Frequently Asked Questions About Strategic Intervention

Frequently Asked Questions About Strategic Intervention

What is it?

Strategic intervention is a psycho-educational approach for creating change for individuals and couples. It blends the unique qualities contained in strategic family therapy with life coaching into a model that produces lasting transformation.

It is based on the premise that people run patterns. Patterns can be changed. When you learn how to identify the patterns and the values, beliefs and emotions that support those patterns you can shift your life and your relationships.

Is it Therapy?

The distinction between therapy and strategic intervention lies in the focus. Therapy is for people who have problems that are making them feel bad emotionally and impairing their ability to function effectively.  Unless the problems are resolved it will be difficult for people to make progress in life. Strategic Intervention isn’t about fixing broken people, it is about fixing broken patterns. The basic presumption is that people are in a healthy place mentally (no recognized mental health problems) and they are ready to learn new information about themselves and their partner that will help them run more effective patterns, which will help them achieve their goal. Most people seeking Strategic Intervention seek to have more satisfying, passionate relationships.

Doesn’t that take a long time?

Not really. Change happens in a second. The role of a Strategic Interventionist is to point out the patterns you are running in response to the patterns your partner is running. Once the patterns are identified they can be changed quite rapidly. If you were to go to a marriage and family therapist, you could spend several months, even years, talking about the why and how of who is doing what. SI focuses on identifying the what and shifting it. Here’s a chart that does a brief comparison

What is it like?

It’s a little bit education where you study and get to know your favorite subject – yourself – better, and a you take strategic action t change what isn’t working effectively for you.   Together we identify your patterns and the values and beliefs that are holding them in place. You learn what makes your partner tick (kinda like being given the operator’s manual) based on their values, beliefs and needs. Together you explore how you can take actions that produce more positive patterns than the negative ones you’ve been running.  After the first session, in which I focus on getting to know you and assess whether you will be a good fit for the model, each session takes on a different flavor depending upon your needs, desires and goals.

love puzzle pieceMy partner doesn’t want to seek support. Can I change a relationship if I just work with you?

Absolutely. My gut tells me that you may have a goal here to change your partner and you partner may be pushing back and thus his/her reluctance to seek a professional for support of the relationship. But we can create change  by focusing on what you can do in the relationship to make it more fulfilling, satisfying and passionate.   There are things you can learn about yourself and your partner that will enable you to make transformative changes in the relationship. Think about your relationship as a waltz . If you change your step, your partner will change theirs in response and adaptation to how you changed.


We aren’t married, but we are thinking of getting married. Is this going to be effective for us?

You might benefit from a premarital education process if you want to focus on getting ready for the commitment of marriage. I have a different program for marriage education. It is has a more structured, evidence-based curriculum in which I also integrate research on what makes marriages work.