Couples Therapy Philadelphia

Prosperity follows you.

You are highly motivated and successful people in most things you take on as individuals and as a couple. You thrive on staying organized, having great people surround you, and being kind to others.

In return, you feel pretty lucky to be living the life you find before you. Your job is going well; your children are taken care of in a way you never imagined. Things are good.

Your relationship is good.

You’re not here because your relationship is terrible. You still see virtuous qualities in your partner and the relationship. Your life circumstances and general drive have allotted you the ability to make room in your mind for relational improvements, which is precisely why you’re here – to build on what you already know is healthy, viable, and stable. Getting help is a courageous first step and will facilitate positive change in your relationship.

You are proactive. You want to maintain the relationship and find ways to gain a deeper connection with your partner. You’re looking to surpass the love that already exists. You aim to overcome any difficulties you may be having and not let your relationship end.

If you can relate to the above statements, you should pick up the phone and call us at 267-495-4951 to schedule an appointment for Couples Therapy Philadelphia with one of our mental health professionals. Maintenance of a relationship is necessary; gaining a more profound connection in a relationship is an obtainable bonus.

Our Specialists & Couples Therapy in Philadelphia

What a sex therapist can provide you is…

Maybe you have the support of a partner; maybe you don’t. Either way, a sex therapist can give you the support and peace of mind you’re looking for. Through talk therapy, you will explore and learn healthy sexual narratives and proper techniques to take ownership of your sexual needs.

You will feel more in control of your sex life by having tools in your back pocket to take on any challenge.

With several years of specialized sex therapy training and experience, we can help you enhance your sex and sexuality through the use of cognitive and behavioral exercises that are research tested to work. 

Together, we will explore the topic(s) you present with through talk therapy, while you will also tackle a formulated, at-home regimen of exercises until you’re confident the issue(s) you presented with are no longer matters in question.

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Common Therapeutic Topics for Couples Therapy Philadelphia

  • premarital counseling
  • communication
  • time management
  • family organization
  • bids for connection
  • growth after major life change – moving in together, getting engaged or married, having children, children go to school, retirement, loss of a parent, child, or loved one, sobriety, and so many more
  • sexual compatibility and enhancement
  • proactive management
  • rebuilding after infidelity
  • mitigating divorce
  • co-parenting
  • Mental health issues in the relationship (one or both partners experiencing: depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, self-esteem issues, high stress, etc.)

We Offer Counseling and Couples Therapy  in Philadelphia, PA, & Online

  • Marriage Therapy & Counseling
  • Couples Therapy & Counseling
  • Relationship Therapy & Counseling
  • Marriage and Family Therapy & Counseling
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Premarital Therapy & Counseling

Ensure you’re covering all of your bases before entering into a long-term, legal commitment with someone. Whether you feel confident that this is the right person for you or have questions, premarital therapy will help you feel at ease taking that next step. We have a formulated treatment program that aids clients’ discussions of essential topics. We will help you identify your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Pre-marriage therapy can also help you identify patterns within the relationship that may impose on you as you build your relationship. Premarital therapy & counseling can help you learn skills that allow a greater understanding of your partner, allowing for a deeper connection.

Attachment Theory Therapy & Counseling

Attachment theory therapy & counseling focuses on how we relate and connect to our loved ones. John Bowlby developed the main idea of attachment theory and has been adapted by several psychotherapists over the years. The creation of attachments, or the lack thereof, starts in infancy and guides how we relate to ourselves, others, and the world. These attachments give us a sense of security and Self as a foundation to interact with our environment, explore freely, learn from new experiences, and connect with others.

The making of these attachments can be through eye contact, skin-to-skin contact, facial expressions, tone of voice, and responsiveness from the caretakers during infancy. As the child grows, the caregiver remains responsive to the toddler and child’s needs. Through showing up, being stable, caring, compassionate, and making space for the child to learn and grow, the child starts to develop confidence, a positive sense of Self, sees risk-taking as exciting and necessary, and has an overall positive demeanor. A child who experiences these attachments typically grows into a self-motivated, confident, stable adult. According to the attachment theory, this person maintains secure attachment styles.

While the above attachments are ideal, we are all human. Consequently, as caregivers, we may miss an opportunity for attachment, and as children, we may not recognize or see attachment bids as such. Considering these experiences, we have attachment breaks where we may not feel we have a solid foundation to explore and take risks. Instead, we become fearful, confused, and insecure, to where we may experience depressive or anxious symptoms. Referencing the attachment theory, people with these attachment experiences may have anxious/preoccupied attachment, dismissive/avoidant attachment, or fearful/avoidant/disorganized attachments.

