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Couples


Perhaps your relationship is on the rocks, and has been for what feels like an eternity. Or, maybe your relationship feels pretty solid, but you’ve been hit by a crisis and are looking for the guidance of a professional. Or, things may feel flat and distant and you’re not sure how to bridge the abyss and desire a tune-up.

Whatever the reason, whichever season, no matter the length or structure of your partnership, we are here to help by providing a fresh, impartial outlook in an encouraging and safe space to explore the challenges you are facing.

 

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Couples


Perhaps your relationship is on the rocks, and has been for what feels like an eternity. Or, maybe your relationship feels pretty solid, but you’ve been hit by a crisis and are looking for the guidance of a professional. Or, things may feel flat and distant and you’re not sure how to bridge the abyss and desire a tune-up.

Whatever the reason, whichever season, no matter the length or structure of your partnership, we are here to help by providing a fresh, impartial outlook in an encouraging and safe space to explore the challenges you are facing.

 

Couples Counseling: The When’s, Why’s & What’s

When will I know it’s a good time to start? Will couples counseling make things worse? Is our relationship too far gone for help? How can anyone help us? Excellent questions! We know the idea of needing couples counseling can be a hard, difficult and even scary truth to admit to ourselves. There is a natural apprehension of what might happen if we face our issues head-on. Because of that, couples often put it off a long time, allowing discord, disconnection and disagreements to get worse and worse.

Chances are that if you are on this page, you are likely in a time in your life where couples work with a therapist would be helpful.

If you notice any of the following in your relationship, now is a good time to get started in therapy:

Come on in...Couples counseling is not nearly as scary as you may think it is.

Come on in...Couples counseling is not nearly as scary as you may think it is.

  • Communication breakdowns
  • Repetition of arguments and past hurts
  • Escalation of fights or an inability to solve conflict on your own
  • Resentment or contempt replacing patience and kindness
  • Trust issues or loss
  • Reduced sexual activity and desire
  • Active or history of physical or emotional affairs
  • Differing opinions of what is needed out of the relationship or where it’s headed

The couples counselors at Therapy Austin are trained to help with each of these concerns, and experienced and adept in guiding you gently and thoughtfully through this journey.

Couples counseling is designed to be a process of re-establishing a vision of your relationship, while integrating ideals of each partner, and thereby creating a stronger bond. Once you get started, you could likely find couples sessions to be hopeful and exciting opportunities to engage with your partner in rebuilding a purposeful alliance. Through exploration and modification, our goal is to better equip our couples with the tools and opportunity to restore and enrich meaningful growth, attachment and love. In service of that, we commonly work in these additional areas:

You open the door, and we will guide you the rest of the way.

You open the door, and we will guide you the rest of the way.

  • Assertiveness
  • Boundaries
  • Shared role identification
  • Unified work and life balance
  • Finances
  • Parenting
  • Adoption and infertility
  • Family and in-law discord
  • Cohabitation strains
  • Premarital counseling

Our role and style as therapists will vary by individual, but each of the Therapy Austin counselors strives to provide:

  • A safe haven where openness and honesty are gently encouraged and facilitated, while fears of judgment and reprisal are gradually distinguished.
  • An active stance and collaborative approach in providing honest feedback and directives for healthy ways to communicate and connect.
  • A space to explore and practice newly acquired skills, techniques and styles of relating to replace old hurtful patterns identified in this process.

The possibilities of repairing or rejuvenating your relationship are within your reach. We are ready when you are to take this next step.

Marriage & couples counselors of therapy austin

Read through our couples counselors’ bios below to see who you might like to work with. Indicate your preference on our Get Started page or you may directly contact that therapist. 

