Relationship Expert Wakefield to Head Couples Center at UAMS

By Ben Boulden

Chelsea Wakefield, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., is an assistant professor in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and director of the Couples Center, a program created to help couples with the relationship problems that are so common in today’s modern world. The center will also offer training and a certification program for professionals who are seeking to develop their clinical skills in this important area of life.

Wakefield will lead a free, four-week class entitled Relationships 101 held at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Little Rock beginning Jan 11. Couples also may join after the first class. The sessions will help couples learn more rewarding ways to interact and understand the mystery of relationships. For more information, contact Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, (501) 372-0294 or check its events page

“Many people today feel disconnected and disillusioned when it comes to their intimate lives,” said Wakefield. “After the initial blush of romance, a series of disenchantments begin. Unfulfilled expectations and unresolved hurt slowly erode the foundation of a relationship. Power struggles, resentment, regret and withholding begin. Many couples spend years drifting in resignation or repetitive arguments that go nowhere.”

Wakefield said exhaustion from a couple’s many roles and responsibilities such as work demands, caring for children and aging parents, and hormonal changes that occur with aging can all lead to relationship problems.

“I see couples of all ages and stages of life here, young couples who want to get off to a good start, established couples who want to stop engaging in hurtful relationship patterns, and couples who have lost that loving feeling and want to rekindle their emotional and sexual connection. Relationships invite us to grow in ways we would never grow on our own. I help people to walk through the swamplands into the garden of possibility.”

Wakefield has led educational retreats and workshops around the world, and plans to offer community workshops for those wanting to improve and enrich their relationships. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s in social work, and a Ph.D. in clinical sexology. She has published two books, which are valued by both clinical professionals and educated lay audiences, Negotiating the Inner Peace Treaty and In Search of Aphrodite: Women, Archetypes and Sex Therapy.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a northwest Arkansas regional campus; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,870 students, 799 medical residents and two dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS regional centers throughout the state. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.