"If you can’t fly, then run.  If you can’t run, then walk.  If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward."

- Martin Luther King Jr. -
Dr. Sharleen McDowall, Psy.D., C.Psych.
Registered Psychologist
Couples & Marriage Councelling Couples & Marriage Councelling

Couples & Marriage Councelling


“My partner never listens”, “My partner was unfaithful”

“We never talk about our relationship”, "I don't feel connected to my partner"    

Mcdowall Counselling & Consulting Group provides couples and marriage councelling in Toronto based on communication, trust, intimacy, and safety.

Our Approach to Couples and Marriage Counselling Toronto:


Many couples face problems when it comes to healthy, assertive and respectful communication. It can be difficult to talk with someone who communicates in a different way than you do. You or your partner may say things like ‘My partner doesn’t listen to me’ or ‘We don’t talk’ or ‘We always fight’. There will always be challenges in learning to communicate with an intimate partner, because you are two individual people learning and growing alongside each other. It can be very helpful to have an impartial and non-judgemental mediator present to help guide you as you learn new ways of interacting. Relationship or marriage councelling can help you learn to communicate and understand your needs as a couple.


Trust is an important part of relationship and marriage counselling. When the bond of trust between two people has been broken, it can feel impossible to repair it again. Or, maybe you or your partner has a long-standing issue with trusting others and it is difficult to establish it in the first place. You may use words like ‘I can’t trust my partner’ or ‘My partner has been unfaithful and I cannot trust them ever again’. You may feel that your partner is ‘sneaking around’ or hiding something from you. Trust is often said to be something that is earned, and it is important, if both people desire it, to openly and honestly work through the issue that caused the bond of trust to be lost so that both people can resume their relationship and move forward with love and forgiveness.


Like trust, intimacy is not always something that is freely given and received in relationships. Feeling close to another person can often mean feeling vulnerable, and many people find discomfort in that. This may cause them to pull away from their partner’s touch, or reject their partner’s intimate advances. On the other hand, some people have such strong emotions and such a strong need for intimacy that they give it indiscriminately and seem to ‘fall in love’ with a new person every week. Partners may feel either smothered or neglected. Their partner’s affections may turn to jealousy or resentment if they don’t feel they are being reciprocated. It is crucial to the success of the relationship that both people recognize their own way of thinking about and dealing with intimacy, and that they can communicate this to their partner.


It is an unfortunate reality that intimate partner abuse exists. Domestic violence makes victims out of thousands of people, mostly women, every year. You may be in an abusive relationship and not even realize it because not all abuse is physical. If your partner is threatening or intimidating, if they insist on controlling the finances and who you speak to or see, if they throw things and break things when they are angry at you, and if you live like you’re ‘walking on eggshells’ around them, then you may be in an emotionally or psychologically abusive relationship. Your partner may need individual counselling to help them face and work through their own issues (please refer to the Anger Management counselling page for more information about our AM service), but you can also reach out for help yourself. You do not have to live this way.

How Relationship and Marriage Counceling can help:...

The highly qualified psychologists, psychotherapist and counsellors at McDowall Counselling & Consulting Group are here to offer you support and guidance through couples and marriage councelling. We recognize that it can be difficult to admit that you need help, that you cannot cope on your own, and our couples and marriage councelling provides an empathic ear and a non-judgemental hand. What you and your partner are experiencing is common to many couples, and even the most solid relationships hit bumpy patches along the way. It is important to remember that it is not permanent, that there is a way out, a way forward. Let us help you find your way again.

Couples and Marriage Councelling Toronto | (416) 485-5555 ext. 1
or fill out our confidential web form