Caring Couples, Happy Lives

We are specialists in marriage/couples counseling and psychotherapy serving clients in the Washington DC metro area with offices in Maryland and Virginia.

Our therapists have specialized training and graduate degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy, Individual Counseling, and Happiness Coaching. We use the latest techniques in the field. Each of our counselors has over 15 years' experience. We have been in business since 1996 and have helped many thousands of people have happier lives.

We specialize in helping couples prepare for marriage or recover from the effects of communication problems, affairs or infidelity, sexual problems, sex or porn addiction, alcohol problems, depression, and anxiety. We offer a free phone consultation and have reduced fees in both our McLean and Glenn Dale offices. Please visit our web site for more info on our services. Call us now - We really do want to help you! Some of the areas we specialize in are: --couples counseling –premarital counseling and classes --conflict and communication problems –affairs and infidelity --Imago Relationship Therapy –love and sex addiction --depression --drinking, alcoholism, codependence --sexual problems –physical abuse, sexual abuse, and trauma. Couples today expect their relationship to meet all of their emotional, sexual, financial, social, and spiritual needs. It's no wonder that many people are unhappy in their relationship – with expectations like these, people are bound to be disappointed. Yet, when both partners are actively engaged in a process of soul-searching and intimacy, with a commitment to keep working on problems until they are solved, couples relationships can be among the most deeply satisfying of all human bonds, and can provide an important buffer from the stresses and strains of the outside world. When first meeting with a couple, we ask each partner to outline the most important irritations and disappointments that are getting in the way of intimacy and enjoyment of the other. We also ask each to give a picture of the positive aspects of the relationship -- those things that seem to work without much effort on either partner's part. Couples frequently are surprised by how many parts of their relationship are working well. With this information in mind, we present the partners with an outline of the approach or approaches that could be of benefit to them, and together we choose a course of action. We have extensive training and experience in many approaches to couples counseling. We have office hours days, evenings, and Saturdays. We offer a free phone consultation to answer your questions and discuss your concerns. We invite you to explore our web site at, and sign up for our free e-newsletter on couples, family, and mental health topics.

Mission: We Create Caring Couples and Happy Lives! No matter what you're struggling with, we are here to guide the way toward greater happiness for you, your partner, and your family. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Get more happiness now!

Operating as usual

Working long hours linked to depression in women Women who work more than 55 hours a week are at a higher risk of depression but this is not the case for men, according to a new study.

Women gain weight when job demands are high

Workplace stress is toxic for both men and women. Women tend to gain more weight when stress is unremitting. Heavy pressures at work seem to predispose women to weight gain, irrespective of whether they have received an academic education. This is shown in a study of more than 3,800 people in Sweden.

Teens' same-gender friendships key to later satisfaction in romantic relationships

Parents, encourage positive, supportive friendships in your adolescent children. The skills they gain will stay with them as they develop romantic relationships! A new longitudinal study sought to identify the factors in adolescence that best predicted who would and would not have a satisfying romantic life in their late 20s. The study found that the skills teens learn in friendships with peers of the same gender were the strongest predictors of later romant...

Happy Marriages Benefit Kids | Caring Couples

Good marriages are good for kids!! If you need help with communication, an affair, alcohol abuse, or any other concern that is bothering your marriage, give us a call! Related Article:  Gratitude


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5 Common Fights Couples Have Around the New Year

New Year's doesn't have to be stressful. Why not take a few moments with your sweetie to plan a romantic New Year's Eve experience now? You can spend a lot or a little, stay in or go out, get rowdy or cozy. Style and setting don't matter. If you want to avoid arguments, try these tips: 1- Remember and savor the best moments you had together in 2018. Remind each other of the moments that were especially fun, pleasurable, sensual, or exciting for you, or moments in which you felt proud or accomplished. Try going through your photos to jog your memory. But steer clear of revisiting negative memories. Don't drag those into your new year! 2- Brainstorm about ways to capitalize on your Signature Strengths in 2019. Signature Strengths are qualities that, when we're using them, we feel more alive, energized, and happy. If one of your strengths is curiosity, for example, brainstorm ways that you can be an explorer in the next year. Perhaps you can go somewhere new, or take a seminar on a topic you're curious about. If you'd like help learning how to savor the positives, or finding out about your top 5 Signature Strengths, contact us at Caring Couples for a free consultation. We'll guide you to free exercises and assessments that will help you and your partner have a happier new year! Ring in the new year without new fights.

