Fishing by Moonlight @ Colene Sawyer 2008-2016
  • Fishing by Moonlight

    "From healing past pain to creating a healthy relationship, this book is filled with useful insights." -John Gray, author, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

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    First Chapter Free Excerpt from the book

    Emily was in love. She had the glow that appears in the first stage of romance. As she bounced into a worn leather chair in my office, I saw a vitality and aliveness in her small body I had not seen in the five months she had been my client in therapy, not since she first came to me following the painful breakup of a relationship.

  • Dr. Sawyer

    A word from Dr. Sawyer

    I love my work. It is a privilege to share intimately in so many lives and watch people stretch and grow in confidence and love. I have been a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice for 27 years.

    My education included a Master’s degree which led to licensing. In addition I earned a PhD in Counseling Psychology. Education is important. My personal life has also been a great teacher.. I was married 23 years and had four children when I was divorced and I was single mother several years when I met my second husband. This marriage lasted 3 years when he told me he needed to live alone and I must leave. I was devastated! How could this—two divorces-- happen to me, a marriage counselor, mother of 4 nice kids, granddaughter of a respected Methodist minister? Out of my anguish I determined to write something for people like me—and my clients. I had read the textbooks and the research. This writing was meant to take complicated ideas and make them easy to understand.

    During the time of researching and writing the book I met the love of my life, Fred Schlaepfer, also a therapist. Together we have created the kind of relationship I always knew was possible. In the 20 years since we met we have worked together as co-therapists. We specialize with couples and teach classes for singles and couples from the curriculum I wrote to accompany the book. I have taught at university, adult school and professional settings. I have talked about the book on radio and TV—sometimes with Fred. “Fishing by Moonlight” was given an award for contribution to the profession by California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

    This is the second and up-dated version of the book. The first focused on how we choose partners. This later version focuses on current relationships as well as information for divorced or single people. The first half of the book contains 8 exercises enlightening each individual, whether in a couple or single, about the underlying dynamics of relationship for each .person. The exercises are easy and down to earth and allow readers to understand self and other in new ways. The second half of the book is called “Becoming the Optimal Partner”.

    The book came out of my own determination to create a healthy and happy relationship. I hope it serves you as well as it has many others. Readers have told me this book changed their lives!

  • Better Relationship Course
    Teach "The Art of Enhancing Intimate Relationship" for singles or couples

    The curriculum is based on the step-by-step material in the book designed to teach participants what goes into choosing a partner and/or creating a healthy relationship with a current partner. The eight simple to administer exercises are augmented by charts and extra materials not printed in "Fishing by Moonlight". The important but seldom focused on history of earlier relationships and family is a part of these experiential exercises. Communication skills are taught and participants are encouraged to use these skills with other members of the class. There are opportunities to share with partners or paired singles.

    The curriculum is set forth as 6 weekly 2-hour classes (total of 12 hours) but can also be given as a week-end class or any other time frame that is suitable. Therapists can give it for clients or as a way of attracting clients. It is very adaptable to religious settings as a valuable aid to members of a congregation. It is formulated in such a way as to be appropriate for singles and couples in the same class as each individual does the work alone and it may be shared. It would be excellent as a follow-up class for divorced or widowed people following a period of time for grieving. Whether creating a new relationship or improving an existing one, two people with more understanding of self and other are better prepared for happiness together.

    The curriculum spells out exactly how to teach the class. A lay person can teach it as long as he/she follows the written suggestions. Participants should be asked to read a chapter in the book for each class. It is an excellent adjunct to therapy and would be easy for a therapist to teach. In my experience people enjoy the class and learn from each other as part of the group.

    To Purchase the Better Relationship Course go to

  • Workbook based on the book

    The exercises make "The Art of Enhancing Intimate Relationship" apply personally to you

    They are the heart of the book. Would you like to do them in your own personal workbook containing all of them in one place? They could be for your eyes only or shared with a special someone. The pages are, of course, larger and more writer friendly than they are in the book.

    To Purchase Workbook: Price $20.00 Contact Dr. Sawyer Send EMail(Click Here)

  • Fishing by Moonlight: The Art of Enhancing Intimate Relationship by Colene Sawyer ... Dialogos Books

    Fishing by Moonlight:
    The Art of Enhancing
    Intimate Relationship

    Colene Sawyer, Ph.D.
    Dialogues Books
    224 pages
    ISBN: 978-0-9800640-1-8


    Want to know more about why you chose your partner(s)? If you are looking for a loving relationship learn the conscious and unconscious ways you fall in love--and how you can create the relationship of your dreams. Buy the book today.

