Marriage In Crisis


For marriages that have been in crisis we offer an intensive program called

MIRP (Marital Intensive Restoration Program).

But first a few fast facts about Blue Skies:

  • We specialise in helping troubled marriages
  • Couples come to us because they desperately want to renew their marriage or find out if it is worth the trouble
  • For many couples we have been the ‘last straw’ before calling it quits
  • We know well how to work with cross-cultural marriages
  • We do marriage counseling in fluent native English or German
  • Dr. Ingo Tophoven is the primary marriage counselor at Blue Skies. He has over 20 years of experience in counseling couples
  • Intensive programs often work better than regular, weekly sessions
  • An intensive restoration is much cheaper than a divorce
  • We do not work if lawyers have been hired already
  • We do not enter into court battles – ever. If there is a divorce, we advocate for the health of children (if applicable)
  • Your first session with us (50 minutes) is free so you can get to know your counselor

While counseling can take place in regular weekly sessions, some couples have often waited too long to address long-standing issues. Of course, ‘the earlier, the better’ applies especially to getting help for marriage problems. Reality, however, paints another picture. Couples wait, avoid, hope for the better without getting better. It’s called ‘delay time’ in research, which is the period a couple waits to address a serious marital issue. Delay time has been found in several studies to be 5+ years. Because of this, at Blue Skies we often work in the context of marital intensives, an approach that is top-heavy. Much counseling happens right at the beginning. Of course, regular sessions are available, but if we feel that a normal course of counseling would hinder your progress, we will advise you on a course of action that promises a better yield towards success. You can schedule a free session with Dr. Tophoven to discuss your situation and what approach might be best for you. Please contact Blue Skies today. As mentioned, there is no commitment and cost for the first 50 minutes.

What is a MIRP?

Marital Intensive Restoration Program (MIRP)

The 32-hours Blue Skies Marital Intensive Restoration Program (MIRP) is for couples that have unsuccessfully tried various approaches to solve their marital issues, and find themselves in the same or similar recurring circumstances. Busyness, work demands, raising children, daily living, deeply entrenched survival or avoidance mechanisms often lead even well-intended couples down the road towards divorce.

Divorce, however, is not what most couples really want. Divorce often occurs out of frustration and the inability to see any chance for real change. Learning how to live in a successful, committed, and caring relationship is what most people want and is one of the goals of the MIRP. We want to help restore your marriage, thus we have a bias towards helping couple re-learn how to create lasting love again. The MIRP attempts to tackle marital issues in a fully contextual, professional, confidential, intense fashion, custom-tailored around the needs of each couple.

How does it work?

The MIRP engages each couple intensively by using strong assessment upfront via psychological testing and homework assignments. After testing and homework are done, the MIRP proceeds in intensive segments of 4 hours each (typically), aiming to spend 16 hours of counseling work within a three-day period upfront, using clinical and proven methods of getting marital issues unstuck and planning a measurable strategy for change.

Assessment and analysis are emphasized early on. Practical solutions are worked out together as the couple engages their test results, histories, couple dynamics and insights from the therapist. Our objectives are: 1) Understand who you are/have become as an individual and who you are/have become as a couple. 2) Untangle the web of blame and hurt. 3) Create a plan of restoration by making each person an individual again and divorcing the old dysfunctional marital dynamic. 4) At the end, implement a healing plan and come to an understanding of grace and forgiveness processes necessary to deal with pain and disappointment in intimate relationships. There are no guarantees given, but the program has helped over 100 couples in the last 15 years to start a new marriage – instead of going down the costly and more difficult road of divorce.

What is required of each partner?

The program requires personal time and investment, hard work, and an understanding of marriage that goes beyond personal/individual fulfillment. The MIRP requires each person/partner in the marriage to take responsibility for his/her own issues. The MIRP assumes that marriage derives security from commitment, grace, forgiveness, and personal investment to learn how to love and relate. While the MIRP is not a spiritual program primarily, it derives its concepts of commitment, forgiveness, and grace from a Judeo-Christian world-view. All other methodologies used are strictly gained from research and clinical practice.

Who will be our counselor?

Your MIRP counselor is Dr. Ingo Tophoven, M.A., Ph.D. (USA). Mr. Tophoven has been married for 20 years and has three children with his wife Capri. He has been working with couples for over 15 years in private practice and in church-related settings. His current research involves qualitative studies of long-lasting, bi-cultural (German-American) satisfied marriages. His ongoing research and 15 years of couples counseling experience make Mr. Tophoven a great fit for couples seeking to restore their marriage. Many bi-cultural couples have sought out Dr. Tophoven due to his expertise in working with bi-cultural couples that desire to want to build a marriage that finds true grace and real hope.

After 11 years of clinical work in south Texas, the Tophoven family moved to Berlin in 2008 to work with couples, individuals, and churches in English and German speaking counseling and consulting. For more information on the MIRP program, please contact Dr. Tophoven personally at +49/(0) 151 1725 4690 or email ingotophoven@yahoo.com.

How much does the MIRP cost?

Divorce is expensive materially… and emotionally costly for all involved. We believe that many times (not all the time), it is better to fix a marriage by learning from and growing through difficult times.

If one partner desires a divorce and is committing an affair or has engaged legal services, we do not recommend this program. Motivation to want to heal and transparency are key elements towards success. Thus, honesty from the beginning and individual commitment to want to heal and change, are foundational elements for success.

32-Hour Marital Intensive Restoration Program (MIRP) €3.300,00

  • 16-Hours Intensive Marital Counseling (3 day period)
  • 16-Hours Follow-Up Marital Counseling
  • Psychological Assessment/Testing
  • Homework Package
  • Evaluation Time (Homework and Testing)
  • 6-Months E-Mail Follow-Up/Support

How do we pay?

You can pay for the MIRP all at once or in monthly installments using PayPal or regular bank transfer (Überweisungen). A 20% downpayment is required and will be billed to you once you agree to do the MIRP and once we send you the homework and testing links in preparation for our first intensive weekend. If a couple cannot pay the fee at once, we offer a 6- or 12- months payment plan for a small fee.

We hope you will decide to work on your marriage. The MIRP is not for everyone, but it is for those that really want to change, get a solid start in doing so, and want to somehow work it into their busy life-style.

For a free consultation session, please contact, please contact Dr. Tophoven at your convenience. Making a personal connection first might be helpful in getting some more questions answered.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Would Dr. Tophoven come to our city to do a MIRP?

Yes, occasionally Dr. Tophoven does travel to where you are. Most people that work with Dr. Tophoven, however, take advantage of seeing the city of Berlin while working on their marriage. If you are interested of Dr. Tophoven working with you wherever you are, please contact us for details and planning.

Does Mrs. Tophoven participate in the MIRP program as a counselor?

Yes and No. 🙂 Mrs. Tophoven’s counseling specialities are children, teenagers, and women’s issues. When marital counseling requires individual work outside of Dr. Tophoven’s realm of expertise, Mrs. Tophoven gets involved as needed. But the main MIRP counselor is Dr. Ingo Tophoven.

Schedule your MIRP today. Contact Blue Skies at +49 (0)30/8472 1375 or use our contact form.