couples therapy

Couples therapy with Amber Chapman

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.

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relationship checklist

The Relationship Checklist

Relationship checklist – are you the type of person that likes to look at lists? Do you ever wish life came with a manual, a How-To-Tutorial on navigating through the obstacles of life? You aren’t the only one. While there isn’t a tried and true book on successful romantic relationships, there are behaviors that can cause concern. Read through the following list and make a note of things that resonate with you regarding your current relationship.

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relationship

10 Relationship Exercises to Try at Home

Relationships exercises can help prevent you ever calling us for an appointment. As a couple’s therapist, I know that on the outside, a couples’ need for counseling may seem like the relationship is already doomed. Can a relationship survive when things are “bad” enough that outside help is needed? Yes, actually, it can. And it won’t just survive. When the individuals in the relationship are open and coming from a place of love, the relationship only grows stronger and can even begin to thrive.

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surviving an affair

6 Key Steps to Surviving an Affair

For most of us, infidelity isn’t just a rough patch in a relationship – it’s usually the end of it entirely. In a recent study done in the UK, 33% of people surveyed actually think a relationship can survive and thrive after an affair. Yet when the same question was asked to UK relationship counselors, 94% thought redemption was possible. While each relationship is unique and different to the next, it’s rather relieving to hear that so many professionals are optimistic about post-affair relationships. Unfortunately and realistically, affairs do happen. So what are the next steps to take in surviving an affair?

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holiday after divorce

Is this your first Holiday after divorce?

The holidays are typically a time of joy and merriment. We are told to cherish loved ones and bask in the “togetherness” of this magical time of year. Advertisements and movies often show families sledding in a snowy scene or gathered around a fire drinking hot cocoa. But not all families will feel such warmth and cheer this year. With the divorce rate at about 40-50%, the concept of “togetherness” can seem near impossible. Divorce, in general, is scary and for those approaching their first holiday season after a separation, those fears are only enhanced. Even though anxieties may run high, it is still possible for families in this circumstance to still have a happy holiday. Here are five tips to help you survive your first holiday after divorce.

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holiday anxiety

Christmas Family Vacation – Holiday Anxiety?

How to Avoid Holiday Anxiety with Your Family

Canonsburg native Perry Como was the first to say, “there’s no place like home for the holidays”. For some folks, Christmas vacation includes going someplace warm, but most people in Pittsburgh are trading the sun for relatives this year – because nothing beats Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie! All families have their quirks and issues, all of which seem amplified during the extravagance of the holidays. Whether your family’s anxiety triggers come from them being dramatic, toxic or loud and a bit crazy, here are a few tips to help you cope, stay sane, and actually enjoy your holiday this year because for the holidays, you can’t beat home sweet home!

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emotional abuse

Emotional Abuse in relationships

Emotional Abuse

“The scars from mental cruelty can be as deep and long-lasting as wounds from punches or slaps but are often not as obvious. In fact, even among women who have experienced violence from a partner, half or more report that the man’s emotional abuse is what is causing them the greatest harm.” ― Lundy Bancroft

Abuse in the dating world is defined as “a pattern of coercive behavior in which one person attempts to control another through threats or actual use of physical violence, sexual assault, and verbal or psychological abuse. These acts may include physical, sexual, verbal, mental or emotional abuse.” (Source: Safe Voices)

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controlling husband

Controlling Husband – five signs to look for

Five signs your might be married to a controlling husband

Are you concerned that your husband may be controlling? Perhaps you’ve felt this way for a long time, but have found yourself creating excuses for such behavior. Maybe you feel that it’s your fault, or that it’s just the way he is. In fact, you love him. The first step towards finding hope for a better relationship is simply recognizing and becoming aware of some of the signs. Listed below are 5 common indicators of an overbearing spouse who may be attempting to control you:
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codependency

Codependency when soulmates become relationship addicts

Codependency or Relationship Addiction

“If you live your life to please everyone else, you will continue to feel frustrated and powerless. This is because what others want may not be good for you. You are not being mean when you say NO to unreasonable demands or when you express your ideas, feelings, and opinions, even if they differ from those of others.” -Beverly Engel, The Nice Girl Syndrome

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Falling out of love

Falling out of love – what do you do about it

Falling Out of Love?

The realization that our feelings towards our partner have changed can be confusing. Is it for the best? Was it him or I that changed? Was I actually in love or was it all fantasy? This can be one of the most painful processes to undergo. In order to understand where the love went, self-reflection is necessary. The recognition of our own behaviors in relationships that result in distance between us and our partner can allow us to understand ourselves and our interpersonal patterns on a deeper level. Carolyn Joyce states that “we must know ourselves in order to truly fall in love with someone else.”

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