Nate Wagner – Cornerstone Counseling Center

Nate acquainted us with his couples’ counseling business.  He teaches his clients to effectively communicate in their significant relationships. He helps them learn listening skills, empathy,  and how to communicate love and compassion.

His clientele can be divided into three groups:

  1. couples that feel like they have no choice but to end their marriage relationship. These are typically couples who have grown apart slowly. Some of these couples have children. Typically, the issues that need to be addressed started many years before they end up in counseling.
  2. couples that are having difficulty with their children (teenage or college age). This work focuses on helping build the connection between the husband and the wife to handle the difficulties on a united front.
  3. couples who often don’t end up in counseling until they move into one of the other two categories. This is the couple you know (or you may be this couple) who needs a tune-up for their marriage relationship. Maybe they are the typical busy business owner. They lack genuine connection with their spouse or children. Likely, couples in this group think this is “just the way marriage works.” Nate wants these couples to understand that marriage can be exciting in the midst of challenges. He can help these couples find the passion and ability to work together. A key point is the reality that their spouse is not the enemy.

Nate’s ideal client is a couple in the third group. Likely they would be between the age of 25 and 40. These couples aren’t considering divorce, but have forgotten how to effectively communicate with one another.

Nate also provided us with quick tips that can help everyone:

  1. Make time for a date with your spouse or significant other.
  2. Take time first thing in the morning to exercise and to take care of your personal needs before you leave for the office or to help your clients/customers
  3. If you’re in a rough place in your relationships, please don’t hesitate to ask for help. It is NOT a sign of weakness to ask for help.

If time permits, Nate shares 5 questions couples can use to talk to each other:

  1. When did you feel loved today?
  2. When did you feel lonely?
  3. What did I do today that made you feel appreciated?
  4. What did I say that made you feel unnoticed?
  5. What can I do to help you right now?

Bonus tip: Ask questions, and don’t assume that you know the answers.

Nate also provided a handout with additional questions from http://truelovedates.com that can help couples communicate.  These are:

Level l Questions: Facts

  1. What did you do today? How was your week’?
  2. What do you have on the agenda for the weekend?
  3. What are some projects you’re working on?
  4. What’s something interesting you’ve read?
  5. What’s something that made you smile today?

Level 2 Questions: Opinions/Ideas

  1. What are your thoughts about                   ?(choose a specific topic or issue).
  2. What is your favorite thing about this time of year and why?
  3. Where do you see us in 5 years?
  4. What is something you would like to see us work on in our relationship?
  5. What are some things you are personally working on changing in your life?

Level 3: Feelings

  1. What is something you’re feeling stressed/anxious/sad about?
  2. What was most exciting/joyful/happy part of your week?
  3. What is something you’re looking forward to?
  4. How can I be praying for you?
  5. What lesson is God teaching you right now?