Althought Therapy

Couples Therapy

My focus in couples therapy is on fostering healthy and fulfilling relationships. Drawing upon evidence-based approaches (Gottman methods), I work collaboratively with couples to navigate challenges, enhance communication, and deepen emotional intimacy. By creating a safe and non-judgmental space, I facilitate open dialogue, helping partners understand each other’s perspectives and needs. Whether addressing communication breakdowns, resolving conflicts, or reigniting the spark in long-term relationships, my goal is to guide couples toward sustainable solutions and a more harmonious connection. Through the therapeutic process, couples can explore patterns, strengthen their bond, and develop the skills needed to navigate the complexities of a shared life.

Schedule a Therapy Appointment


I offer therapy sessions both online and in person. Many of my clients opt for hybrid sessions, where we meet in person when it is convenient and fits into your schedule and we meet virtually or online for flexibility purposes. I also offer in-home sessions for individuals with disabilities, personal reasons, or for parents with young children.  

Let’s take the first step in achieving your goals and gaining treatment support. 


My Approach to Couples Therapy: Gottman Method

In our sessions, I draw upon the Gottman Method, a proven approach to marriage counseling that focuses on building strong foundations and positive interactions within relationships. This method, developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman, provides valuable insights and tools to enhance communication, resolve conflicts, and nurture deeper connections. Additionally, I integrate aspects of the psychodynamic approach, delving into the underlying dynamics of your relationship. We’ll explore the influence of past experiences, unconscious processes, and the unique aspects of your personalities on your current dynamics. This combined approach allows us to address immediate concerns while also uncovering deeper layers that may impact your relationship. Together, we’ll work towards fostering a more profound understanding, improving communication, and building the resilience needed for a fulfilling and lasting connection. Your journey is unique, and my goal is to support you in navigating it with insight and positive change.

Couples Therapy

Common Issues Addressed in
Couples Therapy

  • Affair Recovery
  • Codependency
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Couples’ Communication Skills
  • Dating
  • Divorce
  • Family Relationships
  • Intimacy Concerns
  • Marital Difficulties
  • Marriage Counseling
  • Parenting Skills
  • Pre-marriage Counseling
  • Same-sex Relationships
  • Second Marriages
  • Sexual Issues
  • What Can I expect from Couples Therapy?

    Couples therapy can benefit you and your partner in a number of ways, which can enhance the overall quality of your relationship. By focusing on these positive outcomes, couples can experience transformative changes, fostering a stronger and more resilient partnership. Some of these benefits may include:

    Psychotherapy Vs. Gottman-Based Therapy Options

    Psychodynamic Couples Therapy

    This is the typical or standard couples psychotherapy treatment. This approach to couples psychotherapy is designed with your unique relationship in mind. It offers a flexible and personalized experience, focusing on what you bring to each session and the specific aspects of your marriage you wish to improve. The therapy centers on the issues you and your partner present during your sessions, delving into the “deep work” of empathetically understanding each other. With the therapist’s guidance, you’ll learn effective communication strategies to use both in therapy and at home, helping you nurture a more fulfilling and supportive partnership.

    Special Note: You can opt to include the Gottman-based assessment (see The Sound Marital House Assessment Package under the Gottman-based Couples Therapy section).

    The Gottman-based couples therapy methodology is a semi-structured therapy process that is based on 50 years of research. The Gottmans have conducted their research in both research laboratories and within their clinical private practice combining evidence-based best practices that have been adjusted and tailored to real-life couples. This approach is ideally suited for couples seeking a structured framework for their sessions, complete with specific interventions tailored to their relationship. It’s designed to provide clear guidance and strategies, helping you and your partner navigate your relationship’s complexities with more clarity and intention.


