Couples Counseling

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Need Help With a Romantic Relationship

A cardinal point represents a compass’s north, south, east, and west points. These points help you find your direction. Cardinal Point Counseling aims to help you find your direction with romantic relationships. As a Columbus, Ohio, area practice in Dublin, Ohio, we serve Columbus and surrounding communities. We specialize in premium couples counseling, pre-marriage counseling, marriage counseling, discernment counseling (where at least one person has their foot out the door and is on the brink of divorce), and individual counseling related to relationships. The location is convenient for anyone wanting therapy in Columbus, Ohio, or virtually, anywhere in Ohio. Our objective is to provide solutions to help you meet your goals. Couples coaching or stress coaching may provide a slightly different but similar experience for those who live outside Ohio. We are all about transparency, so please read about realistic expectations for Columbus couples counseling.

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Is Your Relationship Not What it Used to be?

Is the chemistry you once felt gone? Do you spend more time fighting than getting along? Have there been thoughts of separation? Perhaps one or both partners has been unfaithful? Are finances and arguments over money a concern? It is normal for romance to dwindle over time, but many couples wait until they are already in a bad place to try couples counseling (but it’s never too late). Many couples struggle with communication, but there is often more behind communication difficulties than just communication. Relationships can become more challenging and also more rewarding as time passes. Individual appointments may be appropriate for you.

“Friendship fuels the flames of romance because it offers the best protection against feeling adversarial toward your spouse.”

John M. Gottman

See below for a video explaining Cardinal Point Counseling relationship counseling

It is Normal for the Spark to Go Away

Feeling more like roommates than partners? When couples first fall in love, the critical part of the brain is less active when they are together. As time passes, what used to be slightly annoying or cute habits can become significant sources of annoyance and contention. Couples with kids experience the joy of having a larger family, but they can also bring increased stress. COVID has not helped the situation, as social isolation and unemployment have increased depression. Some couples resort to cheating, which is made easier by the internet and more people working outside the home. Marriage therapists in Columbus, Ohio, can help with these concerns.

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For couples therapy to work, it typically requires each person to work on themselves and the relationship (and not just try to “fix” the partner). It goes both ways.

“Love is everything it’s cracked up to be… It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, your risk is even greater.”

– Erica Jong

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There is Hope

We use the Gottman Method, based on over 45 years of research. This is joined with Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and Ellyn Bader’s Developmental Model to create an individualized approach designed together with you. Finding a therapist who asks you to talk through problems may not be enough without using a proven methodology. Couples on the brink of divorce may need discernment counseling. These methods can sometimes help couples, even those on the verge of separation or divorce, to repair the relationship. By learning better ways to communicate and interact, couples can rediscover what they once had. Learning the root causes of communication issues can be even more important. Exercises include getting to know one another once again, learning how to have positive interactions, seeing things from your partner’s point of view, rebuilding trust, discovering how to repair from a fight, rekindling the romance, and learning how to compromise.

“Love is, in actuality, the pinnacle of evolution, the most compelling survival mechanism of the human species…because love drives us to bond emotionally with a precious few others who offer us safe haven from the storms of life…It is as basic to life, health, and happiness as the drives for food, shelter, or sex.”

“Studies show that, in the hands of a good counselor, marriage counseling is successful 70- 80% of the time”

William Doherty, PhD, LCSW

Additionally, see the blog for more information.

Many people realize their relationship has issues or just opportunities for growth but feel that couples counseling is intimidating or sounds scary. Like a physical injury, the sooner a relationship is treated, the more likely it is to heal. Preventative care can help reduce the frequency or severity of later problems. Sometimes the hardest part is having the courage to take the first step, schedule an appointment (and show up :)). Couples can usually tell within about four sessions if it is helping. Please read about realistic expectations in couple counseling. Many of the same principles apply to individual counseling.

Some fear that talking about problems will make things worse. It is for this reason that communication strategies and relationship education come early on. The first session is designed to focus on the strengths of your relationship and understanding your goals. We know you want to get to solving problems so that you won’t be overloaded with a full analysis of your past or bombarded with assessments. That said, you can take an assessment ($39) from the Gottman Institute that identifies your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and specific interventions for your relationship. This assessment and associated interventions are based on over 45 years of research. You should also meet individually at least once early on to have uninterrupted time to tell your story.

The duration of therapy can vary depending on your needs, but the average duration for the best results is 6-20 sessions (yes, there is a wide range). Some couples need less than that (e.g., pre-marriage counseling, discernment counseling), and some relationships may take a year to heal.

