I used to do couples counseling as a therapist, so it has been hard to find someone I felt could challenge me enough as a client. I have never come across someone like Derek in the couples therapy world before though. He gets right to the emotional core of the matter. It's like he can see through all the words directly into the raw wound, and he does it with such compassion and understanding. He doesn't need to analyze - he knows that what's really important is to be seen, to be heard, to be felt. And he has been teaching my husband and I how to do that for each other. It's like learning a new language, and it is not such an easy learning curve. But it feels like the first glimmer of hope that a decades-long pattern can be changed. More than anything, as a woman, it feels like the first time a man has seen inside my relationship and has heard what I've been trying to say for years. It's like finally hearing the response I've been hoping to receive. He is also so authentic about his work, so willing to put himself out there, that trusting him comes easily. I am very grateful for his guidance and have been recommending him to all the couples I know!
We initially contacted Derek about 18 months ago. We were having a conversation on how to dismantle our marriage of 25 years. We thought couples counseling would be useful to keep the misery of divorce to a minimum. If it weren't for the introduction of Derek’s new methods of relating we would surely be divorced right now. Instead we are on the road of the continued hard work at deepening our relationship. Derek has developed an amazing set of tools and he has the extraordinary ability of holding space for us so that each of us has the opportunity to truly be heard and understood. This seems to make the issue or problem we are dealing with disappear. We use these tools with each other in our relationship and with others every single day. These profound tools have guided us to transform ourselves individually, and as a couple, which has created a closeness and intimacy that we have never experienced. These shifts in our relationship have provided us with more love, sweetness, deep connection and fun in our lives. Derek has taught us new ways of communicating that help us slow things down and, in turn, halts the destructive cycles we have been engaging in for many years. Thank you Derek for unwavering commitment to healthy relationships and to us!
As a newlywed couple, we have experienced Derek as being a patient, compassionate listener. In our couples sessions, he has assisted us, in an atmosphere of safety and love, with recognizing and addressing our needs and communication patterns. He has modeled effective ways to compassionately communicate and to resolve conflict. Derek combines intuition, skill, and empathy in a uniquely personal way. Mr. Hart does this thing where he knows how to stop us right when we begin fighting, and we can't even see it, but he does. My wife and I really don't know how he sees it so quickly. And then he makes us feel good by telling us how we've just said something important, and how we might not want to just gloss right over it. And then he always seems to know what we're both feeling as we struggle to figure it out. So he takes a guess at what one of us is feeling, and seems to know how to focus on the important parts to then tell each other. Then he gently asks one of us if it's correct, so I believe we both never feel looked down upon. We discussed that we're still not sure how he does it, but if he interrupts one of us, we always know that it's because he thinks one of us said something important. So we both feel really good every time he interrupts us, as we know something important is happening. We are deeply grateful for Derek for this invaluable process.