Couples, marriage, or relationship therapy is offered to support people in relationships who may be considering a separation or divorce. Or they may be seeking improved communication, conflict resolution skills, intimacy, connection, or understanding. In couples counseling, the relationship is the primary focus. However, each partner should anticipate focusing on their own self-improvement and self-awareness.
Our Therapists Who Specialize in this Area
Mara Pease, PsyD, LP
My clinical and personal experiences have taught me that life is not always easy or predictable. However, I believe that all human beings have the capacity to survive and thrive amidst mental and physical adversity. At the same time, I also deeply appreciate that the journey in doing so can take an incredible amount of struggle, humility and vulnerability. For most, therapy and introspection involves hard work. I believe my clients demonstrate a sense of courage just by walking in the door. I communicate this understanding early on, which sets the tone for the therapeutic alliance as a relationship that is based in mutual respect and authenticity. I also strive to express a stance in which I honor all ways of being with acceptance and non-judgment. My clients are the experts on their own lives. I welcome the unique viewpoints and cultural norms that each individual brings to the therapeutic environment and attempt to remain mindful of differences in thought, behavior, context, and expression of symptomology.
I view my role as a therapist in three equal parts: a “Coach”- continuously attempting to inspire individuals to utilize their innate strengths, a “Co–Investigator”- working collaboratively to test hypotheses, set goals, direct treatment, and monitor progress, and a “Teacher”- providing education on a myriad of mental health topics from brain processes to coping skills.
For me, an integration of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness techniques provide a flexible framework from which to work with varying needs. It also represents attention to evidence-based practice and encapsulates the essential therapeutic components that I believe translate into meaningful change. I also have advanced training in Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), which I utilize whenever appropriate.
- Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Minnesota
- Master’s Degree from Saint Mary’s University
- Doctorate Degree from the University of St. Thomas
10+ years of experience in hospital, private practice, neuropsychology, and community mental health settingsSpecialties:
- Health/Medical Concerns (e.g., Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Lyme’s Disease, Digestive Disorders, Heart Disease, Severe Food Allergies, Chronic Skin Conditions)
- Grief/Bereavement and End of Life Issues
- Caregiver Support
- Chronic Pain
- Anxiety Disorders (e.g., GAD, OCD and phobias)
- Stress Reduction, Mindfulness, and Relaxation Training
- Sleep Concerns
Sara Ruiz, MS, Post-Master's Fellow
The space created in therapy means something different to each of us. Sometimes we are looking for healing or safety. Other times, we may be looking to be present with ourselves. As you reflect on what the space you want to create, you may consider what kind of therapist may be compatible with that vision. Here is more about me.
I am a Master’s level clinician, pre-licensure, with training in marriage and family therapy. With individuals, intimate partners and families, my goal is to hold the many stories and systems that impact internal and external relationships. My style is collaborative, rather than prescribed or directive. I work to provide the balance of offering practical strategies alongside opportunity for self-understanding.
BS of Psychology, Edgewood College (2015)
MS of Marriage and Family Therapy, Edgewood College (2019)
I have over five years of experience in a variety of mental health settings. My experience extends across the lifespan, including individual therapy services for teenagers and beyond, intimate partners, and families with children of all ages. I have extended experience working with families with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have attended additional trainings in the areas of couples, trauma, and supporting youth/families as they dialogue topics related to the gender spectrum.Specialties:
- Adjustment and Life Transition
- Family Dynamics
- Couples and Other Intimate Partner Relationships
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Individual Therapy