Emotional suppression has negative outcomes on children: New research shows it's better to express negative emotions in a healthy way than to tamp them down

Learning how to handle marital conflict is good not only for your relationship, but also for your kids! Show them how to work with difficult emotions so they learn to do it themselves. If you would like help with resolving conflict in your relationship, contact us today! 'Not in front of the kids' is an age-old plea for parents to avoid showing conflict and strong negative emotions around their children. But scientists now disagree, showing that it's better to express negative emotions in a healthy way than to tamp them down.

The effects of perfectionism on mental and physical health

Perfectionism is deadly. It not only kills people, it kills relationships. Learn self-compassion and you'll feel better and have happier relationships. This article shows how. Does this personality trait help us flourish and succeed, or can it hinder our happiness and harm our mental health? In this Spotlight, we explore.

When you are unhappy in a relationship, why do you stay? The answer may surprise you: Study that finds it's not just the investment of time, resources and emotion

Would you stay in a relationship because your partner would be unhappy if you left? Why do people stay in unsatisfying romantic relationships? A new study suggests it may be because they view leaving as bad for their partner. The study, being published in the November 2018 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, explored the possibility that people deciding wheth...

Nice people finish last when it comes to money: Agreeable people who place less value on money at a financial disadvantage, study says

Can you be agreeable and good with money at the same time? Yes! We offer Money 101, a program for couples who want to become a better financial team for prosperity and success. More info at Nice people may be at greater risk of bankruptcy and other financial hardships compared with their less agreeable peers, not because they are more cooperative, but because they don't value money as much.

Wedding Photographers Reveal How They Know A Couple's Destined For Divorce

We offer PREMARITAL COUNSELING in a private, brief format to help couples understand their red flags and address them before tying the knot. Any two people who want a happy marriage can create one if they learn and use the known principles that make marriages last. We offer premarital counseling in MD and VA, and also over the internet for couples anywhere in the world. Contact us for more info! Meet the people who are privy to some of a couple's most private moments.

How to Keep Your Brain Fit as You Get Older

A fit brain is a key to a happy relationship and a happy life. Give yours a workout today! A new book outlines many ways to keep our cognitive skills strong and reduce the risk of dementia as we age.

How Do We Know Who is Trustworthy?

Some emotions we usually label as negative, such as guilt, turn out to serve important functions in helping us sort out who is trustworthy. A new study suggests that trustworthy people have a surprising thing in common—their propensity for guilt.

Conversational Intimacy | Caring Couples

Want to feel closer to your partner? Try improving your conversation intimacy. You can improve communication and deepen your connection using easy to learn techniques! Related Article:  Becoming a Stepparent

Caring Couples, Happy Lives on Google It's Autumn and there are TONS of things to do with your Sweetie: Go apple picking on a crisp afternoon. Find a cidery and tryout the new batch of ciders on hand. Take a hike and marvel at the beauty of the falling leaves. When the evening cools down, make a fire at home and cuddle on the couch a wh...

Millennials Are Causing the U.S. Divorce Rate to Plummet

We are seeing many, many younger people who want premarital counseling to strengthen their relationship skills before marriage. Premarital counseling is effective in helping couples build strong, healthy relationships. Premarital counseling helps with development of good communication skills, conflict resolution skills, and skills in maintaining emotional closeness and intimacy. Premarital counseling works. Take a look at our programs for couples who are marrying or remarrying, or who are working on prenuptial agreements! They’re waiting until all is secure before tying the knot.

