"We just met with Dr Dona for 6 weeks of premarital counseling and really appreciate how thorough she was in going over all the aspects of a strong marriage with us plus helping us with some issues that we always struggled with. We’re so glad she could be our counselor." Clients ~~ Encino, CA
"Our premarital sessions were awesome. We loved her menu of things to discuss that we hadn't really focused on before. We really found value in sitting with her and recommend her." Clients ~~ Culver City, CA
"We recommend Dr Dona for premarital counseling sessions. We’re happy we found her online. My partner and I have been together for 6 years now and we’re psyched to start a new part of our lives together. We wanted a premarital counselor since we decided to get engaged this summer. We talked about specific therapy to help us get further along with communication. I wanted someone experienced to help prepare us since I’m a child of divorced parents so I’m scared about my blind spots.
We asked Dr Dona for premarital counseling and met with her within a week. She was specific about the areas we needed and also the main components of happy marriages that can last. We really like her and how detailed she can be on things so we learn the why and the how. It’s comfortable and the time flies fast. We went for the 6 session deal package and we’re almost at the end. I feel stronger about how to manage my negativity and my partner feels I’m better too but we still need more work on communication. We’re happy with the results and we recommend it if you're planning to get married." Clients ~~ West Los Angeles, CA
“My fiancé and I are in a really good place most of the time. No major grief on the horizon but premarital counseling was something we put on our list because we thought it would be helpful to spend time with an expert to get some tools and tips for the long view. We did the 6 sessions and it was amazing! It gave us so much to talk about during the week and all sorts of things that we never actually discussed before. Dr Dona was very organized and clear in her approach, honestly it was surprisingly informative and also really enjoyable to have counseling with her. We looked forward to our weekly sessions. It was like a date night, then we got a coffee and talked for hours. We decided that if we ever need marriage counseling in the future we know who we’ll turn to. Very good experience. Really recommend it.” Clients ~~ Playa Del Rey, CA
“My fiancé & I needed serious help. We got engaged in September & everything’s still been a struggle ever since. Our fights are terrible, he's always breaking off with me. We’ve been together 7 years & always say how much we love each. Our problems are my problems trusting him since he had a mental affair with a girl from his past that I found out about when I checked his phone. We were hoping to find someone that can give us hope & guidance before he says my resentment will kill things forever. He's also depressed because he feels guilty. My parents want me to leave him which isn't helping me. He hasn't told his parents but I think he should. We're totally stuck & the wedding is in 3 months. We both thought if we got counseling maybe both we could fix our relationship and be happy. I thought about premarital counseling for ages but my fiancé wasn’t sure about it, then I saw an episode of Dr Phil where he recommended premarital counseling to someone with a similar problem.
"We found Dona Desmond through a Google search & she responded back quickly. We asked her if we could get a combination of premarital counseling & some couples therapy for my trust problems. Our counseling with her was helpful because after that first one I felt so much hope that we could get through it. She's easy to talk to. She taught us things we needed and I liked how she is a great listener. She was able to see us at night after work & that made things possible for us plus she gave us a plan to help the trust issue. It’s not perfect yet but we feel we’re lifting back up to how we should be. I can almost start thinking about the wedding again without freaking out.” Clients ~~ Venice, CA
“Me & my fiancé met with Dr Dona to explore premarital counseling. We've been together since college & engaged for 3 months. Our wedding is a year out but we've been going through some very tough problems recently that have built up for a while. We were planning on seeking premarital counseling anyway but later on closer to the wedding, sadly things have been spiraling & we felt we needed to address some issues urgently. We wrote Dr D & she set us up for a week later. We both felt comfortable sitting with her & she’s easy to talk to. For me I was relieved that she understood our situation quickly & she gave us advice that was clear but gentle. That’s a big thing for my fiancé because he once saw a university counselor and it didn't help him so he was worried about that, but she was kind and gave us some insights in a way that was easy to hear and put to practice. After we worked through our recent conflict she did the Pillars of a Happy Marriage with us & that was awesome. We recommend her & really recommend premarital counseling now.” Clients ~~ Santa Monica, CA
"I reached out for premarital therapy because my fiancé and I were having some problems. It’s been a lot recently, especially because our wedding is in two months. My fiancé is from Ecuador but we in LA when he was here on vacation. Everything was over the top for us and I truly feel he’s my prince, but now that he’s here and we’re closer everyday a lot of conflicts happen over small things. I feel I cant do anything right for him and now we argue before bed almost every night. Our road to the wedding is a battlefield because his mom thinks I’m spoiled and my mom is begging me to postpone the wedding. I felt like at this point we needed an outsider’s perspective who is not our families to see if we can fix things. We signed on for 6 sessions of premarital therapy with Dr Dona and we’re on session four now. Its helping us already at least to stop fighting before bed. I’m trying to see his point and not interrupt. He’s being nicer to me and we have have an agreement on how to communicate better and argue less. I am excited for session five. I like the way Dona listens and makes us each feel safe about our points of view. She's not judgy at all but she is clear about what works and how to make things better so we're feeling some good that we found the right counselor for us." Clients ~~ Chatsworth, CA
"My fiancé and I were looking to improve our communication. Dona was able to see us late during the week which worked out fine. We are in our 40's now and this will be a second marriage for each of us. Obviously we never got it right so this time we want to find a formula to succeed. We are using the premarital approach to lock down a formula we can agree on for future times of stress. Now 3 weeks into the process we're both feeling optimistic. I think the premarital sessions help us be more stable during rough moments. Dr Dona is very perceptive but always kind and she's really skilled about relationships so we are thinking we can maybe get it right this time now that were learning new skills for communication." Clients ~~ Northridge, CA
“Me and my girlfriend have been together about 4 years now. We are having a lot of arguments and disagreements lately I just want to work on getting us back happy because I really love this girl and am truly planning on being with her forever. I want to marry her for her birthday next year and start our new life together. We also have a 7 month old child together. After our daughter was born things got bad for us. No sex, fights and loud yelling that I don't want my daughter to see anymore. We used to be golden, I don't know why we can’t even talk without arguing now. My girlfriend makes me feel like the villain but I need us to be like we were and her not mad all the time. I wrote Dr Dona about all this and we went in for premarital counseling 2 times a week at first then because of babysitter problems we had switched to a session every other week. Things are improving with my girlfriend and I understand her better. Her stress with the baby isn’t better yet but I’m still hoping. She made me write this testimonial because she needs me to do more to help out. Other things have really improved though and we’re glad that we sought help.” Clients ~~ Woodland Hills, CA
“We contacted Dona Desmond looking for an emergency session. We got into a really bad fight about the wedding plans and things were the worst ever. She had a special package for our situation and we were in to see her that same week. She helped us wth anger issues and we came back for work on our communication. I think so far it’s really helpful. We recommend her.” Clients ~~ Calabasas, CA
“We are recently engaged. I'm on board for some counseling and probably some anger help. I contacted Dr Dona about both of these and she guided me to premarital counseling for the relationship. Our first meeting was good, she made us comfortable and the time went fast. She’s easy to open up to and seems knowledgeable about the kinds of stuff we’re going through. One of my biggest problems is my work schedule so making sessions is hard for me but she is willing to work with that and so far so good. She does evening sessions and has stayed late to see us. We feel good about her style and her skills, so we both definitely recommend her for relationship improvement and also for communication.” Clients ~~ Santa Monica, CA
Dona Laressa Desmond, PhD, LMFT
PreMarital Counselor & Couples Therapist