Who we are

Couples Therapy Inc. is a team of two dozen clinicians practicing in three countries. We are all devoted to couples therapy. We all have one or more training certificates in science-based couples therapy. We share a common drive to improve, regardless of how much previous training or expertise we possess.

But that's not enough.

To be invited to join Couples Therapy Inc., candidates must yearn for professional connections with other high achievers like themselves. We also choose kind and thoughtful people. Humility is essential because we're willing to admit what we do know and what we don't. It keeps us sharp.

Kind and thoughtful people, who are highly credentialed as couples therapists, are a great beginning to a powerful team.

We come together, as a team, monthly to share innovative knowledge and elevate our collective level of wisdom and expertise. It's a strong, never-ending passion for excellence. 

We're an international team as well, spanning 19 time zones. Making it to these meetings is a collective challenge! Californians must get up at 6 am, while the Australian must stay awake from midnight to 2 am!

We prefer to hire clinicians with some international experience, to broaden our understanding. Love is complicated and we want our team to be able to look at the world of lovers more broadly.

Nine languages are now spoken here.

How we got started

I'm the president and founder of Couples Therapy Inc. And a clinical psychologist.

My own relationship challenges and experience with ineffective couples therapy was a painful one. Like most of you, I blamed my marriage instead of the couples therapy I received.

I then divorced.

President of Couples Therapy Inc.

Kathy McMahon, Psy.D. psychologist, sex therapist and President and Founder of Couples Therapy Inc.

Years later, when I learned about science-based couples therapy, I was upset that no one (other than those same institutes...) were talking about how damaging poor couples therapy is.

What passes for therapy with couples continues to this day to be insurance-driven and too often utterly ineffective.

I decided to do something about it. 

I began networking with skilled couples therapists and asked them if they'd be willing to devote part of their practice to doing marriage retreats and online couples therapy with me.

I was surprised by the warm reception!

Like many of you, I received inadequate couples therapy and quit, believing it was my relationship that failed, not the therapy. And divorced.

It turns out that they yearned to be part of a true couples therapy group. Most told me it was lonely to be the sole couples therapist among a sea of individual therapists.

Couples Therapy Inc. was born.

We've also taken the challenge of COVID-19 very seriously and were one of the first group practices to take our entire organization online. Of course, being international, we were familiar with the online world.

We've been practicing online, as well as in intensive couples therapy retreats, for as long as we've been a clinical practice, so the transition has been a relatively easy one.

Values and beliefs

Ours is a lens that studies loving connections. We examine how bonds get broken and mended. We see people not as a collection of individuals, but as a network of families and friends.

Collectively, we too, represent a connected network.

Each of us form a broad tapestry of ages, ethnicities, cultures, languages, and knowledge, but we all share a passion for working with couples. 

Be sure to read these Personal Statements on our Team Page to learn more about each of us.

Our core beliefs and values can be summarized in these four points:

(1)  We believe most couples therapy provided today is substandard.

  • It's delivered in session lengths that are half the time needed to do good clinical work.
  • It's conducted by clinicians who, by and large, have no training in couples counseling or at most only a single course (MFT's).
  • After this low-quality couples therapy miserably fails, the couples blame themselves instead of the poor therapy. Many divorce. This is unconscionable for a profession devoted to helping others.

Couples therapy works, but just not in the way that it is traditionally practiced today.

(2)  We believe ordinary couples can learn what good couples therapy is and isn't. Then choose a therapist based upon that knowledge.

  • Couples Therapy is a burgeoning field, like surgery was a century ago. By research and trial and error we are getting better and better at becoming effective helpers for troubled relationships.
  • There are universally recognized training institutes that offer levels of formal training and certification in couples therapy. A qualified couples therapist has proven credentials from one or more of these training institutes.
  • There is no one model that can effectively help every couple. The most effective couples therapists take an integrative approach, being cross-trained in several different science-based methods. They personalize, blend, or refine them as appropriate.

Helping couples using only a "commonsense" approach falls painfully short.

The dogs of CTI

Ginger & Rosey

Henry, Gracie, and Charlotte.

Monty chill'in on a paddle board

Rusty Bucket

Jerry and Chloe

Wanda and Wolfgang


Our newest member, Cooper.

 Piko Okole

Sam. Napping.

One of the most recognized couples researchers in the world kept a careful record of his own predictions prior to learning his actual research findings. And he was wrong 60% of the time. 

You can't wing-it when it comes to helping troubled marriages. You must know the science. And you have to practice it routinely, every week, week after week. We suggest at least 50% of a therapist's practice should be spent helping couples.

One example of this "commonsense" proven wrong is that your level of marital distress doesn't predict the effectiveness of couples therapy. It feels horrible when your relationship is in trouble, but those feelings don't mean couples therapy won't be effective.

