Risa Ganel, LCMFT
My mission is to awaken and reconnect you to the genuine intimacy and connection you each deserve. As owner of Together Couples Counseling, our work together will help you increase your Relationship Intelligence, reconnect you to healthy self esteem and compassion for yourself and others to make your good marriage into a great marriage.
II’m a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Maryland, a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park, with a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Hofstra University, I’ve been in practice since 1994, providing individual, couples, and family therapy in a variety of settings and opened Together Couples Counseling in 2005. When you work with me, you will experience my active, compassionate, direct, yet loving firm style. Sometimes I have to decide between being nice or helping you save your marriage, and I commit to having those difficult conversations so that you can learn to do the same with each other. Being heard and understood by your therapist is necessary, but not sufficient to create real change. Part of my job is to speak to the truth of what is going on and getting in your way.
I have had many wonderful mentors throughout my career, which includes spending a week in Tuscany Italy learning from and subsequently working directly for a year under the supervision of Esther Perel (Author of Mating in Captivity and The State of Affairs) monthly at her New York City office. I am currently in the process of becoming a Certified Relational Life Therapist under the guidance of Terry Real (Author of The New Rules of Marriage and I Don’t Want to Talk About It
I’m the daughter of very entrepreneurial parents; my father, an independent accountant and my mother, a teacher. They owned several successful businesses, including two roller skating rinks, a printing company, and an accounting firm. As a child, I competed in figure skating on roller skates, which taught me self-discipline, focus, and determination. My parents taught me the values of integrity, hard work, love, acceptance, and empathy. Since we lived in Upstate New York, I also learned I could drive into the teeth of a blizzard…without flinching. So, living here in Maryland, I’ve no worries when it snows .
I was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to serve as a Board Member on the Maryland State Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists in 2015 and in October of 2017 was elected Chair of the Board and remained in that position through June 2020. I have also served on the Board of Directors for the Middle Atlantic Division of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy since 1999 as Treasurer (1999-2005), President Elect (2006-2007), and President (2007-2008).
In addition, I am a wife, mother, step-mother, mother-in-law, marathon runner, and chocolate lover. Paddle Boarding, Fall Festivals, singing at the top of my lungs in the car with my daughter, and family/friend gatherings at our home are always part of my weekend plans whenever possible. I’ve completed the Marine Corps Marathon four times, the Disney Marathon once, and numerous half marathons. I’ve been a Team In Training Mentor for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, dedicated to helping put an end to blood cancers, and my family and I have raised over $30,000 for LLS since joining them in 2009. Don’t be surprised if you see me running through the streets with my team!
If you’d like to make an appointment with me, call 410-440-1413, and our friendly staff will be happy to answer your questions and book an appointment for you.
Maryland License # LCM033