Couples Counseling and Marriage Therapy in McLean, VA

There are many reasons for people in relationships to choose couples counseling and marriage therapy. Whether they are dealing with a crisis or a conflict that is preventing them from sharing intimacy and communication, couples counseling can help them explore and work on their issues.

Couples counseling and marriage therapy at Thriveworks in McLean, VA has helped many couples with a variety of issues. Qualified therapists help their clients learn new insights, cognitive and emotional skills, as well as adopt new habits that can make a positive difference on their lives. Thriveworks’ therapists can help couples overcome trauma and guide them toward better relationships. The path to building a healthy relationship starts here.

Relationships and marriages undergo a variety of conflicts and, in some cases, there may be issues that feel monumental. Each issue—big and small–can be explored with the help of a professional therapist who can navigate couples through the ups and downs or the problems that appear to be overwhelming. Some of the most common issues couples experience are:


Alcohol and substance use can undermine the foundation of healthy relationships. Addiction is prevalent—it is estimated that more than 23.5 million Americans deal with drug dependence and alcohol abuse, according to Closing the Addiction Treatment Gap initiative. A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services indicates that more than 10 percent of the country’s children live with a parent who has alcohol problems. Living with ongoing alcohol or substance dependence can create and aggravate various social, psychological and physical conditions. Family life is frequently chaotic and even dangerous; a need to satisfy the habit can create havoc on finances; and often the addict experiences problems at work or loses a job.

Having the Same Arguments

When a couple has the same arguments time and again and can’t seem to reach an agreement, it is a clear sign that they are not communicating properly. Most repeated fights are not really about what they appear to be. They tend to happen because something in the past is being triggered by a present experience—even if it is a minor issue. If a partner does something that brings up memories of feeling bullied, betrayed or falsely accused in the past, an individual may actually be reacting to history rather than what is happening in the present. Without good communication, compromise can be impossible.


If an individual expects a partner to fulfill all of their needs, elements of codependency may exist in the relationship. Codependency is characterized by a person belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one individual relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs. In the relationship, the other person is enabled to maintain their irresponsible, addictive or underachieving behavior.

When one individual expends all of their energy to meeting another’s needs, feels trapped in the relationship or is constantly making sacrifices in the relationship, it may be a codependency issue.

Pursuit and Avoidance

When an individual is afraid to jeopardize a relationship, they may push a partner away. One person ends up chasing the other, while the second individual avoids them. In this pattern of pursuit and avoidance or “avoidance/avoidance,” the couple does not communicate or is not sure how to communicate well. Couples stuck in this pattern must learn to effectively communicate and address issues instead of avoiding them. If not addressed, avoidance behaviors can eventually lead to a split in the relationship.

These examples are only a few of the many issues couples may experience in their marriage. Whether couples have a few ups and downs or a seemingly unsurmountable issue, there is help. Call Thriveworks in McLean, VA at (202) 478-9619 to schedule a session or to find out more about how couples counseling and marriage therapy can help your relationship grow and thrive. Thriveworks McLean VA is located at 1830 Kirby Rd McLean, VA 22101.

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Dr. Jonies Thoms

I have worked with Dr. Jonies Thomas over the years in a professional capacity, and have only good things abou...Read more

t her. She has an engaging and patient interpersonal style that resonated with our patients. She brings a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to any interaction, and it is clear that she is passionate about what she does.

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Thriveworks Counseling

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  • 1311 Dolley Madison Blvd Building A - Suite 2D
    McLean , VA 22101

  • Mon-Fri:7:30AM-9PM