“We need to love more fiercely,” says Dr. Greg Matos, veteran psychologist and creator of A Better Love Project, a veteran-led, nonprofit educational organization that aims at providing couples with science-based relationship advice.
After launching only two months ago, A Better Love Project has reached and helped tens of thousands of people throughout the United States and abroad. With a solid, loyal, and ever-growing following who tune in every Monday for the new A Better Love Podcast episode released on their social media platforms, which include TikTok and Instagram, the positive response to the nonprofit has been “nothing short of a dream” for Dr. Greg, who is currently the sole content creator and one-man army behind the organization and podcast.
A board-certified couple and family psychologist, Dr. Greg began his military career as a Sergeant in the Marine Corps and was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat Valor and Department of State Award for Heroism for actions defending the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah against an al-Qaeda assault in 2004.
“This experience completely changed my life,” says Dr. Greg, “and it led me to want to truly help people, which is why I became a military psychologist on active duty.” His military career eventually saw him become a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Ready Reserve, which only strengthened his purpose and goal of helping military couples and families “face the many, and unique, challenges of military life.”
As the Director of the Boston Vet Center, he established a clinical training program and led an interdisciplinary mental health team to serve veterans and their families. Now residing in California, Dr. Greg is fully committed to public service and increasing access to couples’ therapy.
“I want my podcast episodes to be conversation starters for couples who see themselves in whatever topic I am addressing that day,” says Dr. Greg. “But I also want them to feel an integral part of the podcast, which is why I often invite my listeners and followers to reach out and let me know which questions they would like answered on the following podcast episode.”
A Member-at-large on the Board of the American Academy of Couple and Family Psychology as well as a Member of AASECT (Association of Sex Therapists and Educators), Dr. Greg says that a successful conversation with a partner would ideally begin with two words: I feel. “That’s it. Just two simple, yet highly effective words.”
Catering mainly to an audience between 25 and 45 years of age, Dr. Greg explains that, while each couple has their own unique challenges, “which for military couples especially they range anywhere between the hardships of deployments and the struggles of reintegration,” he has recognized three key ingredients to a successful relationship: “First of all, couples must seek true understanding and be emotionally validating; then, I encourage partners not to live a separate existence from one another; and finally, prepare yourselves for the emotional flood — when one or both partners have experienced trauma — that will follow.”
Providing a more concrete example, Dr. Greg explains that, during deployment the military member will often feel the need to shield his or her partner from what is happening in their everyday life. “Likewise, the partner who is back home might feel the same need to somewhat keep things from the military member so as not to cause unnecessary stress on the service member. But what good does that? Share, talk, communicate with one another.” The Better Love Project is currently seeking 501c (3) status and looking for volunteer content creators as well as podcast co-hosts. Through donations, which will be tax deductible, Dr. Greg hopes to soon expand the organization in order to meet the increasing demand and help even more people “love fiercely!”