Jonathan Zalesne, LPC

Marriage Counseling and Couples Therapy is a second career for me. I had a successful and fulfilling career in Management Consulting for almost 25 years. My last “real job” was working for Oracle running a Business Process Management consulting group. I always knew that I would have two careers and that my second career would bring me closer to real people. In 2009, I faced down my fears and made the leap. I earned my Master’s degree in clinical counseling from the University of Northern Colorado and officially embarked on my journey to become a couples and family therapist. It has proved to be the best decision I have ever made. I love going to “work.” (I needed the quotes because sometimes it really doesn’t feel like work!) I love working with couples and helping them move closer to each other. I love my new colleagues and working closely with them to become a better therapist every day.

I have two incredible teenage kids – a 16-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter. I am very proud of how my ex-wife and I are co-parenting our children. We have remained very close friends, and I count her husband as a friend as well. My kids love their stepsiblings, and I love them too. My daughter recently told me that she loves her life and wouldn’t change a thing. Now, that is pretty great coming from an 18-year-old girl!

For five weeks in the summer of 2013 my daughter and I walked the 500-mile Camino de Santiago – the entire width of Spain from France to the Ocean. The summer before that, my son and I backpacked 120 miles on the Colorado Trail from Denver to Breckenridge, and this summer we did the next 170 miles. We have committed ourselves to finishing the rest of the 500-mile trail before he graduates from high school. I love walking, hiking and backpacking, and my not-so-secret dream is to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada.

I like that I did not start my marriage counseling career at age 20. I am now completely energized by it, and I think my real life experience helps me relate to many of the family therapy clients I see. The best thing a client ever said to me was that I was the only therapist they had ever seen whom they felt they could be friends with in their real lives. I took that as a great compliment. I like that I don’t come off as too new-agey. I don’t burn incense in my office, and I can relate to real people because I am pretty down-to-earth myself. But I do take my work and family therapy seriously. When my ex-wife and I were going through our divorce, we saw some pretty bad couples therapists. I often wonder what our outcome would have been had we worked with a really good EFT therapist – someone who actually knew how to work with couples. I work hard to be good at what I do because I think it is really important. No matter where you are in your relationship, if you want to make it better, so do I.