Marital and Couples Counseling with Dr. Kovner is based on 30 years of research on what happily married couples do right. Couples come to therapy in the “attack-defend” mode and cannot manage their negativity. They fight over differences that may have once attracted them to each other. We find that opposites do attract. It is likely that nature has the plan of diversifying the gene pool in order to increase survival of the human race as a species. However, once children are born, nature is no longer drawing the couple together. Now, their very traits that once attracted them, tend to repel them. Their differences spark conflict when they try to solve problems together. Their very nature may cause stress. This is when the negativity between them is extreme. The negativity comes out in the form of criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling and contempt (The Four Horsemen).

Over time, distressed couples find that all of their interaction is stressful and unproductive. They argue over everything, the minors and the majors. They often don’t know why they are fighting or what provoked them. They just feel negative.

Learning to manage that negativity is the  first stage of therapy. Couples learn how to  make repairs, collaborate and listen, then melt away their defensiveness. Once they have learned to manage negativity, they can  start back on the track of  building back their friendship and  intimacy.

The process of marital therapy usually takes 18 months. The process is most effective when couples spend their time between sessions doing homework assignments and exercises. It is not uncommon for couples to become disrupted by busy schedules, baby sitting arrangements and work. As a result, their progress may become slow. A solution is to attend a marital education class. Dr. Kovner offers marital education classes one Saturday every month. The program, entitled, Marital University is a one day class for up to three couples and is held at Dr. Kovner’s office in Peachtree Corners.  Read More

When couples are immersed in conflict and cannot stop arguing, they would benefit from a more intensive therapy that involves spending the weekend in treatment. In the Intensive Couples Therapy Weekend Retreat couples move through treatment at an accelerated pace in which they learn the neuroscience of emotional conflict, how to control conflict and manage negativity, identify their own psycho-dynamics that contribute to misunderstanding, and revisit their loving feelings for one another by practicing emotionally intelligent skills in communication.  Read More

Call now for an appointment for an initial interview at

(770) 993-3002

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What If My Partner Won’t Come To Therapy?

Often prospective clients call to say that their partner refuses to come to couples therapy and want advice about what to do. I suggest that they start the process of therapy individually. The first stage of therapy is assessment. So, you would come in and present the...

Effective Communication for Couples

Some things are worth arguing about! Arguing is a common and sometimes effective form of communication if the negativity between the individuals is managed. Constant arguing is tiresome and exhausting, especially when it is unproductive and neither gets their point...

Is Your Sexual Life Less Than Satisfying?

Often, when couples are in conflict, sex is usually the first thing to go; and, by the way, it is the last thing to return as you begin the process of repair. Couples frequently complain that sex is too infrequent, seldom initiated by their partner, one’s drive is...

Repairs After a Fight

Researchers have found that couples who are happily married do argue.  However, if their arguments become mean spirited, they spontaneously make repairs.  Dr. Kovner will teach you how to make repairs after a marital fight which can strengthen the bond of the...

Having Unpleasant Fights?

Has your fighting become unpleasant? One piece of advice is that even happily married couples argue. Some things are worth fighting for. However, if you or your partner say things that you or they later regret, or you argue when under the influence which could lead to...

When Your Dreams Are In Conflict

Maybe you always wanted to go back to college, but you had to sacrifice to raise the children or support the family business. You always wanted to travel but your partner prefers to visit family. Your dreams are in conflict and you feel something is missing. Perhaps...

There Are Two Kinds of Problems In Marriage

Solvable and Unsolvable Problems The reason to split marital problems up into two categories is that solvable problems have a separate set of solutions from unsolvable ones.  Based on the studies of happily married couples and what they do "right," researchers¹  and...

Is Your Marriage Lacking In Passion And Romance?

As couples engage in constant conflict, they deplete their emotional bank account. When they go into a state of emotional bankruptcy and have no emotional security in the relationship. In that state, they can't give their partner the "benefit of the doubt." Their...

Stages of the Marital Argument

Couples often come to therapy in the first of four stages of the marital argument.   In couples therapy, the four stages of marital therapy parallel the four stages of the marital argument. In the first stage, the couple is in the Attack and Defend stage. Here,...

Managing Conflict: Soft vs. Harsh Startup

Many couples make a mistake by beginning a conversation with a Harsh Startup that makes an accusation that immediately provokes conflict, like "Why did you come home so late? Where were you?" When you start a conversation with an anxious or angry tone, a fight or an...