Couples Therapy


Some of us will visit a couple’s therapist early on in the relationship (even before the wedding) in order to prevent problems down the road. Others seek help to turn a good marriage into a great one. However, the vast majority of us put off hiring a professional until the roof is caving in, claiming a multitude of excuses: We can’t afford it. We’re too busy. Things aren’t really that bad…Despite all the excuses, we often have deep fears that stop us from picking up the phone. What if the therapist takes his side? What if the lid gets ripped off, all this pain comes out and we can’t contain it after the session? What if he needs more from me than I can give? What if my true feelings are revealed? That said, despite the fears and excuses, here’s a quick and dirty guide for knowing when it’s time to make that appointment.

  • Is there physical violence (or the threat of it) in your relationship? If you feel significant fear or intimidation in your relationship, you may want to start with an individual session before you come in as a couple.
  • Are you (or your spouse) having, or flirting with the idea of, an affair? Has it already happened?
  • Do arguments lead to detachment and alienation instead of resolution?
  • Are your kids distressed because the two of you cannot agree on parenting, or do you or your partner sabotage the other’s parenting?
  • Do you or your partner feel unhappy with your sexual relationship? (If yes, see the section on Sex Therapy).
  • Do you or your partner have a psychological problem (e.g., addiction, depression, eating disorder, etc.) that is either being denied, avoided or causing un-resolvable conflicts? While the sufferer may need individual therapy to address the specific problem, the relationship itself may need help since the problem will be adversely affecting the spouse as well.
  • Do one or both of you frequently think about or toss around the D-Word (Divorce)?

Let’s say you’ve read the list, resolved that you need help, but your partner says, “No!” Make a deal: “OK, let’s make it a priority to work on our relationship for three months on our own. We’ll try to communicate better, get closer, and re-connect. If one of us is still dissatisfied after 3 months, let’s agree to get some help.” If your partner still won’t honor this request, then see an individual therapist. By making changes and improvements to yourself, the relationship will either improve or it will not; but at least you will feel clearer and healthier to make positive decisions for yourself either way.

Therapists:

Susan Berel, PhD
770-953-4744 ext. 40
Gerald S. Drose, PhD
770-953-4744 ext. 12
Elaine Eassa, PhD
770-953-4744 ext. 22
Kelly Harvey, LPC, LMT, LCMHC
770-953-4744 ext. 52
Karen McCorkle, LCSW
770-953-4744 ext. 49
Steven Perlow, PhD
770-953-4744 ext. 14
Michael Pitts, PsyD
770-953-4744 ext. 61
Kimberly Smiley, PsyD
770-953-4744 ext. 25
Brian J. Smith, PsyD
770-953-4744 ext. 44
Jennifer Spring, PhD
770-953-4744 ext. 11
Connie Stapleton, PhD
770-953-4744 ext.
Ericka Stricklin-Parker, PsyD
770-953-4744 ext. 17
Tamara D'Anjou Turner, Ph.D.
770-953-4744 ext. 62
Shondra Wilbanks, LPC- NCC
770-953-4744 ext. 24
Dina Zeckhausen, PhD
770-953-4744 ext. 13

© 2004-06 Powers Ferry Psychological Associates, LLC

1827 Powers Ferry Rd. Bldg 22, Ste. 200
Atlanta, Ga. 30339
P: 770-953-4744
Fax: 770-953-4640

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