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Welcome to Turn Towards Couples Counselling

Evidence-Based Strategies
For Committed Couples and Recent Singles

What is Turn Towards Couples Counselling?

Let’s start with the term, “turn towards.” Turning towards is a Gottman Method term that refers to how couples respond to one another’s bids for attention: “Hey honey! That squirrel just hit a live wire!” If this exclamation is acknowledged, or even if the interlocutor issues a grunt of interest, this is known as “turning towards.”* As a therapist with a deep respect for the Gottman Method, and an interest in pursuing studies within the Gottman Institute, I felt compelled to pay homage to the research of Doctors John and Julie Gottman, whose programs have guided the bulk of my work with couples. Thus, “Turn Towards" is a nod to the Gottmans’s research, as well as a convenient double meaning for turning towards therapy in general.


Who do I help? Primarily, I focus on helping two groups of people: couples (married, common law, or separated) and recent singles undergoing breakup or betrayal trauma. Using evidence-based interventions, I create an environment where couples can feel safe to voice concerns, digest betrayals, build trust, and explore new avenues for friendship and romance. As someone who empathises deeply with those undergoing breakup trauma, I also provide a welcoming space for singles to digest past betrayals and regrets, and formulate a vision for a more hopeful future.

Image by Morgan Sessions

*According to the Gottman Institute, couples need to “turn toward” each other 86% of the time to maintain their relationship.

"No matter what style your marriage follows, you must have five times as many positive than negative moments together if you're marriage is to be stable."

-John Gottman Phd.

The Counsellor
Sarah Andrea Smith, BFA, MACP, RCC, CCC

General Counselling:

  • Vernon Family Resource Centre, CVS Program, 2018

  • Masters of Counselling Psychology, Yorkville University, 2021

Treating Trauma | Lifespan Integration Cert.: 

  • Lifespan Integration Therapy Level 1, 2023

  • Lifespan Integration Therapy Level 2, 2023

  • Lifespan Integration Therapy Level 3, 2023

Couples Therapy | Gottman Institute Cert.:

  • Clinical Foundations in Gottman Method Couples Therapy Levels 1 and 2, 2022

  • Clinical Foundations in Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level 3, 2023

  • Bringing Baby Home Educator, 2023

  • Certificate for Treating Trauma and Affairs, 2024

Registration # (CCC): 11242347

Registration # (RCC): 20873

My Motivation: The idea of creating a practice for serving couples and recent singles has grown out of my own past challenges in committed relationships. I know, like many, the emotional weathering dysfunctional relationships can have on one’s well being. I know how bewildering, angering, and isolating it can be to have one’s sense of reality turned on end by a betrayal, separation, or divorce. Going through these experiences myself, and learning how deeply intimate relationships affect one’s quality of life, has motivated my focus on philosophies and psychotherapies that promote grace and functionality when it comes to living with, and leaving, others. 


My Promise to Couples: I would like to affirm that I operate as a partisan to the relationship and not the individual. I use research-based methodologies to identify dysfunctional behaviours such as defensiveness, criticism, contempt, stonewalling, and actions that threaten trust and commitment in the relationship. As a partisan to the relationship (and NOT to either individual) my interest is in attacking the behaviour- NOT the individual. 

My aim is to help couples get from a place of "me-ness" to "we-ness" in the relationship and help them find ways to manage conflict, foster a culture of affection and appreciation, and build meaning as a united front. I do this through a mix of interventions and psycho-education informing best practices within relationships. As well, I aim to equip clients with the knowledge and resources they need to feel confident in LEAVING THERAPY, and maintain their relationships on their own. On the topic of leaving therapy, please see section on "massing and fading" in therapy for guidance on therapy schedules.

My Qualifications: I am a Canadian Clinical Counsellor (CCC) and Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) with a Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology (MACP). I have attained Level Three Training in Lifespan Integration Therapy which I use in treating breakup and betrayal trauma in recent singles as well as trauma within relationships. For couples work, I draw from my education in Levels 1, 2, and 3 of Gottman Method training and am currently working toward certification in trauma and addictions. As a certified Bringing Baby Home Educator, I also strive to help couples adjust to the tumultuous and exciting transition into parenthood*.

*Nearly 70% of couples experience a decline in relationship satisfaction within three years of having children.

-John and Julie Gottman

If you are either a couple struggling in your relationship, or a single person suffering from breakup trauma, and you have the time and commitment for structured, evidence-based, in-person therapy, please consider contacting me for a 20 minute telephone consultation at no cost. Book a FREE 20 minute telephone consultation here.

Contact Information:

Hours of Operation: Thurs, Fri: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm

(I will be opening on Wednesdays starting February 21st, 2024)

If these hours do not work for you, please let me know and we can arrange an alternative time. I am flexible!

NOTE: I see a maximum of five clients per day to maintain focus and quality of service. Once five time slots are booked, the remaining times slots become unavailable. 


Address: 2009 Enterprise Way, Suite E, Room 5, Kelowna, BC, (Located in Odette's Wellness Centre). 


Phone: (250) 808-9679

Please call or text between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm.



I'm glad you reached out!

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