Did Marriage Counseling Fail You?

Our clients say it happens for these three reasons ...


They Don't Lead

"We saw two counselors before you.  We'd get angry and start fighting, right in the office, and they'd just sit there.  It got ugly fast."


They Take Sides

"After one joint session, she asked to meet with me alone.  She told me he was just like her ex-husband and I should divorce him..."


They Avoid the Topic of Sex

"Intimacy?  No, that never came up.  I wish that it did, because we have real problems in that area.  We haven't been close in a while."

Try a science-based approach to stop fighting and enjoy each other again. This approach helps 70-90% of distressed marriages.

"If that's true, then why aren't more marriage counselors helpful?"

Direct clinical experience with couples is not required anywhere for licensure as a mental health professional, even for licensure as a marriage and family therapist.

A. Gurman & M. Burton (2014). Journal of Marriage & Family Therapy

Dr Alan Gurman Psychologist

No training, their sessions are too short & not enough targeted supervised experience.

Insurance companies don't pay for couples therapy, so public agencies can't bill for it. Without financial support, trainees just can't get the experience they need to become skilled couples therapists. 

It is one of the best kept secrets (and tragedies) in mental healthcare today.

Do the math:

Insurance pays therapists to treat individuals with mental illness for 45- minute sessions. While these insurance corporations don't reimburse for couples therapy, if a therapist does see couples, it is within that limited time frame.

1 person = 45 minute sessions. 

2 people =  _ ? 

Research says 80-90  minutes.

The sad fact is that most Couples Therapy is done by insurance-reimbursed therapists in a haphazard fashion, working half the time they need, to provide services for which they have little or no training...

Bill Doherty, Ph.D. Author, Discernment Counseling 

...most therapists learn couples therapy after they get licensed, through workshops and by trial and error. Most have never had anyone observe or critique their couples work.

Putting Family First, 2002, p. 26

I go through hundreds of websites and resumes on an ongoing bases looking for qualified couples therapists. Most of them believe they skilled enough to do it. A thimble-full actually are. 'Certified' means that someone actually watched you do it and said: 'They know what they are doing...'

Gottman Certified Couples Therapist 
Board Certified Sex Therapist

Dr Kathy McMahon Psychologist, President Couples Therapy Inc.

Will a science-based approach help your relationship? Find out.

The tools we use predict divorce with over 90% accuracy in research studies...

We were on the brink of divorce...My husband thought we couldn't possibly benefit from just three days ..." More

These Gottman findings spans 40+ years with over 3,000 couples. We've learned remarkable things. They describe a predictable pattern of marital deterioration, like water over a waterfall.  Has your relationship hit the rocks?

  • This research studied real couples, not current fads or trendy notions.
  • It teaches that marriages die by 'fire' or 'ice.'  'Fiery' marriages fight and are full of anger.  They divorce early... usually in the first 5.5 years.
  • 'Icy' marriages live without interest, affection, humor, or empathy. They hang on longer, an average of 16.2 years, and then die on the vine.
Yes, we tried counseling before and it was a miserable waste of time... It seemed to do more damage than anything. ...

Dr. Smithey's
 approach was refreshing...This couples intensive has given us hope that we never had and tools to help us toward a better, happier future.
     Thank you for this needed service."

Here's Why Our Therapists Are Different

  • ​We hire the best: 5 Gottman-Certified Therapists and more in training! 
  • Two are Master Trainers for the Gottmans.
  • Three of us ran graduate programs in psychology. Two in Marriage & Family Therapy.
  • We all have a passion for working with couples.
  • Two models of couples therapy are required to become an Associate.  One must be evidenced-based training in couples therapy research.
  • Up-to-date:  We write books, publish articles, teach, research and supervise.
  • We Only See Couples:  GLBTAI+, married or not, and international couples, too.
He weaved in scientific studies and our religious writings with great skill...It is a science-based approach that really makes it worthwhile.- Retreat Participants USA.  More
I had so many doubts as to whether we could make this work in a weekend."  

Here's Why Our Approach Is So Different

A "State of the Union" Assessment

  • We learn a lot about you before we start. It's just more respectful and efficient to learn as much as we can, before we start intervening. We use a unique online instrument we call "The BIG BIG Book."
  • It asks about your own personal and relationship story. We carefully read, analyze, and make meaning of your every word.
  • Our Feedback Session shares what we've learned, what we think ought to change, and why. This assessment is called the "State of the Union." 
  • We'll share  proven ways to intervene which are tailored to your particular relationship dynamics. 
  • We can help over a weekend, using an intensive Marriage Retreat. Nearly 6 months of traditional therapy, all in one weekend!

