Sara Harowitz, Psy. D

Marriage Counseling St. Petersburg, FL

Are any of these familiar to you?

You never listen to meCouples counseling will help you feel heard in your relationship.

You’re angry all the time...Couples counseling will help your relationship move beneath the anger.

I can’t trust you againCouples counseling will help restore trust in your marriage.

Do you want to…

Communicate with more ease and connection?
Regain intimacy?
Resolve old disappointments and hurts?
Learn to work effectively with anger and frustration?

Did you know that fighting in your relationship can physically make you sick?

Psychologists and other mental health services providers have observed the link between the quality of your relationships and your mental health and physical well-being. According to the website Mic, “ongoing stress in your relationship can put you at risk for higher blood pressure and increased cortisol level leading to a higher risk of strokes, heart attacks, and diabetes. While you’re in the middle of arguing over who takes out the trash more, a part of your brain called the amygdala activates your sympathetic nervous system. This is the same part of the brain that lights up when a bear chases you and you’re fighting for your life, causing your body to hit the panic button and send you into “fight or flight” mode.

Starting in the amygdala, the fight-or-flight mechanism causes a chain reaction that leads the adrenal glands to release a dose of cortisol, the chemical culprit behind stress. In fact, one study found that the “more criticism you direct at your partner, the higher the levels of cortisol they have.”  Clearly, our physical and mental health lives are also affected by the quality of our relationships or marriage.

Your Marriage/Relationship is in Skilled Hands With Me

Do you feel like your relationship is on the rocks but don’t know where to turn for help? It can be overwhelming to try and choose the right couples counselor. Let me tell you – the most important thing to consider in marriage therapy is the experience and skill of your therapist.

I’ve been helping couples resolve relationship issues for over thirty years. I know that taking the leap into couples counseling can be scary, but trust me when I say that it’s worth it. I’ve successfully treated countless clients, and I’m confident that I can help you too. You deserve a happy and fulfilling relationship, and I’m here to guide you toward that goal.

I understand that opening up about your relationship struggles to a family therapist or a third party can feel daunting, but I promise to create a safe and comfortable space for you and your partner. Together, we can work through your issues and come out on the other side stronger and more connected than ever.

So don’t let fear hold you back any longer. Reach out to me today, and let’s start this journey toward a happier, healthier relationship.

I'll Help You Improve Your Relationship & Communication Skills

Most couples counselors and other providers in practice aim to improve their clients’ communication skills, deepen intimacy and reduce tension in their daily life. Couples counseling with me differs from other therapists as I do not just help clients reduce tension and improve communication in their marriage. Instead, I utilize Emotionally Focused Therapy, a relationship therapy model founded by Susan Johnson, Ph.D., in the mid-’80s. This type of holistic approach to couples counseling is significantly influenced by attachment theory, and EFT is one of the most empirically based and researched couples counseling platforms. The focus is on strengthening the bond and the emotional connection between the partners.

Your Answer to Couples Counseling in St. Petersburg, FL

I am warm, down-to-earth, and highly engaging, and I will not passively sit back and offer occasional suggestions. Most couples leave their initial counseling session with me with renewed hope about their relationship. The first step in couples therapy is to ensure a safe and nonjudgmental place where you will feel free to share your concerns about the current challenges in your relationship.

Couples struggling are seeking to feel secure, loved, validated, and desired by the partner they chose to spend their life with. In our marriage, we yearn to trust that our feelings will be safe with our partner. Our sense of security is threatened when we fight with or feel disconnected from our partners. We resort to the same defensive strategies during a conflict with our partner as we had in the past when vulnerable feelings were not safe in our families of origin. Although we are not aware, we use lifelong protective behaviors to minimize any hurt from another person in our lives. Examples of these enactments include “always feeling attacked, blaming the other, or retreating” to protect ourselves from getting hurt as we did in our past. Communication breaks down, and you feel more distant and estranged from your partner.

The initial treatment stage of EFT marriage counseling is the assessment and de-escalation phase which helps the couple identify the patterns of interactions that thwart true intimacy and de-escalate the conflict. In couples counseling, I will teach you how to step back, understand, and move beyond the destructive dynamics that silently erode your relationship and allow you to begin to see each other through empathetic and loving eyes.

Couples Counseling FAQs

Couples counseling, also known as marriage counseling or couples therapy, is a type of therapy that focuses on improving the relationship between two partners. It involves working with a licensed therapist to address issues within the relationship and learn new communication and problem-solving skills.

Couples counseling can help partners improve their communication, increase emotional intimacy, rebuild trust and conflict resolution, and address conflicts and issues within the relationship. It can also help couples strengthen their connection and work towards a more fulfilling and satisfying relationship.

Couples counseling may be beneficial if you and your partner are experiencing ongoing conflicts, communication issues, lack of intimacy, infidelity, or other relationship problems. If you feel like your relationship is struggling and you’re unsure how to move forward, couples counseling may be a helpful option.

During a couples counseling session, we’ll work together to address specific issues within your relationship. I will provide a safe space for both partners to express their feelings and concerns and will guide the conversation toward productive and effective communication and problem-solving.

The duration of couples counseling depends on your specific needs and goals. Some couples may only need a few sessions to address a specific issue, while others may require ongoing therapy to address deeper issues and work toward long-term goals.

Premarital counseling can help couples strengthen their relationship and increase the likelihood of a successful and satisfying marriage. It can also help couples identify potential areas of conflict and develop effective strategies for addressing them.

Yes, couples counseling is confidential, and we, as therapists, are bound by ethical guidelines to protect the privacy of our clients. However, there are certain exceptions to confidentiality, such as if I believe that one of you may harm yourself or others.