"27 years helping couples become their best ♥♥♥ "

PreMarital Counseling Los Angeles

Dona Laressa Desmond PhD, LMFT

Woodland Hills CA 91364     West Los Angeles CA 90025    Santa Monica 90404

Affordable video therapy sessions available during Corona self-quarantine.

Who am I and how can I help you?

Welcome! I'm a Couples Therapist with 27 years of experience in the Los Angeles area. I specialize in helping Couples create marriages that last. My office has a safe & optimistic atmosphere. We'll focus our PreMarital Counseling on proven emotional & psychological skills needed to create the marriage of your dreams. In this site I'll share what PreMarital Counseling is, how it works, how many sessions, fees & what you can expect.

   "...27 years experience in the Los Angeles area..."

Why consider PreMarital Counseling?

PreMarital Counseling is the closest thing that we have to a type of emotional insurance policy. A few sessions can really help you lay the foundation for a secure, emotionally cooperative, intimate marriage. In psychology we know that, over time, certain behaviors corrode love while certain behaviors make it stronger.  Love is a powerful feeling that needs to be fed by other less emotional factors, such as communication, smooth problem solving, trust, shared values and mutual goals.

Dona Laressa Desmond, PhD, LMFT

PreMarital Counselor & Couples Therapist

Before the Wedding

In PreMarital Counseling we review the pillars of a successful marriage & secure ways to empower you for a satisfying future together. It's easier to lay a solid groundwork in advance rather than to try to fix problems later so if you feel that you or your fiancé have a particular blind spot we can also work on that.

Our focus together is on positive relationship skills that will give your marriage stability & satisfaction.

How long does PreMarital Counseling take?

The average length of time for PreMarital Counseling is 6 sessions of one hour each. If cost is a factor we can also accomplish a lot in 3 sessions.

Is PreMarital Counseling religious?

I don’t do religious counseling. The service that I offer is rooted in proven psychological techniques for marriage enhancement.  My training is in communication, positive conflict resolution, emotional intelligence and the Science of Intimacy Enhancement. I use a variety of techniques including, but limited to EFT and the Gottman Method. My focus is on providing you with specific skills for creating a lasting, fulfilling marriage together. If religion is a part of your marriage and you want to discuss it we can cover that in our discussion about your shared beliefs and values as a couple.

What is the structure of PreMarital Counseling?

We sit in a comfortable room together and in that calm, undistracted space we decide what topics you feel you will benefit from discussing. Then I will bring 26 years of expertise to helping you create the marriage of your dreams.

Who sets the agenda during PreMarital Counseling?

You do. I will review options with you but we will discuss only the areas that you want to discuss.

What is the benefit of PreMarital Counseling?

Solid skills and practical perspectives on how to create a long and satisfying marriage.

What type of things are covered in PreMarital Counseling?


Resolving conflicts smoothly

Coping with change

Sex, intimacy and romance

Sharing decisions

Disagreeing without damage



Extended family interactions


Location of home

Chores and housekeeping

Career goals after marriage

Hidden expectations

Handling your differences

Time to one's self

Creating a unique marriage

Avoiding your parents mistakes

Keeping small problems small

Fighting fair

Crisis response in relationship

Defining loyalty

Building a positive atmosphere

Communication about needs