male counselor

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Columbus, Ohio Couples Counselor

Multiple factors can go into finding the right fit for a relationship or marriage counselor in Columbus, Ohio. However, the following are five common considerations.

  1. Cost and Payment Methods

Couples counseling can be somewhat long-term and isn’t necessarily cheap. Your first inclination may be to find a place that takes insurance. This may make the most sense for you and is the only way to afford marriage counseling. Just beware of some of the pitfalls with insurance. Couples counseling or problems with relationships are not medical problems typically covered by insurance. Insurance is designed for more of a medical model of diagnosis (of things like anxiety and depression) and treatment. Ineffective communication in a relationship, for example, is not a mental illness. For your insurance to cover relationship counseling, one person must usually be named the primary client. They likely will need a mental health diagnosis treated as part of the couples therapy. For example, perhaps one person has exacerbated anxiety because the relationship isn’t going well. A counselor could perhaps work with the couple to improve the anxiety by working on the relationship. Or, your insurance company may require the therapist to focus on band-aids for the anxiety, with the other partner present. This model can put insurance companies in charge of the care and duration of treatment you receive. You may also not be able to obtain individual counseling for anxiety through insurance if your marriage counseling is also focused on anxiety (or vice versa). We use the Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Therapy as two fundamental techniques and don’t believe the full use of these techniques fits with the medical insurance model. Also, check your deductible, as some plans have separate mental health deductibles that you may be highly unlikely to hit, hence making insurance an exercise in added paperwork and red tape without the benefits.

Cardinal Point Counseling isn’t the cheapest option, but it is not the most expensive either. There is no guarantee that you will get better or lesser outcomes depending on what you pay. Cardinal Point Counseling attempts to stay roughly in the middle to allow clients to receive care without sacrificing the quality of care.

  1. Specialization

Many counselors see couples. That does not mean that they have advanced training in treating couples. There are so many sub-specialties, even within relationship counseling, that keeping us with this form of counseling can be a full-time job. If therapists treat everything, it is fair to ask how much time they spend counseling and researching couples therapy. With few exceptions, Cardinal Point Counseling solely treats relationship issues among couples, which allows us to specialize in this vital area. Many counselors are trained to be empathic and ask good open-ended questions. Still, couples who see us often report that the informal approach used by many who treat couples as well as other populations did not work well.

  1. Gender

The gender of the therapist may or may not be a concern for you. Unfortunately, there are few options if you want a male marriage counselor in Columbus, Ohio. Cardinal Point Counseling provides that option. Many men prefer to work with a male counselor, and many heterosexual women prefer a male counselor to help them better understand their partner’s perspective or how men think.

  1. Proven Techniques

Can your relationship therapist use techniques that are backed by evidence? Can they tweak these techniques or pull other tools out of the toolbox if the original methods do not work? Methods such as Gottman and EFT can be essential to getting the best results.

  1. A good fit

It isn’t easy to describe what makes for a good fit for you. Cardinal Point Counseling prides itself on individualization to fit your specific needs. Sometimes they may require your counselor to be directive, other times, it may require a softer approach. Clients looking to sit down and have their counselor tell them precisely what to do may not have learned how counseling is supposed to work. Advice giving is an advanced technique that should be used sparingly. In most situations, you are the expert in your own lives, and we will collaborate with you to help you make the best decisions.

There may be other reasons why you choose a marriage counselor. Location may be a factor, but Cardinal Point Counseling is located within about 20 minutes of most Columbus, Ohio locations. Telehealth is available for anyone in Ohio. Many people in more remote areas in Ohio choose to utilize telehealth. So this has perhaps turned into a list of seven things, but also consider how many clients your counselor sees a week. If they are seeing 30-40 clients, they may be burnt out and not have the time necessary to show you their best selves. For example, I limit myself to 15-17 clients per week so that I can stay fresh, be prepared, and engage in continuous education and research as necessary. 20 clients per week is considered full-time in private practice, due to all the business tasks required.

Next Steps
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