In relationship therapy, our relationship therapists & counselors will help you understand the type of attachment style you and your partner have. You may be feeling stuck with the attachment style you have, but you do not have to! You will also learn how these attachment styles interplay with one another. Commonly, there is a chaser and distancer in the relationship based on attachment styles. You will explore how this dynamic plays out and how to make it work for you. If your partner or yourself has one of the anxious attachment styles explained above, relationship counseling will help you work toward a secure attachment style. Learning how to develop a secure attachment will help you and your partner. 

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy in Philadelphia

Some psychologists and psychotherapists would say emotions are our driving force, that they guide our thoughts and behaviors. Emotionally focused theory takes this idea a bit further by honing in on adult attachments stating that humans are innately relational, social, and wired for intimate bonding with others. As such, our first model for connection is that of our family. Unfortunately, we don’t always connect in a way that feels great, or that is healthy. Even if the most loving, thoughtful, caring, and enthusiastic parents or guardians raised you, you still have attachment breaks. These breaks will present themselves when you least want them to (e.g., when you’re trying to plan your next vacation with your partner, and all of a sudden, you feel triggered and pick a fight).

Emotionally focused therapy will help you to identify what these attachment breaks are and how they present themselves in your current relationships. Your relationship therapist will help you identify the emotions that come up for you and how to regulate emotionally to create attachment bonds within your existing relationships instead of playing out old attachment breaks. Emotionally focused relationship counseling will leave you feeling more connected to your partner with a greater understanding of their inner workings. Our clinicians are skilled and receive training that allows them to provide you guidance with navigating complex feelings. 

Gottman Therapy & Counseling

While some couples therapists and counselors think emotions and emotional regulation are at the backbone of healthy relationships, others believe communication is the key to a successful relationship. Indeed, John Gottman can predict with above 90% accuracy rate if a couple stays together or breaks up based on their communication with one another for less than five minutes! His research has helped to create helpful therapeutic techniques that guide couples to better communication. Relationships take some work, but the work can be extremely rewarding and sometimes as easy as communicating more!

Using Gottman’s research, your relationship therapist will show you the tools for truly hearing your partner and working toward understanding through a compassionate and empathic lens. First, you will learn about the Four Horseman that can be so detrimental to the relationship. Then you will learn how to combat these harmful ways of interacting with suggestions from Gottman’s toolbox. You will learn to see your partner as a teammate again and trust that they have your best interest in mind. You will start to feel heard and seen again by your partner.

At first, the couples counseling or marriage counseling may feel awkward and forced – this is good! The awkwardness means you’re challenging yourself to get out of your comfort zone and grow. Over time, you will notice the communication techniques become more accessible to you, and they feel less like a newly learned skill and more like a natural flow.

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Ecosystemic Structural Family Therapy (ESFT)

ESFT is a comprehensive model that benefits families, individuals, and couples. It can target and correct negative behavior patterns within family lines that continue to impact people today.

This model is designed to show how a person has been emotionally affected by tragedy, trauma, or hardship and how those traumas affect that person’s ability to maintain relationships. Use this “umbrella” model to think about yourself in different relationships throughout your life for a deeper understanding. There are four Pillars and four Stages: Emotion (co)Regulation; Attachment; Co-caregiver Alliance; and Executive Functioning.

The ESFT model incorporates other therapeutic models to assist people experiencing anxiety, depression, traumas, relationship Conflicts, or life difficulties in general. Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Therapy help individuals move towards self-improvement before making changes in their lives.

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Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy & Counseling

Much like how Emotionally Focused Therapy leans into our attachments, internal family systems therapy does as well. A main difference is that IFS names broken attachments as ‘parts’ of us. You may have a part that was told ‘big boys don’t cry’ that now won’t let you show your emotions to your partner. Or, you may have an often called upon part asked to step in to take care of your family growing up that now steps in and leaves your partner feeling steamrolled and you feeling overbearing. Family therapists at The Better You Institute will be able to help you go through this process. 

Couples therapy adopted from the IFS model can help couples understand the different parts at play and how and when they present themselves. You will learn how to avoid triggers, but you will learn how to regulate when one or both of you are triggered. The couple will learn to reassure the individual parts so that the couple can shine. Individually, the parts can start to heal and feel confident they don’t need to protect anymore because the couple provides new, healthier, more stable, and safe experiences that allow the true Self of the individual to present themselves instead.

IMAGO Therapy & Counseling

Again, stemming from attachment formation in our youth, IMAGO relational therapy & counseling bases its ideologies on a person’s wounds. IMAGO understands individuals as having been born whole and complete. However, the individuals are wounded by their main caretakers during socializing and nurturing stages, albeit not purposely or vindictively. As such, each person has created an image of negative and positive traits of their primary caretakers.

