Who We Are

Hello, I’m Irene Oudyk-Suk, founder of Couples In Step. We are passionate about couples therapy.

Let Me Tell You Why

My husband and I lived in Manila, Philippines for 3 years. Away from supportive friends and family, adjusting to a society not our own, managing household staff for the first time, figuring out work environments so different than what we were accustomed to–it all exacted a toll on our marriage, as is the case for many couples who take their marriages abroad. But there’s more to my passion for couple’s therapy than my own experience.

Living away from North America changed me from a Canadian citizen to a world citizen. I personally looked into the eyes of women and children caught up in the sex-trade industry. Day-to-day life in the developing world helped me more easily appreciate the aspirations of people from Haiti, Zimbabwe and Thailand. Mudslide, tsunami and typhoon victims were my near neighbors, not distant strangers. I wondered with an urgency I never knew before, “With all this suffering in our global village, how can I really make a difference?”

Irene Oudyk-Suk Training & Experience

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Makes a Difference for That One

A familiar fable tells of someone walking along a starfish littered beach after a storm. She comes upon a beachcomber throwing marooned starfish back into the ocean. The woman out for a stroll is amazed, and asks the beachcomber, “What are you doing?”

“Saving starfish,” says the beachcomber.

“Why? There’s so many! Throwing a few back won’t make a difference.”

“The beachcomber picks up another starfish, throws it back into the ocean and responds, “Makes a difference for that one.”

And that is how it is for me, too. I can’t single-handedly end HIV in Africa, bring peace to Afghanistan, or rebuild Real, Quezon (mudslides in Philippines that claimed hundreds of lives during the time I lived there). I can, however, contribute to the healing of the world by helping one couple at a time and building a team of therapists who share my devotion. There are no shortage of marriages that could use a new lease on life.

Makes a Difference for Me, Too

The effort my husband and I expend on our relationship, in the Philippines and in adjusting back to North America, reminds me daily of the challenge of living in a global village.

When my husband and I are gridlocked in argument, I sometimes succumb to words of contempt and attack. Reflecting on this, afterwards, I realize that I’ve caught a glimpse, in myself, of the divide between, for example, extremist Islam and secular Western values. Every time my husband and I successfully manage some warm but straight talk, or reach out to heal wounds we cause, I catch a glimpse of what our global village needs–and I’m energized with new hope. That hope fuels my passion to contribute to the healing of the world by focusing on both my marriage and my work with couples.

Nearly Every Couple Faces Challenges

Sometimes the difficulties can get so over whelming they can make both of you feel helpless. In our stress-filled, anxiety-driven lives it helps to talk with a professional about your relationship. Couples In Step offers a variety of services to help couples repair and revive their relationship: in-person counselling, on-line counselling, 3-day intensive couples counselling for couples in crisis, weekend couples retreats, discernment counselling for couples where one, or both of you, are uncertain about continuing the relationship.

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