The Tender Hearts Story

Strong, healthy relationships are achievable for everybody, all you need are the tools to nurture them. At Tender Hearts, we teach you how to nurture two kinds of relationships: the intimate, romantic relationship with your partner, and the relationship you have with your inner self. What does that entail, and most importantly, who can benefit from it?  

We help couples and singles build stronger romantic relationships and intimate connections. In our coaching sessions, we help you discover patterns to find stronger, more enduring, and deeper intimate connections. Unlike couples’ or relationship therapy, we do not dwell on the past. Instead we focus on the present and future, and together we come up with tangible tools and goals to strengthen your relationship. 

We also specialize in strengthening the relationship between you and your inner self – or your inner creative energy. If you are interested in unlocking your creative potential, we can help you discover yourself and your passions. Whether you are a professional artist or have never touched a paint brush, once you unlock your inner creative energy, s/he/it will positively color the world and the relationships around you.

Image by Bjørn Venø

Meet Dr. Stephanie Koziej

Koziej, Ph.D. presenting her research at NWSA (2018)

Tender Hearts was founded by Stephanie Koziej (she/her/they), Ph.D.,  an award-winning researcher, scholar, artist, teacher, and certified relationship coach. Dr. Koziej has spent the past 15 years studying relationships and intimacy, culminating in her Ph.D. degree from Emory University in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She also holds a certificate in psychoanalytic studies from the Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute. And, she holds a double Master’s degree from KU Leuven  in Belgium in Philosophy.

Dr. Koziej’s relational coaching practice and consulting draws on more than 15 years of research and knowledge-collection. Her theoretical framework is especially influenced by critical theory, psychoanalysis, philosophy, women’s gender and sexuality studies. Her holistic coaching and consulting practice with both individuals and couples focuses on identifying and working through problematic patterns and ideologies that form obstacles in the ability to intimately connect. During each sessions, Dr. Koziej will offer conceptual and practical tools to become more vulnerable, tender and able to deeply and safely relate and couple.

Dr. Koziej is committed to providing the highest level of service and best possible outcomes for all clients, taking time to develop a close relationship and understand each person’s unique relational needs.

To comply with the CDC Covid-19 recommendations, Tender Hearts offers all its services in remote settings. If you live in Atlanta it is also possible to meet outside in a quiet park or during a walk.

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If you’re looking for a relationship and intimacy coach, Stephanie is without a doubt one of the best. Her non-judgmental, empathic nature makes our sessions comforting and easy to open up to, and her extensive background makes her advice feel actionable and authentic. Even from a few sessions, I already notice such a difference in how I view my personal and intimate life. I seriously could not find a better coach! 10/10


When I was going through a breakup, Stephanie was able to ground me and not act hasty. Together we worked on a message to write to my ex and a plan to move forward. Now my partner and I are back together and stronger than ever. I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome! I highly recommend Stephanie’s coaching services!


Stephanie is an incredible listener and observer. Whether I’m dealing with issues regarding my boyfriend, friend(s), family, or even my job, Stephanie finds ways to un-stuck me, by making me see things from a different perspective. She is friendly, kind and incredibly wise!


Talking about intimacy and sex is not always easy, but somehow it is with Stephanie! She is so knowledgeable about the topic and non-judgmental. She made me understand some sex negative and misogynist ideologies that were at the root of my relationship to sex. After working with her I allowed myself to become more open about my sexuality and to speak up with my partner. Stephanie literally changed my life! Do yourself a favor, and book some sessions with this woman!