Couples Therapy at Starpoint

Marriage counseling, also called couples therapy, is a type of psychotherapy that is conducted by licensed therapists. Usually involving both partners, marriage counseling helps couples to recognize underlying conflicts and improve their relationship. It can help married couples make thoughtful decisions, overcome differences and enhance communication between them. Marriage counseling is also an ideal resource for relationship help. Often short term, marriage counseling also encourages both partners to focus on self-improvement and self-awareness. In couples therapy at Starpoint Counseling Center, a marriage counselor can help you to:

  1. Explore your hopes, expectations and relationship concerns
  2. Understand each other better
  3. Teach your effective ways to communication with each other
  4. Explain why there are differences of opinion & what to do about them
  5. Learn problem solving strategies
  6. Learn how to move on from marital disappointments and anger
  7. Understand the possible implications of a breakup

Starpoint Counseling Center is also aware of the fact that couples come to them reluctantly, but with a hope that it can benefit their marriage. A good counselor will make every effort to help the couple feel at ease and advise them as best as possible. We can schedule your appointment around your busy schedule. Call or text (813) 244-1251.  You can also reach us online:

Also see: http://www.starpointcounselingbrandon &



Don’t Give Up on Love

Couples therapy can be used to treat issues both big and small. Or it can be used to enhance certain parts of your relationship. It doesn’t always require weekly visits or intensive psychotherapy where we dig into your childhood or highlight your skeletons in front of your significant other.

You are in charge of the process and that process is aligned with whatever goals you choose to focus on.

  • have a healthier relationship
  • cope with trust issues
  • overcome infidelity
  • better understand your partner through productive communication
  • accept your partner
  • learn how support each other
  • learn how to ask for support from each other
  • learn to share your lives productively and happily
  • improve quality time
  • learn to parent together
  • resolve conflicts
  • mediate a separation

Want to find out if you and your partner can benefit from Couples Counseling?

Call us today to schedule your couples counseling appointment: (813) 244-1251 or email us at:




Managing Change in Your Relationship

It is quite normal for relationships to go through periods of change and many couples are able to adjust and reshape their relationship as it evolves. It is also quite normal for relationships to become stuck during this process, especially during major life events such as having a child, changing careers, having financial difficulties, and going through changes in health. Couple’s counseling offers a great opportunity to gain clarity, learn how to work through challenges, and grow as an individual and as a couple. It is important to seek help as early as possible in order to learn the tools necessary for managing changes and to preserve your relationship. The journey may be difficult, but the rewards great.


There’s a Word for That? Pt. 3

limerace 3
In The Gift of Therapy, by existential therapist Irvin Yalom, a whole chapter is devoted to conducting therapy with a couple in the beginning stages of love. Although he doesn’t make reference to “limerance” specifically, it is implied in much of the text. He describes that couples in this state may not make the most logical choices, and often act off of the intense emotions that pair with romantic love. He also urges the therapist, “don’t try to joust with love anymore than you would powerful religious beliefs- those are duels you cannot win…” Well spoken advice from an expert in the subject matter. What he is describing is a feeling that will not be contested, and any advice given to the couple may fall on deaf ears. They are not at this point ready to receive any “advice” or “words of wisdom” that challenges the beauty and goodness of their relationship. But, why did the love struck individual or couple come to therapy? We have to assume that there is some problem with the relationship dynamics if someone is introducing their problems within the therapeutic relationship, and the therapist has to be crafty as to how he or she introduces this subject.

The question posed in our last blog, “Is limerence healthy/unhealthy, bad/good, or rational/irrational is still difficult to answer. But a conclusion can be drawn from some of the information that we already have. While limerence feels good, it may ultimately be irrational. Thinking can sometimes be distorted and therefore the euphoric state can be considered illogical. But, it is sometimes an emotional captivity that we do not seemingly have control over. This is dangerous because it ultimately affects our decision making processes, and we all know that each decision we make has some sort of consequence (negative or positive).

However, limerence does have its positive side. Who can deny that the sensation of being in love is wonderful? Who can say that they would ever give up these intense sentiments and emotions? It is a state to be reflected upon and to admire, that we as humans are capable of deceiving ourselves to such a degree that it affects our whole lives at times. No other animal is capable of doing this. The positive, as Yalom describes, from limerence is a sense of hope that may not exist in skepticism and that is uniquely present in the euphoric state. So the answer really lies in the individual. Each action and situation that a person is in, or has been in, can be reflected upon to create a better awareness of the self, to learn about life and all of its components. The label, good or bad cannot realistically be put upon the idea of limerence. Rather, it may be for the individual to decide how beneficial it is for him/her to experience this state and to learn and grow from it. Or, to avoid it and its potential negative consequences.

What do you think? Have you ever felt limerence before? Star Point Counseling wants to know! Comment below…

Also, be sure to check out our website at

First Comes Love, Then Comes Communication…


When couples get engaged to be married, there is often a feeling of euphoria, passion, and happiness. Knowing who you want to spend the rest of your life with, without a shadow of a doubt, can leave someone feeling satisfied and content, sometimes leading to less “realistic” communication about the future. The passionate love almost blinds us from seeing potential red flags and sometimes tears down our boundaries that we always knew we could keep. Conversations are intense and intimate, but may not include real and transparent values and beliefs. To avoid a fight and keep the “good feelings” going, couples will sometimes dodge discussions about sensitive topics, only leading to unmet expectations and future arguments. Jobs, kids, pets, finances, religious beliefs and boundaries with in-laws are common sources of disagreement that can even lead to divorce. Getting these opinions and expectations out is an essential part of setting up a healthy relationship and in turn a thriving marriage. Talking about difficult subjects also builds communication skills and allows the couple to learn how to talk to one another.
While arguments cannot all be avoided, and are in some instances inevitable, talking about the large topics is almost sure to be a benefit to the engaged couple. Check out this article for more information on topics to discuss before getting married.

For more information on premarital counseling in the Brandon/Tampa Bay area, call Star Point Counseling and set up an appointment today 813-244-1251. Or check out our website

Therapist Profile: Bill Hogan LMFT

Bill hogan
Bill Hogan, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). He received his MA from the University of South Florida and BA in Psychology from the University of West Florida. Since 1983, Bill has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and is also a certified parent educator, practicum supervisor, and developer of mental health programming.

Bill was formerly the Program Manager for the Department of Children’s Services where he managed Tampa’s Haven W. Poe Runaway Shelter and residential programs for children with emotional problems and pre-delinquency issues. He has worked for almost 40 years with Children and Families at all levels from child caring, counseling, supervision, and program development. He has retired from program responsibilities and returned to family counseling and therapy as well as marriage counseling practices at Star Point Counseling Center in Brandon and Tampa, FL.

Bill is just one of the many therapists we have on board here at Star Point Counseling Center. We are happy to have him as a member of the team. For more information on our experienced and skilled team of therapists and interns visit our website at Or, call Sam at 813-244-1251 to set up an appointment!