Katherine Waddell

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Director

Katherine Waddell is a Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Couples Center of the Pioneer Valley. She is one of only a few Certified Discernment Counselors in Western Massachusetts. She has 30 years of experience providing couples therapy, and over a decade of experience teaching couples therapy to therapists. Her passion for couples counseling has also led her into speaking, teaching workshops and consulting with colleagues all over the country about the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy and Discernment Counseling.  She is a Teaching Assistant to Ellyn Bader at the Couples Institute in Menlo Park, Ca, and has practiced and taught in Massachusetts and California.

Katherine has extensive experience with heterosexual and LGBTQ++ couples struggling with marital distress, affair recovery, substance issues, trauma, step-parenting and sexual problems. She also specializes in working with couples who have a solid foundation and want to further their intimacy, teamwork, and emotional capacities, and stretch and grow even further together. Her background also includes family and child therapy, and is an avid practitioner of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, bringing aspects of trauma work and the Adaptive Information Processing Model into her couples work as couples struggle with trauma.

Other Activities

Katherine continues advanced studies in the Development Model with Dr. Ellyn Bader at the Couples Institute in Menlo Park, California. She is also a seasoned practitioner of Discernment Counseling and has trained extensively with Dr. Bill Doherty. Katherine also admires and continually learns from the work of Esther Perel. Also professional musician and performer, Katherine sings, plays clawhammer banjo and guitar, and writes songs. 

Relationship Intensives With Katherine

Relationship Intensives are a great way for busy, motivated partners to dig into specific areas of their relationship in an efficient, rewarding way without the effort and scheduling hassle of weekly therapy sessions.

Relationship Intensives get right to the heart of the matter including increasing communication skills, tackling tough issues that have proven difficult to resolve on your own, and bolstering each partner’s confidence as a partner and individual.



"We were at the breaking point in our marriage and did not see any resolution to our problems. We came to couples therapy to make one last effort before ending our marriage. After some hard work, we are in a totally different place. We have both grown as individuals and as a result have found joy and PEACE in our marriage. Our new friendship and understanding of each other continues to fuel our desire to tackle some remaining issues that we never thought we would work through."

"I am so glad that we attended couple's therapy with you. I may have tested your patience while we went through the process, but I get it now. I am taking control by making wiser choices that empower me instead of getting angry. It did take me a while to get to this point, but I have arrived. Thank you so much for your guidance, it really was life changing for me."

"Katherine is a great listener who keeps the discussion focused and on topic to deal with the critical issues and to get to the root of the problem. She uses a balanced approach without showing favoritism to address each person’s issues. Her guidance helped to teach us the skills we needed to work through our problems and to improve our ability to communicate with each other. We continue to use these skills to ensure our marriage stays strong. Working on couple’s therapy with Katherine Waddell has been a valuable life changing process for our marriage. Our only regret is that we did not do this sooner."

"I think you have given us a safe and nonjudgmental environment that allows us to hear each other. On some days we need a sounding board, on other days deeper guidance to help us understand how to listen and understand each other. You've also helped us when our extended family was in crisis and we needed someone outside of our family to help us process. I know that therapists are often viewed as people who come and go from one's life but I feel you are a coach for us who will be there when we have difficult times and we need extra support, and over a longer period of time. You help us maintain our relationship by helping us "build emotional muscles" that need strengthening. You are also very attentive and tuned into us in a very real way, you may bring your skill as a therapist and your years of experience of working with other couples, but you focus on us and who we are in a way that makes us feel heard. I think everyone needs that sane clear voice in life of someone who isn't aligned with either individual but is there to support the couple as one body, one unit, to support the relationship. It's a relief that we found you. I look forward to our sessions and always come away feeling more open and grateful. You have helped us enormously."