What is Couple Power?

About Peter Sheras & Phyllis Koch-SherasWe are clinical psychologists who have studied and treated couples for more than four decades. We have been happily married to each other for just as long. We met in the mid 1970’s while training in cutting-edge programs to treat couples who were struggling to make their marriages work. At the very same time, we were ourselves falling in love. We asked ourselves, if we wanted to be happy and loving for a long time, what could we learn from our mentors and clients?

The number of couples divorcing is now nearly 45% and shows no sign of declining. Why do people want to get married if there is such a great possibility that their relationship will fail or cause them to be unhappy?

There had to be a better way to approach what is necessary to get into and maintain a good marriage. In working on that, we invented something we call “Couple Power.”

Couple Power is a model for creating and maintaining profoundly fulfilling relationships. The cornerstone of the approach is in understanding the power of the words you use to speak with each other and to speak about your relationship. It is this new language, or way of speaking, that creates a foundation for lifelong love. You don’t have to be controlled by just your individual feelings or needs.  Actually, you have the power to choose what you say and how you act in relationships.

It is simple. Don’t just talk about what you need for yourself alone in your couple, but what you both need. When you get together, then it is not just about you and your partner, but also about the new entity that you have created--your “couple.”  Couple Power teaches your couple how to get beyond individual concerns. Together you can create a vision that empowers you to work and play together as a team.  It is not just to love each other, but to love your couple.  The whole is greater than the sum of the parts; the couple is more powerful than each of you alone.

What we learned in creating Couple Power is that the world we live in doesn’t really support couples.  Society encourages couples getting together, but there’s an emphasis placed on you as an individual getting what you want rather than what you can create together as a team.

To help create a different way of seeing relationships, we have worked with other couples more than 25 years ago to create Couples Coaching Couples, Inc., a growing nationwide movement providing mutual support to couples in their communities.  In addition, we have written several books and articles, including Lifelong Love: 4 Steps to Creating and Maintaining an Extraordinary Relationship, and Couple Power Therapy: Building Commitment, Cooperation, Communication, and Community in Relationships (2006).

We often give media interviews on radio and television and in newspapers and magazines regarding relationships, including a regular segment for several years on our local radio morning talk show.  After extensive training in couples, family and sex therapy in California, we moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where we now both teach and practice.

In our work today, we offer therapy, counseling, and workshops for couples, counselors and other professionals around North America.  We have also presented to a variety of groups, including personal growth centers, businesses, schools and professional organizations, such as the American Psychological Association.

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If you’re interested in therapy, an intensive couples weekend, or workshop, please contact us.

When we are not working, you’ll find us enjoying our marriage! We have two adult children who are also happily married with children of their own.

Find Us

421 Park St.
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Tel: (434) 971-4701   Fax: (434) 977-5392
Email: sherfam@aol.com

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