History of Center for Relationship Therapy

Brian C. Campden-Main, MD, LMFT – Founder, Deceased

The Center for Relationship Therapy has a long history of serving Fairfax County. It was originally founded in 1974 by Brian C. Campden-Main to help individuals and couples with sexual problems. He had become interested in the field of sex therapy in its earliest infancy. He began by studying with both Masters and Johnson, St. Louis MO and Hartman and Fithian, Long Beach, CA.

In 1981, Mary Linda Sara married Brian Campden-Main. In 1983, she joined the Institute as Co-Director. In 1986, she finished her Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. She began studying with Masters and Johnson in 1979 and also did training with Hartman and Fithian. Along the way, they have studied with many pioneers in the field of Sex Therapy including Joseph LoPiccolo, David Schnarch and others.

In the early nineties, Brian and Mary Linda became intrigued with two new ideas. One was the concept of Sex Addiction/Compulsivity. Having read Patrick Carnes’ book Out of the Shadows, Drs. Campden-Main and Sara immediately saw an application that enhanced their work as a sexologists. They intuitively understood the concept as something more than high sexual drive and began to study with Patrick Carnes. Mary Linda and Brian both became Certified Sex Addiction Therapists (CSAT). Dr. Campden-Main began running groups in the 1991. Meanwhile, Dr. Sara was being trained as an Imago Therapist (1993).

The other was Imago Therapy a new technique and theory for working with couples. Dr. Sara was trained directly by Dr. Harville Hendrix in 1994. Their paths merged when Brian became an Imago Therapist and both became Workshop Presenters. Brian retired from his practice in 2003, after being recognized by the American Psychiatric Society for 50 years of service. He died February 26, 2007.

After 2007, Dr. Sara has continued to work under the name of the Center for Relationship Therapy.

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