The term “imago” refers to an individual’s vision of “familiar love.” This theory posits that this framework, or the blueprints of a person one needs as a committed life partner based on the love we received or missed from our primary caretakers, lays deep within our unconscious mind. From these frameworks, we tend to react to familiar love in which feelings and emotions experienced during one’s childhood resonate in their adulthood. For instance, if you were criticized often as a child (e.g., suck it in, you’d be so pretty if you lost five pounds; you need to practice more, your swing makes you look like a woosy), you will likely be very sensitive to criticism from your partner in adulthood. The goal of IMAGO therapy is to bring these blueprints to the conscious and share them with your partner so that everyone can become familiar with our vulnerabilities and deepest needs to build connection.

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Sex Therapy

There are several factors that make up a healthy relationship, one of those is the couple’s sex life. Our theory is that great sex starts outside of the sexual relationship. That is, great sex takes inner awareness, effective communication, safety and comfort, prioritization, and so much more.

Sex therapy is specific to the couple’s sex life. Whether you are experiencing intimacy issues or are feeling stuck in your sex life, we will break down the intricacies of what make up your specific sex life. We will also explore your life outside of your sex life, such as your family history, your career, your relationship as parents, prior sexual abuse, etc. In doing so, our main goal will be to help you reach your highest potential in your sex life through understanding. Our licensed clinicians can resolve your specific intimacy struggles and rebuild your sex life! Intimacy issues can be challenging to deal with, so having a therapist guide you through your journey is helpful. 

Once you have a full awareness for what each of you brings to the sexual relationship, we can build on that using behavioral techniques. Whether that’s working to overcome erectile dysfunction or vaginal pain during intercourse, or introducing a Dominant/submissive relationship, to opening your relationship up more than monogamous, sex therapy will focus on specific tools and techniques to get what you want out of your sex life. Sex therapy will allow you to overcome obstacles due to past sexual abuse that may impact your current sex life too. Sex therapy can help you with moving forward from the abuse and trauma.

Online Couples, Relationship, or Marriage Therapy & Counseling

Our Online Couples, Relationship, & Marriage Therapy & Counseling, or Telehealth therapy, can be helpful for a range of reasons. For instance, life gets busy, and it’s not always easy to make it into an office setting. Having a session from the convenience of your office in the greater Philadelphia, PA area or home may be best for you. Online therapy allows you to quickly and easily join the therapy session from your home or wherever you may be located. It also allows you to stay safe during the covid-19 pandemic.

Or you experience elevated levels of anxiety or depression to where it is difficult for you to be in person with others. Having an appointment from the comforts of your own home may afford you the space to be vulnerable in other ways while you’re working toward growth.

Either way, we’re here to help you work in a way that feels right to you. Be sure to discuss with our intake specialist your options for telephone or video chat therapy! We work on a HIPAA-compliant platform that is free to you so that your confidentiality is guaranteed.

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marriage counseling philadelphia

What is Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Therapy?

Marriage, Couples, or Relationship counseling & therapy is a type of psychotherapy. Relationship therapists help couples recognize and resolve their conflicts and improve their relationships. Through couples therapy or marriage counseling, you can make thoughtful decisions about rebuilding & strengthening your relationship or can help you in deciding to go separate ways.

While individual therapy focuses solely on the individual’s experience of the world around them, couples therapy focuses on the relationship’s experience. By having this focus, the therapist can work with each of the individual’s equally toward a common goal, making the relationship work. Therapy will allow you and your partner to move forward in your relationship, rebuild a solid connection, and heal any wounds. 

Does Marriage or Relationship Counseling Work?

The short answer to this question is yes marriage and relationship counseling does work. Marriage & Relationship therapy and counseling can help save your relationship, get to a point of deeper connection, and have specific tools to get you through tough times in the future. A couples counselor is a supportive guide and helps you face any relationship problems you may be dealing with. Our clinicians work together with you and your partner to build a plan that works for you.  

Relationship therapy can also help you recognize that this relationship isn’t going well and parting ways will be better for everyone. Separation is more beneficial to physical and mental health than staying in unhealthy and unhappy relationships. With that in mind, the therapeutic treatment can help each individual get to a space that they feel good about the breakup. They will understand it’s for the best and feel stronger.

There are some exceptions to relational and marriage counseling working. If you are in an abusive relationship, we do not recommend couples counseling. However, we emphasize the need for individual therapy for each of the partners to help understand why there is abuse in the relationship and what can be done about it.

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When Should We Consider Couples Therapy?

