_DSC8338.jpg
_DSC8338.jpg

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.

 

SCROLL DOWN

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. 

Janet Couples


Janet Couples


Janet Kircher, lpc intern, LMFT Associate
Supervised by Ron Artis, Ph.D., LPC-S, LMFT-S

 Janet works at  MAIN & ANNEX   Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 171

Janet works at MAIN & ANNEX

Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 171

Janet helps partners navigate the tricky waters of modern love; to learn where one person ends and the other begins, to distinguish the 'me' and the 'we' in the relationship. Couples today are faced with more challenges than ever before. We expect and ask so much of our partners and even more of ourselves, and thus are devastated by the inevitable disappointments that come with long term commitments. Relationship strains, however, can provide the opportunity to heal and strengthen the bonds that brought the couple together in the first place. Janet’s aim is to guide the problem-solving process by fostering secure connection, and to teach couples how to be experts on each other and how to deal with conflict and gridlock when it arises. She offers a place where couples can unpack their hurts and learn a new way of being with each other. When partners know how to connect safely, communicate effectively, and give each other what they need, they are better equipped to deal with challenges, and more likely to stay together. There is more than one 'right' way to do partnership, and couples therapy is an exploration of how you and your significant other can make the relationship work for you. Read more how Janet works here.

Jen B Couples


Jen B Couples


Jennifer "Jen" Braafladt, LPC Intern
Supervised by Dena Roberts, Ph.D., LPC-S

 Jen works at  NORTH   Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 168

Jen works at NORTH

Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 168

Jen enjoys working with couples because it can be challenging and rewarding at the same time. Often couples seek counseling when they feel stuck and need a compassionate, non-judgmental space to slow down and address some of the underlying issues and emotions that are keeping them from feeling connected.  She is trained in the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy and has completed Level I and II trainings. This method utilizes 40 years of research on what makes partnerships successful, and incorporates insight and skills to help couples work through conflict and increase friendship and intimacy. As a therapist, Jen can help you discover the strengths in your relationship and help structure your communication techniques surrounding conflict. She has plenty of energy for couples work and incorporates humor and mindfulness into the sessions when appropriate. Learn more about her approach 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.

Madeline Couples


Madeline Couples


Madeline Turner, LMFT Associate
Supervised by Diana Walla, LPC-S, LMFT-S

 Madeline works at  NORTH   Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 169

Madeline works at NORTH

Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 169

Madeline provides a safe space where you and your partner are the experts and can explore your goals and ideal functioning of your relationship. She views relationship strengths are one of the most important factors in couples therapy, and skillfully assists you in renewing these strengths in sessions. Playing on the resilient qualities in a couple, she uses Gottman principals of strengthening bonds, and emotionally focused techniques to tap into those strong reactions we have when we encounter relational stress. This allows each partner to slow down and begin to untangle months and years of displeasing patterns that couples get stuck in. Discover more about her approach here.

Katie Bart Couples


Katie Bart Couples


Katherine “Katie” Bartley, LMSW
Supervised by Pamela Malone, Ph.D., LCSW, FT

 Katie works at  MAIN, ANNEX & NORTH   Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 166

Katie works at MAIN, ANNEX & NORTH

Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 166

Katie is a fraternal twin and often likens her twin relationship to being a couple. There are two distinct and unique individuals trying to be heard and vying for space, respect, intimacy, friendship, attention, acknowledgment and love in a world where “couple” is often assumed to be the same. You are not the same and thus relationships aren’t always cohesive and joyful. They can be work and they can be very difficult, even in the best of times. Katie hopes to work with you during whatever challenging season your relationship might be in, or just to check in for some routine maintenance to keep your relationship healthy and strong. Similar to her work with individuals, Katie seeks to create a safe, gracious, authentic and validating space for couples. She has experience with the Gottman Method and Bowen theory, and firmly believes that family systems and dynamics, communication styles and expectations greatly impact our relationships. Learn about her here

Mandy Couples


Mandy Couples


Amanda “MANDY” DAVIDSON, LPC INTERN
SUPERVISED BY Brittany neece, lpc-s, lmft-s

 Mandy works at  NORTH   Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 165

Mandy works at NORTH

Call her at 512/201-4501, ext. 165

Partnering with another person is both a rewarding and challenging journey, especially when experiencing life stressors and communication barriers. Choosing couples therapy means choosing to turn towards each other, and work on your issues and goals as a system and team. Mandy uses Imago Therapy techniques and the Gottman Method to facilitate change, growth, and healing for couples experiencing a variety of issues, especially those surviving the loss of a child or pregnancy loss, and when one or both partners are managing mental health issues. I enjoy helping couples learn to have better communication, more positive interactions, and reach a deeper understanding of each other to strengthen their partnership and bond. Discover more about her here

Gina Couples


Gina Couples


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

counselor and training coordinator

 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. Combining candidness with dashes of wit, she provides couples with direction to strengthen harmony by increasing ways to discuss and create responsiveness to one another’s perspective, feelings and needs. She has received training in and draws from the Gottman Method, which is a research-based approach that helps inform the communication skills and techniques she coaches in sessions. She additionally helps identify interaction patterns that are maintaining tension and brainstorms with you avenues to adjust these. Gina is confident through guided intentional dialogue in sessions, increased trust and support can be nurtured in couples, while an improved ability to manage stress responses are made possible in your work with her. 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, LPC, LMFT ASSOCIATE, NCC
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 establishes an environment where couples will join with each other to construct a safe, more relaxed space where each partner can feel heard, understood, and validated. He enters the couple’s world and focuses on developing a richer, fuller picture of their experience. He helps couples learn new and more productive ways of expressing personal needs, desires, concerns and differences of opinion so that they may become more united. Joseph works to partner with a couple to explore moments of conflict, and actively supports the couple in turning towards each other to address and resolve issues rather than retreating to defensive positions and familiar patterns of coping. Through this process, couples overcome isolation and move to connectedness while remaining emotionally engaged. Joseph has completed Level I Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy and incorporates this in his work. He also utilizes Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Discover more about him here.

Audrey Couples


Audrey Couples


AUDREY O'GORMAN, LPC, 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.

Roxanne Couples


Roxanne Couples


ROXANNE watson, LPC

COUNSELOR AND assistant director

 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

Counselor and Practice Coordinator

 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.