  • Praise for Fishing by Moonlight

    “Don’t leave the most important decision of your life to chance or passion. Dr. Sawyer guides you gently through the moonlight to find the best for you. Through adept storytelling, couples discover how to create the healthy marriage of their dreams.”

    —Carolyn Curtis, Ph.D., Executive Director, Healthy Marriage Project, Sacramento, CA

    “If what brought you together is tearing you apart, you only need to buy one book. In Fishing by Moonlight are the essentials for affirming and maintaining a healthy and loving partnership. My husband and I are direct beneficiaries of Dr. Sawyer’s insightful and meaningful text.”

    —Lee Shallat Chemel, television director/producer/writer (“Samantha Who?” “The Gilmore Girls,” “Arrested Development,” “Murphy Brown,” “Mad About You,” “The Nanny”)

    “This readable and practical book is a valuable guide for one of life’s most meaningful and rewarding journeys.”

    —Peter Peterson, Ph.D. and Ellyn Bader of the Couples Institute, and co-authors of In Quest of the Mythical Mate and Tell Me No Lies

    Fishing by Moonlight offers insightful exercises that open heart and soul to greater depth and intimacy in love relationships.”

    —Diana von Welanetz Wentworth, author of Send Me Someone and Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook

    Fishing by Moonlight is a wonderful book. Dr. Sawyer shares her experience and professional expertise simply and systemically, allowing the student and layman to easily understand complex ideas about intimacy and healthy relationships. I will most certainly recommend this book to my students and clients. I only wish I could have read it 35 years ago.”

    —Toby Herman, past President, International Family Therapy Association (IFTA); President, Icelandic Association of Supervision; past President, Icelandic Association of Professionals Practicing Family Therapy in Iceland

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  • Personal Counseling is Available

    Reading "Fishing by Moonlight" may raise questions you never thought of before. If you would like to talk with Colene, in person or on the phone, click the button below and let's make a date.

  • Stop Divorce - Divorce Source Radio with Steve Peck Interview

    In this episode of Divorce Source Radio with Steve Peck, we speak with the author of the book, Fishing by Moonlight – The Art of Enhancing Intimate Relationship, Colene Sawyer, Ph.D..

    A licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Sawyer has worked for nearly three decades in private practice with parents, children, and singles, as a divorce counselor, and with couples and families.

    This is a program for anyone going through divorce who’s looking for a better understanding of their past relationship choices in an effort to construct healthier relationships in the future.

    Dr. Sawyer explains that a new love affair can set off a “feel good” chemical similar to an amphetamine reaction in our brain. This is responsible for the euphoria of passionate infatuation that guides us into believing we have found Mr. or Ms. Right. Unfortunately, we don’t always make the smart choices during this state, and like all drug-induced states, the feeling dissipates in time. This program helps us gain a better understanding for how relationships work.

    Topics in the program include:

    • Understand why and how we fall in love
    • How you may attract a partner that re-enacts negative situations from your childhood
    • Understanding the hidden logic of love
    • How to identify your ideal partner
    • How you can learn from your past and become the optimal partner
    • And much more.

    Divorce Source Radio with Steve Peck Interview

  • More Praises

    “Intimate relationships are some of the most important, wonderful and formidable events in most lives. Colene Sawyer’s book makes the odds far m ore positive that we will make it through the maze and prosper on the journey.”

    —Jim Walt, Ph.D. researcher, former professor, past president of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)

    “For anyone who is interested in relationship, this book is a must. [Dr. Sawyer] has a way of presenting complex ideas very simply, which makes this book appropriate for everyone.”

    —Hal Stone, Ph.D. and Sidra Stone, Ph.D., originators of Voice Dialogue and authors of Embracing Each Other

    “An insightful and practical book on relationships.”

    —Stan Tatkin Ph.D., co-author of Love and War in Intimate Relationships: How the Mind, Brain and Body Interact

    “A real gem; very readable and thought provoking, filled with helpful, practical tools for exploring and understanding your hidden logic in creating a romantic partnership. Dr. Sawyer writes with insight, experience and wisdom.”

    —Karen Hefler, MFT, past President, Sacramento chapter, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)

    “I really liked this book and plan to recommend it to a couple of counselors I know as well as to friends and relatives. I may even include it with my wedding present to various prospective brides and grooms.”

    —Peggy Holloway, book indexer

    Fishing by Moonlight covers the art of navigating intimate relationships from why we are attracted to someone to succeeding in sustaining love and intimacy. It is a must for non-professionals and professionals alike, providing insight to the ‘why’ and tools for the ‘how.’”

    —Darlene Davis, M.F.T., lead faculty, University of Phoenix; President, Sacramento Chapter, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)