Image of a therapist and client in a counseling session.

1,598 people sought couples therapy help at Chapel Hill in the last year

Discover how starting couples therapy can support your own journey toward a happier, more fulfilling life.

Meet with a provider as soon as this week

Good news! We have 92 therapists in North Carolina available for an online or in-person session.

Starting Couples therapy

What is couples therapy?

Thriveworks Couples therapy helps couples work through their specific relationship issues. It is led by licensed professionals — often licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) — who are experts in their field and best-equipped to help couples. Some examples of common focuses within couples therapy include:

  • Jealousy
  • Trust issues
  • Infidelity
  • Opposing values
  • Different visions for the future
  • Disagreements in parenting
  • Lack of trust
  • Financial distress
  • Sex issues

How does couples therapy work?

Couples therapy works by helping couples identify and better navigate their unique challenges. Following an initial assessment of the couple in terms of strengths and needs, the therapist would then discuss their therapeutic goals and any possible approaches or ways of working together as therapist and couple.
Couples attend sessions together, whether they meet in person or by video. In addition to regular couples therapy sessions, each partner may also be asked to attend a few individual sessions to supplement their progress. This will allow their counselor to get to know each individual better, assess each of their personal needs, and develop the very best treatment plan moving forward.

Is couples therapy conducted in person or online?

Couples therapy at Thriveworks is conducted both in person and via Online therapy. We encourage you to choose the option that works best for you and your partner.

How long does couples therapy last?

On average, couples attend couples therapy for 12 weeks. However, couples therapy may last longer or shorter, dependent on the couples’ needs, the challenges they’d like to work through, and the pace of their progress.

Need more help deciding?

The VH1 show Couples Therapy follows six celebrity couples each season as they work on their relationship. A staff of highly trained couples counselors leads them through different exercises. The reality show focuses upon the drama—which couples will stay together and which will split. In many ways, couples therapy is very different than the show, but in some important ways, it is the same. The show has highlighted the fact that all couples struggle. It is normal to disagree, conflict, and struggle in a relationship. The show also highlights how it is important to reach out for help.

“Nobody can predict the future. You just have to give your all to the relationship you’re in and do your best to take care of your partner, communicate and give them every last drop of love you have. I think one of the most important things in a relationship is caring for your significant other through good times and bad.”
—Nick Cannon

Many times, giving your all to the relationship looks like asking a therapist or counselor to guide you and your partner through rough waters. Couples therapy can be a safe place for partners to grow personally and within the relationship. It may also be a place where couples can transition their relationship to a friendship in a peaceable and amicable way.

The counselors and therapists at Thriveworks Counseling in Chapel Hill work hard to make couples therapy a safe place for each partner. Many couples have found our staff an invaluable aid as they explored their relationship. No one can predict the future, but the professionals at Thriveworks have helped many couples grow stronger as individuals and as partners.

Couples Therapy and 4 Relationship Problems

Psychologist Dr. John Gottman famously studied couples and whether their relationships would persist. In his decades of research, he identified four relationship problems that are particularly toxic. The called these The Four Horsemen, and they are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. When these are present in a relationship, the couple will often end their relationship. Here is what they look like in a relationship:

  • Criticism — Partners can voice a complaint or a critique in a respectful way, but criticism attacks the person. For example, a respectful complaint would be, “I felt nervous when I saw money had been withdrawn from our account, and I did not know what the money was used for.” A criticism looks like, “you are so irresponsible with our finances. Do you want to ruin us?” Can you hear the difference? It is the difference between partners solving a problem together, and partners being on opposite sides of a conflict.
  • Defensiveness — When a partner uses excuses to answer a respectful criticism, then this is defensiveness. Instead of accepting responsibility for one’s actions like an adult, defensiveness puts responsibility upon circumstances and other people. For example, when one partner asks another whether they have scheduled an oil change for the car, the partner responds with defensiveness when they say, “This day has been terrible. How can you expect me to take care of that now?” Instead, a humble response would say, “I told you I would take care of that errand, and I did not. I’m sorry. It will be my priority tomorrow.”
  • Contempt — Being mean and disrespectful to a partner is acting with contempt. When one partner communications that they are smarter or better or richer or anything more than their partner, this is contempt because it also communicates that the partner is less than. In real life, contempt looks like sarcasm, eye-rolls, put-downs, mocking, and more. Dr. Gottman identifies contempt as the most dangerous horseman to any relationship.
  • Stonewalling — Denial, minimization, and withdrawal are all signs of stonewalling. When partners remove themselves from conflict instead of working together, this is stonewalling. Partners may not respond to each other, honoring each other’s needs and requests.

