As a Certified Group Therapist and a member of the Houston Group Psychotherapy Society, Damian creates a supportive environment where every couple can feel safe to share their experiences. You’ll practice new communication and awareness skills and gain insight into your own relationship by listening to other couples’ histories. Average group sizes are between 3 and 5 couples. Group therapy for individuals is also available. Learn more.

Often as a follow-up to a workshop, Damian works directly with individual couples in private sessions. In this safe, structured environment, you’ll gain deeper insight into your relationship and practice the tools and skills you need to create a better relationship together. Coaching via telephone, Skype, or Facebook is also available for long-distance couples.  Learn more.

Most couples start their journey by taking part in the Imago couples workshop, the most powerful and effective relationship education in the world today. In a relaxed and emotionally safe environment, you’ll learn how to develop a conscious relationship and transform struggle into growth and connection. Couples walk away with new relationship tools they can put into practice immediately. Learn more.

  • Relationship Workshop Schedule

    Recapture the bliss and happiness from when you first fell in love with the “Getting the Love You Want” workshop.

    For the vast majority of couples, Damian recommends experiencing the couples workshop before entering couples therapy with any therapist. 

    The workshops presented by Damian are held in Houston and Galveston Island. Workshops specifically designed for LGBT couples are also available.

    Confidentiality is emphasized in order to create a safe environment, and you and your partner will have opportunities to work alone and privately share with one another. Class size is limited to ensure couples get the attention they need. Sign up now to ensure a spot.

    Schedule
    Friday: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
    Saturday: 8:30 am – 7:00 pm
    Sunday: 8:30 am – 6:30 pm

    Learn more about the “Getting the Love You Want” workshop.

    Houston

    September 12-14
    October 10-12
    November 7-9
    December 5-7

    Galveston Island

    October 17-19
    November 21-23

     

Houston Marriage Counselor: Sometimes All You Have to Do Is Ask

couple looking at ground Houston Marriage Counselor: Sometimes All You Have to Do Is Ask

Feeling hurt that your partner recently failed to understand something that you wanted? Rather than staying mad, take a moment to reflect on whether or not you actually asked your partner for the thing you wanted. As I often emphasize in this blog, your partner is not a mind reader, and miscommunication is one of the biggest sources of relationship issues. To prevent these misunderstandings and find more satisfaction in your relationship, you and your partner should use the following steps to intentionally and clearly ask for what you want.

  1. Banish your fears of rejection. One of the main reasons people often hold back from truly asking for what they want is because they worry that the other person will say no. This can be an especially big concern for someone who worried a lot about rejection from their parents in their childhood and internalized that childhood wound as an adult. To help get past that fear, remind yourself that it’s not wrong to ask, even if your partner does say no or asks for a compromise. You can ask for anything, as long as you’re flexible and understand that your partner is free to say yes or no.

 

  1. Remember that asking is a request, not a demand. You’re requesting something of your partner, not telling them that they have to agree, so make sure that you use the proper tone. Don’t be accusatory (e.g. “Can you help me clean up the house since you’re just sitting around?”) and don’t set an ultimatum (e.g. “You need to get along with my friends or else we can’t be together anymore”). Be respectful and you’re much more likely to get what you ask for.

 

  1. Say what you really mean. Don’t just try to guess what your partner will agree to and adjust your request, or use vague terms that don’t really explain what you want. Be clear and concrete, even if it takes you out of your comfort zone. For example, many couples (even those who have been together for years) struggle to talk about what they want in bed but would have a much more satisfying sexual relationship if they just explained to their partner what they want.

 

  1. Be firm. Pay attention to your inflection when you make your request—don’t let your inflection rise at the end so that it sounds like you’re asking a question, and don’t let your volume drop so that your request fades away. At the same time, don’t let your request sound aggressive. Speak calmly and matter-of-factly.

 

  1. Give your partner a chance to respond. Your partner should listen respectfully while you speak, so return that courtesy by listening to your partner’s thoughts on your request and their own wishes. Once you both understand what the other person wants, you can work together to make sure you meet each other’s wishes or find a reasonable compromise.

If you’re still struggling to ask for what you want after trying these steps, talk to your partner about making an appointment with the Houston marriage counselor or attending a couples workshop in order to work on your communication skills.

Houston Relationship Therapist: Do You Need Time Boundaries?

couple both on phones Houston Relationship Therapist: Do You Need Time Boundaries?

