Hello. I am Steven Kovner, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist in Peachtree Corners, Georgia. I earned my doctoral degree in School Psychology with extended training in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of South Carolina. Prior to developing my private practice in 1994,

I worked at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind with sensory impaired and emotionally disturbed children and adolescents. I lived in the deaf dormitory for one year and learned to sign. Afterwards, I went to work for the Aiken-Barnwell, and later, Lexington County Community Mental Health Centers in South Carolina, providing psychological services to families, children, adolescents and adults. In the tradition of Community Mental Health, I developed experience and expertise in working with a variety of mental health issues with children, adolescents and adults. I worked with many abused children and perpetrators of child abuse. With the hope of applying the research-supported approach of social skills training with chronic and severely mentally ill adults at the South Carolina State Hospital, I supervised psychologists and mental health technicians and provided training to nursing staff and other mental health personnel in the Liberman approach to social skills training. My last employment was at the Charleston Navy Hospital where I worked with the dependent families of active duty Navy servicemen.

In my private practice in Georgia, I specialize in the psychological assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and adults with behavioral, emotional, relationship, learning and occupational difficulties. I use Cognitive and Behavior Therapies. Treatment is research- and scientifically-based. I have received training in CBT, DBT, ACT, Motivational Interviewing, The Gottmen Method for Couples Therapy and many other techniques and modalities of treatment.

I helped to start and was on the Board for 4 years of the Geogia Association for the Treatament of Sexual Abusers.

How I Work With Couples

Couples are seen together and asked to discuss their perception of their relationship problems. As they discuss their problems, I am able to assess their use of criticism, defensiveness, withdrawal, stone-walling and contempt which quickly provides a barometer of the stressors in the relationship. The next few sessions focus on how they grew up and developed their characters and the unfulfilled needs they left their childhoods with in the hope of completing their development in and through an inter personal relationship. The couple discovers that what initially attracted them to each other has now become the very characteristics which repel each other and cause conflict. Couples learn to control their anger and stress early in therapy. They learn to make repairs for interpersonal mistakes that cause hurt and pain and derail their communication. They then develop an understanding of their irrational or unrealistic expectations for their partners to change their personalities, and to recognize that some “problems” do not dissolve. Couples learn to dialogue on perpetual problems and build back their fondness and admiration of their partners. They increase their ability to love and support their partners and their partner’s “dreams.” When they make repairs and get on track to communicate their needs, they are able to end treatment.