Gail Carson-Webb, Psy.D.

Clinical Psychologist

Couples' Counseling

It is hard to imagine a relationship that can be more exciting--or more challenging--than a romantic relationship with a partner.  Maintaining individual identity while protecting the sacred boundaries that define a couple, negotiating power, facing major life stresses and changes together . . . it's hard work!  Couples coming in for counseling are often seeking aid with:
  • conflict management
  • communication problems
  • a desire to reconnect with one's partner after parenthood
  • the impact of infidelity
  • negotiation/decision-making issues
  • premarital counseling
  • intimacy
  • relationship revitalization 
  • navigation of different emotional “styles”

The thing that nobody wants to hear is often the thing that people also intuitively know.  One such truth is that by the time most couples make it to therapy, their relationship has been in trouble for quite a long time, and their problems are far more deeply ingrained than they realize.  Managing the consequences of an affair in particular can be extremely stressful for a couple.  My bias in this regard is that it is for the couple – not the therapist – to decide whether the relationship should continue.  This is not an easy decision to make and often requires much soul searching, as well as exposure to periods of frustration, worry, sadness, sometimes anger and often outright confusion.  Learning how to handle the stress as effectively as possible during this period is critical to good decision making.

It is not unusual in the first stages of therapy for couples to be intimidated  by the amount of work they have to do.  If you want to explore your own needs and feelings about your relationship, or if you’re very clear that you want to stay together . . . hang in there.  While working as a couple has significant challenges, the potential rewards for successful work can be very rich indeed.