Couples on the Brink of Divorce

Some couples or one member of the couple may have at least one foot out the door. In fact, about 30% of couples who come to counseling are in a scenario where one person wants to stay in a marriage or lifetime commitment, and the other is leaning out the door. This special type of counseling differs from traditional couples counseling and deals with couples with mixed agendas. Discernment Counseling is usually what is called for under this scenario. Discernment Counseling is one to five sessions and is about helping you make an informed and confident decision to either keep things as they are, divorce, or put divorce off the table for a while as you both commit to working as hard as you can and promising to each other to attend longer-term couple therapy.

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Finding the Right Fit is Important

The therapeutic relationship you have with a counselor is extremely important. Finding the best available marriage counseling or individual counseling in Columbus, Ohio, is essential. Finding someone you feel comfortable talking about some of the most personal matters is essential. A good relationship counselor or individual counselor can help you to feel more at ease while helping you work through problems. Counseling is not always easy, and sometimes there can be painful moments. Having the right person to guide and help you with those conversations can be very important. It can be difficult to find a couple’s counselor or anxiety or depression counselor near you for therapy in Columbus who is available and a great fit. Many men prefer a male marriage counselor, a male individual counselor, or a male couples counselor.

You need someone who won’t take sides… but will take sides. A marriage counselor should take the side of your relationship and relationship goals. This may mean being called out for being inappropriate or doing things that hurt your relationship. It may mean controlling the session so there aren’t frequent interruptions and conversations don’t derail. This takes a blend of compassion and directivity and having a counselor who knows when to use each. If your partner will not go with you, it may still be beneficial to have individual therapy.

Marriage counseling or relationship counseling requires someone who is skilled in helping you meet your relationship goals. For most couples counseling clients, that means trying to repair the relationship. Some couples are more proactive and want pre-marriage or engagement counseling to help them avoid common problems. Some couples conclude that they should try separation or want an amicable divorce.

Having someone who used a methodology based on considerable evidence, such as Gottman therapy, can be extremely important. Every couple is also different, so the ability to take what works from Gottman marriage counseling and also incorporate other methods (such as emotionally focused therapy) is also essential. Marriage counseling should be collaborative. Your counselor can help guide you through relationship counseling, and you should be given the opportunity to discuss whatever is on your mind.

A strong commitment is important for relationship counseling. The ability to express yourself and be open about what you are experiencing as a couple is essential to the relationship counseling process.

If you found this website, you likely searched on something like “Columbus OH marriage therapists”, “best marriage counselor near me”, “couple counseling Columbus Ohio”, “Anxiety and Depression Counseling,” or “Dublin Ohio marriage counseling.” Please peruse the website, read the blogs, and call if you have any questions.

Common Questions

Do you have current availability?

Yes, we have some current availability.

Do you offer evening and weekend hours?

Weekday appointments run as late as 5-6. Saturday appointments are available between 7 AM and 11 AM

Are appointments available in person?

Yes. Most people find in-person appointments most effective for those in the Columbus, Ohio, area. Anyone in Ohio or with different circumstances or preferences can also make virtual appointments.

Do you take insurance?

The short answer is no. Please see the fees menu for details. We can give you a Superbill to send to your insurance company for out-of-network benefits (but we cannot guarantee they will pay). We treat the entire relationship as the client. The insurance model wants a primary client with a diagnosed mental illness that becomes the focus of treatment. We do not support this model when treating couples. We do not believe insurance allows us to treat couples properly, so we do not take it.

Do you offer free initial consultations?

Yes. These informal sessions to allow you to ask questions and see if you think there is a good fit. These can be scheduled as in-office or telehealth 15-minute appointments (via the various schedule buttons on the website). You are also free to call or email anytime if that works for you (messages are typically returned within twelve hours or less). This website has a lot of information, so feel free to peruse the site first or in lieu of a consultation (if the site provides you with confidence and answers your questions).

For more questions, see the FAQ page. More information is also available on the blog page.

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Wellness counseling exercise and mental healthHave questions, call 614.327.1600 or contact us

Cardinal Point Counseling is a Columbus, Ohio, marriage counseling practice that also serves anyone in Ohio through telehealth. Couples coaching may provide a slightly different but similar experience for those anywhere in the world. Our goal is that clients say “Cardinal Point Counseling is the best marriage counseling near me.”

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