Through her real, warm and sometimes humorous approach, Shanon connects well with both males and females.
Her approach is enriched with empathy and acceptance even while addressing the most sensitive of subject matters in session.
Dr. Shanon, how long have you been doing what you do, and how did you become a marriage repair expert?
To answer this question, it’s probably best that I share with you a defining moment, and a resulting “compelling story”, that brought me to where I am today – coaching people like you on exactly how to reclaim the love, passion and connection in your marriage - even if you think it's over. That defining moment in my life happened in 2009.
I'd been counseling couples and families for nearly 14 years when I started to notice a disturbing trend. The statistics for happily married couples weren't budging. Divorce rates were still skyrocketing and now, in the wake of the worst financial collapse in history, people were staying together because it was too expensive to get divorced or because it wasn’t compatible with their faith beliefs.
I got into this field because I was a child of divorce. Not just one - but between my mother and father - several individual divorces too.
I had made up my mind early in my life that I would be married forever. Even though I had no role model for it, I would make my marriage work. I was so passionate about it that I studied it in school, got licensed and now had a budding marriage and therapy practice.
I loved the idea of being married happily ever after and helping other people experience as much joy, connection and happiness as the day they said "I do."
But truthfully, there had been moments when I had to fight for my marriage. There were moments when my life mirrored what my clients were going through - too many busy days and not enough connection. Navigating my own faith practices and roles to create new ways to find that passion and excitement again.
And now, too many couples were coming to my practice where the therapy wasn't working. I was so devastated that I thought I might stop working with married couples altogether.
All I kept saying to myself was: “Do couples just fall out of love? Is it true that marriages CAN last a lifetime? Do people just naturally grow apart? How is it possible, after 20 years of marriage, to find romance again with the same partner? How will we ever get this marriage back on track?"
I made a decision right then and there that I was going to figure out this whole “marriage recovery thing,” this process that would allow married couples to be as in love as the day they said "I Do" - even if it killed me!
At that very moment, I made a commitment to immerse myself in absolutely everything that had to do with success: I researched the marriage repair interventions and found the one working! I went to the cutting edge location and was trained - over 100 hours. I entered into my PhD program, incorporated the spiritual component of this intervention, and even conducted the research to test this model scientifically for my dissertation! Talk about a turn around! I made my intentions to become the best marriage repair expert in the country especially for Christian couples.
I presented my research results around the country in conferences and trainings. I began seeing more and more couples, even providing an intensive format so couples from all over the country could get relief and major results of what was once a four to six month process in traditional outpatient therapy settings - now in just two days. Couples were coming in hopeless and leaving happy and in love again. I had gone from feeling helpless to seeing incredible results! I felt I was fulfilling my purpose again! My practice was thriving with word of mouth referrals.
I took stock of my own marriage, habits and patterns as I created this new process and started teaching married couples how they can do the same: I watched their relationships come back to life, their sense of connection deepen and their confidence with each other and their future SKY ROCKET too! I have since made a commitment to dedicate the rest of my professional life to helping other married couples rediscover that the love of their life is very possibly the person they said yes to once upon a time. I teach them to breakthrough their inner blocks, heal wounds of the recent or long-ago past and have the Christian-based marriage of unending love, commitment, fun and passion they always wanted and have dreamed of since their wedding day and as God designed.
Since then, I’ve worked with many private clients, spoken in front of countless groups: I lived my dream of traveling to Greece with my honey while I host individual marriage recovery two-day immersion sessions; and I have created The Marriage Made Whole and Fall in Love All Over Again™ system, a series of 10 important inner and outer steps every married couple needs to apply to get out of their own way and live their own version of happily ever after in record time.
Who are your clients?
I work with people just like you who are not ready to throw in the towel on their marriage. The ones that don’t want to be like almost half of marriages that say, “it’s over.” They are willing to do whatever it takes to show that their marriage is worth the investment of time and resources.
I work with couples that are in crisis and need relief fast. Some couples have tried the typical counseling format of one-hour a week outpatient settings and haven’t been able to make headway on the core issues creating pain in their relationship.
I work with couples whose faith background informs them that there is more at stake within their marriage than just the two of them. They take their faith beliefs and practices serious and meant their vows on their wedding day. They desire to work as hard as possible to honor those vows they made before God, family and friends.
What makes you different from other “Marriage Counselors”?