Is 'micro-cheating' really cheating? It depends, experts say

Secrecy is always bad for a relationship. Whatever the issue, however much fear you may feel about the consequences, the time is NOW to tell your partner the truth about secret activities and relationships! Cheating, micro or otherwise, is less about the particular behavior, and more about the keeping of secrets and the impact of those secrets when uncovered.

Till death do us part? It depends on your debt burden

Have you talked about your finances, for example, debt, credit report, and spending habits, with your partner? If not, it's time to start! Couples who work through their money personality differences have happier, longer last relationships! With money at the root of a lot of relationship stress, it's no surprise that a partner with credit issues can cause a significant strain and even a split.

First-ever guidelines for detecting, treating perimenopausal depression Clinicians and scientists have published the first-ever guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of perimenopausal depression simultaneously in the journal Menopause and the Journal of Women's Health.

On-again, off-again relationships might be toxic for mental health: On-off relationships are associated with higher rates of abuse, poorer communication and lower levels of commitment

If your relationship is unstable, with break ups and make ups, consider whether it is good for your mental health! The pattern of breaking up and getting back together can impact an individual's mental health and not for the better, new research shows. The study suggests people in these kinds of relationships should make informed decisions about stabilizing or safely terminating their relationships.

Too Good to Be True? - loveisrespect

Meeting someone new can be exhilarating. It's important to know the signs of a new relationship that could be exciting at first, but dangerous later. We know that people who behave... Here are some red flags to look out for if you’re wondering if your partner or relationship is too good to be true.

When a Family Breaks Up: Divorce and Separation

No one marries with the intention of divorcing someday. Nevertheless, there is a divorce every 13 seconds in America. If you are divorced, you can make it easier for your kids. Here are some tips from the University of Delaware. Although you may hear that people divorce too easily, most parents do not come to the decision to separate or divorce easily. When people choose to marry they are committing to a life together and most never think they will separate or divorce.

Workplace bias differs for single versus married parents Single moms aren't penalized at work in the same way married mothers are, new University of Arizona research suggests. At the same time, single dads don't benefit in the workplace the way that married fathers do.

Opioids May Interfere With Parenting Instincts, Study Finds

Opioids May Interfere With Parenting Instincts, Study Finds Addicts’ brains don’t respond to infants’ big eyes and round faces — features that normally trigger caregiving responses, a study found.…

If Your Guy Has These 21 Habits, Marry Him Right Now

If Your Guy Has These 21 Habits, Marry Him Right Now via @yourtango… Hold tight and never let him go!…

Lack of interest in sex successfully treated by exposure to bright light

Lack of interest in sex successfully treated by exposure to bright light… Exposure to bright light increases testosterone levels and leads to greater sexual satisfaction in men with low sexual desire. These are the results of a pilot randomised placebo-controlled trial.…

Is divorce seasonal? Study shows biannual spike in divorce filings

Is divorce seasonal? Study shows biannual spike in divorce filings… To everything there is a season -- even divorce, sociologists concludes.…

Why Do People Sext--and Who Is Likely to Do It?

Why Do People Sext--and Who Is Likely to Do It? #science… People in a committed relationship, surprisingly, are the ones sending racy images…

People in unhappy relationships more likely to have suicidal thoughts

People in unhappy relationships more likely to have suicidal thoughts /via @mnt… Being in a relationship does not necessarily, in itself, protect people from having suicidal thoughts.

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6850 Elm Street
McLean, VA

General information

Our hours and fees vary by counselor and location. Some of our services may be reimbursed by insurance companies. Our offices are comfortable and private.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 20:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 20:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 20:00
Thursday 09:00 - 20:00
Friday 09:00 - 20:00
Saturday 08:00 - 14:00
Sunday 11:00 - 18:00
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Rob Wakeley LPC Rob Wakeley LPC
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Duffy Counseling Center Duffy Counseling Center
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LPC Mary Lou Lyon LPC Mary Lou Lyon
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I have a private counseling practice in the town center area of McLean serving adult individuals and couples. For me this is a calling, not simply a job.

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