Couples Therapy

Whether you are in the middle of a crisis, moving through an arduous transition time, or discovering unpleasant behaviors—a professional couples therapist or marriage counselor can be a tremendous source of support, strength and growth.

When you select a marriage counselor, don't chose just anyone who sees a few couples a week. Be sure to choose a specialist.

A therapist from The Couples Institute can help you work through anger, resentment or frustration, and get to workable solutions. Our greatest pleasure is seeing couples emerge from a difficult situation feeling more intimate and committed than they ever thought possible.

Click here to get started, and we’ll contact you within the next business day. Or you can leave a message on our voicemail at 650-327-5915 or 877-327-5915.

The Couples Institute Online Couples Community

Drs. Bader and Pearson offer a practical, affordable program to improve your marriage or relationship. Since 2009, our members’ website includes articles and recorded sessions with Pete and Ellyn on strategies to overcome common relationship problems. It’s a unique complement or alternative to marriage counseling. And our guarantee makes it risk-free to try it: if you are not thoroughly convinced that The Couples Institute’s Online Couples’ Community is an outstanding value to improve your relationship, just email The Couples Institute or call toll free within the first month and your fee will be refunded!

Click marriage help for more information on the Online Couples Community.

Training for Couples Therapists

We offer an innovative online training program specially designed for therapists who live too far away to attend our local groups. It’s called, “The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy: Integrating Attachment, Differentiation, and Neuroscience in Couples Therapy.” This 12-month course by Internet and telephone includes 24 written lessons, conference calls and ongoing personalized answers for your unique challenges. Click Developmental Model of Developmental Model of Couples Therapy for more information.

Click couples therapy training to see other training opportunities.

Other Resources

For Couples

Ellyn and Peter have written books and produced audio programs to help couples improve their marriage or relationship. Click couples resources to learn more.

For Therapists

Ellyn and Peter offer a wide variety of books, CD programs, DVDs and downloadable audio programs on all aspects of couples therapy. Visit therapist resources to see them.


A Glossary of Terms that are sometimes Confusing

Couples Therapy is a counseling procedure that seeks to improve the adjustment of two people who have created an interdependent relationship. There are no standard procedures to help two people improve their adjustments to each other. Generally, a more experienced therapist will offer more perspectives and tools to a couple. Length of treatment will depend on severity of problems, motivation and skills of the therapist. A couple can be dating, living together, married or separating and may be gay, lesbian or heterosexual.

Marriage Therapy is a term often used interchangeably with marriage counseling. The term marriage implies two people have created a union sanctioned by a government or religious institution. The methods used in marriage counseling, marriage therapy and couples therapy are interchangeable and depend more on the specific challenges of each unique couple.

Psychotherapy is one or more processes to help improve psychological and emotional functioning. Examples are psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, Gestalt therapy, Transactional Analysis, Rational-Emotive therapy, or group therapy. Many forms of psychotherapy are blends of different approaches. For example, newer forms of psychotherapy called energy psychology draw upon recent advances in brain and neuroscience. These approaches often build on cognitive behavioral methods.

Clinical Psychologist. After graduating from college, it usually takes about five years of graduate school to get a Ph.D. in Psycholgy. It then requires an additional two years of supervision and passing a written (and often) an oral exam. There are a few states that allow psychologists to prescribe medications (with additional training) but that is uncommon.

Psychiatrist. After graduation from medical school, there is a generally a 4-year psychiatric residency. After the completion of this training, psychiatrists must pass an exam issued by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology to obtain certification and legally practice in the field. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications.

Clinical Social Worker. This profession usually requires two years of study after obtaining an undergraduate degree. While specific licensure requirements vary by state, most require clinical social workers to obtain 3,000 hours or 2 years of supervised clinical experience, after obtaining a Masters degree. Social workers can also specialize in diverse fields such as human services management, social welfare analysis, community organizing, social and community development, and social and political research.

Marriage and Family Therapist. Obtaining this license requires a Masters degree which takes approximately two years of post graduate study. The license also requires 3000 hours of supervised work and passing written exams.

The Couples Institute. We have assembled a group of top notch therapists at The Couples Institute. Whatever marriage help or marriage advice you are looking for, we are here to serve you. While most other therapists see only a few couples a week, we specialize in marriage and couples relationships, working to develop and bring you the most current and effective approaches to couples therapy. For more information about couples therapy or marriage counseling, see our couples therapy section.