Couples Counseling and Marriage Therapy

Couples Counseling and Marriage Therapy

“I appreciate the specific strategies Dr. Marzullo-Dove taught us.

Very powerful, but easy to implement and relationship-changing.”

  (Female, married, professional, 50’s – Intensive 2-days Couple’s therapy)

Which Couples Psychotherapy style fits your needs?

  1. Weekly semi-structured psychodynamic couple sessions (that include one individual session with each partner).
  2. Intensive 2-day retreat (usually weekends) equivalent to 13 sessions (3 months) of work.

Your busy life at home and work can dictate how available you are to engage in couples therapy.

If you have a somewhat regular working schedule, then the weekly sessions will be a good fit. If you are in a dire emergency with your relationship or have no time for weekly sessions, having a jump start with the Intensive 2-day retreat might be your answer.

Either way, you will learn a lot of communication and other necessary skills to make the better relationship that you both want to be in.

Kinds of relationship issues

Besides having relationship issues with a partner, some also have relationship issues with family members, co-workers, friends, church members, bosses, neighbors, etc.

Adults having relationship issues might look for marriage counseling and want to talk to a couples’ therapist. Prenuptial couples may also benefit from premarital counseling.

Couples (before and after marriage) come to see me when they have either exhausted their communication skills and/or are still frustrated with where the relationship is.

They might be having issues of trust, intimacy, and need help (re-)building the relationship they dream/want.

Blended Families or Divorced parents have an additional set of stresses they have to deal with.

At times, there is a history of trauma and guilt. Other times, there are stresses related to their (sometimes adult) children.

Couples therapy helps these individuals to explore and understand the causal relationship between their (and their children) behaviors and the situation they lived in.

Exploring and analyzing one’s thoughts believe, and feelings, help the other partner to understand this partner and find ways to be on the same page, or at least understand one another.

I use Gottman therapy and other psychodynamic techniques when treating married couples or couples who are cohabitating.

Signs and symptoms of relationship issues

Here are some of the issues people encounter in their relationships:

  • Unable to communicate thoughts and feelings
  • Lack of trust
  • Issues with intimacy and sex
  • Lack of respect
  • Lack of support
  • Financial issues
  • Family conflicts
  • In-laws issues
  • Blended family issues
  • Parenting differences
  • Issues with children and adult children
  • Not building a healthy/positive future
  • Staying in the past
  • Having affairs/cheating
  • Keeping secrets (affairs, alcoholism, financial issues, drug use, past, etc.)
  • Anger, violence, arguments


How I treat patients with relationship issues

I use techniques from Gottman therapy and emotion-focused therapy that has been proven over and over in research to be the most effective at helping couples overcome their issues.

Through my training in various methods, you can be sure we’ll have a tool to help you through whatever unique challenges are present in your relationship.

Typical outcomes of relationship issues treatment

After completing treatment, patients can expect:

  • Moving to a healthier level of relationship
  • May need to create a NEW type of relationship
  • Higher levels of commitment
  • Regaining trust
  • Improve/create intimacy
  • Better their sex life


FAQ about relationship treatment

My partner does not want to come treatment. Can I come by myself?

Yes. However, if the issue is within the relationship and not with the individual, it is highly recommended that the couple attends sessions together. The first step for a better a relationship is having both parties invested in getting into a better/ new type of relationship.

How long will treatment for relationship issues last?

Since there are many different types and levels of issues among people, it is expected that the duration of treatment depends on the level of their conflicts. For optimal results, it is expected to complete treatment in the first couple of years of treatment.

How often should we attend sessions?

At the beginning of treatment, couples will attend sessions weekly (even twice-a-week sometimes), until all the negative symptoms have been resolved. When we move to build the "positive bank" in your relationship, the sessions might be attended every other week then.

Can a relationship recover from affairs/cheating?

It depends. Each person has their own set of beliefs that come from their family, their formation, and their temperament. Some people may be able to forgive and move on, while others may keep the resentment for a long time. Either way, it is necessary to find out why the partner left the relationship (emotionally and temporarily), why they both want to continue in this relationship, and if they are committed to trying making this work.

There’s something going on that my partner does not know. Do you keep secrets?

Temporarily. At times, individuals keep secrets (affairs, alcoholism, financial issues, drug use, past, etc.) from their partners, but it has been found that secrets are damaging for maintaining a healthy relationship. I might keep a secret for a couple of weeks, with the understanding that the secret will be out soon. I will help the partner keeping the secret to come up with statements and learn how to communicate the difficult talk. People tend to keep secrets when they are afraid of rejection or reaction from their partners. Being in therapy provides a safe environment and tools to help bring about the secrets to partners.

Consult with a psychologist to get help with your relationship issues right away. Dr. Rosana Marzullo-Dove uses many techniques to treat individuals and couples. She uses integrative psychotherapy to help with relational issues, and any other issue risen during treatment.

Call (813) 613-8587 now for a FREE 15-minute phone consultation.


“Dr. Dove was very profound and good at her job. I have recommended other people to [her] office due to my pleasure and happiness.”
      (Male, divorced, 50’s – Individual and Couple’s therapy)

“I have had many therapists, but I feel Dr. Rosana has been the best fit.”
      (Female, married, LGBT, 30’s – Couple’s therapy)