Posts tagged #Steele

Don’t just survive, but savor the holiday season. Here are ten tips for couples

by Stephanie Steele, PhD, LMFT

1. Set realistic expectations. If you are travelling over the holidays and plan to see both family and friends (involving multiple get-togethers), consider otherwise. Given traffic and weather conditions as well as the hosting family’s expectations, it may not be possible to squeeze everything in. Consider what is most important to you and your partner.

2. Be flexible. Whether you plan to stay inside all day or go skiing and do many activities, try to keep an open mind and a schedule that seems feasible. Trying to cram too many events in one trip can lead to disappointment.



3. If you’re going to spend time with your family, remember that your other half is sacrificing time with their family.Although this likely alternates, make sure your partner is comfortable throughout the holiday and you are thankful they are coming to support you while creating bonds with your family and friends.

4. Establish and maintain healthy boundaries with family and friends. This includes not discussing any topics that you are not comfortable with and making sure you feel comfortable and safe with every family member or friend.

5. Be on the same team as your partner. This can be a difficult one, but being a united front together is very important. Putting your relationship before the relationship with your family is going to feel very respectful and supportive. Bonding together over the idiosyncrasies of family proves more successful for your relationship than bonding with the family over the idiosyncrasies of your partner.

6. Talk about situations that are “off limits” including, but certainly not limited to, family drama that has cropped up in the past year. Before you attend the family gathering, discuss with your partner areas of conversation that would better be left unsaid. It is important to know going in which areas of your life or others’ lives you feel comfortable divulging, and how much detail.

7. Stay away from religious or political conversations, if necessary. This one is self-explanatory and depends upon the family. Use your best judgment!

8. Practice good communication. Not just during the holidays, but this is a great time to ensure you are a friendly guest or welcoming host.

9. Work on creating positive memories. ‘Tis the season for memories! If you’re not planning on enjoying yourself, I hope you’d reconsider the investment of the holiday trip! Remember what the holidays are about and enjoy them fully!

10. Remember that the holidays are a great time to be thankful for friends, family, and of course, your spouse. Ensure the holidays draw you closer together, and launch you into the New Year with new hopes, aspirations and closer bonds.

Start the New Year off right!  Join Stephanie Steele, PhD, LMFT for a powerful one day couples workshop : Prepare/Enrich Group 1-Day Workshop.  Saturday, January 25th, 2014, from 9am-5pm.  

Posted on December 9, 2013 .

Is your relationship struggling?


 by Stephanie Steele, PhD, LMFT

To find out more about Discernment Counseling, please contact me at Vista 

Have you been struggling in your relationship lately? Have you thought about the possibility of separation or divorce but are unsure if it's the best route to take? You may find some answers through Discernment Counseling. A Discernment Counselor will support you in your quest for these answers. It is not therapy, it is a process of trying to figure out the best decision for you and your relationship. 

What is Discernment Counseling?

Developed by the Department of Family Social Science and the University of Minnesota, Discernment Counseling is short-term (1-5 sessions) counseling to answer the question of whether to stay married or proceed with a separation or divorce. Unlike traditional marriage counseling, discernment counseling does not work on the relationship itself; instead, the point is to work with the couple both individually and together to determine whether the relationship should be worked on or dissolved.

Who goes to Discernment Counseling?

Discernment Counseling is for people considering divorce but are not completely sure it is the right path for them. It is also for being who want to give their marriage a chance, even though their spouse may express their desire to leave the relationship.

What does Discernment Counseling involve?

The discernment counselor helps individuals and couples decide whether to rebuild the marriage, move towards divorce, or take a time out and decide later. The sessions are both individual and together as a couple. The counselor respects the reasons for divorce while trying to open up the possibility of restoring the marriage to health – both options allow both clients to better understand their decision regarding the marriage so they feel confident in whatever path they decide. This type of counseling emphasizes the importance of each person identifying their own contributions to the problems as well as possible solutions. This is useful in future relationships if the current one ends. Discernment Counseling is considered successful when people have confidence and clarity in their decision regarding the relationship.

Who is Discernment Counseling NOT for?

Discernment Counseling is not suitable when:

  • ·      One spouse has already made a final decision to divorce and wants counseling to encourage the other spouse to accept the decision.
  • ·      There is danger of domestic violence.
  • ·      There is an Order of Protection form the court.
  • ·      One spouse is coercing the other to participate.


To find out more about Discernment Counseling, please contact me at Vista!

Stephanie Steele, PhD, LMFT


Posted on October 22, 2013 .

Give your relationship a boost!


Are you struggling to communicate with your partner?

Does your relationship need a tune-up?

