Are you looking for ‘marriage counseling in des moines and surrounding areas‘? You’ve found the right place, with the right marriage counselors at Real Connections Counseling! Real Connections Counseling does something few in the country are doing. Monique and Rick enter the counseling room together with the other couple. Co-therapy continues to be a type of counseling that consistently changes lives from client to client. Together they’ll help you navigate dark places, and help you make your lives better. You can achieve real connections!
Marriage Counseling: THE GIFT
“We seem so broken.” “We never do anything together.” “We don’t hardly make love anymore!” “How can I trust you after what you did?”
Your relationship might seem bleak, and torn. But remember the day you wed? Remember the hope that rested in you then? Sure things have gone off course, and maybe it’s your tragic reality, but hope can be found at Real Connections Counseling.
Your marriage is a rocky path now, but you can choose to fall in love again. You’ll never fully be rid of rocks in your path, but it won’t be long before you know how to navigate them together. Your renewal probably won’t look exactly like your old relationship, but your renewed vow can be more mature, and better than ever. The Real Connections system has been significant and successful over and over again! To what do we attribute success?
The system is remarkable in it’s simplicity. Co-therapy. Monique & Rick enter the counseling room together with the other couple, and move forward with them. We provide two perspectives, two sets of eyes, more creativity, far less bias, and stronger interaction. They simply bring their twenty-six+ years together and allow the relationship to become a piece of the process. The Elgersma’s are excellent professional counselors with a wide range of tools, and systems you can live by and practice together, and yet sometimes their marriage has meant as much to the client as their expertise. That’s part of why you can be so successful!
Look, marriage counseling can be the best long-term gift you have ever given each other. They like to say, “we do startups, tuneups, fixups, and all out repair!” Which one are you? You might be confused, and heartbroken. Perhaps you’re simply looking to grow. No matter what, here is Monique & Rick’s promise: marriage counseling with Monique & Rick at Real Connections Counseling works.
You can heal. Your life can be so much better and stronger together! You both can make that happen together!
They don’t take insurance. They can’t bill for two counselors. They get that some of you simply need to use whatever resource you have available to you. But your relationship can’t simply be reduced to insurance, can it? Monique & Rick believe in their co-therapy system, they get to be a couple even as they go. They don’t only get to be counselors, they get to model being in relationship as part of the professional process and most of their clients have been more comforted by that fact than any other piece of counseling, including their expertise. That’s been worth saying, “You know what? Our relationship has to be worth more than the value of insurance!” And it is.
Now they are going even further to do something different. You see, Real Connections Counseling is breaking from norm, again. Normally clients receive 50 minutes of counseling at a time, even couples. And they have found that many couples just “get going into something important” at 40 minutes and then ten minutes later it’s time to end.
But they are not your typical therapists and you will not be the typical client. You will have a great opportunity to step out of normal, and step into your future. They offer 80-minute, 2-hour, or 4-hour sessions. With more time per session you have plenty of space to do your best work! They have found that when you are able to get through the tough stuff in the longer session, you do not need as many counseling sessions in the long run!
Counseling doesn’t have to mean huge sweeping changes for you. Small changes can pose exponential benefits to your relationship. For instance, small changes in the way you communicate can move you from constant angst to constant peace. They teach you small things that can save your relational life.
What can you imagine is possible with your spouse? If you could have your best relationship with maybe even only a few tweaks, folks how much would that be worth to you?
How does Marriage Counseling work?
What do your vows say? Did they say that you’d be theirs in every kind of situation, whether sick or healthy, poor or wealthy? Most couples Rick & Monique see expressed the above statements, and more on their wedding day. The process of marriage counseling is to first take a hard look at your vows, and then build toward them. Along the way they learn new communication patterns, relationship history, & a host of other factors that can be used to help you. We guide you toward becoming functional adults, intimate partners, and best friends.
They teach you about being each other’s hero, playmate, confidant, partner, and lover. You talk about choices, and they guide you to find ways to be interested in each other’s uniqueness. Most of all, they help you practice your relationship. Anything practiced will improve, and that is the magic of marriage counseling and the jewels of your marriage story.
Your Marriage Story
Your marriage counselors will guide you and be your allies. But you are the expert of your story, and we become part of your story for a time. How do you want your story to end? How can you be the heroes in your story instead of the fall guys? The hero(ine) actively seeks his or her best self on any given day, and that will save your relationship’s life.
Heroes seek courage in the midst of pitfalls, and they seek Hope. And heroes seek generosity, goodness, graciousness, gentleness, and hope from themselves and others. Lastly, heroes seek love. You can write heroism into your marriage story, and win the battle together. Your story can read that “we can” instead of, “we can’t” or, “we won’t.”