Starting the process of choosing a marital counselor can be an overwhelming process. In fact, studies show that couples consider making that first appointment for sometimes at least four years before actually going. Some of this reason is not knowing who to go to. Considering that your marriage is the most important relationship, you can never be too careful. As a marriage repair expert, I can help you make a well-informed decision of why placing your confidence and trust in me is the BEST decision.
The approach to counseling can be just as important as the credentials behind one’s name. There are many kinds of licensed professionals that can legally charge for marital counseling. Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), Clinical Psychologists (PhD/PsyD), and Pastoral Counselors are all “qualified” to charge and these credentials are regulated by one’s state licensing board. However, being legally allowed and actually having the necessary training to be effective are two different things. Many practitioners will use an individual model of counseling for both their couples and individual clientele. Outcome studies show this type of marital counseling is NOT EFFECTIVE. Many of my couples who have tried a variety of counselors prior to coming to me have reported that some of them have allowed them to have the same distressing dialogues in their office as they do at home with relatively little intervention from the therapist. Choosing a therapist that is specifically trained in an effective model of couples/marital counseling is vital to the SUCCESS of finding and repairing romantic attachment again. I am trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) which has outcome studies of over 90% effectiveness - these couples show significant improvement. This approach yields some of the highest outcome and sustained results statistics than any other interventions out there.
There should be science to match the model of counseling that is used. Unlike times in the past, mental and emotional issues and interventions come from well-researched science. It is not necessarily a guessing game or a theory from educated philosophical theorists. The research reveals the science. The science guides and informs the building of the intervention. I am well-versed with the science that came before my model of intervention, as well as, the science on MY MODEL because I conducted the testing research on it. I incorporated this into my approach in my PhD dissertation. In the case of marital counseling, the field of science in the area of attachment and romantic love has grown exponentially in the most recent years. Science shows that reproduced experiences in the counseling room with the appropriate use of emotions, rather than an avoidance or destructive use of emotions, is healing and curative. I have seen just that in my many years of experience working with couples through the use of my approach.
As a Christian, the model and science should not contradict Scripture. It is a well-researched fact that most Christian couples desire to choose a counseling environment that incorporates some type of faith-based element to the setting. With that being said, the counseling field is beginning to recognize that addressing the whole person emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually while honoring each person’s spiritual beliefs and values brings more wholistic results. I know about and am sensitive to Christian couples especially in the arena of marriage which brings about a CONFIDENCE that incorporates safety and a working alliance necessary for the work in the sessions. EFT is a model that is not in conflict with Scripture. God reveals himself both through Scripture and Creation (science). He is not confusing. I incorporate the God attachment scientific literature, where God is a part of the marital relationship, to the EFT model. As a board certified professional Christian counselor, I bring the spiritual objectives into the model, as the couple is comfortable, allowing the sensitivity to couples that they are most looking for.
The therapist is an important factor. Finding the right fit between the therapist and couple is a bigger part of therapy than most understand. In fact, literature reveals that it could be up to 40% of the effectiveness of the counseling outcome. The alliance that is built between the client and counselor, the safety that is felt in the sessions, and the belief in the effectiveness of the professional all provide the necessary basis from which the good work is done. Literature also supports that Christian clients search for like-minded therapists that share their same value set. As a Christian myself, I am comfortable answering any personal questions along these lines that will bring a comfort level to the choice you are making. My style is warm, empathic, directive, non-judgmental with some humor thrown in as well. I know during my call with you that this will ring true.
There should be a specific structure to the course of the counseling objectives. As a twenty-year plus veteran to this field, I cannot tell you how often I hear from couples that they have been to several other counselors in the past but are not able to answer my questions of what type of treatment they received, what objectives were identified, and how many sessions were recommended. They just simply quit going when things seemed better, or not. I have a clear structure in The Marriage Made Whole and Fall in Love All Over Again™ program. It specifically maps out how marriages can get through the necessary constructs for overall change and emotional shifts. This program has specific steps that build on one another to a specific destination and end. It ensures that you are moving forward and not just showing up to talk about “issues” for an hour without seeing and feeling results. In fact the INTENSIVE model where I see one couple for two or three days has been shown as a more EFFECTIVE format. My format allows a couple to see quick results without having to stretch counseling over months at a time, allows for the couple to take the time to just focus on their relationship without having to do other life responsibilities, allows for anonymity by allowing couples to travel to a destination outside their community if applicable, and makes the best use of the counseling time not having to waste time transitioning in and out of hourly sessions.
