We now offer a range of ways you can access our knowledge and skills about relationships:
• Weekly or fortnightly therapy for couples in 90 minute sessions with an individual therapist - learn more here
Passionate Marriage (a.k.a. The Crucible Approach)
We like this approach for all sorts of reasons but first and foremost because it sees the problems we are having in our relationships are normal and inevitable - seeing long-term relationships as “people-growing machines”. When you cut through the fairy-tale expectations that once you have sorted your problems everything will be go smoothly, you can see that conflict and distance in a relationship are often not disasters, but an incentive for us to “grow ourselves up”. That may sound strange, but it is an incredibly hopeful way to approach relationship difficulties and one which we have found hugely empowering both in our work with other couples and in our own relationship.
When we accept that we are having difficulties for good reasons, we can stop wasting energy on worrying about whether we have chosen the wrong partner or whether there is something wrong with me (or my partner) and get on and do the growing that’s needed to improve our situation.
This approach helps people confront themselves, pushing them to grow a stronger sense of who they are and what is important to them. Out of that personal growth comes the resources and courage to bring about lasting and beneficial change in the relationship.
Instead of “happily ever after”, this means loving on life’s terms – looking into the face of our fears and disappointments and acknowledging that sometimes we will not get what we want and we will get hurt and it’s still better to take the risk and love fully anyway. The alternative is to live a half life of loneliness and self-deception.
The other reason we became practitioners of this approach was because of our interest in helping people with sexual problems. The Crucible Approach provides a full integration of the marital therapy and sex therapy fields (believe it or not they have tended to be separate disciplines). This means we deal with difficulties around sex totally in the context of the relationship and see our sexual relationships as an important “window” onto the relationship as a whole.
Our Training in the Crucible Approach
Nic repeated the introductory workshop and attended an advanced 6-day workshop on Desire in the U.S. in 2003 with Dr Schnarch & his wife and colleague Dr Ruth Morehouse. Verity attended a similar advanced workshop in 2004.
In 2006 we hosted Dr Schnarch here in NZ as he offered his Introductory workshop (which we again attended) at the NZCCP conference.
In 2008 Nic travelled to the USA to the AAMFT conference and attended a 5-lecture series offered by Dr Schnarch & his colleague Dr Susan Regas. Nic & Verity both travelled to Los Angeles for a three day workshop with Dr Morehouse & Dr Regas on using the Crucible Approach with sexual issues.
Since completing our advanced trainings (in 2003 & 2004 respectively) we have both had regular phone consultation with Dr Morehouse and this is on-going (currently every 3 weeks) .
More about the Crucible Approach
Other models we use
Family/Systems & Narrative
Phone:+64-9-575-5798 Fax:+64-9-575-5833Email: or
© Nic Beets and Verity Thom 2013