Kelly Smerz

Kelly Smerz, Ph.D.

Our closest relationships hold great importance psychologically. They can be a wellspring of immense joy, and just as easily, can induce some of our greatest frustrations, heartaches, and challenges. I understand that couples seeking therapy need more than a good listener to help them navigate their way to healing. They need someone who can guide them in both the individual and relational growth that promotes emotional connection and well-being.

As a clinical psychologist in practice for over 16 years, I have developed a deep understanding of how relationships shape us throughout our lives. When we partner or marry in adulthood, we bring with us not only the visions and goals for a loving adult relationship, but also residues of the past that sometimes, despite our best efforts, continue to entangle us. Through the lens of a couples therapist, I guide couples in creating a compassionate relational space that fosters
the growth of each individual, the development of mutual support and understanding, and an evolution in the partnership that lends itself to a richer and more rewarding relationship.

When you work with me in couples therapy, you can anticipate a skillfully integrated approach to treatment. I draw from the work of Gottman-based therapy, which incorporates ideas such as creating a strong relational house, learning to recognize and rethink damaging communication patterns, and learning to create a relationship where love runs deep and is supported by feelings of affection, admiration, and friendship. From the perspective of Emotion Focused Therapy, I work with couples on emotional attunement skills. We often explore the “emotional dance” that has arisen through the years and resulted in patterns of relating that interfere with greater love and vibrance in the relationship. Finally, drawing from my broader work as a psychologist, we additionally address the interface of the marital dynamic and the unique mental health, physical health, addiction, or other stressors faced by each of the partners.

Through my work through the Relationship Center of Milwaukee, I partner with my husband, Dr.Paul Smerz, and several colleagues to provide couples with a unique therapeutic experience that enables them to forge a path of deeper and more enduring change. I think you will find that we provide exceptional care.

I enjoy the challenge of working with couples in all combinations and welcome LGBTQ+ individuals into my practice.

I also maintain a Florida telehealth license and offer virtual visits to those who are permanently or temporarily residing in the State of Florida.

Phone: (414) 269-1471
Fax: (414) 963-6866