Couples Therapy & Marriage Counseling in Tampa, FL

Relationships are such an integral part of our day-to-day lives, so when we are unhappy or not satisfied in our marriage or relationship it has a significant impact on each partner's overall health and well-being. Research shows that to make a relationship last, couples must become better friends, learn to manage conflict, and create ways to support each other's hopes for the future. Our couples therapists use a combined approach from the most research-based and proven effective couples therapies which include Gottman Method Couples Therapy and Emotion Focused Couples Therapy (EFT).

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Madison Allen Psy.D.

Gottman Method Therapy
Emotion Focused Therapy
Reality Therapy/Choice Theory
Cognitive-Behavioral Couples Therapy

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Brittany Carswell Ph.D

Gottman Method Therapy (Level 3)
Relational Life Therapy
Certified Discernment Counselor
Emotion-Focused Therapy

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Justine Devlin Ph.D.

Cognitive-Behavioral Couples Therapy for Trauma
Imago Interpersonal Couples Therapy
Discernment Counseling
Gottman Method Therapy

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Evangelin Browne LMFT

Developmental Model of Couples Therapy
Family Systems Therapy
Gottman Method Therapy

Gottman Couples Counseling

Gottman Method Couples Therapy is a structured, goal-oriented, scientifically-based treatment approach based on years of scientific research where they followed long-term happily married couples to see what they were doing that made their relationships work. Based upon this research, Gottman therapy is designed to help couples break through barriers to achieve greater understanding, communication, connection, and intimacy in their relationship. This type of intervention helps both partners work on strategies for increasing respect, affection, closeness and understanding. Additionally, it gives specific concrete tools to help break through and resolve conflict when partners feel stuck while keeping conflict discussions calmer and more constructive.

When you are working with one of our Gottman-trained psychologists, you will learn to better understand your partner's inner psychological world, increase positive feelings toward your spouse/partner and move together toward your goals. Not all conflicts can be solved-there are some things you and your spouse (or significant other) will never see eye to eye on. However, Gottman Method counseling can help you learn to better manage conflict as a couple. You'll also learn to repair your relationship when arguments or conflict does come up.


Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a short-term form of therapy that focuses on adult attachment/bonding. The therapist and clients look at patterns in the relationship and take steps to create a more secure bond and develop more trust to move the relationship in a healthier, more positive direction. EFT focuses on observing the dynamics between couples to tie this behavior to the dynamics in their home interactions and helps to direct new conversations and interactions based on more honest feelings.

How Does EFT Work?

The first step in EFT is to recognize and de-escalate the couple’s negative cycle of interactions and help them see and understand the pattern that keeps repeating in the relationship. Then, the next stage works to restructure interactions where the therapist helps clients discuss their fears and needs in the relationship using language that doesn’t push the other away. The goal is to help both partners learn to turn toward each other and discuss their needs and become more open and responsive to each other. Research studies on EFT have found that 70-75% of couples who do EFT move from distress to recovery and approximately 90% show significant improvements.

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Relational Life Therapy (RLT) was developed by psychotherapist Terry Real. Therapists who practice this approach believe all relationships experience cycles of harmony, disharmony, and repair. Relationship issues may arise if either partner is not aware of how to properly repair the damage associated with disharmony. The relationship may become more troubled if either partner begins to develop feelings of disillusionment and/or resignation when faced with relationship issues. With this in mind, therapists help couples to identify their issues, develop the skills needed to repair their relationship, and encourage them to take decisive action.

How Does RLT Work?

RLT teaches the skills of relational mindfulness to help couples change repetitive and cyclical conflict patterns. This is done through loving confrontation, family of origin work, and teaching of new relational skills. Loving confrontation involves the therapist showing you where you are going wrong in the relationship and what the issues are. In RLT, history is explored to help make sense of why the current patterns are in place and stuck. Then, skills are taught for relational communication and living as well as how to repair and have compassion and deeper intimacy and connection.

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Couples choose to come to marriage counseling for many reasons. Below is a list of only a few reasons a couple may choose to see a Gottman Couples Therapist or EFT Marriage Counselor. The truth is that marriage counseling can help committed couples who are considering marriage, engaged couples, married couples looking to strengthen their marriage, or even married couples on the brink of divorce. Wherever you are on your relationship journey, our marriage & couples psychologists can help.

A few reasons couples may consider couples or marriage counseling include:

  • Feeling disconnected from your spouse or partner
  • One partner had an affair but wants to stay in the marriage
  • Poor communications
  • Nontraditional relationships or blended families
  • ​You don't get along with each other's families
  • Emotionally distanced couples on the verge of separation
  • Problems surrounding their intimate relationship​
  • Difficulty co-parenting & mismatched parenting styles
  • ​Pre-marital counseling to set marriage up for success

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The benefits of couples therapy will be slightly different for each couple. Why? Because each couple involves two unique individuals (with separate life experiences, values and expectations) and a unique set of concerns, problems, or goals for our work together. After getting to know you and completing a relationship assessment, our psychologists will work with you and your spouse or partner to set specific goals for your relationship.

