Hello, my name is Amber Chapman, MA, LPC, CAADC, and I have been a practicing therapist for over 17 years.  Couples therapy in the form of Couples and marriage counseling is a high priority for me as I believe we all deserve to have healthy, trustworthy, loving relationships that increase our individual strengths.  All relationships have challenges that arise, however we sometimes are without the coping skills necessary to meet those challenges in a healthy manner.  It can be an even more daunting task to develop these coping skills within the community with diverse needs such as the LBGT community.  Though it is typical for LBGT couples to seek therapy for the exact same reasons as a heterosexual couple, it is important to find a therapist who is LBGT specialized to create an appropriately trustworthy therapeutic relationship.

What types of Couples therapy are there?

All couples tend to thrive in the therapy style that best meets their needs.  GOTTMAN THERAPY, a highly successful treatment approach for couples, uses techniques to increase respect, closeness, and affection while decreasing conflict.  It increases trust and commitment to lifelong relationships. CBT is another approach for couples that is wildly beneficial. Cognitive- Behavioral Therapy helps couples find acceptance, commitment, and empathetic communication. Sometimes it even helps to build a strong friendship within the couple.  There are many other great approaches to meet the needs of couples.  However, in my opinion, no one fits that neatly in one therapy style, so the approach most often used is eclectic to fit each person’s needs in the relationship.

How long does Couples therapy last?

Couples therapy on average lasts 6 months, with one session weekly.  But again, this is based on each couple’s individuals needs and desires.  Ending therapy too quickly may result in putting a band-aid on the problem but not truly eliminating the issue.  So treatment length will be discussed as needed throughout the therapeutic process.

So what are some reasons for LGBT couples to seek therapy? Infidelity, emotional cheating, issues with former significant others (including former heterosexual partners), issues with parents and family, parenting-related issues, dealing with stigmas and discriminations, mental health issues of a partner, addictions and substance use issues, communication problems, trust and self-esteem related concerns, roles, and responsibilities within the relationship, developing a support system, boundary development, and intimacy concerns (just to name a few).

How do you find the right person for couples therapy?

When seeking therapy it is important to find a professional with experience and familiarity with the challenges present as part of the LBGT community. Christina Panaccione and Associates, LLC has two locations in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and is currently accepted a limited number of new patients. Contact me today so we can face your challenges together to ensure a successful therapeutic outcome, developing healthy relationships that we all deserve!


* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.