Couples Therapy

"Our task now is not to fix the blame for the past,
but to fix the course for the future."

--John F. Kennedy

Just why is it so hard to heal those wounds when you are supposed to be on the same team?

When you make a commitment like marriage or living together somewhere in the back of your head you think to yourself, "oh sure, there will be some challenging times, but we'll get through them - we're different."

But as time goes by life somehow becomes more complicated than you expected.

Things like earning dual incomes, raising children, keeping a house up, and managing finances can leave you feeling more like business partners than lovers.

Then there are those nagging little fights that never seem to go away. Over time they seem to grow bigger and bigger until it gets to the point when you look at your partner and you can't stop yourself from thinking things like:

"Why are we always fighting?"

"I can never count on you"

"We never get to do what I want to do"

"If you really loved me you’d know what I like"

"We never have sex anymore".

"You're just like my mother/father"

"Why am I with you?"

How could something that seemed so wonderful end up being so painful and destructive?

My Approach to Couples Therapy

Since 1989 I have been helping couples find new ways to heal old wounds and to rediscover why they fell in love. While in session, I use cutting edge approaches to couples therapy that have been proven to be the most effective to help you heal the old wounds while at the same time providing you with innovative skills to restore your relationship to where you want it to be.

Talking about the problems in session is only half the solution. You may have become so absorbed by their problems that they have forgotten how to have fun. To help you with regain the joy and connection that you used to share I will show you a number of very simple things that take only a few minutes a day that have been proven by scientific research to rebuild your bond to on another.

Couples Therapy Can:

  • Show you new ways of communicating... so you can stop the endless cycle of fighting about fighting and talk like you did when you first met.
  • Show you step by step how to reconnect... so you will feel close as you did when you first met
  • Show you how you to rekindle your passion for one another... so you will feel more like a couple and less like roommates.

Please take some time to read some of the blog articles I've written below. They're filled with tons of great advice and tips on how to make your relationship more successful and will also give you some idea of my philosophy and approach.

Please feel free to contact me at 240-485-6053 or to schedule an appointment or to find out more about my practice.

Recent Couples Therapy Articles by Dr. Joe

Empathy: The Art of Listening
by dj2016 |

Empathy: The Art of Listening


How many times has this happened to you? You come home and can see that your partner is stressed out and unhappy.

You ask what’s wrong and s/he tells you about something crappy going on at work or with friends.

Most Relationships Die From 1000 Paper Cuts
by dj2016 |

Most Relationships Die From 1000 Paper Cuts


My 25 plus years as a couples counselor have taught me that its usually not the big fights that cause relationships to struggle or fail. Instead, it’s the small wounds caused by how each of your respond to one another’s bids for connection that predict whether your relationship with

7 Questions to Revive Your Relationship
by dj2016 |

7 Questions to Revive Your Relationship


Many of you have heard me say that the longer you know your partner, the less you may really know him or her.  This is because of our tendency to interpret what our partner says based on our world view

Why Conflicts Go Unresolved
by dj2016 |

Why Conflicts Go Unresolved


The Harvard Negotiation Project spent years studying hundreds of conversations in great detail. They discovered that there is an underlying structure to every conversation. It turns out that no matter what the subject is, each conversation has three levels to it:


10 Signs Your Relationship Needs Help

  1. Communication seems like it is going in circles
  2. S/he seems unwilling to compromise
  3. Our personalities seem incompatible
  4. His/Her family gets in the way
  5. Fighting is cruel
  6. Fighting never seems to reach resolution
  7. Your fights become physical
  8. You rarely or never have sex
  9. You can't agree on how to raise or discipline your children
  10. You have discussed or fantasized about divorce

What Kind of Relationship Do You Have?

Fulfilled: You are best friends and lovers in every sense of the word. You feel supported by and are supportive of one another. You can’t imagine a sharing your with a different partner.

Friendship: You are a team and may or may not feel like your partner is your best friend. But the passion is gone. It may feel more like you are running a business together than being lovers. There are some simmering resentments underneath that you can’t seem to resolve and your fights may have a repetitive quality to them.

Detached: You feel like two ships passing in the night. While you may each know your roles in keeping the house running there is no sense of teamwork. You have lingering disdain for one another. You are together more out of habit than any sense of passion or love.

One Foot Out the Door: You're planning or fantasizing about your exit.

Dr. Joe in the Media