Marriage & Couples Counseling

Marriages are like a ball room dance

In marriage and relationship counseling, the couple is viewed as a "system" where each member affects the other, often in unknown ways or even deliberately. Relationships and marriages are much like a dance where one partner's movement influences that of the other partner. It is these dynamics or interactions (dance steps) that are the first area of focus. It's also where problems frequently begin and where partners begin to react to each other or simply begin to behave automatically and without real thought to how their behavior affects the other person.    

Each dance step requires trust and willingness

The second area of focus is on what each partner is doing, thinking and communicating: is it the mature, present-based part, which wants to understand and develop a stronger connection, or is it the more self-absorbed, self centered part, which demands to be heard and be right? 

The self-centered part would rather  to be right than be happy. It wants to control the conversation by criticizing, being defensive, finger pointing, stone-walling, and repeatedly venting frustration, anger, self righteousness, and contempt. In a moment of rushing emotion (when this part takes over), the one feeling injured for the moment may not be interested or may even ignore opportunities to solve a problem and reconnect. Instead, a specific agenda (blaming, anger) has hijacked the conversation and commitment. This is how it controls the conversation and why things just seem to spiral out of control.   

A smooth relationship takes rhythm and harmony

Relationship & Marriage Counseling sessions are generally:


Solution Focused and designed to "re-engineer, re-design and re-create" the relationship as the couple would like it to be. Therapy is usually forward looking and focuses on solutions more than problems, finger-pointing and blame.​ At times, however, it's useful to see where the issues began, where deep seated pains have not healed, and where resentments have become embedded.

Emotionally Focused- designed to increase emotional trust, the sense of safety, openness, and emotional connection. More specifically, to recreate the deep friendship, laughter, joy, and intimacy that once existed.

Behavioral and Specific- therapy "homework" frequently takes on a highly behavioral approach- what specific behaviors or actions will lead to changes in each partner and relationship improvements?  The behavior is designed to reach attainable goals that can create lasting changes, and to change thoughts, habits and feelings--i.e., to change the dance steps .

Contact Us

We enjoy hearing from you. Feel free to contact us during business hours (8am-9pm M-F)

David O Saenz, PhD, EdM, LLC

1000 Brooktree Rd #209, Wexford PA, 15090

(412) 853-2000


Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm

Saturday: By appointment

Sunday: Closed