By Susan Payne
A new marriage counseling center in Los Angeles is hoping to change how the therapeutic world handles relationships.
Well Marriage Center, a therapist-owned counseling practice located in West Los Angeles and Pasadena, is helping couples build relationship skills, heal relationship trauma, understand their attachment styles and rekindle intimacy and connection they might have thought was too far gone.
The Center has locations in seven states and opened its California offices this year. Welcoming all relationships, Well Marriage is a team of licensed, professional therapists offering specialized couples counseling, individual therapy, and relationship wellness programs.
“We hope that offering a specialty in relationship support can help couples and families in our local communities. Even though many therapists offer marriage counseling, very few are specialized in it,” said Chet Denlinger, CEO of Well Marriage Center. “We tend to think that healthy relationships and deeper connections with others can make the world a better place.”
Ninety percent of couples who complete therapy with a highly trained couples therapist report an increase in their emotional well-being and have more comfort in their relationship, according to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Well Marriage Center has found that not one approach fits all couples, so the therapists are uniquely equipped in the study of relationship therapy approaches to help all couples — married or not.
“We work from a strengths-based foundation, which means we’re immediately looking for ways couples already connect well, or used to connect well, and ways that couples have the capacity for support and success,” Denlinger said.
Instead of “tell me about the problem,” the first question a Well Marriage therapist will ask is, “Tell me about how the two of you met and what attracted you to each other initially?”
“It’s a subtle shift that many general practitioner therapists haven’t made, but being strengths-based is a foundational pillar we believe in. It allows us to leverage a couple’s strengths from the start, which helps set them up for success and reminds them they’re on the same team,” Denlinger said.
Above and beyond therapeutic care, Well Marriage Center counselors cover all bases for couples’ therapy: premarital, marital and dating therapy, individuals wanting a better relationship with themselves, services for couples who have been together for a time, and non-traditional relationships. Well Marriage Center counselors are skilled in helping couples navigate life changes, heavy conflict, lack of communication, grief, trauma, decreased sexual intimacy, affairs and infidelity and separation or divorce adjustment.
“We’re very inclusive in our services and approach for any relationship scenarios that people bring to the table. Our skills transcend traditional notions of ‘marriage counseling’ to encompass any and all relational issues a person may want to work out. We focus on the bonds between people and the relationship people have with themselves. Any person or couple wanting to grow in an emotional or relational context can find a valuable resource in us,” Denlinger added.
Generally, the results vary depending on the therapist, but between 70-90% of couples find therapy beneficial. While the practice takes work and dedication, it’s highly effective for most couples. You’ll find at Well Marriage Center, therapists deeply care for your relationships and want them to succeed.
“In relationships, sometimes we’re afraid of being vulnerable and don’t even realize it’s because of our childhood. Sometimes we have a hard time hearing our partner through different communication styles. Sometimes it’s hard to forgive and begin again. We want to change that for you,” Denlinger said. The Center offers in-person couples therapy and virtual couples counseling. For more information on Well Marriage Center, or to find a location near you, visit www.wellmarriagecenter.com.