"We believe that only through science can we learn how to repair broken relationships and help people heal. It’s not easy. But over time, we’ve become better at it, mostly through failure.
"In fact, I’ve kept track of my own hypotheses about love relationships over the years, and I’ve been wrong 60% of the time. If we didn’t do research, we would think we were right 100% of the time."   - Dr. John Gottman  12/12/2018

(3)  We believe a thorough assessment is essential. A single instrument is inadequate.

  • It saves face-to-face time and minimizes clinical error.
  • Our clinical assessment tools have gotten better. They guide the way we think about you as a couple, and the kind of work we choose to do with you, moment by moment.
  • Our clinicians spend a lot of time learning and studying these marital assessment instruments. Then they are supervised in interpreting three early cases to see if they are on target in understanding how to use this material. This makes their diagnostic skills and clinical interventions stronger.  

(4)  We believe concentrated blocks of time, like a weekend, are more effective.

Findings are still being collected but clinical opinion agrees that we can accomplish much more over a weekend* than we can in an equal period spread out over months. But if you attend weekly couples therapy, it should be in 80–90-minute sessions or longer.

Seeing you over longer blocks of concentrated time allow us to know the two of you in a deeper way. We get to observe repeating patterns of relating. We videotape interactions, especially during fights, to understand these patterns more precisely.

We are trained to notice things like tone, volume, and pacing of your words. We concentrate on observing nonverbal gestures or facial expressions. This requires training in things like micro-expressions and neuroscience.

Our finely tuned observations are integrated into the treatment plan. We help you to notice how these common interactional patterns impact your nervous system and your partner's nervous system. We help you change these destructive patterns, and all without assigning needless blame.

  • Learn how you relate on a bodily level.  Monitor your heart rate. Learn to control flooding and calm your nervous system down. 
  • Banish destructive beliefs about each other. Take the time in concentrated reflection, and practice to change how you see each other. Break out time each day, away from day-to-day stresses, to re-examine your attitudes.
  • Our clinicians are expert in using these tools and carefully studying each couple's assessment. Your clinician will enter treatment knowing over 1000 bits of knowledge about you or your relationship.  Treatment is more effective because we hit the ground running.

Our typical couple

While no two couples are alike, we most often work with couples who are as invested in being successful in their personal lives as they are in their careers, education, or changing the world.

You are the 'Shakers and Movers' of the world. You may run your own successful business or lead a large corporation. You may be in IT, an app developer, an inventor, an engineer, or in academia, medicine, or law.

You may be in the public eye, either in sports, entertainment, or in your own therapeutic communities, as a therapist, yourself. You seek out the privacy that only a remote clinical office can provide.

Our international clients are often government employees, diplomats, NGO's, or CEO's in multi-national corporations stationed overseas or are international teachers. Many travel extensively.

Marriage retreats are intensive marriage counseling

Our main office

Our home office is in Boston, Massachusetts.

Couples Therapy Inc. began in a little town that time forgot, called Cummington, Massachusetts and we still hold retreats* in this lovely place three seasons of the year. If you live in the cities of New York, Hartford, or Boston, and you go to the Berkshires for an intensive, you'll be impressed by the beauty year-round. It's an idyllic natural setting.

Cummington brags it has the best foliage in New England. That claim, however, cannot be proven!

Couples Therapy Inc headquarters

Our home office is in Boston - 10- 15 minutes from Cambridge, Downtown Boston, Back Bay, and Logan Airport.

But Boston is home.

It's the place where we grew up and home to our extended families. We relocated our main office to Boston in 2018. We're delighted to offer a retreat location that's 15 minutes from Logan International Airport!

Couples Therapy Inc. has deep New England roots. Massachusetts has a reputation for excellence in couples therapy. And Boston demands a science-based approach that we're known for. 

We have many colleges and universities in New England as well. Many of Couples Therapy Inc. clinicians teach as well as maintain private practices. 

We're proud to be a part of that tradition.

Our clinical style

We're also active in our work with you because research shows that active therapists produce the best results.

In our sessions, you'll get the practical tools you need to support the quality of life and relationship you want. You'll discover how to become calm, even under stress. You'll learn by "doing," not just by "saying." You'll participate in intelligent, engaging, and structured interactions. Our work will stress the science behind the practical information we'll be applying.

Through honest feedback, down-to-earth stories, and even humor, you will develop your capacity to meet your relationship challenges that have, up to now, seemed insurmountable. All in an understandable context.

People are surprised how open they can be with us about the most delicate of subjects, even men and women struggling with sexual integrity issues or sexual intimacy issues. You will find each of us candid, caring, and collaborative.

BUT IT'S NOT MAGIC. It requires a sincere effort by each of you. and not all issues respond well to these methods. 

We'll help you speak to the therapist of your choice for a no-obligation 15-min phone call. We'll help you to decide if your particular marital challenges will respond better to intensive couples therapy or whether weekly marriage counseling would be a better option.

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Healing Relationships Worldwide