See what successful couples are saying about our
Big Picture Partnering for Couples‘ coaching or workshops.

Sometimes it’s just a simple thank you that implies just how much our work to create a strong, healthy partnership has impacted more than a couple. This couple knows that improving their connection is developing a better life for not only themselves, but for their three children, ages 9, 7 and now the youngest at 1 year-old.

“Thank you so much for your help. We’ll see you after the holidays.”

-The Redman Family, Jeremy, Carla, Emily, Nick and Katie too

Jeremy and Carla, A Family's Thank You

“Dr. Jan you’ve worked with us periodically over our 7 year relationship. From distrust and pain to feeling so much more connected than ever. We’ve learned how to communicate and it’s not that we don’t hit bumps now and then, but we’ve learned to pick ourselves up more quickly. Standing Still, not disengaging and remembering to laugh at ourselves and laugh more often make the hard work more joyful.

Thanks so much. You’ve always been there for us!”

-Mo and John

Mo and John, Together 7 years With a More Light-Hearted Approach

“It is often said that change, even positive change, is stressful. However, we have not found the accelerated pace of change in our lives particularly difficult to endure. In part, I think this is because of the skills we learned with you and continue to practice. Taking time for visioning goals and imaging creative solutions helps us when we are foundering. Most of all, the communication skills have rescued us when we are in conflict about next steps and each experiencing individual fears. These tools always work.

Anyway, we are fine. We are on our path with new developments all the time. The best part is that we are developing a life that more boldly expresses who we are as individuals and as a couple. I think it is particularly exciting that we are doing all this in middle age, a time when we might have gotten seriously stuck in deep ruts and become more cautious rather than more adventuresome. It was a fortunate day that we began Big Picture coaching with you and made a commitment to imaging a fulfilling future for ourselves.

With great affection from us both.”

-Mary and Richard

Mary and Richard, Writer/Actor Off on A New Adventure

“When we came in you weren’t vague you said, ‘This is what you’ll get from this program. These are the benefits. These are the tools you’ll get. You can use them forever. This is how it will be delivered. And this is what you’ll need to do to achieve your goals.’ Boom. Not vague. Totally clear. I’m a great salesman and that is great sales. It’s everything we are getting.”

-Ian Shepherd

Ian Shepherd, Married to Sally, Late 40's, Dual Careers, College-Age Kids

“Dr. Jan, we could not have done this without working with you. Learning to be Big Picture partners in the relationship coaching program has brought us closer together!”



Laura, Feeling Much Closer to Her Mate

“I can’t tell you how delighted we continue to be with the changes we made eleven years ago. To think that we could still be stuck in our old rut—but you got us working together and the changes happened so much more quickly than they have on our own. We are still both surprised. ”

-Lenore and Harvey


“There’s a new atmosphere in our home. It’s different and positive and really, really, really nice. Carrie is being so much gentler and I feel more connected to her. There’s a lot more spontaneous affection and we’ve been practicing Regular Talking, Taking Turns Listening. Looking back at the role-modeling from my mom and dad I realize I have very little knowledge about how to be a good husband and father, but I’m totally committed to learning!” Carrie added: “I agree! I’ve been practicing ‘soft starts’ and it helps to realize my impatient, hurried and tough approach is not necessary. Jeff’s really made a big, new commitment to me and our family and that feels so good.”

-Carrie and Jeff


Carrie and Jeff, Late 30's With Kids and Careers

“I am still surprised at how Ron and I were able to come together on a decision when we initially appeared to be so far apart in what we wanted. Our choice of this little house near one of the inner suburban lakes has pleased both of us so much. Since this decision nine years ago, we have partnered well on many other decisions—we’ve expanded the house and our family, all while growing in our individual careers. All thanks to using the Big Picture Partnering tools! Life is going well.”

-Marybeth and Ron


“Dear Jan: You were a major influence in our lives over the last several months, and I hate to think about how things may have turned out had we not had the chance to work with you. We benefited in immeasurable ways from your guidance and wisdom. As a result, this year has the potential to be our best year yet. Many, many thanks to you! We look forward to meeting with you again soon.”

-Anna and Mark


Anna and Mark, Smooth a Bumpy Road on the Way to the Altar

“I have experienced and benefited from Dr. Jan Hoistad’s work with couples and creative partnering in several wonderful ways.

