The Intimate Martian – Science-based Couples Therapy Practices

In the movie “The Martian” Matt Damon’s character vows to resolve his loneliness and “science the shit out of” his existential predicament. It immediately made me think about the biggest problem in couple’s therapy.


The science is right here. It’s been here for awhile. The problem is, unfortunately, couples in the USA typically wait six and a half years before doing anything about a bad relationship.

The large majority take the exit ramp to divorce without any therapy at all, and many regret it deeply five years later. Some couples unfortunately get caught up in 45 to 50 minute sessions from an “all purpose” mental health counselor with little or no formal initial assessment. They get upset…soon its “times up”, and they are both so toxically elevated they eventually stop coming.

The science-based couples therapy practice says, the sooner you have problems in your relationship and get help, the better you turn out relationally.

The numbers are in. Science-based couple therapy saves marriages.

But you won’t have to “science the shit” out of it. There are people who have already done that for you. Go to them, and learn what they have to offer.

Evidence Based Treatment

Now there are Couples Therapy practices that have the unique distinction of having some specific training in science-based research . Pre-eminent evidence -based models include the Gottman Method, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Solution-Focused Therapy. There are also exciting new methods emerging from the neurosciences.

If you work with an experienced evidence-based couples therapist, you will have a careful guide who will help you both get past your differences and get more connected. Modern science-based Couples Therapy  practices are an embarrassment of riches for new couples. Couples therapy that works early is couples therapy that works best.

If you are not a Couples Therapy Inc. client and you currently see a therapist every week, if things are kinda bogged down, why not ask for hour and twenty minute sessions? It’s really hard to do good couples therapy work in forty five minutes.

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Spacious office in the Berkshires where retreats by Dr. Kathy McMahon and Daniel Dashnaw, MS, MA, MFT are held.

Research says a thorough assessment at the start is also a big help. But consider a weekend with us and two other couples as well!

I noticed that some of the evidence based models are offering psycho-educational training with 3 or more couples on their particular model. I like the idea as well. It’s great as long as it is focused on science-based couples therapy practices based upon Common Factors approach.

What are common factors?  I was surprised to learn that therapy models account for only 15% of the potential for change a client has. This seems odd considering how much focus on models there is in academia. There’s lots of good stuff for couples to learn  from neuroscience, across models, and common factors. Couples learning to improve their relationship earlier in the process might benefit from a Couples Therapy Inc. Small Group Intensive.

We’re piloting a program where anywhere from 3 to 5 couples come on a weekend to work together to heal and repair. The fee is $1600 a couple. Call me, Daniel Dashnaw at 844-926-8753 and receive a $100 promotional discount by mentioning the “Intimate Martian” post.

About the Author Daniel Dashnaw

Daniel is a Marriage and Family Therapist. He currently sees couples at Couples Therapy Inc. in Boston, Massachusetts, three seasons in Cummington (at the foothills of the Berkshires...) and in Miami during joint retreats with his wife, Dr. Kathy McMahon. He uses EFT, Gottman Method, Solution-focused and the Developmental Model in his approaches.