Anytime! Therapy will only make your lives and relationships feel easier and stronger! Some couples do not see a need for therapy until they are struggling to work through something. In contrast, others seek proactive couples counseling as a preventative of significant issues in the future. Regardless of how you approach relationship counseling, we love to help anyone and everyone who thinks they can improve their relationships. A therapist on our team will be able to help you through the process of coming together as a couple to acknowledge your concerns.

There are some things to consider as you embark on your journey to starting therapy. Therapy is an investment. You are investing your time, energy, money, and emotions into the process. Not only are you investing in these things, but you also must come with an open attitude toward change and growth. This means you will need to be open to addressing some things that are difficult to face or that you didn’t think were a problem but are impacting your relationship(s) negatively. Although we work with couples and individuals at all stages of change, you must ask yourself if you are ready and if you can give yourself the proper time and space to work on things.

Some common issues* that arise for clients in their journey that pulls them out of the therapeutic process are:

  • Going up for a promotion at work
  • Having a baby
  • Resistance to going inward to look at your personal faults
  • Unmotivated for change
  • Chronically or terminally ill loved one that needs your caretaking

*We recognize that these topics may also be the very reason that you call in for therapy as they require extra support.

What to expect in couples therapy

Marriage and Couples therapy is never the same from relationship to relationship, as each couple has their own relationship with each other. That being said, we do have a loose formula that we use for relationship therapy to meet your specific needs. First, you will go through an assessment phase where your therapist gathers family history, job history, relational history, social life, sex and sexuality, and anything else that you feel is pertinent to the work you will be doing as a couple. Next, your therapist will gauge how well you communicate and help you to build a solid base. Lastly, once you and your therapist feel that you have effective communication skills, you will begin to work on the issues that you think are getting in the way of having a fulfilling, enjoyable, healthy relationship. Your therapist may address certain beliefs that come up in the session which may be affecting the healing process. By challenging and restructuring these beliefs through a model like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, you and your partner will prevent future obstacles or conflict. You will develop skills and strategies to make the relationship work. 

Your therapist will work to create safety within the sessions. As such, we remind each of the couples that each person views and experiences issues within relationships differently. Therefore, each person must listen with respect to the ideas presented. Our therapists & counselors work hard to create a supportive space for each person to feel heard and seen within the interaction. There will be times where you and your partner(s) feel extremely comfortable during your appointments. However, there will be therapy sessions that you or your partner(s) may feel slightly uncomfortable. In the discomfort, you will find that real healing can begin, and the most progress is made with the help of your therapist! These therapy sessions will allow for a lot of personal growth and allow you to gain insight into your relationship. 

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philadelphia couples therapy

“Emergency” Marriage Counseling

Sometimes things become tough, and you need help from a marriage therapist or couples therapist as soon as possible. Although change and growth are a process that takes time, we can offer quick tips in marital counseling that may help you through what feels like it could make or break your relationship. Once the crisis has subsided, we can begin your journey to creating a more stable, healthy relationship with less intense experiences.

We will work with you to get you in as quickly as possible. Some of our therapists and counselors are available weeknights and weekends!

Please note: If there is any violence or a medical emergency, we require you to contact your local emergency responders or crisis centers before contacting us.

How Much Does Couples Therapy & Counseling Cost?

Noting our The Better You Frequently Asked Questions, all our individual and couples therapists have different fees that they set, so payment plans differ from client to client. The cost is based on a 50-minute session unless otherwise decided upon between you and your clinician. Some couples see their therapist once a week, once every other week, or based on when they feel they need a session. Some couples also find it helpful to have 1 hour 45 min sessions as it is difficult for them to get to the deeper work within the 50 minutes. We can curate your treatment to fit your needs. 

During our free phone consultation, we will listen to what is going on for you, what you want to work on, and recommend a therapist or counselor that fits you and your partner’s needs. Within the intake process, we will inform you of the costs of our services based on the therapist you will be working with.

Depending on your insurance coverage, this cost may or may not be reimbursed. Please remember that we are an out-of-network provider. Feel free to check out our FAQ tab for more information about insurance coverage. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our relationship therapists & counselors with the form below or using the contact us page.

Let us help you get The Better Relationship that you want and deserve! Our mental health professionals are eager to help you with anything you’re looking for! You will definitely see positive results from our approach to couples counseling. We provide both in-person therapy at our office in Philadelphia, PA, and online therapy. Through a free phone consultation, we can find the right therapist for you and book your first session! The Better You Institute will allow you and your partner to feel supported by catering to your specific needs. Check out our website for more information about our clinicians and resources about certain issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, stress, and more.

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