John Howard, MA is a relationship therapist and educator with over 15 years of experience helping people have awesome relationships. He is dedicated to helping spread love in the world by helping people have stronger, healthier relationships. He helps singles find and develop great relationships and helps couples stay on track and enjoy their life together for the long-term.
John’s own experience with neglect and disconnection led him on a quest to discover what really makes love and relationships work. Besides his personal journey to discover deep love in his own life and relationships, John has also steeped himself in the most cutting-edge relationship science for close a decade, studying with the world’s top researchers, authors and clinicians and in some cases, teaching alongside them, training couples therapists worldwide in the latest methods.
John maintains a private practice, Austin Professional Counseling, in Austin, TX where he helps couples heal their wounds, reset, and thrive, and helps singles date wisely. He also helps individuals with depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, and leads meditation and spiritual development groups. John has led a relationship wellness program at Google, Inc., presents on the neuroscience of relationships at leading psychological conferences, and is a former founding core faculty member of the PACT Institute, a leading training institute for couples therapists.
In 2016 he presented Bringing Interpersonal Neuroscience into Couples Therapy at the annual Attachment, Trauma & Intimacy Conference alongside Drs. Diane Poole-Heller, Dick Schwartz, Maggie Phillips and Amir Levine. In 2013 he presented How to be More Connected as a Couple as part of the Extraordinary Family Life Conference alongside Dr. Dan Siegel and Dr. Shefali Tsabary. He guest teaches with Dr. Diane Poole-Heller as part of her online Mastermind series for therapists, and runs a training group for couples therapists in Austin, TX.
John is the Founder and CEO of Ready Set Love®, an online relationship education company, and host of the Ready Set Love® podcast on iTunes. He authored Entheos.com’s New Science of Relationship Series, is a former national panelist for The Great Love Debate and the author of numerous articles on relationship health and science published by The Huffington Post, LifeHack, Austin Fit Magazine and other outlets. In 2014, John created the Ready Set Love® Program, a 12-week, online course that advances couples’ skills in connection, intimacy and communication. He is currently working on his own couples therapy model, Presence Therapy, designed to help partners be more fully present with one another.
For years, John studied with top researchers and clinicians in the areas of couples therapy, relationship health, relational neuroscience, attachment theory and other related sciences. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Texas and holds a Masters degree in Counseling with a focus on Marriage and Family Therapy.
John is also a spiritual teacher, having studied various indigenous and world traditions for twenty years. He has backpacked into remote areas to study native healing traditions, has worked as a spiritual director, and spent 5 years helping to build a spiritual retreat in California. He leads non-denominational spiritual groups, and takes a non-conformist and irreverent approach to personal growth work.
John is known for his fun yet science-based approach to helping partners deepen their love and intimacy. He is influenced by various approaches to relationship work including the work of Drs. Stan Tatkin, John Gottman and Sue Johnson, authors of leading relationship therapy models. A strong influence on John’s work has been the pioneering adaptation of modern neuroscience and attachment theory to adult relationships. Other influences include Drs. Dan Siegel, Allan Schore, Stephen Porges, Pat Ogden, Don Catherall, Bonnie Badenoch and Diana Fosha.
Part of John’s mission is to promote relationship science that applies equally to all couples and does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or how a couples define their relationship and commitment.
John presents across the U.S. to both professional psychotherapists and public audiences. John has taught seminars for the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and for Attachment Parenting International. He has been featured by leading parenting expert Dr. Carrie Contey, New York Times best-selling author Jay Papasan, and on numerous podcasts such as Front Row Dads, Allana Pratt and Christine Hassler.
John believes in relationship as a personal growth process. In addition to having an academic and scientific interest in relationship, he thinks of relationship as a spiritual journey that feeds the soul and asks us to learn and grow as individuals. To accomplish that growth through relationship, we must remain open, curious and reflective with one another. John draws from his years studying Eastern, Western and Native spiritual traditions to understand relationship as a process of healing and renewal: an opportunity to find greater love and peace in our hearts by discovering the unity in diversity.
John is a popular public speaker on topics ranging from the new science of relationship to spiritual growth. In 2013 he was featured on a panel of 15 national experts at the Extraordinary Family Life Conference. In 2014 he was chosen as one of twelve couple therapists worldwide to form the founding faculty of the PACT Institute, an educational organization dedicated to training psychotherapists in the latest neuroscience and attachment-based methods. John likes to blog on popular relationship topics for Lifehack.org and contributes to the Huffington Post. John likes to play guitar, speaks 3 languages, and believes in the lost art of appreciating opposing perspectives.