Do you want to meet with other folks who are just like you, in a normal healthy relationship, but want to grow?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, you are invited to join a caring community of couples in the Prepare/Enrich Group 1-Day Workshop starting in 2014!

 Sign Up Now to take the first step to improve your relationship.  



Please join us for this 8-hour workshop with Dr. Stephanie Steele, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Vista Counseling & Consultation in Eugene, Oregon. 

A recent study found that couples who participated in this workshop:

•                Exhibited positive gains in relationship knowledge

•                Felt more confident in their relationship

•                Engaged in more positive conflict management behaviors, and

•                Felt more satisfied with their relationship.

When:   January 25th, 2014 from 9-5p.m.

Where:  1531 Pearl St, Eugene

What to Bring: Your partner and a packed lunch! Coffee and breakfast items will be served from 8:40-9:00 a.m.

Cost: $295/couple 

What you get: A personalized assessment and skill-building guide for your relationship, 8 hours of lecture, group, and individual work in a dynamic setting. A binder full of materials for you to keep and continue to work on for months to follow.

This program originates from Prepare/Enrich, a scientifically developed and researched program to enhance relationship satisfaction. Read more about it here. If you have any questions about this program, please contact Dr. Steele at 541-517-9733.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Stephanie Steele, PhD, LMFT  

Click Below to take the first step to improve your relationship.  


Posted on September 28, 2013 and filed under Workshops.

What are Five Tips to strengthen your relationship today? Find out at the Block Party!

Five Tips to Strengthen Your Relationship TODAY!

Stephanie Steele, LMFT

1. Make your loved one your first priority. Above all else, make sure their well-being is a priority, you are scheduling time for date nights and you make sacrifices for one another.

Find out the rest of the top five from 
at the upcoming Block Party September 12th. 


Join Vista at the Eugene Pearl District Block Party on Thursday September 12th, for a Scavenger Hunt to win one of two iPad Minis, dessert from Divine Cupcake, and live music with local band Battlesnake!  

Posted on August 30, 2013 .

How does couples counseling help?

Ask a Couples Therapist: What are the three top problems that couples have that lead them to therapy?


  1. Communication has become negative and/or ineffective
  2. It feels like the couple is fulfilling the role of roommates rather than spouses
  3. One or both partners are considering infidelity, or an infidelity has occurred

What are the top three goals or resolutions that couples want?


  1. To be able to communicate more effectively and resolve conflicts faster and easier
  2. Get that "spark" back; become friends again
  3. Identify future-focused goals to maintain the positive and healthy relationship they both desire




Stephanie Steele, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  Learn more about her and schedule an appointment by visiting her page at  .

Stephanie Steele, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  Learn more about her and schedule an appointment by visiting her page at .

Posted on July 31, 2013 .

Meet Stephanie...

Stephanie Steele, LMFT is one of our couples counseling specialists at Vista. Many relationships have benefitted from their well-spent time with Stephanie.  She also loves working with individuals.  

Want Stephanie to help you?  You can schedule a free 15 minute phone consult with Vista by clicking here



1. What inspired you to pursue a career in therapy?

I have always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I took an undergraduate course in marriage and family therapy and realized therapy was my true calling. I have always felt that no one should settle for anything less than genuinely happy and wanted to not only share that belief with friends and family but also help others connect and achieve their life goals.

2. What types of people do you love to work with?

I love to work with anyone who is willing to work outside of therapy as well as during our sessions. I am solution-focused by nature and strive to get a lot accomplished in the therapy room, but I also hope to send clients home with things to think about or try throughout the week. I work mostly with couples, adults and teens.

3. Who are your role models/heroes?

I look up to individuals who are not afraid of failure in order to pursue their passions. John and Julie Gottman are role models in that aspect. They truly want to make their research known in order to change the way our society views marriages and relationships, and I believe that is truly admirable. My friends and family are my own personal heroes for their spontaneity, adventurous nature, steadfastness, confidence, ability to achieve their dreams, and unconditional love.

4. Why do you love working in therapy?

I love to see people’s lives change in front of my eyes – not because of me, but because they have allowed themselves that hour each week to pay close attention to their life and put efforts in to change it for the better.

5. What is the best advice for people considering therapy?

My best advice is to try not to let others’ experiences of therapy influence your own. Therapy is very personal, and each therapeutic interaction is different. If you wish to invest the time and energy, it can be life changing. Nothing is more important than starting that process as soon as possible.

6. How do you recharge your batteries, and nurture yourself?

I enjoy spending time with my husband and two dogs. I love to watch movies, read new books of any genre, and travel to new places.

Check out Stephanie's free web seminar, Ensuring a Happy Relationship, by clicking here.

Posted on March 16, 2013 and filed under "counseling", "couples", "steele", "therapist".