An Exceptional Relationship.


It’s hard to believe we have been married 40 years. Like most of you in long term relationships, we have lived through peaks and valleys over the course of these four decades. From possessed young lovers to obsessed parents and through the emergence of our life work together it has been, well, everything imaginable. Ours is not the perfect relationship .

What we have learned is that everything can lead back to love, intimacy and deep growth, if we are open to facing each other in our most difficult places.

Our vows…

  • To remember that there is more to each other than we can ever fully know.

  • To allow our tender “child-like” places to have sufficient room to emerge and be held in compassion by our partner.

  • To embrace conflict and accept that our messy interactions can lead to deeper empathy.

  • To make it safe for each other by never losing sight of the other’s goodness.

  • To care for ourselves and each other.

  • To expect the unexpected.

  • To take responsibility for our part in unhealthy interactions.

  • To discover our sexuality anew as we continue to age.

  • To have the humility and courage to acknowledge how important the other is to us.

  • To be aware of and act upon our obligations to the world.

  • To bring our relationship work to anyone who would like to make their marriage more exceptional.

  • To take big risks when life calls us to do so.

  • To encourage each other’s individuality even when to do so might make us insecure or inconvenience us.

Brian Gleason, LCSW

Brian Gleason is the co-founder, director, trainer and developer of Exceptional Marriage. Brian has over 39 years of experience in working with organizations, groups, couples, and individuals in a variety of mental health, corporate, wellness, and educational settings. Over the past two decades Brian pursued his education and personal growth through a wide range of experiences. He received a certification as a Master Hypnotherapist in the California Institute for Hypnotherapy. Additionally, he completed a six-month intensive relationship training, studying with psychologist Dr. John Gray, bestselling author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Brian also studied family therapy at the Ackerman Institute. Then, in 1991 Brian began a five-year certification process as a Core Energetic Practitioner from the Institute of Core Energetics in New York City. This body-centered psychotherapy training became an essential component in the development of Exceptional Marriage, as Brian brought together talk therapy, somatic therapy and spirituality.

On a personal level he has immersed himself in numerous intensive program including a wilderness Vision Quest in the Canyonlands of Utah with Dr, Robert Gass, numerous courses at the Omega Institute and the Kripalu Holistic Center.

Together with his wife Marcia, Brian developed the Exceptional Marriage, an experience-based methodology for working with committed relationships which allows couples to honor each partner’s capacity to discover his/her greatest gifts and deepest truths. This authentic, rich and powerful journey is explored in couples workshops, professional workshops, books and CDs, including the latest book: Going All the Way, The Heart and Soul of the Exceptional Marriage.

Brian is a senior faculty member of the N.Y. Institute of Core Energetics and Radical Aliveness Institute in Los Angeles, California. He teaches internationally and is author of a book on transpersonal psychology – Mortal Spirit. Brian also enjoys a thriving private practice for individuals, groups and couples as well as providing supervision for therapists.

Marcia Gleason, LCSW

is the co-founder, trainer and developer of Exceptional Marriage. Marcia brings 40 years of experience, dedication and passion to working with matters of the mind, body and heart. Trained as a clinical social worker, Marcia recognized early on the limitations of talk therapy. After graduating with a Master’s of Social Work in 1978, she went on to pursue additional training in Somatic Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems and Creative Art Therapies, deepening her understanding of the body and the creative process for healing and transformation.

Together with Brian, Marcia developed the Exceptional Marriage, an experience-based couple’s methodology which aims to maximize the potential that resides in every long term committed relationship. Her approach to her work synthesizes her clinical experience combined with her big heart.

Marcia facilitates workshops and couples training programs for therapists in the US, Canada, Mexico, Holland and Australia in the Exceptional Marriage approach. She is co-author of Going All the Way, The Heart and Soul of the Exceptional Marriage and Exceptional Relationships: Transformation Through Embodied Couples Work. She is also on the faculty of the New York Core Energetic Institute.

Three years ago, she and Brian moved to Asheville, North Carolina from New York. Currently she has a private practice, leads workshops and classes and provides supervision to therapists. When she’s not being a therapist, Marcia can be found in her women’s art cooperative- quilting, doing Soul Collage and enjoying life in Asheville. Marcia can also be found visiting her grand dog, Fergus.

Marcia and Brian have a (recently married) beautiful daughter who is a professional opera singer.