Your therapists are experts in their field, yes. But they become catalysts in your heroic “We can!” story on a path you choose to tread.
How effective is Marriage Counseling?
Your success is up to you. You learn that success means taking account of how you will be together in your mutual “for better and for worse,” part of your vows. Your marriage counselors, Rick & Monique Elgersma, have been through some of the best anyone could imagine, and some of the worst. But they discovered the fruit of their relationship that helped them never let go, even when their storms raged. Marriage counseling made them better, and it can make you better.
Marriage Is About INTIMACY
I don’t even know the meaning of intimacy.” “We don’t seem to be great friends.”
Marriage counseling is about the birth of intimacy. A good marriage is the practice of intimacy. What is intimacy? We ask couples to offer their guesses about what intimacy is. “Passionate sex,” say some, and “To have a good relationship all around,” say others. These couples are pretty close.
Intimacy isn’t what you “do.” You can have passionate sex, and you can have a good relationship all around. But good sex, and even a good relationship, cannot alone keep the both of you held together when marriage is rocking your “for worse.” A passionate marriage isn’t only “having” a good time in the sack, or “having” a good date. Intimacy is how you have passionate sex, and how you become each other’s partners in the bedroom. An intimate marriage is about how you act together at your home, and everywhere else. Intimacy is how you become and be playmates, and why you work and play.
Do you want closeness? Yes? What are you doing to inspire closeness? Do you date? Hold hands? Do you date? What is your bedtime ritual? These are all avenues to fulfilling intimacy. The top ten intimacy needs includes belonging, security, and affirmation, but not sex. The truth is intimacy has little to do with sex at all. In fact, none of the top ten intimacy needs actually includes sex. Therefore, intimacy isn’t necessarily passionate sex, and to say that one should have a good relationship all around is a good value, but it isn’t intimacy. Intimacy is faithfully providing safety, hope, and love as you go. That doesn’t mean sex isn’t important. Sex most often happens because intimacy needs have been met…and that is the best love-making you can imagine
How would you like to experience true, warm, safe, amazing, beautiful, and exquisite intimacy in your marriage? You can, and Monique & Rick teach you how.
How can Marriage Counseling Save Marriages?
Your lives, and your stories, they matter. Monique & Rick are about enhancing your unique relationship, and about helping you make your lives better. Marriage counseling can be tough, and it can be fun. Know one thing…this is something you’ll learn the first day we shake hands: You are not the problem. The problem is the problem. You can solve problems together.
You have issues, but these issues are not your core identity. You see, your problems are imposters and create havoc when you’ve lost the memory of who you were and are, and who you can be together with your spouse. Problems arise from the chaos. We help you understand chaos, and then fight it. To do this, we help you reframe, and rewrite, your story.
Marriage is an Activity
Monique is Rick’s forever bride. She is the cornerstone of how he has viewed their marriage from day one. He often says to his wife and with others that his bride is his “one.” And they share the same heart. If Rick breaks her heart, he also breaks his own. That is how they know life. He tends to her heart. Perfectly? No, not even close. But he practices. Marriage is less a description, and more a daily activity.
Lastly, and most importantly: Love. If marriage is active, then love is also active. Love is how we together achieve intimacy. Love motivates action, and makes lifting, upholding and all the rest make sense. Rick wrote a poem to his wife once, called “The husband” hoping to describe love in the act of intimacy. He writes,
“A husband takes up his scepter, that is her heart, and presents her above his strength to all created things.”
Therein is the “how”… intimacy. Real Connection. Marriage counseling can get you there.
Purpose of Practice: Get It Right?
Monique & Rick exist as Real Connections Counseling because they understand that real connections are part of their and others’ identity. They know their marriage takes daily work in love so they can come to you strongly bonded.
Trying Is NOT Practice
None of us can always get it “right” and you can’t expect perfection from your mate. No matter what though, you can seek to stand by them and daily practice your relationship in the life of your marriage. “I tried!” you say? Trying is not practice. A practicing couple can only improve their relationship. Love doesn’t require that you always get it right. Love forgives wrong, and encourages the right. And love says, “You’re mine. You’re who I want.”
Remember, practice might not make perfect…but it can, and most likely will, make beautiful. Rick & Monique have that between each other…something imperfect, but beautiful, and they’ll seek that with you. Call or write us soon. We believe that you’ll be glad you did.
How Long Does Marriage Counseling Take & What Is The Cost?
They have found that many couples just “get going into something important” at 40 minutes and then ten minutes later it’s time to end, so Real Connections Counseling offers 80-minute, 2-hour, or 4-hour sessions. With more time per session you have plenty of space to do your best work and that usually results in fewer sessions needed! The prices are private pay (no insurance), and you can see the breakdown on the “Paperwork” tab under the Good Faith Estimate link.
