Coupleship… This is the word that I like to use to describe the shared meaning, the shared experiences, and the shared values that hold two people together.
But, just as real life romance isn’t all about [walks on the beach] and [roses], COUPLESHIP isn’t just about being "perfectly blissful" and "completely aligned". It’s about the beauty and the mess and everything in between.
Coupleship describes how you and your partner handle the unexpected and the practical, the unsexy and the intimate. Coupleship also describes the moments of disconnection and disagreement that inevitably come up between you both. Coupleship describes the process it takes to repair & grow stronger together after separation & conflict.
Couples therapy helps modern couples stay connected and committed
Disconnection has different faces. Sometimes it’s about arguments, but often disconnection shows itself as a growing sense of distance and loss. You may feel more like housemates than lovers. You may feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself since you became part of a couple. You may be wondering if this relationship is built to last.
Couples come to me when they’re searching for a new way to recommit to each other and to themselves.
We examine the practical issues that make it hard to connect, whether it’s tough work, schedules or the demands of a busy family. Together, we navigate the feelings that seem too hard to express and the conversations that seem too tough to have.
The goal is to find meaning and connection in the little things you share and help you find ways to thrive in a state of connected coupleship long after therapy concludes.
As a relationship therapist, I bring my training, my life experience, and my desire to help clients grow to every session. I also bring my curiosity, my compassion, and my passion for helping you both “get unstuck.”
There’s something else that makes my work effective and quite unique in the Baltimore area:
I specialize in PACT, an approach to couples therapy pioneered by Dr. Stan Tatkin. PACT stands for Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy. [ I know that’s a mouthful, but here’s what you need to know about this style of relationship therapy. ]
PACT helps you learn to read each other’s actions so you can navigate conflict and find more meaning in the little moments you share together.
PACT is based on neuroscience and brain studies and on the human need for connection based on adult attachment.
PACT often takes less time than traditional couple’s therapy so you can get back to a sense of connected coupleship sooner.
I am passionate about helping couples create secure functioning partnerships based on healthy communication, connection and play. My work with couples is based on Stan Tatkin’s Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), which combines attachment theory, neurobiology and arousal regulation to help couples better understand their patterns of relating and how to support each other more successfully.
As a PACT Clinician (Level 2 Trained), my work is experiential and strategic. Looking at the ways we were programmed to connect in childhood, I help partners understand these processes and adapt new ways communicate and grow as a couple. With a deeper understanding of each other, I support couples in navigating their struggles more successfully, deepening their connection, and having more fun together. This therapy is short term and goal focused, based on strong research.
As with my other work, I weave in my style, which is direct, observational, empathic and curious.
Because of the experiential nature of this therapy, sessions are longer, lasting between 90 minutes and 3 hours. We are able to make significant changes in these longer sessions, and as a result we often do not have to meet as frequently.
** Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC is currently enrolled in a three-year Couples Therapy training program with Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, the founder of A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy® (PACT), who developed the advanced PACT system to offer effective treatment for the most complex, challenging couples.
Many of my clients seek therapy to help address relationship difficulties with a spouse or partner. They find that working through their challenges in a safe and therapeutic environment helps them discover new possibilities moving forward. A positive and enriching relationship is possible for any couple, but it requires commitment and work. Space Between Counseling offers the chance to have meaningful conversations with your loved one, identify relational patterns that maintain being "stuck", while developing practical skills to live relationships well and engage in new relational responses that can promote a greater sense of closeness.
Couples may benefit from couples therapy if you and your partner seek to:
Learn to communicate and listen better
Deepen the level of intimacy and connection within the relationship
Gain insight to the repetitive negative emotions and corresponding hurtful reactions that you engage in together
Learn how your histories impact your relationship and to be proactive in promoting relational health
Better resolve frequent misunderstandings in your relationships
Reduce conflict, learn triggers, and develop strategies for navigating arguments
Find support for the relationship during life’s transitions into marriage, parenting, marriage after children, separation, or reconciliation
You’ll both schedule a 15-minute phone consult to discuss how I can help and answer your specific couples / counseling questions.
After we ensure therapeutic fit, we’ll schedule your initial 90-minute couples session. I’ll send you my paperwork (e-forms & intake questionnaire) via a secure HIPAA compliant online portal (Simple Practice) for both to complete individually.
Together, we’ll create a plan of how to best support both of you and your relationship. My goal is to get you two off my couch and back into your best setting as a couple - with a stronger COUPLESHIP in place -- as soon as possible.
My mentor, Stan Tatkin is featured below in this TED TALK video: Checkout PACT co-founder Dr. Stan Tatkin's hugely successful talk for more great relationship insights.
"Far too many relationships end before their time because people cannot get this simple concept – our major job is to protect each other and make each other feel safe and secure."