Episode 25-Interview with Les Parrott

Play episode
les parrott clinical psychologist man glasses smiling

Who is Les Parrott? What has he done to help couples and save marriages over his lifetime? What is SYMBIS and why is it helpful? What are Les’ principles of having a good relationship, derived from over 40 years of research and experience?

In this episode, Nathan and Aaron interview guest Les Parrott, a Clinical Psychologist, speaker, and author of over 50 books.

Les Parrott, III – Clinical Psychologist, Author, Speaker

In This Podcast


  • How Les got started
  • What is the Center for Relationship Development?
  • All about the SYMBIS
  • Les’ principles for healthy relationships
  • What’s coming next for Les Parrott

How Les got started

  1. While doing a postdoctoral fellowship in Seattle, he was invited to give a talk on falling in love to some students at SPU
  2. He was inspired by the hunger of the students to start SYMBIS: Save Your Marriage Before It Starts
  3. His talks were wildly popular, and a book he wrote on SYMBIS launched him into national recognition, from interviews on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, and many others

What is the Center for Relationship Development?

  1. What is the Center for Relationship Development?
    1. Les fought hard against faculty to get a class on relationships in after seeing the needs of the community there, but when he did hundreds of students signed up
    2. He thought that it needed research, so he managed to raise some money and form the Center for Relationship Development
  2. The motto was “How can we give psychology away?”
  3. He developed a program to help marriages at the very start of the Internet

All about the SYMBIS

  1. The SYMBIS is an assessment for couples to get an understanding of the way things are going for them
    1. It’s a good way to find areas of improvement for the couple
  2. Couples who take the SYMBIS are 31% less likely to get a divorce, simply by going through the process
  3. Les’ goal is to use SYMBIS to help clinicians, counselors, and mentors help couples to hopefully lower divorce rates by 1/3

Les’ principles for healthy relationships

  1. Increase your level of self-awareness
    1. Awareness is curative; once you become aware of something you can do something about it
  2. Deepen your capacity for empathy
    1. Empathy is the heart of a healthy relationship
    2. Being able to see from the other’s perspective is vital
  3. Communication techniques, conflict resolution strategies, among others are also important, but those two are the most fundamental in relationship building
  4. Your relationships are only as healthy as you are
    1. One of the most important things to work on in your relationships is yourself
    2. “If you try to build a connection with another person before you’ve done the difficult work of getting whole, all your relationships will become an attempt to complete yourself.”

What’s coming next for Les Parrott

  1. Les has an upcoming book called Helping Couples, which builds upon 40 years of research on what works when it comes to helping couples
  2. Les is optimistic for the future after the pandemic because we have the tools to help couples better than ever before

Useful Links

Thanks for Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the icons below. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a review on iTunes and subscribe to our podcast!

aaron potratz and nathan hawkins therapists standing smiling

Meet Nathan and Aaron

Nathan Hawkins and Aaron Potratz are both licensed therapists and clinical supervisors in the state of Oregon. They each own their own private group counseling practices and co-own a third group practice together. Nathan and Aaron have been in the field since 2004 and 2007, respectively, and have over 100,000 hours of therapy experience each. On their show, they discuss facing fears and common challenges from a therapist’s point of view, imparting wisdom and humanity to their viewers. Along the way, they hope to not only share their insights but bring some light-hearted entertainment to make the journey easier.

Share this
Join the discussion

More from this show

Email Course

Episode 25