What type of personality do you work best with and what is expected of me?
The Marriage Made Whole and Fall in Love All Over Again™ programs and counseling intensive setting were created for people who are absolutely excited and dead serious about finding healing from pain from the past, finding a way to communicate that brings deep emotional connection and understanding, and falling in love with their marriage partner again.
It means your searching for the right expert and fit is over. This process was created for you to put the right steps into place so within a few days/weeks will lead you to making your marriage whole and allowing you to experience the deep emotional bond you have been desiring.
Being a fellow Christian who is fighting hard for her marriage, I’m known to work best with other couples who are committed to their success no matter what, who are super ready to get going and just want to know exactly what steps to take to make their marriage whole again. My clients often tell me - “just tell me what to do and I’ll do it!” Consider what you’ll do with me to be a high-octane crash course on everything you need to know to find the romantic attachment with your spouse. You will be expected to take serious and consistent action. No excuses anymore, just a very different way of thinking, acting, and full support while you achieve this incredibly exciting goal: making your marriage whole!
For what type of clients are your programs NOT going to work?
Please know I’m very selective in who I work with, choosing to turn away people who aren’t suited for my programs and won’t get the results for which they would have signed up for. I do not want to waste your time or resources. The Marriage Made Whole and Fall in Love All Over Again™ intensive is not for those who are not ready to make an investment into healing and recovery of their marriage. If you fall within this category, it’s absolutely OK. Do yourself three favors:
Take some time to make some financial arrangements so that you can, again, place the importance of your marriage on the forefront.
Sign up for the free facebook group. This community will get you started towards your goals until you’re ready to work with me one-on-one. You can join here bit.ly/2N4cZh7
Make a point to read my e-newsletter. Here is the link to sign-up http://www.shanonrobertscounseling.com/#marriage. The tips will give you LOTS to think about until we are able to work together.
Doing these three things will really help you get primed for our work. When you’re ready, call me and we’ll get you started. I’m in no rush and will be here when you need me.
What exactly is The Marriage Made Whole and Fall in Love All Over Again™ program and what does it include?
The Marriage Made Whole and Fall in Love All Over Again™ program begins with understanding your marriage’s true value, where your power really comes from, and how to attain the ultimate relationship connection that you have always dreamed of. This program of 10 steps offers you:
1. Creating a safe and secure definition for your unique marriage relationship that is also in line with God’s design.
2. Re-creating the relationship love story.
3. Discovering each individuals areas of vulnerabilities and sensitivities from previous significant and other romantic relationships that have been brought into the marriage.
4. Understanding the brain’s emotional memory center and how this plays into the relationships current rigid and, sometimes, negative interactions patterns.
5. Identifying individual attachment patterns and how they interact with your spouse’s.
6. Bringing hope into the healing pathways that the challenges of these attachment patterns bring into the relationship.
7. Mapping the current cycle of communication that brings disconnection in the relationship.
8. Creating a cycle of communication that brings emotional connection, empathy, and understanding.
9. Insertion of the relationship wounds into the new connect cycle of communication resulting in curative experiences.
10. Creating safe and secure emotional bonds that overflow into physical passion opportunities.
Does this really work?
Yes! The result of our work together is an approach to shifting the negative interaction cycle that has been present in your marriage relationship and replaced with a safe place in which to fall resulting in an close emotional bond and base of security. You can expect big breakthrough and ah ha moments, having the ability to be vulnerably honest in your communication, open your heart again to your original “I do” partner. Here is what others are saying. See which ones you feel drawn to, either because the person has gotten the results you want to get too, or perhaps because that person is in a similar situation. You can find those testimonials here www.shanonrobertscounseling.com/testimonials.
Dr. Shanon, based on everything I’ve read and heard about you, I know you’re the one I want to work with. What are my options for getting started with you?
Congratulations on making a decision for making your marriage your top priority! I’m happy to work with you to achieve your relationship wholeness. The most effective approach to this is working with me in The Marriage Made Whole and Fall in Love All Over Again™ marital intensive setting where you will achieve all of the things in your marriage that other couples have achieved. If you are ready to move forward and secure your dates for this, we can do this after our call. I look forward to working with you!