Couples by Intention






Based on the highly successful Couples by Intention group led by Elliott Kronenfeld, LICSW, CST, this book details the journeys of several couples that have learned and grown through the process of working with a couples’ therapist and by attending a 12-week group process with other couples. Couples by Intention looks at the issues that become challenges for many couples and offers meaningful and applicable insight that readers can begin to use immediately.

So many people are afraid that couples’ therapy is the fast track to divorce. That is only true if you wait until your relationship is beyond repair before you do your work. 

Meaningful couples’ therapy is a great foundation when things are okay but you want great! This book will show you why couples’ therapy can be a great tool in your toolbox as you grow and develop your connection together.

Read about the stories of real couples and their experience as they look for greater connection and intimacy. Couples by Intention will show you the exercises they worked on, share their conversations with their partners and the other couples and detail how they have changed by doing meaningful work. 





Chapter 1

First Steps - Setting the Scene for Getting Closer

Learn about setting realistic expectations for getting closer to your mate, and some simple rules that can help you in getting started.

Chapter 2

Have a Reason - Be Intimate on Purpose

Why intimacy can diminish over time, and how to keep it alive; what we mean when we use the word “intimacy” in the first place; the power of “swagger” and choice.

Chapter 3

Beware Assumptions!—Knowing Your Definitions and Role Models

What hidden assumptions are you making about relationships and gender roles—and how are they affecting your relationship?


Chapter 4

Monogamy, Monogamish, and Nonmonogamy

“Monogamy” refers to more than just sex; learn how partners can feel betrayed by non-sexual things; learn how to set boundaries about what’s okay and what’s not okay between you and your partner.

Chapter 5

What’s Better Than Sex?—The Power of Curiosity

The essential power of curiosity in relationships; how to listen actively with your partner (and show it!); the “four buckets” of emotions—and how easy it is to confuse one emotion for another.

Chapter 6

Me First, Then You!—Why Self-Care Matters

In order to care for others, you have to put yourself first; creating “sacred space” with your partner; why it’s important to draw boundaries around your relationship.


Chapter 7

Identifying Connection: See it! Do it! Learn it! Get the Rewards!

More about how assumptions can harm a relationship; what it is you want to achieve in the relationship; how to come home from work each day.

Chapter 8

Who Are You, Anyway? - Alignment

Why it’s so important to have a sense of who you are (internal alignment) and to live authentically (external alignment); watching out for “timelines” that others may seek to impose on your relationship without your consent.

Chapter 9

Maintaining the Plateau - Lasting for the Long Haul

Living in “plateau” moments in your relationship; it’s normal for couples to be working on different aspects of their relationship at varying paces all at once.






“A clearly focused approach for more vibrant relationships!

Elliott Kronenfeld has created a systematic and thorough program to help your relationship become more intentional at any stage. If you’re a couple seeking to enrich emotional and sexual connection, you might be most drawn to chapters on setting the scene for intimacy, and the power of curiosity and alignment. If you’re recovering from the fallout from an affair, the chapter on self-care might be transformational.

The book includes all sorts of relationships — straight, gay, bi, poly, monogamish, and more. Examples and exercises abound, with encouragement to engage throughout — so that you become a co-creator in your developing couplehood as well as receiving excellent guidance from an expert.”
— Gina Ogden, PhD, LMFT | Author of Exploring Desire & Intimacy and The Heart and Soul of Sex

“Participating in Couples by Intention gave us a lot of tools and language that we were able to take back to apply to our relationship as well as other relationships in our lives.”
— "Allison"

“As a couple’s therapist, I am excited to recommend this book to clients who are looking to create more connection in their relationships. I know that the valuable insights he shares, as well as the interactive exercises provided, will lead to growth and positive change for many couples.”
— Amy Krasner, LICSW

“Elliott’s group brought many gifts to us. We learned we are not alone, that other people have similar issues to us and we found inspiration in the progress other couples made. We always left feeling motivated and uplifted. He gave us a lot of tools and language that we were able to take back to apply to our relationship as well as other relationships in our lives.”
— "Blake"

“Couples by Intention is a Gem!

All the expertise of an experienced couples’ therapist is offered in a highly readable and engaging narrative. Readers will feel like they have a wise and caring friend sitting next to them, giving them practical strategies, telling them instructive stories, all delivered with warmth and compassion.
Different from other books on this topic, and more revelatory, Couples by Intention explores Kronenfeld’s innovative couples’ therapy group in great detail. The tools and strategies come to life in this group, as do the people in it. Readers will undoubtedly resonate with the couples’ stories and struggles, and will benefit from witnessing their healing.
This is a great resource for couples and clinicians alike.”
— Miri Skolnik, Psy.D. | Assistant Dean, Student Support Services, MIT



"This book teaches really powerful relationship skills. It just makes sense but is written in a new way. I think everyone should buy this book."

- Reader | Barnes & Noble


"My wife and I participated in the Couples by Intention group and this book is a true representation of our experience. This group strengthened our marriage and the book is a great resource to keep working!"

- Reader | Barnes & Noble


"A must read relationship book!

This is a great book... easy to read and understand but chock full of important relationship lessons! Elliott makes relationships real."

- Joseph | Amazon


"Elliott has created a thoughtful, modern approach to enhancing intimacy within relationships. The case study material helps to show how to move towards intentional commitment to our partners and allows our own explorations deepen, as we are not alone."

- Lindsay B. | Amazon


"Useful and tangible information for couples!
Such a great read! Elliott's humor and wit is throughout this dynamic and effective book. I highly recommend it and use the exercises it includes with the couples that I work with and have seen great benefits from his method of creating and cultivating curiosity in relationships. Thanks for sharing!!"