Therapists can’t offer a pat answer for how long marriage counseling lasts. The length of therapy depends on your goals, your marriage’s current health, and how hard you work during – and in-between – the marriage counseling sessions. Some couples stay in therapy for years of their lives, while others receive counseling for only a few sessions. Rick & Monique consistently check in to make sure that they are reaching for the goals you need. Either way, your therapy is about you and so how much time is needed is also somewhat of a collaboration between them and you, and that’s exactly how they want it!
Truth is, no matter how long it takes, marriage counseling requires dedication, interest, patience, and practice. Marriage counseling pulls in all the gritty and amazing love stuff, the guts and the glory of living in relationship, and the intensity of love designed to graft one heart with another. The benefits are amazing! The emotional costs you’re suffering right now, what would be worth not having to pay those costs anymore?
Their promise is that the moment you get into the counseling room, they are strongly motivated toward the longterm health of your relationship.
Marriage Prep Counseling: What does Marriage Prep or pre-marital counseling look like?
This form of counseling is different than couples or marriage counseling. The focus is to start your marriage well and strong.
Most couples when they get engaged, feel like they already know everything about their partner and have discussed all of the things to start their marriage off right. Talking is awesome! It’s good to know your partner. You’re excited, and nervous and you have every right to be.
But we want to help you to dig deeper, so Rick & Monique provide a 15 page assessment/questionnaire that they ask you complete. The questionnaire is more personal, more detailed, and more informative than you expect most likely, but it’ll be worth it : )! You will answer certain questions, such as: “How are we compatible?”, “How will our beliefs potentially affect our marriage?”, “What about family planning?”, “What do I love most about you?”, or “How do we know we’re in love?”
The Real Connections system is more comprehensive than most premarital programs – and includes important information to learn before you tied the knot! You work hard, but they have good fun with you too.
The time allotted for Marriage Prep is easier to determine. Real Connections Counseling offers a special Marriage Prep (Premarital) package.
Premarital Questionnaire & Personality Assessment
You’ll complete a 15-page Assessment Questionnaire (given to you at the initial session to be completed as “homework”) and take an online assessment. They will combine that information with some foundational relationship building skills and help you create a healthy marriage. This marriage prep program will have you working through essential relational skills for dealing with Conflict, Communication and Trust – the top THREE issues Rick and Monique see in their practice.
Small Group Learning
They will use a small group format to teach you regarding various skills for communication, conflict resolution, building healthy boundaries, setting up traditions and plans for the future. You’ll benefit from other couples through some group discussion and listen as Rick and Monique share the foundational building blocks to great communication, healthier conflict resolution, creating trust and boundaries, and learning to lean into the relationship when things get tough.
NOTE: If you wish to continue to see Monique & Rick beyond the premarital class we will give a discount for the first year of marriage for our couples sessions! We want to make sure you build your marriage with a solid foundation and we want to support you in that first year. If you’re confused, just call us (515-635-1805) and we’ll clear it up for you!
Premarital counseling can be fun and stimulating. When at pre-marital counseling, you’ll enjoy thinking, talking, and laughing through your future life together because your marriage counselors will help you set forth a plan that can ensure a rewarding and fulfilling marriage. Yet while participation in Marriage Prep can be fun, you’ll also find your tough and rough spots. We guarantee that pre-marital counselors will show you parts of your life that will either tear you or graft you. But your work will help you into the good times, and through the rough times. Rest assured, pre-marital counseling will strengthen you, and strengthen your resolve to be a “together-or-not-at-all” couple.
You’ll maybe find pre-marital counseling to be a little bit scary sometimes as your conversation and relationship move into potentially uncharted waters. And you’ll have conversations you haven’t yet thought of having, but take heart! Questions will challenge you, and activities will test you. But our talks and activities will sometimes be fun and interesting. Our entire time together can and will be integral to your relationship’s survival.
You’ve Got This
Most noteworthy though, we’re positive you’ll find your pre-marital counseling experience a rewarding and defining time in your lives and relationship. Your courage and heart is already evident as you consider making the call to Real Connections Counseling!
Hesitation is understandable, but your decision now to attend the Real Connections Marriage Prep system will prevent piles of pain, and alleviate mountains of questions. You’ll be able to affirm your love for each other, and that’s exciting for you, and for Monique & Rick!
You’ve got this.
Call 515-635-1805, or write now using the form to the right of this page. We’re at 2540 106th Street, Suite 202 in Urbandale, IA (between Hickman & Douglas Ave). See you soon as we head out together in search of real connections.