You are feeling disconnected from your partner and talking less and less often.
You feel taken for granted or forgotten and are feeling a growing sadness or resentment.
Your home has become a space of tension, frustration and fighting.
You have considered walking away but don’t want to give up on your family without ”trying everything”.
You have found your self shutting down and are having difficulty in imagining that things CAN get better.
You have run into wall after wall in trying to heal your relationship and are starting to question your fit as a couple.
You love your partner and want things to work and are willing to put the work in to get there.
You have started exploring seeking couple’s counseling and are ready to make the leap.
Angelus offers counseling for couples who are feeling lost in their relationship, trying to reconnect, or those who have experienced emotional wounds.
We are here to help you learn how to understand your feelings, communicate your losses, come together again as a team, and map out how to move forward again.
Starting Therapy- Is it better together or alone?
Individual couple’s therapy
Many times one partner is struggling with their feelings regarding their relationship and may choose to come in alone. There are many factors that may initiate you seeking couples/individual counseling. You may want help making sense of your current life situation. You may be confused regarding how you feel or what direction you want to go. There may be decisions that you need to make that would benefit from an outside and unbiased perspective. You may need help overcoming a history of relationship issues that have triggered anxiety, sadness and changes in you as a person. Or how your history of mental health struggles has impacted your ability to fully be in your relationship. Sometimes you may need someone to help you learn how to understand and share your feelings BEFORE you can take those steps to address relationship issues with your partner.
You can work on navigating your relationship more skillfully regardless of whether your partner comes with you to therapy or not. You may also choose to start counseling individually and then add in your partner, or vice versa. Our therapists are skilled in working with couples and can help you make gains individually and as a couple through this process.
With your partner
Working collaboratively with you and your partner, our therapist can help assess your relationship history, areas of struggle and current blocking factors. Your therapist is a neutral party that will be using their skills to help your relationship heal, grow and flourish. Treatment goals will be established together and your therapist will use compassion in helping you not only see problems areas but find ways to move through and past them. Or at times, helping you make the decision if a healthy ending of your relationship is the drection you need to head.
How do you know if Couples counseling is right for You?
Signs you may be ready for counseling:
You love & value your partner and BOTH of you actively want to save your relationship.
Couple’s counseling cannot be effective if only one side actively wants to save the relationship. If one side has already made up their mind of wanting to exit the chances of sucess in treatment are very slim to none and can lead to higher levels of tension and resentment within the relationship dynamic.
When only one side is actively wanting to work on things they are most likely better served by working with a therapist individually on processing the ending of their relationship.
You are BOTH in a stable emotional space and are able to put the time and energy into focusing on your relationship.
When one partner is struggling with intense mental health, addiction, or medical issues they are not able to be fully available to work on their relationship. It is very common that individual work needs to be done BEFORE moving on to larger scale issues as a couple.
When you come in for an intake for couple’s counseling your therapist will explore these individual elements and may encourage you to first address the needs of the individual before starting couple’s work.
You can BOTH commit to scheduling weekly appointments for the next 6-8 weeks;
This means being able to commit to being at the same place, at the same time, without other distractions, and making it a priority in your life and schedule.
It also means being able to understand that it will take AT LEAST 6-8 weeks to see any growth or progress.
You are willing and open to fully exploring ALL probelms in your relationship, on BOTH sides, and can set aside the desire to shame and blame in favor of coming together to make something stronger.
Making progress in couple’s counselings is about finding a common path together. It is about looking at everything that has happened as elements of a larger puzzle without keeping score of each other’s failures and missteps.
It involves being able acknowledge that problems have happened, that bad choices were made, and OWNING your part in it; but NOT feeling a need to continualy punish your partner in the present.
If you cannot move past shame and blame you cannot move forward together.
When is Couples Counseling NOT Appropriate?
If one partner is currently in a relationship with another person.
If one partner is actively cheating or in a relationship with another person that we CANNOT provide couple’s counseling. As this is a major indicator that the partner is not fully committed to the relationship.
If one partner feels that the other needs to CHANGE a foundational part of themselves.
This can sometimes work in the shortrun but long term changes can’t be sustained when forced on another person. Who a person is can only be changed by their own long term work and who they are may be amazing but just Not Compatible with their partner.
If either partner is in an active stage of drug or alcohol addiction.
Their time and energy needs to be spent on their own recovery before they can commit to healing the relationship.
If there are any issues of current or recent physical, emotional or mental abuse.
If there are any active elements of abuse our therapists will be unable to provide any couple’s counseling as the safety of our clients has to be a primary concern. Bringing up emotionally charged material within a session can lead to a state of significant danger after the session ends. If you are experiencing domestic violence please reach out for support for yourself and your safety.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-7233. The Lawrence County 24 hr DV crisis line: 724-656-7867. Text: 724-657-2054.
WHAT DOES THE Couple’s COUNSELING PROCESS LOOK LIKE?
OUR THERAPIST WORKING WITH COUPLES:
never stop learning
At Angelus we are big believers in the importance of learning and education in helping our clients move forward in their lives.
Here are some direct links to different blogs and websites related to relationships that we find helpful. Know a great resource, share it with us!
The 5 Love Languages’ Quiz for Couples
- DATING AS A YOUNG ADULT| Jul 2, 2020 |
- NOT JUST NETFLIX AND CHILL: HOW TO MANAGE RELATIONSHIPS DURING QUARANTINE | May 21, 2020 |
- HOW MENTAL HEALTH AFFECTS INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS | Jan 24, 2020
- WHAT IS RELATIONAL TRAUMA| Oct 4, 2019 |
- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE| Jul 24, 2019 |
- CAN A RELATIONSHIP REALLY SURVIVE INFIDELITY AND BETRAYAL?| Apr 24, 2019 |
- HOW TO CREATE HEALTHY COUPLES’ COMMUNICATION | Apr 16, 2019 |
Counseling can help!
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