Des Moines, IA

Speaking Engagements

From keynotes to workshops to relationship resilience training, our expert speakers can help you inspire, educate, and build stronger connections.
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Creating community through humanity

When you drop an oak seed into the ground, a big oak tree doesn’t simply and suddenly spring up to full strength. A million little things happen collectively. Sun, water, soil, and even lightning can play a role. All bond together so that oak can grow to be strong and resilient.

When those million little things do not happen, the tree does not happen. 

The oak tree in this story is all of us. The strongest versions of ourselves are all the million little things that inspired our growth. Things like you and us connecting. 

Hi! I'm Rick

I was born with a crippling birth defect called Spina Bifida. Right out of the gate, doctors said I might not live, and when I lived, they said I might not walk. When I walked, they said he would never get rid of the braces. When those came off, doctors threw up their hands and stopped trying to judge what I could and could not do.

I have spent a lifetime exploring what is possible. I have found myriad opportunities to succeed individually and with my bride and co-counseling teammate, Monique. I have lived a lifetime working to build a triumphant story for myself. Through many ups and downs, I have learned to seek the fortune of a life lived well with creativity, faith, hope, love, and integrity. I’ll work with you to do the same.
Key Principle Number One

None of us are "self-made!"

Monique and I are relational right out of the gate and onto your stage!

 If you’re like us, you not only want good relationships, you want AMAZING relationships! We’ve rarely heard anyone say that their life mission is to create terrible relationships. Yet there you are in your terrible relationship. What if you could change all of that? Today.

Many of you listen to podcasts, read books, and have gone to a dozen relationship conferences, and yet you can’t seem to gain the relationships you crave. 

We are Rick & Monique Elgersma. We’re marriage & family Therapists, and we’ve also been where you are. We’ve read, listened to, and heard so much of it. Like you, we landed in a therapist’s office. But our relational landscape didn’t change much until we put key connection principles in place. 

Look around you. The relational landscape isn’t changing. We’re STILL talking about the rate of marriage failure. We’re STILL seeing a ton of betrayal and loss of hope. 

Something new and different MUST happen!

Key Principle Number Two

It starts with you!

We realized that conferences have been about the tricks, tips, and tools … They’ve been about the vices & verses, boo-boo’s to betrayal, God, and go-to's. These were good, but they didn’t create the relational ripple in the sea of Partnership throughout the world.

So we changed the idea—all of it. Like Mr. Ford created new technology and revamped and revolutionized travel, Real Connections Counseling and Coaching revamped and revolutionized relationships. 

We believe that we all have been formed to be in a relationship. We believe we form relationships with personalities that aren’t quirky, nerdy, weird, or dysfunctional. These labels we’ve placed on others to try and categorize people end up miss-defining the very functions of you. Labels create serious scuttlebutt and scandal in our favorite relationships! YUCK! 

Instead, we believe your personality, your DNA, and your basic ID is joyfully discoverable, and we’ll show you how. 

Key Principle Number Three

Be the "We!"

We realized that …

  1. Real connection begins and ends with relationships inspiring relationships. 

  2. Connection is where true meaning is made.

  3. The word “COMMUNITY” contains “UNITY”! CommUNITY!

When it comes to training, we’re guessing you look for something educational, inspirational, useful, and connective! 

Much of what we hear is applicable but very little seems to make us want to practice your relationship in the way that can produce your amazing relationship.

What we often hear? You’re doing it all wrong, wrong, wrong! They want us to remove chunks of what makes us who we are so we can be acceptable in our relationships. 

We simply won’t treat you like that. Life takes more than hard work to drive success. Monique and I became a together-or-not-at-all couple by following what we will teach you! from a single principle. 

Key Principle Number Four

Invest in your story, and you’ll be able to invest in your partner’s story!

We figured out our relational storyboard made of key relational investments. We’ll teach you how it works! 

And as that happens, together, we will become a together-or-not-at-all team forming together-or-not-at-all relationships! 

We’ll all gather up and learn from each other. That’s how it works. That’s how we work!

Anything less, and it won’t work. 

 We build accountability and relationship straight in the framework of our experiential events!

 You already have the heart. Perhaps it’s time to hone your heart.

Find out, now! Connect with us, and we’ll start with a conversation. We’re relational right out of the gate! 

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