Christian marriage counselling Oakville, Mississauga, Toronto counseling, marital therapy
George Hartwell M.Sc. marriage counselor

      Marriage Counselling with George Hartwell
               Marriage counselling to restore marital intimacy and bonding

  • marital therapist with 30 years experience in Christian marriage counselling, marital therapy

  • Masters degree in clinical psychology

  • a wise, caring, experienced and empathic marriage therapist

  • marriage counselling appointments made by phoning the office (416) 234-1850

  • Office: 1454 Dundas St. East, Mississauga, Toronto, GTA, Ontario, Canada, Suite 125.

  • marriage counsellor serving: Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton, Etobicoke, West Toronto     

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In my practice, I observe the following benefits in couples who remain faithful to the process of marital therapy:

1.  Increased bonding - the intimate connection that holds a couple together.  This partnership becomes the key emotional strength of the couple and enables them to deal with almost any crisis.

 2.  People becoming more relaxed and peaceful.  They have less anxiety and tension.  One reason for this is that, with the sense of partnership with their mate, they do not feel alone.

3.  People are more confident in themselves, more secure in their identity and less defensive in marital or other conflicts.

4.  There is increased emotional intelligence - the ability to tune in and listen to another.   This may result in increased personal effectiveness in the workplace. 

5.  The couple reaps more joy and other rewards from life including financial blessings.

6.  Often during marriage counselling, one or other of the couple is also moving through and identity transformation.  Once they leave behind the conflicts of the old personality pattern, they have energy and motivation to move ahead in life.


What Couples want in Marriage counselling to restore love, connection and bonding


1.  Couples always give the love connection and bonding as their top priority in Christian Marriage counseling.
    Therefore, as your marital therapist, couple counselor, my primary focus is on establishing a safe, secure connection and couple bonding.  This is supported by my training in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy.

2.  Each member of a couple brings their own particular life and relationship patterns from childhood and previous relationship experiences.
    Therefore, I delegate one or two sessions to identifying the patterns, drives and personality styles that emerged from past experience.  This help us to understand the behaviour of each partner in their participation in the present couple relationship.

3.   Couples who stay together are diligent in acknowledging one another but in my marriage counselling office one person does not notice the other by acknowledging their position or their feeling.
    Time and patience and repeated practice is needed for many couple to learn to step out of their own defenses and offenses to humbly listen to the other, to respect the other person in this relationship.  I will guide this process in the office appointment.  If you don't display listening in front of your therapist / relationship couch, then how  do you expect love to blossum in your home?

4.    The more persistent a couple is - persistent in the process of marital therapy - the better chance that they will establish a marital bonding that hold them together in the face of life's major stressors.
       Therefore, no matter what the topic of discussion, I will orient the discussion to the issues of expressing and acknowledging the other's feelings until the therapy sessions become an emotionally safe place to deal with some of the relationship trama's that have broken trust and left wounds and distance in the relationship.

5.    Bonded intimate couples are able to creatively attack the other problems in life together.   Authentic community, game-free couple intimacy is a very creative and life-giving experience.
     Therefore, as your family therapist, couple counselor, relationship coach or premarital counsellor, I keep a deliberate focus on secure, safe connection, positive couple bonding, renewal of love feelings.

Some testimonies about my style as a Marriage Counsellor

George provides a "non-threatening environment"

"The non-threatening environment enabled us to open our hearts and minds to see our situation in a more postive way. George's professionalism, and acute awareness of communication is positively unique. We highly recommend George for anyone who is seeking purpose, direction, and solution for life situations." Vern and Mary of North Carolina.

"Exceeded my expectations"

"I have received a significant amount of emotional and spiritual freedom. The benefits of  marriage counselling far exceeded my expectations. George's approach clarified a lot as well as giving me new understanding of my wife. I think I was able to open up for her - make myself vulnerable." Brian D.

"I felt cared for and listening to"

"My beliefs and values were respected. Even when I reacted once it was allowed. I didn't hold back. I felt cared for and listened to. I gained emotional freedom." Marge D.

"Thank God for George"

"I always thank God for George and how he has helped me and my family.  He is able to lead me through my confusion and distractions to an encounter with the Living God in whom there is abundant life and healing!  Praise God!" Wendy M.

Fees, Location and Contact Phone Number:

  • Fees are $150 per 90 minute session. 

  • Office is suite #125,  1454 Dundas St. East (near Dixie Road) in Mississauga.
  • Office phone is: (416) 234 -1850
  • Privacy Policy, Complaints

Cost is $150 for a 90 minutes session.  If you have been in couple therapy you may remember the frustration of the 50 minute session.  Most couples find that 90 minutes provides a more satisfying and effective marital therapy experience. 

 (See also marriage retreats)

Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy - a brief description:

Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy involves: 1. identifying the relationship cycle, 2. experiencing the underlying feelings and issues, 3. unwinding the unhealthy patterns and 4. allowing tender feelings and needs for closeness to be expressed and responded to.

Research supports the success of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy in building or renewing marital bonding in 12 to 20 sessions.  It has been found that such gains are maintained over the long term. 


