And, then, what happens is they have a follow-up after that. And then the follow-up usually happens about a month after. And then we get a chance to see did we succeed and fail. And then, I’m going to hold you accountable. And then I can continue on with them. I have couples that I see quarterly, you know? Yeah.
[Michael Smalley 4:51] Well, they don’t get ditched, is the point. It’s kind of the beginning.
[Jimmy Evans 0:55] I love everything about it. Now your dad is Gary Smalley and Gary Smalley was the premier marriage expert when I was coming up and learning what I did. He was a great mentor for me. I used to watch your dad teach and he was funny and he was brilliant and I thought, “I want to be Gary Smalley. That’s who I want to be like.” But you guys invented these Intensives. Now, what is the rate -- all the couples you see are really having severe problems -- okay -- how many of them make it?
[Michael Smalley 5:21] Yeah, were at about an 85% success rate which is radically higher than traditional therapy. And what’s exciting about that is there’s hope. Even with the expansion, because you kind of get nervous when you’re sort of the founders. My brother was the big leader in this thing at the Smalley Institute but when you found something, ugh is it going to replicate? What we’ve discovered is yeah. It’s not rocket science. There are some key things we’ve discovered over a decade now researching Intensives that if we can get a couple to learn just a few core skills, it will turn around.
[Jimmy Evans 5:57] I love it. Well, as a pastor, if you’re a pastor, if you’re a business owner, if you’re a parent, whatever you are, you may have issues that you feel like you need an intensive, you can go on our website, marriagetoday.com/intensives. All the information about the Smalley Institute is right there to show you where they are. So, hopefully, there’ll be one close to you and you guys are raising up new people all the time. So this will be spreading across the country. But just remember the Intensive model because, think about it, 85% of critically-ill couples that come to them for marriage help -- their marriage has turned around. The divorce has stopped or, at least, the pain has stopped in their lives. This is huge.
[Jimmy Evans 6:40] It really is a game changer, honestly, and for us as a ministry now when we have a couple that comes to us with severe problems, 100% of the time, we try to get them into an Intensive. And when we do, we see radical changes in their lives. This is huge. As a pastor, as a business owner, as a family member, when you see someone hurting in their marriage, remember this issue of Intensives because this gives hope and healing -- real healing. In two or three days they can have a huge turnaround and then come back for checkups when they need to and have a point of accountability.
[Jimmy Evans 7:18] I cannot recommend this highly enough. I love the Smalleys. This is a fantastic family. They believe in marriage. They’ve been investing in marriages for decades and now they have this wonderful Smalley Institute that is able to help people in marriage problems. So if you have marriage problems right now, you feel like you need to get in an Intensive, go on our website, marriagetoday.com/intensives and we’ll get you all connected with the Smalley Institute. God bless you.
"This program is wonderful! The processes that my husband and I have learned are life changing! We are going to have a better marriage because of the tools that we have learned. The skills we had were lacking, at best, and we have realized that what we will be applying to our lives will not only effect us, but our children and even their children. I am thrilled to know that we will be able to teach them by being good (better) role models."
"We saw God do amazing things in our two-day intensive. I had all but given up on my marriage. I came out of obligation and had decided I would be done with the mess of a marriage that we had. After 26 years of pain and inability to communicate, after addiction and infidelity. God showed up and healed a shattered relationship and stared us on a new journey. Looking forward to continuing on in therapy. Our coach was such a blessing and made us so comfortable. No words to describe what happened. Thank you!"
"I personally had about given up on our marriage. After years, even decades of different counselors, we were still stuck in unhealthy and destructive cycles. Our coach had the knowledge, style, tools, and care to hear our pain, validate us, and teach us to do that for each other. It was the key for our hearts to soften and opened the door to a healthier and happier future together."
The Smalley Marriage Intensive is a 2-day marriage intensive that gives you effective, long-term results to relationship issues. This unique marriage mentoring program focuses on win-win solutions. It’s built on the proven techniques and communication skills used in every successful relationship.
Yes. This in-depth, one-on-one experience with a certified marriage coach shows you how you can rebuild trust, resolve marital problems, and restore relationships.
The Smalley Intensive one-on-one program really works, because it’s customized for your unique relationship.
In just two days, you can rediscover why you fell in love in the first place. Take your first step on the path to a stronger, more loving relationship today.
Each intensive is personally scheduled to meet your needs and your calendar. There are no set dates for a Smalley Intensive because we schedule them at a time that works for you.
Each intensive is lead by a highly trained Smalley Intensive Coach. Only the best experts in marriage and family are chosen to be a part of our intensive program.
The typical two day intensive starts at 9:00am and goes till 5:00pm with an hour lunch break on both days. You can choose to add an optional third day. Our Intensive Consultants help you determine what's best for your specific circumstance.
Currently we have eight locations across the United States that host Smalley Marriage Intensives. Each location has one of our lead Smalley Intensive Coaches.
Submit this form and one of our Intensive Consultants will connect with you to help determine how our intensive program can transform your relationship. You can trust us with your most important relationship.
Please fill out this form and one of our Intensive Consultants will get back with you during normal business hours.