If you recognize any of these horsemen in your relationship, know that couples can change. They can learn new, healthier ways to relate. How?

Why Start Couples Therapy?

Skilled therapists can help couples identify the toxic patterns in their relationship and teach them coping and conflict skills they need to relate to each other in a healthy way. Here are a few of the ways that counselors may help couples:

  • Building Appreciation — Couples can learn to see their partner for who they are and appreciate their strengths.
  • Accepting Personal Responsibility — Strong couples are made of strong individuals. Each person needs to accept responsibility for their own choices, actions, and attitudes.
  • Self-Care — When each partner learns when they need breaks and how to care for their unique emotional and physical needs, the couple often flourishes.
  • Use “I” Statements — Instead of attacking a partner, explain one’s own experiences with “I” statements. For example, “I was scared… I was disappointed… I was frustrated.”

Scheduling Couples Counseling at Thriveworks in Chapel Hill, NC

If your relationship is going through a challenging time, know that you are not alone. Many couples face difficult seasons, and many couples come through those seasons stronger as individuals and as partners. Many partners lean upon a couples therapist during that time. The counselors at Thriveworks offer couples therapy, and they have appointments available. When you call our office, you and your partner may have your first appointment the following day. We offer evening and weekend appointments, and we accept many forms of insurance.

Let’s work for a healthier relationship. Call our office today.

Pricing & insurance

Our therapists accept most major insurances. We accept 585+ insurance plans, and offer self-pay options, too.
Learn more about pricing for therapy and counseling services at Thriveworks.

Our Chapel Hill therapists and counselors accept 25 insurance plans

  • Aetna

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina | BCBS

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina | BCBS Medicare Advantage

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield | Anthem (Blue Card)

  • Carelon

  • Caresource

  • Carolina Behavioral Health Alliance (CBHA)

