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The Resiliency Center: A Healing Arts Collaborative in Ambler, PA
Promoting Resiliency in Relationships
by Elizabeth Venart

As a Licensed Professional Counselor who provides couples therapy, I have had the opportunity to work with couples at various places along their journey together.
Sometimes people seek out counseling at the beginning of their relationship as a way to learn tools (like communication and conflict resolution) to prepare them for the inevitable bumps along the way. Sometimes people enter couples counseling in the midst of a crisis – either facing the stress of a normal, developmental change such as becoming new parents, having children reach adolescence, or losing a loved one – or experiencing the pain and upheaval of infidelity, addiction, or illness. Sometimes people seek out help when they are quite close to giving up, feel they have exhausted all other resources, and are moving towards dissolving their relationship. Whatever the reason people seek out couples counseling, I am privileged to be invited in as that “third person” in the relationship to help couples learn to listen deeply to one another, to connect with one another, and to discover greater joy and love than they imagined possible.

From my perspective, the purpose of couples counseling is to improve communication and foster a deeper sense of connection within the relationship.
Dr. John Gottman, a researcher who has studied thousands of couples, can predict with 90% accuracy which marriages will succeed and which will fail. He identifies the most destructive marital communication patterns as criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling, calling them the “four horseman of the apocalypse.” He has written several books and encourages couples, among other things, to seek help early, learn how to exit arguments well, and accept influence from one another. (Learn more at In my role as a couples counselor, I help people understand and change these destructive patterns and empower them with tools to stop fighting, listen deeply to one another, and move closer.

In Shem and Surrey’s book, We have to talk: Healing dialogues between women and men, the authors share their insights from leading weekend retreats with hundreds of couples.
Their workshops focus on helping couples to identify, nurture, and prioritize the “we” of the relationship. They describe the “we” as that third element of relationship which is distinct from either individual and is shaped by the qualities of connection between individuals. I encourage many couples with whom I work to read this book, as it provides insights into the common dynamics in relationships and helps people understand that disconnections need not signal the end of the relationship. Instead, disconnections can be seen as an opportunity for further growth and reconnection.

I find it tremendously gratifying to support and guide couples as they move closer to one another through consistent attention to the “we” of their relationship.

To keep your relationship healthy and vibrant, consider the following suggestions:
  1. Set aside time each day to connect – through activity, conversation, and giving one another your full attention.
  2. Prioritize time alone with one another – including scheduling regular dates for play and fun.
  3. Frequently express your appreciation for one another – for the qualities you love and all the things your partner does to benefit your shared life together.
  4. Communicate your needs directly and be specific. If you want your partner to wash dishes on evenings when you cook dinner, tell her. If you want to go away for a romantic weekend together, let him know. Silence and mind-reading are far less effective than being direct – and are much more likely to result in disconnection and unhappiness.
  5. Remember to have a sense of humor about yourself, each other, and the absurdities of life. Laughter heals and brings us closer.
Elizabeth Venart is the Founder and Director of The Resiliency Center and a Licensed Professional Counselor whose work involves counseling individuals and couples and providing consultation and training to clinicians.
Her couples counseling experience includes marital counseling, premarital counseling, and counseling with gay and lesbian couples. To learn more about her practice or to schedule an appointment, visit her website at, call her at 215-542-5004, or email her at

Holiday Gift Certificates
Need a gift for someone you love? Consider a gift certificate for healing services and programs at The Resiliency Center. Gift certificates are available for a variety of services and offered directly through the individual practitioners. For a complete list of Resiliency Center practitioners, visit our website at

Office Space Available
Full-time and part-time office space is currently available at the center for trauma-informed healing arts practitioners interested in becoming part of our community. Specialties sought include nutrition, holistic psychiatry, chiropractic, and massage. Please contact Elizabeth at or 215-542-5004 to learn more.

If you are a social worker, marriage and family therapist, or professional counselor and have a program you would love to present, please contact or call 215-542-5004. We are particularly interested in trainings that highlight creative approaches, practitioner self-awareness and self-care, energy psychology, and topics of trauma and resiliency.

Nutrition & Lifestyle Choices for Healthy Bones

Saturday, 11/7, 9:30 – 11:30 am

A workshop designed for women to give you the information, inspiration, and confidence you need to create a bone-healthy way of life!

What constitutes bone health?
How can I maintain healthy bones?
What causes bone loss?
Is supplementing calcium enough?
Does a DEXA-scan give an accurate profile of bone health?

This workshop will answer these questions and present the components of a bone-healthy diet and lifestyle. Whether you wan to maintain healthy bones or are already diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, your bone health can be preserved or restored. No bones about it! Come learn how!

Register by contacting instructor Cheryl Berkowitz at 267-934-6554 or Pre-registration is required. Please register prior to November 4th!

Cheryl Berkowitz, CHHC, is the founder of The Awakened Palate and works with individuals and groups to enhance health and well-being through nutrition and lifestyle coaching. She was the director of educational programs for a staff of 400 at the Omega Institute, and is a member of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Society for Nutrition Educators and Philadelphia Area Health Counselors.

Job Search Answers!
Mondays at 1:30 pm & Wednesdays at 6:00 pm

Haven’t found a job yet??? Stop just sending out resumes! Learn the secrets to reach employers in this four workshop series. You will learn strategies to discover how to get the job you really want, tools for surviving until you are hired (including budgeting your money, managing your time, and avoiding depression), tips on creating a resume and cover letter that really gets noticed, and ways to get employers to meet with you in person. Attend one workshop or the entire series. These groups offer you with personalized attention – as no group will be larger than 8 participants, and each workshop will provide you with specific action steps for the following week. Pre-registration suggested.

Cost is $20 per workshop – discounted to $45 for 3 workshops or $60 for all 4!  Contact Marc to register at or 215-280-1675. Learn more about Marc on the Resiliency Center website.

QiGong – FREE Workshop for November
Saturday, 11/14, 10:30-11:30 am

Karen and Patricia invite you to spend the early morning with you moving through some standing and sitting qi gong movements. This class will consist of organ cleansing movements and other Wu Ji movments.  We will also begin some Kuan Yin movements. Wear comfortable clothing and be willing to smile into your organs and your life before you leave! Space is limited, so early reservations are recommended. Contact Patricia at  or 215-500-6871.


1st Friday FREE Film Series featuring Pieces of April
Friday, 11/6, 7:30 pm

Creating Mandala Art
2nd & 4th Wednesdays, 6 - 9 pm

Wellness Leadership Workshop for Youth, Grades 9-12
Tuesdays, 3:30 -5:00 pm

Breathe More, Alive More, Loving More
Saturday, 11/21, 11 am – 1:30 pm
Clinical Consultation Group
Led by Elizabeth Venart, LPC
Wednesdays, 4 – 6 pm

Monthly Drumming Circle
Last Friday of the month at 7:30 pm

Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin
Monday, 11/9, 7:30 - 9 p.m.

EFT: Tap Your Troubles Away
Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Morning Meditation
Free on Tuesdays, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Evening Meditation
Free on Thursdays, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

> Learn more about these programs and more on The Resiliency Center's events page and online calendar
Our mailing address is: 602 S. Bethlehem Pike, Ambler, PA • 215-542-5004 •
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