I can help you:

  • Communicate so that you feel heard, understood, and supported
  • Deepen your connection and intimacy
  • Navigate your differences while staying on the same team
  • Heal relationship wounds from infidelity, betrayal, addiction, and loss

My name is Heather Varnau. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and I specialize in marriage and relationship counseling. I’m passionate about helping distressed couples reconnect and become their best selves with each other. My goal is to provide a safe, heartfelt, and scientifically-based therapeutic environment so individuals and couples can heal and transform their relationships.

I offer two of the most researched and effective forms of couples therapy available: Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), developed by Dr. Sue Johnson, and The Gottman Method of Couples Therapy, developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman.

Serving couples from Bellingham, Seattle, and beyond, I’m proud to specialize in a cutting-edge, highly effective therapy approach: Intensive Marriage Therapy (also known as Marathon Marriage Counseling).

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My practice specialty:

Intensive Couples Therapy Retreats
(Marathon Marriage Counseling)

Can you set aside a weekend for your relationship?

In just three days, we can set your relationship on a positive track so you both feel empowered and renewed. Held privately on Lopez Island, Washington, this cutting-edge, immersive format can create serious healing momentum, relief, and reconnection.

This is the part of my work I’m most excited about. Couples really benefit when they can relax and receive my full attention and support to make significant progress over the weekend. I love seeing the hope, confidence, and deeper connection that couples experience as a result of our time together.

Intensive Couples Therapy may be a good option if you:

  • Desire results quickly
  • Are experiencing significant distress or want to enrich your relationship
  • Have difficulty attending weekly therapy due to scheduling conflicts or work commitments
  • Desire a high level of privacy during the therapy process

Intensive Couples Therapy Retreats are:

  • A powerful way to jumpstart relationship healing
  • Scheduled with one couple at a time
  • Held over the weekend on Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands, Washington
  • Highly effective—the equivalent of months of weekly therapy

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to reconnect, repair, and revitalize your relationship in the San Juan Islands with a highly skilled couple’s therapist. Learn more about Intensive Couples Therapy.

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“Heather is a genuine and dedicated professional.
She is compassionate with clients and colleagues, and is always striving to be of help to others.
She is someone who is constantly learning and growing, being whole-hearted in her life and her work.”

Laura Gambrel, PhD, LMFT, LPC
Professor of Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy—Appalachian State University

“Heather is genuinely caring, supportive, compassionate, and a very good listener.
She is very present with you, and knows what you need to work on.
We trust her and have always felt that she has our best interest in her heart and mind.”

“After working with Heather for only a few sessions, we gained valuable skills that
helped us get through a very difficult time in our relationship.
Our communication has never been better, and our commitment to one another is stronger than ever.
We are grateful for Heather’s mindful guidance and support, and highly recommend her services to
any couple who feel ready to take their relationship to the next level.”

“When I first met Heather, I was in crisis mode, and she immediately helped me through the most difficult time in my life.
I feel comfortable telling her anything.

I have gained the wisdom to not only love myself again but have the confidence to love someone else without reservation.
Heather saved my life, gave me hope, and a purpose again.”

“We came to Heather at a very difficult time in our marriage.
She provided us with a safe, neutral space to share our feelings and communicate on a level we never knew was possible.
We truly believe we would not have succeeded as a couple without her help
Today we are closer and stronger than ever before.

“Heather is a dynamite clinician.
She is that wonderful blend of very smart and deeply intuitive.
Heather exudes warmth and compassion while handling any situation put before her with grace, skill, and competence.
I refer to her frequently with the utmost confidence.”

Connie Feutz, MA, LMHC

Psychotherapist and Master Teacher for the Gottman Institute

Lopez Island Location

Contact Heather