Psychotherapy and Psychiatry

The Stone House

Couples Therapy

Mary Jean Kane, LCSW

703.550.4298

MJKaneLCSW@gmail.com

Steve Szopa, LCSW
703.550.4178
SteveSzopa@stonehousetherapy.com

Brian Douville, LCSW, SEP
703.550.4048
BrianDouvilleSEP@gmail.com

For more information, call The Stone House at 703.550.4144 or email at info@stonehousetherapy.com.

You may want to consider couples therapy if:

  • Your relationship is in crisis – one or both feel like they can no longer continue the usual patterns and dynamics and may be considering leaving the relationship.
  • Your relationship has stagnated – you feel stuck in unhealthy patterns of relating or not relating that seldom change and leave you feeling distant, depressed or angry.
  • An event has occurred that has seriously shaken up your confidence in the couple relationship – e.g. a new baby, a move or job change, an affair, addictions.
  • You yearn for a deeper, more intimate relationship and don’t seem to be able to make it happen.
  • Sexual distance or difficulties are causing alienation, anger or simply a lack of spark and energy between the couple.
  • You can’t seem to agree on many things and conflicts frequently erupt over child rearing, handling of money, church affiliation, etc.


A couples therapist has specialized training in working with the relationship between the couple.  The focus is more on interpersonal dynamics and less on the individuals.  Most couples therapy is done with both partners present.  Relationship, communication and problem-solving skills are taught, shifts in attitudes and approaches are encouraged.  Growth work is often given for home: reading, communication exercises, new behaviors to energize and re-romanticize the relationship.  Additionally, the couple is helped to understand why they may be locked in a power struggle or feel distant and cold, in the context of their expectations, early relationship training in their own families of origin or particular life experiences or traumas that continue to impact how they relate to intimate partners.

Many therapists at The Stone House have had some training in Imago Relationship Therapy
, a dynamic, effective, couple-centered approach that focuses on resolving/dissolving unhealthy patterns and building a renewed and deeply satisfying committed partnership.  Other approaches are also used by the various therapists and often incorporated along with Imago work.  Some therapists will see couples for extended sessions (75-90 minutes) while others will work in the more usual therapeutic time frame of 45-50 minutes.

It is often very difficult for a couple to agree to come in for joint therapy.  One or both fear that they will be shamed or blamed, that the therapist will judge them or their relationship, that they will have to talk about private things they find very difficult to reveal.  For these and other reasons, many couples put off getting help until a major crisis has occurred or they are on the brink of splitting up.  This makes the job of repair and re-connection ever so much more difficult as well as the unnecessary years of suffering in a troubled state that deeply affects their well-being and that of other close family members. 

If you even think you might be in need of relationship counseling, please email us at
info@stonehousetherapy.com and ask for an assessment session and the therapist will guide you in the best way to proceed.