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Meet Thea and Duane Harvey of Harvey Center for Relationships in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Thea and Duane Harvey.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
We didn’t set out to become relationship experts. For Duane, he carved out this path over twenty years ago because of a broken heart. For me, I found Duane and learned how to make love last. Together we founded the Harvey Center for Relationships and are certified Imago Relationship Therapists and licensed Marriage and Family Therapists that specialize in working with couples. Every day we put into practice what we share with our couples for a thriving, satisfying, sexy relationship.

We met 11 years ago through Duane’s sister, Tracey. Tracey and I were both MFT interns and were going through break-ups. She suggested that we visit her brother, a successful psychotherapist, to cheer us up. I was secretly hoping that Duane would become my supervisor so that I could start a private psychotherapy practice under his tutelage. Duane professes that he fell in love with me at first sight. That day he promised to teach me the business. However, I never did start working for him. Instead, our days were filled talking about art, poetry, and philosophy. Now we joke that he works for me. Our early discussions were the underpinnings of our work together as relationship experts. Drawing upon Duane’s years of experience and my curiosity we explored the mechanics of how romantic relationships work. Those tools strengthen our connection daily.

Our union was particularly cosmic due to my connection with Duane’s sister, Tracey. Tracey and I met in graduate school for clinical psychology in Cultural Psychology and the Individual. The course was taught by Terry Roberts, one of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African American Students that were the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. Tracey spoke about her experience teaching in Cali, Colombia as a North American. During the class break, I inquired further about her time there. I was personally interested because my Wellesley College roommate and best friend was from Cali and had tragically died in a plane crash. I quickly learned that my best friend, Ariel, was actually Tracey’s favorite student and she worked for Ariel’s father who was the Head Master of where she taught, Colegio Bolívar. It was a profoundly moving moment that felt like Ariel had suddenly walked into the classroom. My life was forever altered and every day I feel like I was blessed by an angel.

Has it been a smooth road?
Our biggest obstacle as a society which we are constantly coming up against is the individualistic paradigm that has shaped our culture for so long. We are entering an age where the relational space between us is emerging as the center of what is real. All of our emotional ills originate in misattuned relationships and can be healed in a committed relationship. This means reversing our idea of conflict and viewing friction between couples as necessary and normal developmental patterns of growth. This calls for action that is counterintuitive, which can be quite a challenge.

Keeping our own relationship passionately addictive is a top priority for both of us, and helps us better serve our couples. It is not common to have a long-term romantic marriage. Even going back as recently as the 70’s having a long-lasting romantic marriage was rare. Romance existed outside of marriage or lasted only a short time. To have them in the same house is a new societal expectation. The technology that makes this possible has yet to be fully disseminated. While it is not typical, it is not impossible to have a sustaining and satisfying marriage. With awareness, practice, and desire you can have the love you want. Daily we strive to live this message and share it with others.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Harvey Center for Relationships was founded with the shared vision to provide high quality, comprehensive couples counseling. We are wounded in relationship and it is through relationships that we heal. In healing our relationships, we heal ourselves and we create a better world. Our mission goes beyond improving communication conflict resolution. Romantic connection has an ecstatic potential that is easier to reach than most people realize. We help couples generate higher levels of pleasure and joy by integrating interpersonal neurobiology and tantric practices into our sessions. One example of this is the innovative idea of assigning Spa Dates as a way of enhancing connection through relaxation and the body. Our couples therapy tends to be both structured and creative. We want each session to reinforce and deepen their experience of each other—even during conflict— as essentially positive and pleasurable.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is an ideal place of the business for marriage counseling. The cultural and linguistic diversity of Los Angeles gives us a never-ending source of stimulation and novelty that enriches our field. Our city is home to several leading industries, including entertainment, advertising, technology, and finance, giving us the opportunity to serve many of the leaders in these fields. A couples’ therapist in Los Angeles can help impact the larger society due to the very personal relationship we have with artists, entrepreneurs, and celebrities who inhabit not only our neighborhoods but the global community. We have had the pleasure and the privilege to witness the messages we teach appear in song lyrics, television shows, and books.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Anna Sauer

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