Margaret Lambert, MSW, LCSW, is a psychotherapist specializing in relationships. She entered the field in mid-life, receiving her Masters in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and has been practicing in Madison since 1996. During that time, Margaret has presented bi-monthly pre-marriage workshops, conducted Healing A Broken Heart divorce recovery seminars, facilitated Outgrowing a Painful Childhood groups, and was a volunteer facilitator for Bethel Lutheran Church in their Separated and Divorced Support Group since 2000. She formed Puffins Presentations, in 2002. And in 2004, Margaret developed the Dating Dementia Course and has since completed the workbook by the same title. In 2010 Margaret was instrumental in the development of the Rebuilding At Bethel program which offers a three level approach to Divorce and Separation Recovery and is currently active as the coordination director of that program. In 2006, Margaret joined with three of her colleagues to open Sonas Behavioral Health in the Madison area. In her private practice she works with couples struggling with relationship issues and adults who are suffering with depression or anxiety-related issues.
Her approach is eclectic in nature but has a strong foundation in Family Systems Theory, with a Cognitive-Behavioral and Solution-Focused approach. Margaret has training and experience in a variety of areas including grief and loss, marital and couples therapy, divorce recovery, anxiety, depression, adult survivors of abuse, childhood trauma re-scripting, as well as exploring spirituality.
“Through the therapeutic experience I have the privilege of being invited into people’s lives as they share the struggles that they have been experiencing,” Margaret says. “People suffer in many different ways; nearly always as a result of some type and degree of loss. For some that loss is related to a person, a goal or dream, a job, a relationship or even faith. And, people respond differently to those events in their lives based on the personal, social or financial resources they have at their disposal. For some, this can lead to feeling depressed or anxious. They may feel hopeless or even helpless in their ability to turn things around in their lives. To be allowed to be part of their process of change and rebuilding is a gift and one that I do not take lightly. I enjoy seeing people make their own changes through their own efforts.” Through her practice, her volunteer work, and her own personal experience, she truly realizes the complexity of human relationships.
A large portion of Margaret’s practice is relationship related. She works with couples who are preparing for marriage, struggling in their marriages, thinking about divorce or recovering from a broken relationship. “All of us are aware that the national statistic for divorce is high. Because of how complex developing and maintaining a relationship can be, I am surprised that it isn’t higher. There’s absolutely no available manual that spells out exactly what you’re supposed to do in a love relationship,” Margaret says. “Often we’re left with what was modeled to us by our families. And we all know that quote – if you don’t understand your history, you’re doomed to repeat it. Many people have to learn as you go along and many find that the learning comes too late.” This was the motivation behind developing her Dating Dementia class.
Margaret realized that relationships are often founded on an idealized illusion, and once that illusion begins to fade there’s little left to hold that relationship together. Her motto is, “Love is not a feeling, but rather a behavior, an action, a choice that a person engages in every day even when they aren’t always happy with the other person.” She identified 52 foundational concepts that couples should explore in order to build a healthy, enduring relationship foundation. In 2004 she began teaching these ideas to students through her Dating Dementia course. Today, Margaret enjoys seeing individuals develop new insights, set healthier boundaries, and build more satisfying relationships as a result of the work they do in her therapeutic and classroom environment.
Margaret fell in love with the delightful bird known as a puffin—a unique bird generally found along the coast. This delightful creature captured her attention and admiration because of its unusual dating ritual of bringing small gifts to the potential mate that caught its eye.
Although they are often referred to as “clowns of the sea,” puffins take their dating ritual very seriously and, as a result of their efforts, they mate for life. Puffins search for just the right offering to give to the one they have their eye on. This gift of twigs, flowers, or fish is an attempt to show how special they are as a potential mate.
“We too have unique and special qualities to bring into a relationship,” Margaret says. “Authenticity, unconditional caring, humor, generosity, acceptance, understanding, and the willingness to listen; to just name a few. When we bring these gifts to our partners we create fertile soil in which our relationships can take root and thrive.” .
For information about classes or to obtain information about coaching or psychotherapy services, please contact Margaret at:
Her office is located at:
Sonas Behavioral Health
6402 Odana Road
Madison, WI 53719
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Phone: (608) 204-6076 Ext. 1
Fax: (608) 204-9568