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The Old Well and flowers

Couples Clinic

The Couples Clinic of the University of North Carolina Psychology Department exists to help individuals in committed relationships have the most positive, healthiest relationships possible. The director of the Couples Clinic, Dr. Baucom, has devoted decades of his career to the enhancement of couple’s relationships. We work with couples who are married, are committed to each other but are not legally married, and couples at various stages of development in their relationships to address a wide variety of issues, some of which are listed below.

Relationship Distress

We offer couple therapy to couples who are unhappy or distressed in their relationships. Common concerns include difficulties with communication, finances, household chores, sexuality, religion, infidelity or affairs, and friends and family.

Relationship Enhancement

Some couples have healthy, satisfying relationships and want to make them even better. We provide services to assist couples who want to make good relationships more rewarding.

Premarital Counseling and Relationship Education

Many couples want to get their relationships off to a good start prior to getting married. We assist couples who are planning or contemplating marriage to help them develop a firm foundation for their lifelong commitment.

Couples Addressing Physical Health Problems

Whether couples generally have a rewarding relationship or not, the presence of a significant health problem for either partner can be difficult to manage and a major stressor for the couple. We work with couples experiencing a wide variety of health problems such as cancer, cardiovascular problems, arthritis, and other health concerns. Our goal is to support both partners and help the couple work together as a team in addressing health concerns.

Couples Addressing Individual Psychological Difficulties

If one or more partners is experiencing individual emotional problems, this can be hard for couples. Concerned partners often want to know how to help the other person who may be depressed, anxious, or have difficulty controlling their emotions. We teach couples to use their relationship as a resource to assist one partner who is struggling with individual concerns.

Couples Experiencing Societal Discrimination

At times couples struggle because they are shunned or discriminated against by society, adding stress to their relationship. These experiences are common among sexual or gender minority couples, members of ethnic minority groups, interracial couples, and couples in which the ages of the two partners are quite different. In all our work, we strive to be sensitive to the extent to which societal stress or support influences how a couple functions. We hope to provide a safe setting for couples to address whatever issues they want to confront.