We transform angry, distant, or lackluster relationships into loving unions. 

Is Divorce Inevitable?

These couples thought so...

"We were legally separated and had filed for divorce and living in separate residences..." (more)
We tried couples therapy several years ago, but it was not successful. Not knowing if therapy would truly help us at the stage we were in - in our marriage, we were reluctant. The core issue of our marriage was discovered and we were able to shed light on it and are now able to approach the issue together. Us against the issue.
     Daniel approached things head on (with care) - in a way we both could understand and there was no room for doubt on what the issue was and how we need to overcome it. He made us feel comfortable and left us with the feeling of truly being able to take on whatever comes our way.
"Nancy, you've been instrumental in helping us develop new patterns of communication and engagement.  We are very, very grateful."      ~ Couples Retreat Participant, Europe.

Real Skills

Step-by-step become a better listener, express emotions effectively &  discuss important life decisions productively.  Feel hopeful. Our experts can get you there.

True Freedom

Let go of your bitterness, anger, resentment, and confusing emotional states. An Affair?  Happiness can come from finally knowing what you want.

Fast & Private

Craft a happy relationship from your fast-paced, time-limited life.  Our intensive Couples Therapy Retreats offer 6 months of therapy, in one easy weekend. Fast, effective.


All of our clinicians speak English. Eleven additional languages are spoken here. Global perspective. You are sure to find a couples therapist who understands you perfectly.

Couples Therapy may not be the right path for those with serious doubts. 

We can help you to decide with confidence whether to stay or go...

  • If you're seriously considering separation or divorce, ask about Discernment Counseling
  • After the State of the Union Assessment, it is time-limited (5 sessions max) to help you decide whether to stay or go.
  • It is not couples counseling.  You'll be seen alone more often than as a couple.

We're Specialists in Online Couples Therapy, too.

  • Our online couples therapy works using a Smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop.
  • You'll receive science-based effective 1-hour 20-minute sessions.  Not 45-minute sessions offered by "All Purpose Therapists."
  • You'll get the same expert "State of the Union" assessment before therapy  starts, so you'll know what, why, and how long.
  • Across the USA or around the WORLD in dozen languages.
Thank you for all the great advice, clarity and training you gave me.  To me, it has been worth every cent..." ...  - Online International Client   (more)

We Deliver Real Change.

Be a smart consumer.  Know your choices and understand each approach.

Couples Therapy

Maybe you fight. A lot. Or fighting isn't the issue.  You are polite but cold to each other. You're not having any fun. You know you want to work it out, and stay together. He or she irritates or infuriates you, but you can't imagine living without them.
This is what "Couples Therapy" is all about. It's for couples who know they want to work on their relationship, despite its troubles. Maybe even severe troubles. Some want enrichment. Some want "one last shot" at help. 
The key is each partner says: "We both want to work on it."
We work with all marriages, even the ones that seem the most hopeless.

Sex Therapy

Maybe the sex has stopped, but the interest hasn't. Or maybe there is no interest at all.
Perhaps the "plumbing" doesn't work when you do have sex:
  • ED
  • Interest, dryness or orgasm
  • Pain during sex 
Sex Therapy Retreats are for couples who may no longer feel passionate desire for life or for each other. Couples who say:
I love you, I'm just not in love with you..."

Discernment Counseling

Discernment Counseling doesn't resolve  relationship problems. It is designed to help you make a decision:
  • "Stay the course"
  • Divorce
  • Work on the marriage
You'll spend more time alone with the therapist than with your spouse, and that's intentional. Each partner has to answer the question:
"Do I really want to work on this or not?"
If you're not sure,  Discernment Counseling can help you slow down and make the best decision.

Services Offered

Join the Most Successful Couples on the Planet...Our Clients.

They're as invested in being successful in love, as they are in excelling in their businesses, careers, education, or changing the world.  They hold themselves and others to high professional standards. And they do their research.

We know that not everyone is appropriate for this time-limited, easy-access approach. That's why we offer a no-charge consultation.

Will this approach work for you?

Ask us.


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