Family Therapy and Professional Services background:

  1. Alberta Hospital Ponoka (1970 - 1974) 4 years of supervised experience in family therapy and clinical psychology.

  2. Calgary Guidance Center (1975) supervised child therapy and family therapy.
  3. University of Regina (1976) Instructor in teacher education course on classroom management,
  4. Family Therapist with Preventive Social Services in Athabasca, Alberta (1976-1979)
  5. Child Therapist with West End Crèche (1981)
  6. Institute of Family Living West (Stan Skarsden) , Chartwell Institute of Care and Counselling -  (Alf Davis) and Toronto Psychological Services (Jancy King) have provided supervision for my private practice work. (1983 to present) in couple counselling and individual adult therapy.

(416) 234-1850 or
1 (877) 854-3990



FAQ's in Christian Marriage Counselling

Q.   In your experience, how does counselling help end an abusive relationship? 
A.   In my observation counselling reduces abusive interaction by:

  • bringing accountability to the relationship,

  • resolving individual issues that are at the root of abusive behaviour,
  • providing individual support for victims to break out of the victim mentality,
  • encouraging healthier patterns of communication and conflict resolution,
  • bringing some resolution to marital issues through mediation with a third party.

Q.   What do you do to solve communication problems in marriages?
A.   I will use some of the following:

  • In discussion with the couple I develop an agreement about "Do's and don't" of communication,

  • I focus on a changing behaviour right during the session - especially learning to hear what the other says and feels
  • I identify unhealthy patterns we name the pattern so they can notice and talk about the pattern when it repeats,
  • I will process issues having one person make a request for change and the other reflect the content and feelings,
  • In conflicts I focus you on hearing the other's message and their feeling.

Q.   How can you help us with a personality differences?
A.   I will:

  •  introduce four dimensions of personality differences and help you to locate yourself on these dimensions.

  •  I will recommend reading to learn more about these dimensions of personality types.
  •  I will explain the differences and how that will effect your relationship.
  • I will make diagrams of relationship patterns which people find helpful.
  • I will explain clearly these diagrams and talk about the application to your relationship.

Q.   How can we achieve deeper levels of intimacy?
A.   You may find that though counselling, by improving listening to one another; by better understanding of one another, by resolving conflicts together and by gaining emotional freedom that you will start to become more open and emotionally present to one another. This allows more satisfactory communication and more rewarding intimacy.

Q.   I don't believe that my partner is the right person for me. I no longer love them. We are not suited. We have become enemies. How will professional counselling make any difference?

A.    It is normal in a committed couple relationship to begin to see our partner as our enemy. "If they would change, I would be happy," we think. We are pulled to look for love and understanding elsewhere. We are at risk for adultery.

        Before we get in to the promised land of faithful covenant Christian marriage we may encounter giants from our past in what we see and experience in our partner. Issues of great significance from our past do need to be resolved. This is best done with a counsellor who is familiar with healing issues of heart and spirit.

       When you are empty inside it may mean that what I call "core issues" need to be dealt with. It may not all be your partner.

       When we do not like to admit that we have faults or face our negtive possibilites, we tend to blame our partner. Best to take Jesus' advice and take the log out of your own eye. If the "log" is blocking your perspective, then the counselling process can be the least painful of facing it.

       In every relationship there are stages to entering into real unity. Scott Peck outlines three steps before we reach unity. That means that it is normal to enter into periods of conflict and power struggle. You are each trying to be right, or set the agenda, or make the other better. Counselling will help if you are willing to face the fact that some of these behaviours are preventing you from reaching community.

Sometimes our partner looks like the worse aspects of our mother or father. This is hard to love. But it is not all your partner's fault. You are more likely to feel pain from behaviour that hurts in the place of unhealed issues. Your own expectation of that this pain will occur also acts upon your partner to bring out of them the very beahviour you hate. They need to take responsibility for their behaviour but you may find that healing up your own wounded heart may help reduce this type of pain in your relationship.

      It is inevitable that your partner will remind you of your childhood issues; will seem more and more like your childhood abuser. Guaranteed. Your perceptions, beliefs, feelings and reactions toward your partner are being powerfully shaped by your unresolved childhood issues. You will experience again what you experienced before - until you overcome the enemy within. To it does not all depend on your partner. You can help your marriage by seeking healing for the issues of your heart.

      Your partner is in the same process of seeing their worse fears, deepest hurts and unresolved issues being fulfilled in you. Their perception of you, understanding of you, feelings toward you will be deeply and fundamentally based on past experience until "past experience" is dealt with. Professionals who use prayer therapy inner healing will help in this process.


Marriage Counselling - practical benefits and targetted outcomes:


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George Hartwell, Heal My, Toronto, Ontario (416) 234-1850

 American clients welcome. To book phone counselling call 1 877 854-3990.

 The retreat center is available from Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Niagara Falls,New York, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cleveland, Toledo, Ohio, Detroit, Flint, Ann Arbor, Jackson, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A. In Ontario we are accessible from Windsor, London, Brantford, Kitchener, Hamilton, Burlington, Oshawa, Belleville, Peterborough, Sudbury, and places in between.

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