A sample of possible goals for couples and relationship counseling include:

  • Improving how you handle and manage conflict
  • Feeling more connected to your partner
  • Frequent conflict and arguments in a marriage
  • Deepening intimacy, satisfaction, and connection
  • Improving your friendship with your partner
  • Feeling like a team and partnership
  • Making each other's life dreams and goals come true
  • Supporting one another in managing the stress and parenting


We think of ideal couples therapy as preventative, not a last resort! The single biggest mistake that couples often make is waiting too long before seeking out help to address the problem areas and issues that are arising in their relationship. Oftentimes, couples seem to think that their relationship has to be in danger in order to come to therapy. The truth is the earlier the better!

Keep in mind that even "good" relationships often have some areas that they could work on that will prevent future larger problem areas from arising. In fact, this is often one of the best times to come to couples therapy, before you are in crisis or having severe and deeply entrenched issues. If you are experiencing some marital difficulties, it is never too early or a bad idea to discuss them with a professional who specializes in couples therapy.


You want to go to couples counseling to invest in your marriage or relationship. You're tired of living with the arguments and know things can be better. But, you aren't sure how to bring the topic of marriage counseling up with your spouse or partner.

Here are some tips for talking to your partner about beginning couples or marriage counseling:

  • Recognize and empathize with your partner if they are having resistance. It is quite normal. Rather than reacting to this, be vulnerable and real. Honestly explain the issue from your perspective and how it makes you feel. Acknowledge that it is ok they may not agree but that you would like to understand their feelings and hesitations. For example, one might say, "When we fight, I have a hard time recovering. The things we say to each other are unkind, and I do want us to treat each other this way."
  • Try not to bring it up in the heat of a fight or argument but calmly at a later time so they know it is coming not from the conflict but from a well-reasoned place.
  • State what your goals are and things you personally want to work on or hope to address, rather than just focusing on what you see as their issue or contribution.
  • Focus on sharing positive goals such as, "I want to laugh more again with you like we used to," or "I want to be happier and more connected."
  • Remind them of the benefits that could come from therapy such as feeling more connected, feeling like more of a team, understanding and communicating better, handling conflict better, etc.
  • Tell them it can be preventative, rather than a last resort.

A couple argue in a restaurant about their relationship. Marriage counseling in Tampa, FL can offer support for couples on the brink in Florida. Contact a couples therapist in Saint Petersburg, FL for support today!


If you have tried these suggestions and your spouse or significant other is still not willing to go to therapy, then we recommend you talk to one of our couples therapists individually. We often start by understanding what the issues are and coaching you on ways to talk about it with your partner and to see if they are willing to come to at least one of your sessions to discuss their concerns before agreeing to come to couples therapy.

If your partner is completely unwilling, then we can work in individual therapy on ways you can still attempt to work on the relationship issues from your end. This is with the awareness and caveat that this may only go so far to address the issues if there is only one party involved. Sometimes the therapy involves helping you to figure out how you feel about continuing in the relationship if your partner is unwilling to work on it and/or change.

Are you able to come to a place of acceptance or do you feel you need to move on? This is not a decision a therapist ever makes for you, but rather we are there to help you figure out your feelings and what is right for you and your individual relationship. Please call us for a phone consult if you are in this situation and your partner is unwilling to go but you really feel you need help. We can discuss the options and whether we can be of help.


​If you or your partner is hesitant about couples therapy or is unwilling to go or considering divorce, then please learn more about our discernment counseling services. This is a time-limited service specifically designed for the couple where one person is not initially willing to try couples therapy because they are already strongly considering divorce. If you do decide to move forward with a divorce, our office also offers Collaborative Divorce services. Feel free to call us for a consultation to discuss your needs and which service is most appropriate for your relationship.


Your relationship doesn't have to stay stuck in the same old patterns. At our Tampa Bay counseling clinic, Our team of expert psychologists can help you and your partner reconnect. We offer evidence-based marriage and couples counseling services using Gottman Couples Therapy & Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Reach out and contact Wellness Psychological Services to schedule a couples or marriage therapy intake appointment. Let's begin setting the foundation for your relationship to be as strong as possible!


A loving couple embrace as they kiss on a sidewalk. Contact a couples therapist in Saint Petersburg, FL for support with marriage counseling in Tampa, FL and more! 33609 | 33703
Let our expert couples therapists help you strengthen your relationships and give you the skills to enjoy one another for years to come!

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Other Areas of Speciality at Wellness Psychological Services

Marriage counseling isn't the only service our Tampa, FL-based therapy practice offers. For couples, we offer divorce discernment counselingsupport through a divorce, and mediation. We also support individuals with anxiety treatmenttrauma therapydepression counselingOCD treatment, and stress management. Learn about our St. Pete and Tampa, FL therapy offices and testing services!


205 S. Hoover Blvd. Ste 202
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 563-1155

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