Together with my husband, we’ve taken her workshop, worked through her exercises and suggestions, and read her book. Dr. Jan offers couples guidance that is respectful, honest, direct, and hopeful. She has assembled precisely the information that couples need to make their partnership truly work, and delivers it stripped of mystique, worded with clarity, and honed to an elegant essence. She is an engaging, entertaining speaker and uses a wealth of illustrative anecdotes drawn from her years of experience working with couples; this gives her workshop participants great faith in her teaching and keeps them fully engaged in the topic. Her approach is both wise and realistic, without any pie-in-the-sky illusions; she has been in the trenches and knows the hard work and tremendous rewards involved in actively building a stronger partnership.

Personally, there is much daily evidence that our marriage reaped great benefits, and as a bonus, my husband and I each feel we benefited from the workshop as individuals, as well. We are more thoughtful and intentional about our partnering, and more adult in both our behaviors toward each other and in our separate work lives. I have wholeheartedly recommended Dr. Jan’s workshop to many friends and will continue to do so. A Dr. Jan workshop should be required pre-nuptial training!

What Dr. Jan does is life-changing stuff. She improves marriages and strengthens unions. Any couple would benefit greatly from Dr. Jan’s workshop—and, they would enjoy themselves and each other. I recommend her and her workshop very highly.”

-Pamela Nettleton


Pamela Nettleton, Author and Enthusiastic Participant with Husband in Partnering Workshop

“It was wonderful working with you over the past year. Scott and I want to thank you for coaching us and preparing us for our life together.

Making our relationship work amidst our unique lifestyle is one of our greatest and most creative accomplishments as a couple. We are grateful for the guidance we’ve gotten from you, Dr. Jan, throughout our process.”



Olivia and Scott, Coaching Prepares Them For Life Together

“We never would have made it without you…

Seriously. We wouldn’t be where we are today if we hadn’t worked with you.”



Bill Marks, Successful Entrepreneurs Credits Dr. Jan With Success of Marriage


Just wanted to thank you again for your coaching.
I thought you would like to know that Debbie and I (we had just started dating when we were finishing up my coaching sessions with you) are getting married this weekend.

So, a whole new adventure awaits!”

– Paul C.


Paul C., Confidently Marrying 2nd Time Around After Couple's Coachng

“Hello Jan:

Just wanted to say thanks for a wonderful coaching session.  Todd kept saying how much he likes working with you and how well you present relationship coaching information — non-threatening, enlightened, heart-felt and clear!  See you again next Friday at our next coaching session!”



Deborah and Todd, Experience Coaching as Non-Threatening, Enlightened, Heart-Felt and Clear

“Relationship coaching with Dr. Jan and applying the Big Picture Partnering principles is working. We feel like friends and companions again. Amazingly, we’re on the same page. We now know how to talk about things we couldn’t even discuss before! By talking I’ve changed my perspective. It’s not that we necessarily agree, you simply taught us how to listen and talk to one another in a new way!”

-Mary and Tom


Mary and Tom, Facing Retirement Successfully Together

“Jan, after reading the success of Mary and Tom, I realized that Mary and Tom’s story is essentially what happened when you coached Jim and me in Big Picture Partnering years ago.

When I spoke with you recently I told you how much happier we are now, but I forgot to thank you! Your help was the turning point for us. You taught us how to listen for understanding, acknowledge before responding, and calm down before speaking. It has made all the difference in our long lasting marriage.

What makes me especially happy is to see how naturally this comes to our son. He learned these skills because this is the model he grew up with. He doesn’t know any other way; we have broken the dysfunctional communication/conflict resolution patterns that existed in our families for generations.

This is exactly what we wanted to do! Thanks!”

-Margaret and Jim Henderson


Margaret and Jim, Relationship Success Passed Through Generations

“Dr. Jan, Dave and I wanted to thank you for relationship coaching with you. We really appreciate all the tools you taught us that will continue to improve our relationship. We (and our relationship) have been doing very well since we last spoke. We take more time to think about things as you suggested and we try harder to communicate well. Thank you again!”

-Kristen and Dave


Kristen and Dave, Moved In and Newly Married

“If we had not taken Dr. Jan’s Big Picture Partnering Relationship Coaching program we would not be where we are (and who we are!) today.

