Fighting Couple

  • Has there been a betrayal of trust?
  • Cheating? Affairs?
  • Is there distance or lack of closeness in your relationship?
  • Are you having trouble getting past old resentments?

If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions, it’s time to take action now.

Every relationship has its ups and downs, good times and bad. Couples often come to us when arguing, contempt or emotional distance has become the norm.

We can help you get out of the negative cycles that are contributing to stress and hostility and move you into new cycles of interaction that make you feel better about yourself and each other.

The main problem for most couples is a lack of skills — often in the areas of communication, anger management, conflict resolution and/or intimacy skills. You may not know how to resolve resentments; emotional or physical affairs; anger, or a lack of closeness in your relationship. But the good news is that these skills can be taught to motivated couples.

Our two couples therapists/marriage counselors, Barbara Donesky, LICSW, and Patricia Barros, PhD, LMFT, can help you learn to get past defensiveness; abandon anger and resentment; strengthen your friendship; be closer and more attentive to one another; and reignite the fire in your sex life.

Barbara Donesky, LICSW:  Ms. Donesky has effectively counseled hundreds of couples during her career. She will help you and your partner identify the core problems and provide you with the tools you need to improve the communication, trust and connection in your relationship.

Ms. Donesky incorporates elements of several different couples therapy models and approaches, including John Gottman, Imago Therapy and Harville Hendrix. She tailors her approach to each couple’s specific needs. Her style is engaging and non-judgmental, with a focus on skills-building and increasing empathy between partners.

Ms. Donesky sees straight couples and gay couples. She offers daytime and evening appointments (until 10 pm), as well as Saturday appointments (9 am-5 pm).

Ms. Donesky was recently selected as one of the three best marriage counselors in Washington, DC:

Here is a 90-second video of Barbara discussing her work:

Patricia Barros, Ph.D., LMFT:  Dr. Barros, who also serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor in Family Science and the Director of the Center for Healthy Families at the University of Maryland-College Park, is an expert in couples counseling/marriage counseling.

She incorporates elements of different couples counseling approaches, including EFT (emotionally focused therapy) and the Gottman Method, which emphasizes ways to better manage conflict. Dr. Barros has a subspecialty in premarital counseling. She is certified in PREPARE/ENRICH, a widely researched and evidence-based program for new couples that helps guide her premarital counseling work.

A native of Brazil, Dr. Barros is fluent in Portuguese, so she can work with couples who are more comfortable speaking Portuguese. She offers daytime, evening and Saturday appointments.

Here is a 90-second video of Patricia discussing her work:

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Solve your relationship problems now and create a healthy and loving relationship.

To make an appointment with either Dr. Barros or Ms. Donesky for couples therapy or marriage counseling, call our office administrator Leah Sugarman at 202.588.1288 or email us at

Woodley Park Offices
3000 Connecticut Ave., NW
Suites 406, 408, and 438
Washington, DC 20008

Contact Us
Call: 202.588.1288
Text: 202.656.2142