therapy for people in relationship

Dr. Vuthy Ou, licensed Psychologist


What Relationship therapy Can Be

Romantic partners, and sometimes non-romantic family members, can seek out relationship therapy to help them address the challenges between the them - things like communication, old and new hurts and resentments, betrayals, sexual issues, transitions, parenting, medical complications, stress, or contemplating the end of a relationship. While a reduction or resolution of conflict might be a result of relationship therapy, it is not always the only goal.

In relationship therapy, my aim is to enhance the ability of each individual to think, feel, understand, and be themselves in new, more authentic, and sometimes surprising ways. As each person engages in this process and witnesses and supports the other in doing the same, both can come to better know and feel better known by their partner. Just as importantly, both partners can develop an appreciation for their ability to surprise, and be surprised by their partner.

While there are no guarantees, by engaging with this process, a relationship can gradually come to feel less like a frustrating, painful, and repetitive cycle in which both people feel like they have to compromise on issues of vital importance. In its place, something that feels a little more dynamic, fresh, and enlivening can begin to take root. Conflict does not disappear, but "fighting" is more likely to be the kind that promotes growth, vitality, spontaneity, and intimacy and less likely to be the kind that maintains "stuckness," distance, and deadness. 

The ultimate form of this kind of relational transformation can vary. Sometimes, both partners can come to feel that remaining in a committed relationship feels like a rich "soil" from which they can both continue to grow together. Other times, respecting one or both partners' sense of vitality and wellbeing means agreeing to a critical shift in the nature of the relationship, like divorce or limiting contact. Either way, when a pattern of relating is recognized as stifling and unstainable, relationship therapy can be a powerful catalyst for change.

Photo by <a href="">Filip Kominik</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>

Next Steps - Trying it out

If the two of you feel ready to schedule a confidential, no-fee consultation, you can do so by clicking here or the schedule button below. Otherwise, you are welcome to call me at 215-253-7592 or email at to set up a time to talk. 

Please know that I'm happy to spend this initial time answering your questions, getting to know a little about you, and making sure that we are a good fit, even if we ultimately decide not to work together. 

More Questions?

Many people have mixed feelings about contacting a mental health professional. Most want to be as sure as they can be that they are working with the right therapist before making any decisions or commitments. Research suggests that finding the right fit is so important for meaningful and long-lasting changes. To that end, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.