Gina Couples


Gina Couples


gina rodriguez, lpc, lmft associate
supervised by gena minnix, ph.d., lpc-s, lmft-s

Gina works at NORTH Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 129

Gina works at NORTH

Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 129

Gina recognizes the deep hope for more from your relationship and desire to enhance a greater sense of unity. She provides couples with direction in creating responsiveness to one another’s perspective, feelings and needs. Combining candidness with dashes of wit, she’ll help identify interaction patterns that are maintaining tension and brainstorm avenues to adjust these. Having received training in the Gottman Method, this manualized approach grounded in research-based strategies helps inform the communication skills and techniques she coaches in sessions. Through guided intentional dialogue, trust and support are nurtured, while an improved ability to manage stress responses are all made possible in your work with Gina. Please learn more about her here

 

Alex Couples


Alex Couples


Alexandrea "Alex" Barnette, LMFT Associate
Supervised by Blake Howard Norton, LMFT-S

Alex works at MAIN & ANNEX Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 140

Alex works at MAIN & ANNEX

Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 140

When working with couples Alex strives to create understanding between partners to facilitate empathy and connection. Through process questions she highlights interactions reinforcing the presenting problem, explores each partner's family of origin and potential unresolved issues, and collaborates with both partners to find new solutions. For couples experiencing high conflict it is often necessary to target behavior first, which Alex encourages effective modifications in. Drawing from a Bowen Family Systems Theory perspective, she views successful long term relationships as managing the balance between the two opposing forces of togetherness and individuality. As individuals grow and change, the relationship dynamic is forced to adapt, with Alex gently assisting partners in these transitions. Alex is knowledgeable in language and relationships but acknowledges that every client is an expert on his or her own experience of the relationship. She views therapy as a unique opportunity for couples to alter patterns of interaction in sessions in order to change the relationship outside of therapy. Learn more about Alex here.

 

Joseph Couples


Joseph Couples


JOSEPH PORTER, M.A., NCC, LPC INTERN, LMFT ASSOCIATE
SUPERVISED BY JOHN L. GARCIA, ED.D., LPC-S
SUPERVISED BY DEREK LEIGHTON, LPC-S, LMFT-S, NCC

Joseph works at MAIN & ANNEX Call him at 512/201-4501, ext. 134

Joseph works at MAIN & ANNEX

Call him at 512/201-4501, ext. 134

Joseph encourages active engagement with couples and focuses on their individual histories as they impact the current moment together to strengthen the present and build toward the future. He strives to establish a collaborative environment where couples will join with each other to construct a safe, more relaxed space where each partner can feel heard and understood. He helps couples learn new and more productive ways of expressing personal needs, desires, concerns and differences of perception and opinion. Improved communication between two people forming a committed couple can result in more positive conversations without conflict. Joseph seeks to establish a partnership with a couple where during moments of conflict, the couple turns towards each other to address and resolve issues rather than retreating to defensive positions and familiar patterns of coping. Joseph’s experience with couples includes premarital counseling, boundary formation and maintenance, intimacy and communication skills, strengthening trust, commitment and conflict resolution. Discover more about him here.

Audrey Couples


Audrey Couples


AUDREY O'GORMAN, M.A., LMFT ASSOCIATE
SUPERVISED BY BILL WOODBURN, M.ED., LMFT-S, LPC-S

Audrey works at NORTH Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 116

Audrey works at NORTH

Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 116

Audrey relishes working with couples because healthy relationships are essential to a life well lived, and mutually respectful and nurturing intimacy brings with it some of life's greatest satisfaction. If she can help people get closer to what they seek in that arena, then Audrey calls that a pretty good day's work. She works with couples with all sorts of issues, and especially welcomes working with couples who are challenged with individual mental health diagnoses, including ADHD, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. Such diagnoses bring with them particular challenges for partners and families which can be successfully addressed so as to avoid undue stress on primary relationships. Her approach tends to put her in the role of guide, not schoolteacher, and she possesses a frank but non-judgmental style. Her orientation is an eclectic mix of Gottman principles, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy and Psychodrama. Audrey would love to explore the possibilities of doing some work together, and you can discover more about her here.

