Psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini Helps Build Healthy Relationships

Women's Dating

Psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini Shows Singles & Couples How to Have the Healthy Relationships They Desire

Jessica Lollino

Written by: Jessica Lollino

Jessica Lollino

As an English Professor obsessed with literary relationships, Jessica Lollino brings her expertise to as a contributing author. Since she was a child, Jessica’s been interested in what makes love and relationships tick. As part of the DatingAdvice team, she employs her love of research, tongue-in-cheek wit, and horrifically funny dating experiences in each article she writes.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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The Short Version: Mary Jo Rapini is on a mission to help people build healthy, stable relationships beginning with the most personal relationship of all — the one with yourself. She’s an expert psychotherapist, but she’s also a speaker, author, television personality, and trusted contributor for high-profile media outlets like CNN and Cosmopolitan magazine. Mary Jo engages people who have a desire to better their relationships with her Reaction Reset YouTube series, podcasts, books, and articles. Her goal is to help people achieve the relationships of their dreams.

Many singles often have the same problems as couples in committed relationships. Intimacy issues, lack of trust, and self-destructive patterns are just a few common relationship struggles that singles also face.

That is because the problems aren’t rooted in a relationship, but instead in the individual. We learn how to relate to others through our early relationships with family members. And when those relationships aren’t healthy, we may follow similar, unhealthy patterns.

If singles — or couples — desire a healthy relationship, they need to be willing to put in the work to understand themselves, individually. According to Psychology Today, couples therapy is now 75% effective. But part of that success is rooted in people understanding their own emotions, patterns, and reactions. They also must be willing to make changes and stay consistent.

Mary Jo Rapini, a psychologist who specializes in relationships, knows how successful therapy can be when people put in the work — even when it seems impossible. She works with clients both in person and through her website to help them manifest the relationships they want. Not only can relationships fulfill romantic desires, but they can boost overall wellness, too.

“I see a lot of people who are unhappy in their dating life or their relationship. They’re getting taken advantage of and repeating unhealthy patterns, and they want to stop,” Mary Jo said. “Most of my clients are open, educated, and verbal, which means the sky is the limit in helping them create a relationship that’s not only healthy, but also contributes to their well-being.”

Helping People Build Stronger Bonds by Starting with Themselves

Mary Jo began her career as a marriage and family therapist, but her clients helped usher her in a new direction. She had relocated to Texas and started working at a cancer center, which was an experience that would profoundly influence her insight into relationships.

“I was hired on at the cancer center to help couples grieve a diagnosis and then recommit and grow their relationship — both intimately and personally — after a chronic illness,” Mary Jo said.

Mary Jo wants couples to understand that — no matter what their situation — they can create the kind of relationship they want to be in. But she points out that they can’t accomplish that goal through poor mentors or by listening to their friends. It takes personal work — you have to work on you.

Photo of Mary Jo Rapini

Mary Jo Rapini’s work at a cancer center in Texas influenced her perspective on relationships.

She also highlights one of the major pitfalls that affects many singles as they approach dating. “You’re not looking for another half of a person. You are looking for a person who is invested in themselves and takes care of themselves so that in a relationship they own their part of the relationship,” Mary Jo said. She believes that a person should be happy with themselves as they are, not looking for someone who completes them.

Mary Jo said she believes people should invest the same time and money into their mental wellness as they do their physical health. Taking the right vitamins and sticking to the proper diet won’t help your overall well-being if you’re stuck in a terrible relationship.

Building a strong bond with someone else begins with self-reflection.

Shifting the Relationship Mindset Through Reaction Reset

Reaction Reset

is one tool that Mary Jo offers to help people start on their journey to creating their ideal relationship. The program is a self-help series that examines and explains the psychology behind why people react negatively to certain situations and how they can shift their mindsets to make positive changes.

“It’s a YouTube channel we started a year ago, and it covers topics that give people great insights if they are willing to shift,” Mary Jo said.

The series covers a wide range of topics, including dealing with emotional affairs, recovering from mean comments, moving on after a betrayal, and breaking people-pleasing tendencies.

The motivation behind the videos is to help viewers build a healthy foundation for their relationships.

“The way you react can change everything in the relationship. So, Reaction Reset teaches people to change their thinking, so the result is more in line with the relationship you want to create,” Mary Jo said. “Healthy relationships often include two partners who are open, transparent, and working together.”

Resources Reflect an Insightful Approach to Life & Love

In addition to YouTube and her Reaction Reset series, Mary Jo spreads her message through other channels. She hosts a podcast covering timely topics such as red flags when dating online, signs of emotional affairs, loneliness in a relationship, and learning how to date again after a break-up.

The format is ideal for listening to during a work commute or at the gym, and her podcasts typically last less than 20 minutes.

Screenshot of Mary Jo Rapini podcasts

Mary Jo Rapini also provides advice through podcasts and TV appearances

Mary Jo also pens articles and books. Her book “Recoupling: A Couple’s 4-step Guide to Greater Intimacy and Better Sex” focuses on bridging the gap between sexual medicine and sexual psychology to create a stronger, more intimate relationship. She teaches readers how to discuss the problematic areas in their relationship so they can grow closer.

Her articles focus on an array of topics such as foreplay, hitting an intimacy wall, failure, and reinventing yourself.

Couples can connect with Mary Jo on Facebook to see what’s new and ask her questions. Mary Jo told us she personally answers every question.

Heartfelt Success Stories Speak to Mary Jo’s Impact

Mary Jo’s passion for her work is easy to see, and her energy comes from the heart.

“I love it so much I would do this for free. It is my mission; I realize that humans limit themselves,” she said. “We have self-defeating thoughts and tell ourselves we can’t do things.”

But Mary Jo’s philosophy is that everyone can use a helping hand sometimes, and she enthusiastically signs up to help people realize their dreams. Throughout her career, she has impacted many lives along the way, including those of people she has never met. One of the most memorable notes Mary Jo received was from an 11-year-old girl whose parents sought out her advice.

“The child said, ‘Mary Jo, I am so grateful to you because you saved my parents’ marriage. I was terrified they were going to get a divorce. I love both of them and couldn’t imagine being in separate houses. My whole world was falling apart, and they came and started working with you, and it just saved my life,’” Mary Jo said.

Whether in-person, online, or through her writing, Mary Jo is making an impact on singles and couples by providing them with the tools and gentle guidance they need to create the relationship they want and live a happy, healthy life.

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