DC Psychotherapy (swoosh logo) Central Washington Psychotherapy Associates 

Psychotherapy in the Washington, DC metro area


About Couples Therapy & Marriage Counseling

By Robert Sheavly, LICSW, DCSW

Being in relationship with another is simultaneously one of the most satisfying aspects of life and also one of life's greatest challenges. We become attracted to another, fall in love, and over time, become partners. The feeling of being in love imparts a very special quality to life: life feels special, magical or even like a fairy tale.

Because these ”good“ feelings are so intense, when conflict does arise, it is particularly painful to us. We can become defensive: we may attack or we may withdraw. We feel hurt by our partner or we end up hurting them: Often we don't intend to cause our partner pain, yet that seems to happen despite our best efforts.

Given these challenges, it is no surprise that there are so few examples of ”successful“ relationships: relationships that not only have endured over time but which are deeply satisfying to each partner. Consequently, at one time or another many people look for relationship advice, improving communications skills, or marriage counseling—to either help resolve painful conflicts or to make a good relationship even better.

Are you Getting the Love You Want?

Communication problems in relationships often erode the passion and hope that we first feel when we fall in love. The powerful communications skills I teach will help you revive that passion and reconnect you with your partner.

When I work with couples, I focus on building trust in the relationship by coaching the couple in a variety of practical ways to create a feeling of safety. Building (or re-building) trust in the relationship is essential to feel safe enough to truly understand your partner. Many couples immediately experience feeling more deeply connected with their partner, the ability to appreciate them more, and revived passion and hope in their relationship.

My ability to work with couples is based on over 30 years experience as a psychotherapist helping people make change and growth happen in their lives.

Additionally, I am a trained and certified Imago Relationship Therapist. This way of working with couples is described in the bestseller, Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix, PhD. Oprah Winfrey included ”Imago Theory“ in her list of ”Unforgettable! Oprah's Top 20 Shows“ in a feature celebrating 20 years of the TV show.

I work with couples in two different formats based on their desire and need: in private or in group. A private therapy session with a couple lasts about 75 minutes and meets every other week. Couples Groups consisting of 3–4 couples meet weekly for 90 minutes for a total of 8 sessions.

Who is this work for?

If you are a COUPLE this work is for you. Private therapy or Couples Group therapy is open to all couples who are interested in improving the quality of their relationship.

What will I learn?

What do I do next?

To get more information or to explore the possibility of setting up an appointment, call me at 202.489.4900. I look forward to answering your questions and being of assistance.

– Robert Sheavly, LICSW, DCSW

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