Brandee Couples


Brandee Couples


BRANDEE SMITH, LPC INTERN, LCDC
SUPERVISED BY FRED TUCKER, M.A., LPC-S

Brandee works at NORTH Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 137

Brandee works at NORTH

Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 137

It is Brandee’s sincere belief with proper intervention and commitment to the counseling process, couples can emerge from a painful season renewed, often with a healthier relationship than they have previously experienced. The ability to honestly explore what has led a couple to the present state of their relationship is the first step toward positive restoration. In considering couples therapy, she views the relationship as her client, placing its welfare as the highest priority. This perspective promotes an authentic commitment to ensuring both partners are always equally heard, respected and validated. Her approach reflects the belief that forgiveness, growth, communication and restoration are ongoing collaborative processes. As healing evolves, she strives to empower couples with the tools they need for the challenges ahead of them. Her dual licensure ensures she is well-equipped to assist with a full spectrum of issues faced by couples, whether in acute infidelity crisis, dealing with the impact of a chemically addicted partner, or any number of long-term pervasive relationship issues. Enduring relationship health requires nurturing and constant attentiveness, and Brandee considers being part of a couple's recovery an honor and a privilege. Continue reading about her here.

 

Roxanne Couples


Roxanne Couples


ROXANNE watson, LPC

COUNSELOR AND staff COORDINATOR

Roxanne works at NORTH Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 114

Roxanne works at NORTH

Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 114

When working with couples, Roxanne first helps to identify the strengths in the relationship. This process can at times be difficult and she understands the importance of building hope and stability at the beginning of your work together. She will then explore areas of potential growth and change. She has completed Level I training in Gottman Couples Therapy and uses this method in her work. This approach strengthens conflict management, enhances the friendship system and creates shared meaning for the couple, all of which she is skilled in promoting within partnerships. Visit her full bio here.

Jode Couples


Jode Couples


Jode Edwards, LMSW
Supervised by Christine Winston, LCSW

Jode works at ANNEX & NORTH Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 152

Jode works at ANNEX & NORTH

Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 152

Whether going through a difficult period and looking for ways to return to each other or seeking premarital counseling, Jode believes there is nothing more vulnerable or more rewarding than our most intimate and primary relationships. From an Attachment and Emotion-Focused perspective, Jode works with couples to identify the attachment strategy for each partner. In this way, couples learn how to turn toward each other to strengthen the relationship, find emotional soothing, and provide a safe and secure attachment for the overall well-being of the relationship. She utilizes the Gottman Method to help the couple recognize communication pitfalls and discover new ways of communicating in order to strengthen the couple’s friendship, intimacy, and bond. Read more about her here.

Sheilah Couples


Sheilah Couples


SHEILAH MURPHY, LPC INTERN
SUPERVISED BY JULIANE TAYLOR SHORE, LPC-S, LMFT-S

Sheilah works at ANNEX & NORTH Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 142

Sheilah works at ANNEX & NORTH

Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 142

Emotional disconnection, entrenched patterns of conflict and withdrawal often originating in childhood or previous relationships, relationship traumas, such as affairs or emotional betrayals, seemingly irreconcilable differences over children, sex, in-laws, blended families or finances are some of the common issues that bring couples to counseling and which Sheilah helps couples face and work through in a safe and compassionate environment. She uses humor, warmth, evidence-based approaches and an experiential, directive approach to help couples open up to one another, recognize their shared vulnerability, and work in partnership to overcome the obstacles to building a strong, secure, connected and lasting relationship. Sheilah draws from Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples, Gottman Couples Therapy (Level II trained) and Mindfulness practices. To learn more about her click here. 

Sarah Couples


Sarah Couples


Sarah Akunebu, LMFT Associate
Supervised by Patricia Koch, Ph.D., LMFT-S

Sarah works at NORTH Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 144

Sarah works at NORTH

Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 144

With couples, Sarah wonders: “What is it that each partner is saying to the other...and how?” Communication is an ongoing, intricate process and whether verbal or nonverbal, we are always communicating what is going on within us! Sarah believes that behind communication lies a wealth of unexpressed needs and unacknowledged emotions - personal qualities that need to be brought to fruition through a healing connection with another. Couples are guided toward realizing the needs they have individually, the needs they share as a couple, and reflecting on the powerful emotional experiences within. From these needs comes the information used for finding possibilities in healing what is between the pair, thus adding to the strengths they already have. Things are kept direct and honest, but always from a place of warmth. Sarah trusts that this way keeps process easily flowing and that even the most difficult of conflicts can be looked at from a heart-centered place. Additionally, exploration of a couple’s attachment style, life transitions, current family relationships and cultural background help build an understanding of how they play roles in their dynamic. Sarah holds hope alongside couples until they too can reclaim it for themselves. To find out more about Sarah, please click here.