MaryKayCocharo_356-retouchI find tremendous joy witnessing the magic that unfolds when couples truly reconnect. After all, we come into the world connected. It’s our natural state. As we go through life, our connection to others is often disrupted, causing us to suffer in isolation. I believe it is only through re-connection that we restore to our original wholeness. That is why I love to facilitate the transformation that takes place when people finally meet each other in their essence.

There is much unnecessary pain in the world due to feeling disconnected. We live busy lives… stuck in what seems like endless cycles of ‘doing’. It is life changing when couples take the time to slow down, genuinely look at each other and communicate their deepest hopes, dreams, and fears to one another in the safest possible way.

I became a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist after realizing as a Professional Employment Recruiter, that I was less interested in placing employees in jobs than I was getting to know and deeply connect with the candidates. Their narratives about who they were, what excited them, their belief systems, and family histories fascinated me. I spent hours interviewing and talking to them – eliciting stories until finally I realized while I was fascinated, I still hadn’t found them jobs!

It was during a serendipitous conversation with the Dean of an MBA program I was considering that I decided to change my direction entirely and study Psychology. His question, “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather be a Psychologist?” struck a chord deep within. After years in Graduate School, an internship, a post-graduate fellowship and licensing in two states, I gravitated towards working with couples and families. I continued couples training for years until I became certified in Imago and earned Masters level status in Encounter-centered Couples Therapy.

I have been working with couples and families for over 25 years through my private practice in West Los Angeles, California and cannot imagine doing anything else! I am deeply passionate about helping couples and parents rediscover the joy of being together, deepen communication and resolve conflict.

My heart in helping others bridge these gaps stems from my belief that regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or creed, we all want and need the same thing—love, equality, acceptance, safety and connection. I imagine a world when it is the rule, not the exception, that we see each other without judgment or fear, and instead come from a place of curiosity and interest.

I am happily married in an intimate relationship and am the mother of three grown children. I am active in various spiritual settings and community endeavors – teaching and supervising at many of the city’s graduate schools and training sites. I also really love to mentor young therapists, students and interns as they learn and practice their art of connection. Whether teaching, supervising, or consulting, I love interacting with those who are eager to learn, understand and make a difference.

To discover how to work with me through private counseling, workshops, or private intensives as a couple – in any stage of relationship – feel free to explore more here.

* I am an active member of the California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists, Los Angeles Chapter of California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists, IMAGO Relationship Institute, and the Southern California Imago Therapists Association.

* I am an expert contributor to YourTango and  Marriage.com.

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