When we first learned the Big Picture tools were only a year into our (now 8 year) relationship. We weren’t even married at the time, but we both knew we had something special and we wanted to nourish it, yet we were a little afraid of losing the good stuff if we got married.  When we signed on with Dr. Jan, we thought we would take away some basic communication skills – but we got so much more. We not only learned tools and skills to solve problems, but we also were pushed beyond our day to day lives to dream big about what we want for ourselves as individuals and what we wanted for our partnership.

Since working with Jan, I have completed an M.A. and Doctorate in psychology and am in my first position as a therapist. My husband is in graduate school for furniture design, and our little girl is about to have her first birthday! Thanks to Big Picture Partnering and coaching with Dr. Jan, we’ve been able to partner and accomplish so much that is fulfilling. I can say we are truly happy! We never experience our marriage as a compromise and sacrifice. Instead, learning to partner and to create what we desire for our future has taught us that we can harness the momentum, the power and the safety of our partnership to live a more abundant and fulfilling life!”

-Megan and Mac


Megan and Mac, Partners through Dating, Career Development and Raising Kids

“It may take us a little longer to talk everything over,” he says, “but in the long run we are both happier. We are a family, and my job is, in many ways, ‘our job.’ Irina’s happiness and the stability of our three kids is important to me. I value her opinion and really want her support in everything I do. So we make these kinds of decisions together.”


“I feel secure in knowing that we make all the major decisions together. We emigrated from Russia just after we were married, and I was pregnant. At the time we needed to be very connected—on everything—just to survive in this new country. We really learned how to work together. Over time, as we have become acclimated and at home here, we each have lots of separate activities—not only with the kids, but we are very social and have friends individually and couple friends together. Now that our six-year-old is in school, I have a part-time job, and this is my spending money separate from the family account. Milo takes his own allowance for his activities. I like to take pottery classes, and he is studying how to tutor other immigrants coming into the country. Along with our active kids, it makes for an exciting mix in our marriage!”


“Hello Dr. Jan –

All is great with our family. There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for your role in helping me understand how to create a healthy relationship with my wife. I am more in love with her today than ever. I am blessed to have the most kick ass wife and best friend on the planet. I tell her that a lot, I remember the list you asked me to recite to her during one of our first coaching sessions. I add to it everyday and let her know all of things I love about her as often as I can. Now that she is the worlds best Mom it has doubled my list of stuff to tell her!

So thanks again for all your coaching!”

-Ray S.

Ray S., Falls Madly In Love With His Wife Again

From one couple’s holiday letter to family and friends:

“Earlier in the year we participated in a Coaching Intensive for Couples called “Big Picture Partnering.” When Jan introduced the topic, both of us felt immediately that this was something we needed to do. And what a treat it turned out to be! The impact on our life has been immense. We have moved so much closer again and despite our hectic schedules make time for each other; when we spend time together our exchanges are so much more meaningful and relevant because we learned to open up, listen to one another and allow one another to express true feelings and dreams. And then add a dose of creativity and you end up with something truly exciting!”

“Your Coaching Intensive is great. You are a wonderfully clear and exacting instructor and coach (great for adult learners and nervous couples.) “We have benefited greatly. Thanks! ”

Thank you for this morning’s session. I really got a lot of good information out of the coaching session. You are sooooo good! I really appreciate your intelligence and grace.

Thanks again,


Mary, From One Couple's Holiday Letter to Jan

“Dear Jan:

I want to give you some feedback but am not sure where to start, so I’ll just do some stream of consciousness about our experience in the coaching intensive.  Participating in on-going learning and coaching was a commitment we made early in our relationship that I think has proven to provide a certain stability.

One overall important factor in the helpfulness of our time together was the group processing.  Since John and I were new to each other (relatively speaking) we were in a very different place than the others.  I have remembered things that were worked on and the challenges the other couples were willing to take on and have gotten courage from that.  I suppose the major inspirational theme I reflect on is that of staying open to the opportunity to create together. There are the big moves (John and I just bought our first home together last year) and the everyday challenges to keep the relationship “fresh” so the assumptions of time and experience don’t interfere in REALLY knowing one another in the present. Of course, easier said than done.  But remembering the other couples work to come to an understanding together of where they envisioned their lives going is still inspirational.

I’m very grateful to your having offered this opportunity.”



Erica and John, Finding Inspiration in Sharing Again