Imagine you’re in this situation: you have to stay an hour late at work to get an important project done, and when you get home your partner has (very considerately) made dinner for the family. You eat a quick meal with your partner and kids, keeping your phone next to you in case you get an email from work, help with the clean-up, help put the kids to bed, and then fall into bed yourself. During all this evening rushing, you never had a chance to spend any quality time with your partner.

If this type of scenario sounds familiar, you and your partner may need to establish some time boundaries. This means that, while your routine may vary from day-to-day, you have certain set periods of time for certain parts of your life. For example, maybe 9 to 6 is your work time, but when you get home it becomes Family Time, meaning you put your phone away and spend an hour or two of guilt-free time with your family, not thinking about work.

If you have kids, you may want to set a strict bed time so that you and your partner can have your own meaningful time together after the kids go to sleep and before both of you go to bed. If you or your partner has a hobby or side business, perhaps you can work out an arrangement to work on that project in the morning before the rest of the house is awake. And don’t forget to schedule a Date Time—and stick to it—at least a couple times a month.

How to Start Setting Boundaries

These time boundaries are going to be most effective if you talk to your partner about what you’d both like to spend more time on, what you’d like to cut back on, and what sometimes frustrates you about the other person’s use of their time. Then, write down your boundary goals together. These might include things like making your bedroom an electronics-free zone after 9 pm, going to bed together at the same time every night, or getting a sitter and going on a date once a week.

If you’ve done Imago Therapy before, have a very dialogic conversation about your separate ideas (it may help to have a copy of “Our Relationship (Marriage) Vision” out on the table). Then decide how you can compromise and carry out y0ur goals with intentionality and in the service of your shared vision.

You don’t have to start trying to meet all your goals at once, but you should focus on meeting at least one goal a week. You and your partner can help hold each other accountable for sticking to those goals. Once you’ve gotten used to these time boundaries, you should feel less stressed and more satisfied about your time management.

Remember, if you want even more advice about how to get more out of your relationship, you and your partner should schedule an appointment with the Houston relationship therapist.

Houston Relationship Counselor: Dating after Divorce

healthy middle aged couple on date Houston Relationship Counselor: Dating after Divorce

Making yourself vulnerable by dating new people is never easy, but it can be especially challenging if you are just starting to date again after a divorce. You might feel like the “rules” of dating have changed, or worry that you’ll have trouble trusting someone new after the end of your last long-term relationship. But keep in mind that dating can give you the chance to meet someone to whom you feel a close connection and with whom you might enter into a satisfying relationship. The key is remembering to be open, patient, and comfortable with yourself.

Houston Relationship Counselor Gives 5 Tips for Dating after Divorce

Go at your own speed. There’s no rule that you have to start dating once a certain amount of time has passed, so don’t let well-intentioned friends, family members, or your ex pressure you into dating before you’re ready. You should feel that you’ve moved past your last relationship and aren’t just dating out of fear of being alone or to show up your ex. And once you start seeing someone, take the relationship at a speed you’re comfortable with. If the person you’re dating doesn’t respect your wishes to take things slowly, then they’re probably not someone you want to be with.

Train yourself to think positively. If your last relationship ended badly, it might feel difficult to go into dating with a positive mindset. You might worry that there’s no one out there for you, or that your last relationship ended because there’s something “wrong” with you. Learn to reframe your thinking in a positive way. For example, even if a first date goes badly, tell yourself that going on the date was at least an educational experience.

Don’t get into the mindset that you have a certain “type.” This limits you and could cause you to miss out on meeting someone with whom you share a real connection. You should also avoid comparing new people that you meet to your ex; recognize the men or women you date as whole people with their own complex lives, not just people whose characters are based on qualities that they may or may not share with someone from a past relationship.

Recognize what you want. Maybe you’re hoping to eventually enter into another meaningful and long-term relationship, but it’s also okay to just want to go on a few casual dates or even desire something in between. Figuring out what you actually want to get out of dating will help you better understand how to approach the dating landscape.

Be patient. Keep in mind that the first date you go on probably isn’t going to lead to a long-term relationship, and don’t take it personally if a handful of dates fizzle out. Know that you can’t rush something as important as a long-term relationship, so be willing to take your time and use dating as an opportunity to meet new people and grow as a person.