  • Cigna | Evernorth

  • Cigna | Evernorth EAP

  • Cigna | Evernorth Medicare Advantage

  • Compsych

  • First Health Network

Show more
Self-pay costs at Chapel Hill
Talk therapy

Talk therapy

Includes individual, couples, child/ teen, & family therapy

First session

$1

Ongoing sessions

$1

Talk therapy

Psychiatry

Includes reducing symptoms with medication & management

First session

$1

Ongoing sessions

$1

Hear from our clients

5.0 Thriveworks Chapel Hill reviews are collected through Thriveworks.com.
★★★★★
Ariel is a compassionate, reliable, supportive counselor. The work she has done with foster children, birth families and foster families has been amazing to witness. She brings so much light and hope to the children and families she works with. She is truly a gift.
Read more Ariel is a compassionate, reliable, supportive counselor. The work she has done with foster children, birth families and foster families has been amazing to witness. She brings so much light and hope to the children and families she works with. She is truly a gift.
Chapel Hill Oct 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
Ariel Harris is an excellent therapist. I have worked with her in professional settings and she is kind with clients. She has worked with a variety of clientele from all areas of life, and is knowledgeable in many topics. She is supportive of her clients and genuinely cares about helping them reach their goals and be successful. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to improve their life.
Read more Ariel Harris is an excellent therapist. I have worked with her in professional settings and she is kind with clients. She has worked with a variety of clientele from all areas of life, and is knowledgeable in many topics. She is supportive of her clients and genuinely cares about helping them reach their goals and be successful. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to improve their life.
Chapel Hill Oct 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
She did an exceptional job as a counselor. She asked great questions and knew how to get to the root of the problems. Thanks!
Read more She did an exceptional job as a counselor. She asked great questions and knew how to get to the root of the problems. Thanks!
Chapel Hill Apr 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
Cindy Goulding is a very accomplished and experienced therapist. For Cindy, being a mental health professional is a calling not simply a job. She cares deeply about the success of her clients and makes them feel comfortable with her grounded and non-judgmental approach. Cindy is highly compassionate as a person. This is not a skill for her; it's who she is at her core. Her relentless pursuit to understand the experience and perspective of others is unmatched. Most people want a competent therapist they can trust with their most vulnerable fears, stories and relationship struggles. Cindy Goulding is a top notch choice!
Read more Cindy Goulding is a very accomplished and experienced therapist. For Cindy, being a mental health professional is a calling not simply a job. She cares deeply about the success of her clients and makes them feel comfortable with her grounded and non-judgmental approach. Cindy is highly compassionate as a person. This is not a skill for her; it's who she is at her core. Her relentless pursuit to understand the experience and perspective of others is unmatched. Most people want a competent therapist they can trust with their most vulnerable fears, stories and relationship struggles. Cindy Goulding is a top notch choice!
Chapel Hill Mar 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
Cindy Goulding is a topnotch counselor. I have worked with her professionally and referred patients to her for both her personal training and her counseling skills. She has written a very nice book on how to manage weight family style.
Read more Cindy Goulding is a topnotch counselor. I have worked with her professionally and referred patients to her for both her personal training and her counseling skills. She has written a very nice book on how to manage weight family style.
Chapel Hill Feb 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
Cindy is a very caring, honest and responsible person. She is very understanding and compassionate. Her skills are exceptionally sharp, and she has high integrity. She is very thorough and always thinking of how to resolve difficult situations. She is open-minded, non-judgmental and an asset to anyone working with her.
Read more Cindy is a very caring, honest and responsible person. She is very understanding and compassionate. Her skills are exceptionally sharp, and she has high integrity. She is very thorough and always thinking of how to resolve difficult situations. She is open-minded, non-judgmental and an asset to anyone working with her.
Chapel Hill Feb 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
I am very pleased with my therapist. She provides insights to my emotions and behavior. she helps me explore new ways of thinking that helps me turn away from negativity. She helps me understand the origins of some of my behaviors. I look forward to continue working with her to help me attain a more fufilled and happy life.
Read more I am very pleased with my therapist. She provides insights to my emotions and behavior. she helps me explore new ways of thinking that helps me turn away from negativity. She helps me understand the origins of some of my behaviors. I look forward to continue working with her to help me attain a more fufilled and happy life.
Chapel Hill Jan 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
It’s difficult to say how someone can impact your life. In a short time Donna has impacted my life and helped me see there is a journey. Although the journey is not clear to me, Donna listens with a compassionate heart and deep intent. She is truly engaged and seeks to help you understand as you tell your story. It is the telling of the story that is more important than the words, a wise person told me. Donna very much wants to hear your story. I’m lucky and grateful to have found her.
Read more It’s difficult to say how someone can impact your life. In a short time Donna has impacted my life and helped me see there is a journey. Although the journey is not clear to me, Donna listens with a compassionate heart and deep intent. She is truly engaged and seeks to help you understand as you tell your story. It is the telling of the story that is more important than the words, a wise person told me. Donna very much wants to hear your story. I’m lucky and grateful to have found her.
Chapel Hill Dec 2019
Review left on Thriveworks.com

Where to find us

Getting here

Thriveworks Counseling & Psychiatry Chapel Hill is located near the corner of Franklin Street and Estes Drive. We currently share a building with Select Physical Therapy, Child Trends, and Grupo Gransolar, among other businesses. When you turn off of Franklin Street, to get to our office, you will pass Avance Care Chapel Hill.

Phone number

(919) 642-1031

Languages spoken by NC providers

  • English
Tuesday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Thursday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Friday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Saturday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Sunday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Monday 8:00am - 9:00pm

Shown in ET

Tuesday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Wednesday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Thursday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Friday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Saturday 7:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Monday 7:00am - 9:30pm

Shown in ET

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