    Program Structure:

    1. Complete Sound Marital House Assessment Questionnaire prior to Intake Session
    2. Intake Session (2 hours)
    3. Communication Change Session (2 hours)
    4. Ongoing Couples Therapy (standard sessions or intensive sessions)

    Gottman-Based Therapy

    The Sound Marital House Assessment Package

    This is a comprehensive assessment process that will take a couple of hours to complete. This assessment package is a research-based and evidence-based best practice to understand the strengths and weaknesses within the marriage to highlight areas of focus. After completing the assessments you will receive a Sound Marital House Report. This will include:

    • Love Map: Friendship Base
    • Fondness and Admiration System
    • Emotional Bank Account: Turning Towards vs. Turning Away
    • Communication and Conflict: Dialogue with Perpetual Problems, Effective Problem Solving for Solvable Problems, and Physiological Soothing
    • Making Dreams and Aspirations Come True
    • Create Shared Meaning


    Duration: 120 minutes

    Frequency: first initial session (one time)

    We will use the first hour and 20 minutes to complete a formal in person assessment followed by two, 20 minute individual sessions (20 minutes for one individual followed by 20 minutes for your partner). You are encouraged to complete the sound marital house assessment package ($500 for intake session + assessment package).

    Duration: 120 minutes

    Frequency: second session in program (one time)

    During this session, we will concentrate exclusively on how you and your partner communicate with each other. The aim is to explore and enhance the ways you interact, ensuring that both of you feel heard, understood, and connected. This focus on communication is a crucial step in strengthening the bond in your relationship. This semi-structured process is designed to jumpstart the improvement of your communication skills, providing you with the necessary tools for effective dialogue. While it will take practice to fully integrate these skills into your relationship, this intensive session is a significant step towards helping you and your partner navigate your conversations more effectively.

    Duration: 50 minute sessions 

    Frequency: Typically weekly visits until marriage/ relationship is stabilized and then phased into maintenance (bi-monthly, to monthly) to termination

    Description: If you are looking for a research-based, evidence best practice methodology this is the best option for you. We will work with the Gottman specific methods, interventions, and techniques to support your relationship/ marriage. 

    Intensive Sessions

    We spend a concentrated time working on communication skills and digging into underlying values and how to communicate our values, dreams, and aspirations to our partner. This allows us to move past the surface-level issues and get to the root of the issue. Intensive sessions can be used for the standard couples psychotherapy or the Gottman-based therapy sessions. 

    Duration: 3 hours

    Frequency: This can be used as a one time session, or as needed. Additionally, we can set up a 5 day week bootcamp, with 3 hour sessions each morning (Monday – Friday).

    Duration: 6 hours (Two three hour sessions in one day, with a one hour break halfway through)

    Frequency: This can be used as a one time session, or as needed. Additionally, we can set up a weekend bootcamp, with two back-to-back full day sessions (Saturday & Sunday). 

    FAQ Couples Therapy

    While couples therapy sessions vary depending on individual needs, I approach each couple on a case-by-case basis. Typically, couples should anticipate a minimum of 10 to 15 sessions. It’s noteworthy that several couples achieve their objectives within a few months after initiating therapy. However, the positive impact of the therapeutic relationship often leads them to continue with new goals, underscoring the ongoing benefits of the therapeutic process.

    The information shared between yourself, and your therapist is confidential with a few exceptions. The exceptions are:

    • Known and suspected child and elder abuse
    • Danger to yourself or another or gravely disabled
    • Duty to Warn: if you report a serious, imminent physical violent act towards yourself or other(s)
    • Court order demanding release of information
    • Clients under the age of 12

    I do not accept any type of health insurance at this time. All therapy sessions are out of pocket or self-pay; however, you can use your HSA account. I can provide you with a super bill, which is an itemized medical receipt that you can submit to your insurance company for partial reimbursement.

    Psychologist for Couples
    “We cannot become what we want
    by remaining what we are.”  – Max Depree

    Schedule A Counseling Appointment

    Contact me today to schedule a consultation or to ask any questions you may have about couples therapy. I am dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and live a happier life.

    Contact Dr. Awalt