- Jennifer T. | Amazon


This is an excellent resource for anyone who is part of a couple or a therapist working with families, couples and individuals. Very well written. Highly recommended!”

- Reader | Amazon


"What a great book.

So much helpful information and so easy to read. This is great for not only romantic relationships by any relationship, friend, co-worker, etc."

- Reader | Barnes & Noble


"This book is a must read - whether you are in a new relationship or in a long-term relationship, it is geared for all ages and stages in a relationship. Elliott helps you navigate the waters, giving you fresh vocabulary to better communicate with your partner. He writes in a very non-threatening tone; it is sprinkled with humor to help with serious and difficult topics. It is a quick read but "exercises" are suggested throughout the book to facilitate greater self-awareness. Most of us have not been given the tools to navigate (effectively communicate with) our most important relationships; however, Couples By Intention provides readers with the insight to connect with those you care about the most."

- Maria | Amazon


"Couples by Intention is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to improve the quality of their relationships with others. The exercises are illuminating and incredibly useful, and Elliott's unique approach and perspective provide a new and invigorating way to develop stronger connections in one's life.  I highly recommend this book! "

- Tiane J. | Amazon


"A must read for any relationship!!

Elliott Kronenfeld is a gifted writer and provides such valuable insight into a successful relationship. His book is easy to follow and so helpful. I highly recommend this to anyone in a relationship."

- Melissa R. | Amazon


"Elliott Kronenfeld has created a meaningful way to work with couples. His book is easy to read, easy to incorporate but brings some quick results. I highly recommend this book"

- Reader | Barnes & Noble


"This book was an easy read and was difficult to put down. I highly recommend this book be read by all couples, young or old, married or single, gay or straight, who for some reason or reasons are at odds with each other. Elliot has a way of looking at and understanding the many problems that may exist in almost any relationship. In this book he speaks of several scenarios presented to him by patients and his recommendations for correcting the issues at hand. He has a way of getting them to open up to him, to each other, and occasionally to other couples. His interviewing technique is the best. His solutions are understandable and concise, opening the way for many couples to be able to correct their own misunderstandings themselves, with each other, or with family members."

- Marvin W. | Amazon


"Great concepts and interventions - on how to be helpful to couples!!!
2 key points I loved about Elliott's book:
Intimacy = balancing safety with vulnerability... this is a simple but elegant definition, when I work with my couples this is what I help them strive for...
Monogamy Scales!!! Very clarifying!"

- Reader | Amazon


"A creative, insightful and thoughtful approach to couples therapy.
What I love about Elliot Kronenfeld's, "Couples by Intention" is it deals directly with many current issues couples are facing in today's relationships. Elliot is able to navigate with couples what can be difficult topics for them to talk about such as sex, betrayal,intimacy, monogamy, non-monogamy, or even being monogamish and so much more. Another aspect I loved about this book was the graphs which plot out for couples their differences or similarities. Finally, each reader is asked to keep a journal where many of the difficult issues presented are reflected on and the reader can learn more about themselves and gain clarity on the each topic."

- Peg H.D. | Amazon


"Loved this book. Definitely some wow moments. Though I’ve always kept a personal journal, the use of a journal with this book is worth the effort. I was amazed at how many things I could recognize about myself. My husband will be the next to read this.
I would highly recommend this for any couple & it would definitely be a great bridal shower gift as well.

You can teach an old dog new tricks!"

- Reader | Amazon


I cannot say enough wonderful things about this book. Elliott is a creative, insightful and wise clinician. I am a couple's/sex therapist myself and have recommended this book to my clients and so far, so great!! I particularly enjoy the reflective exercises, they get you thinking, which is exactly what I aim for in my work with clients. Thank you Elliott for sharing your work with us!!!!!”

- Paola Rodriguez | Amazon




JANUARY | 2018

Couples By Intention: Creating And Cultivating Relationships That Matter



The secret to great a relationship may seem elusive, but not to Elliott Kronenfeld, LICSW, CST. Now he’s revealing how to make marriages and committed partnerships the best and deepest they can be in Couples by Intention: Creating and Cultivating Relationships that Matter. The key being the “intention” with one another rather than responding by default.


The books follow real couples who sought to make their connections better as they engaged in intense group therapy over the course of 12 weeks. Readers get to hear first-hand from participants as they tackled common challenges in relationships, such as how to define monogamy, set boundaries and prioritize intimacy in the face of multiple responsibilities. The discussions recorded within the book reveal personal insights into how to stay interested in partners during the good times, how to communicate in stressful seasons and how to keep love alive amidst the normalcy of everyday life.

"So many couples face issues that inhibit their future happiness, but don’t know how to improve their situations,” explained Kronenfeld. “Great relationships don’t come easily, but this solution-focused book shares the tools needed to be a successful couple in a reality-based format that readers can relate to. My hope is that listening in on these universal conversations will help couples everywhere understand how they can grow in meaningful ways to create strong relationships that last.”

In addition to the group’s reflections, the book also includes exercises to challenge readers and create dialogue between partners. While not designed to replace therapy, the exercises arm readers with some of the same skills Kronenfeld’s clients develop – skills that will open up new possibilities for both established couples as well as singles looking to enter a committed relationship.

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A Special Thanks



It is with the humblest appreciation that I thank the couples that have allowed me to join them in their quest to get closer to one another. Being a witness to your growth and wisdom has changed me in untold ways.


I am honored to be alongside you and you have taught me much.


- Elliott