Working with Difficult Couples: Consultation Group


The group is designed for therapists who want to improve their skills in couples therapy. The group focus is on all the different issues that therapists may struggle with while working with couples, including novel challenges as well as unique and uncommon issues.

The goal of this consultation group is to help therapists to gain skills so that they may address each new challenge they face related to couples therapy with competence and a sense of confidence.

Running on the first monday of every month for 4 months (april - July)

Beginning monday, April 1, 2019

monthly meets will be held at the Space between counseling services office in the

mt. washington neighborhood in baltimore, md

10 am - 12:30 pm 


This is a committed group limited to 8 participants. The consultation group would be an ideal fit for psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, counselors who are actively seeing couples in their practice.

Nothing is more important in our lives than our relationships. A great relationship boosts your immune system, opens your heart, and keeps you vital and creative.
— Terry Real

Group Goals & Learning Objectives:

  • Access a couples chances of staying together and of being happy

  • Choose assessment tools that create higher success and create more control and clarity for the therapist.

  • Understand the right steps for working with, educating and healing from affairs.

  • How to quickly deescalate conflict in the office and at home

  • Changing resentment and past injury from struggle to feelings of empowerment and strength.

  • How to rebuild intimacy, connection and sexuality and its long term power.

  • Understanding the value of healthy boundaries and therapeutic control when working with couples.

  • A space for therapists to share their feelings, struggles and fears with other caring professionals.

  • Create your business container for how you work with couples so boundaries and respect are in place for you and your client.

  • Develop an Understanding of necessary appropriate REFERRALS, rather than treat them yourself.

Today, we turn to one person to provide what an entire village once did: a sense of grounding, meaning, and continuity. At the same time, we expect our committed relationships to be romantic as well as emotionally and sexually fulfilling. Is it any wonder that so many relationships crumble under the weight of it all?
— Esther Perel, Mating in Captivity

The consultation group will utilize a case presentation format, in which you and your fellow participants will have the opportunity to discuss your challenging cases and receive feedback from each other, as well as from the group leaders.  Additionally, the group will utilize role play exercises in order to practice essential intervention skills.  

 The group will utilize empirically researched couples modalities, including Dr. Stan Tatkin’s Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT), Terry Real’s Relational Life Therapy (RLT), Sessions with Esther Perel and the Gottman Method.  

The fee is $175 per 2.5 hours of consultation group per month meeting on the 1st Monday from March -June.  Please understand that this committed group requires participation all four sessions. In the event that you are unable to attend a session, you are still responsible to pay the $175 fee.  

If you are interested in consultation outside of the group setting, you can schedule a one-hour private consultation with Susan Stork, LCPC OR Heather Garner, LCSW-C for a fee of $200/hr.

Interested in learning more or determining if this is the right professional fit, call Susan Stork, LCPC at (443) 527-2042 or Email:(SUSAN@SPACEBETWEENCOUNSELINGSERVICES.COM)
Couples in distress too often turn to solutions that can be summed up by “You do your thing and I’ll do my thing” or “You take care of yourself and I’ll take care of myself.” We hear pop psychology pronouncements such as “I’m not ready to be in a relationship” and “You have to love yourself before anyone can love you.” Is any of this true? Is it really possible to love yourself before someone ever loves you? Think about it. How could this be true? If it were true, babies would come into this world already self-loving or self-hating. And we know they don’t. In fact, human beings don’t start by thinking anything about themselves, good or bad. We learn to love ourselves precisely because we have experienced being loved by someone. We learn to take care of ourselves because somebody has taken care of us.
— Dr. Stan Tatkin

Meet the Co-Facilitators:

This group will be co-faciliated by Susan Stork, LCPC & Heather Garner, LCSW-C. Susan and Heather have been colleagues since 2017 and truly enjoy learning together, teaching together as Faculty Members at the Ferentz Institute and challenging each other to grow. They have co-lead educational couples workshops for therapists at various venues, including the Ferentz Institute and Chesapeake Mental Health Collaborative together, in addition to their own educational workshops separately.


Susan Stork, LCPC

Susan Stork, LCPC-ACS, NCC is a Relationship Therapist and founder Space Between Counseling Services in Baltimore City, Maryland. Specializing in counseling for individuals and couples using Stan Tatkin’s Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) approach and Brainspotting. Susan helps her clients move through the muck of life and into more abundant mindsets. Susan specializes in working with Neurodiverse Couples, Stressed out dual income parents, Aviation Couples / Families and Disconnected Couples.

Susan is currently a level II PACT practitioner and a level II Brainspotting clinician. Susan is a graduate of The Ferentz Institute’s Certificate in Advanced Trauma Training, Level’s I and II. In addition to her these certifications, Susan serves as Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) for LGPC’s


Heather Garner, LCSW-C

Heather Garner, LCSW-C, is the founder of Garnering Change Psychotherapy, located in Towson, Maryland. Heather specializes in utilizing Terry Real’s Relational Life Therapy (RLT) in order to provide counseling to individuals and couples with varying sexual and gender identities and with a focus on consensually non-monogamous and/or kink relationships. In June, 2018, Heather was a guest speaker on The Couples Therapist Couch podcast, Episode 48: Kinky Folks and Non-Traditional Couples.

Heather is certified in Relational Life Therapy (RLT) and has completed Level 2 Training in the Gottman Method Couples Therapy. In addition to these certifications, Heather serves as a board approved supervisor for the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners, is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers, and is a Grief Recovery Specialist© with The Grief Recovery Institute©.