Frequently asked questions

Common Questions

Are you currently taking new clients?

Yes. This will be updated as soon as that changes. The easiest way to schedule is to book online (so you can see the calendar of what is available). When you schedule, you’ll be sent a link to intake forms to be filled out electronically. Because it helps to have these forms completed no more than 24 hours before an appointment, you will be contacted to reschedule or cancel if the forms are not completed at least 24 hours in advance. There is also a 24-hour cancellation policy, and clients are charged the full fee if they need to cancel and do not do so within this timeframe. However, for those who have questions or prefer to schedule by phone, you can call 614.327.1600. Read more about Aaron Engel, the owner.

What if your partner will not come with you to couples counseling?

While it is most effective to have both members of the couple there together, individual counseling can still help rebuild relationships.

Will discussing personal and emotionally charged issues be painful?

Most people describe the experience as mainly pleasant and positive. But, sometimes healing indeed requires some temporary distress. However, counseling is conducted in a supportive fashion where we try not to take sides, or if taking a side, to take the side of your relationship goals.

What can be expected in couples therapy?

The initial session starts on a positive note by discussing the history of how you met, what you felt, and the positive initial components of your relationship. Next, we go through an oral history interview to understand how the relationship has progressed and where it is today. After the first session, we typically recommend taking an at-home Gottman assessment to uncover your relationship strengths and weaknesses. This assessment is excellent because it recommends specific Gottman interventions to try in therapy. The only time we usually recommend meeting individually with your couples therapist is the session following the Gottman assessment. It is almost inevitable that topics will come up during this individual session that would not otherwise. The evaluation and your session have a degree of confidentiality in that specific questions and responses are not directly shared. That said, we don’t believe in secrets, and the topics uncovered in the assessment and resulting session are likely to come up as appropriate. You will not be told, for example, that ‘your partner says you are terrible in bed,’ but you may be asked in a joint session, ‘how satisfying is your sex life currently?’ While the Gottman method is used, it is custom-tailored and integrated with other methods (such as emotionally focused therapy (EFT)) to provide an individualized experience.

Couples counseling seems expensive?

Couples counseling is an investment in your future. While it can be expensive, what is your relationship worth? Cardinal Point offers marriage counseling priced comparably to or lower than many other practices without sacrificing quality. Since relationship problems are not a medical problem, true relationship counseling is typically not covered by insurance. Marriage counseling is way less expensive than paying divorce attorney fees.

What if we still decide to separate or divorce?

Sometimes couples who go through the complete process receive affirmation that the relationship is beyond repair or simply no longer in the couple’s best interest. Knowing this and learning about separating amicably can be beneficial for couples who can’t work things out. Separation or divorce will not be suggested, as that is a very personal choice. Still, the topic may come up for your discussion if the situation warrants it. Divorce counseling is available to help you have a smoother divorce.

I’m busy and worried about getting homework in addition to the time spent in counseling?

The philosophy is that you are intelligent adults who can make your own decisions. You will be asked the extent to which you want assignments to complete independently. Those that do more work on their own usually have better outcomes. At the same time, some clients prefer to do the assignments in sessions. That is fine too, know that it will cost you more and take more sessions. Clients who want to be held accountable will be held responsible for outside work (but let’s face it, only so much can be done in this regard). Clients who want to be left alone can be left more alone outside work accountability. Homework doesn’t have grades, and the only person that can ensure it gets completed is you.

What if I want my religion incorporated into therapy?

We can incorporate religious principles into marriage counseling and discuss religion if you choose. Members of all faiths are welcome to integrate their religion into couples therapy. However, most clients prefer not to discuss religion, which is also acceptable. There may be cases where using clergy makes sense in conjunction with working with a licensed counselor. For example, those who are receiving pre-marriage counseling at a religious organization may want to supplement this counseling by also using a counselor for a few sessions.

I can’t find marriage counselors near me.

Cardinal Point Counseling is located near Dublin, Upper Arlington, Hilliard, New Albany, Deleware, Westerville, Marysville, Worthington, and Columbus, Ohio. The practice can be accessed via I-270. Telehealth appointments are available for anyone wanting therapy in Ohio. Cardinal Point Counseling is a great place to find couples counseling in Columbus, Ohio. In addition, Cardinal Point Counseling is an excellent place to find a Columbus, Ohio marriage therapist.

Our relationship is not serious yet, but could we still use a relationship counselor?

You don’t have to be married or living together to want a healthier relationship. Relationship counseling is available for those in all relationship stages, including engagement.

I work so hard in the relationship, but the issues are with my partner. Can you tell my partner what they are doing wrong?

This question is more common than you might expect. Couples often come to therapy without realizing that every member of the couple has something to do with the relationship’s health. While one member may contribute more to relationship strife than another, it is essential for both members to see the other’s perspective and that it takes two to make a relationship work.

How long will it take?

It depends on the extent of issues and the couple’s willingness to work independently. It may take a couple of months, or it may take six months to a year. The average is 10-12 sessions. Sometimes it is somewhat of a revolving door, or clients gradually space out how often they are seen but continue with periodic long-term maintenance sessions.

Should my wife see a male marriage counselor?

If you do not want to go to therapy, but your wife does, there can be benefits to her seeing a male marriage therapist. One is the advantage of providing a man’s perspective on relationships and how many men think. Many men prefer working with a male marriage counselor along with their partner.

Can I get pre-marriage counseling or engagement counseling?

Yes, pre-marriage counseling, pre-engagement counseling, and engagement counseling are available.

Is couples therapy appropriate for gay couples?

Absolutely. Many of the techniques and common issues are not different from any other couple. Differences can be addressed if applicable.

We are both busy and are worried about finding the time?

Finding the time can be a challenge. We offer evening hours and limited hours on Saturdays to make the process easier. While Telehealth has its disadvantages for couples therapy, it is an option if finding a babysitter isn’t practical or saves time. When couples prioritize wanting a happy relationship, they can typically find the time.

Will we be asked about our sex life? That seems private.

While no couple has to answer any particular questions, sex can be an essential part of marriage or a committed relationship. Sometimes the shame some couples feel goes away when they realize it’s a normal part of couples therapy. Would you not talk to your family doctor about issues with certain body parts? If there are cultural or religious objections, that is understood. If it is merely shame or discomfort, you may eventually discuss the topic. Keep in mind that couples therapists are professionals who are used to hearing just about anything.

What is the Gottman Method?

Doctors John and Julie Gottman have perhaps researched and practiced more relationship therapy than anyone else. Their method is based on significant evidence of what makes for happy relationships. The Gottman’s claim they can predict with 90% accuracy whether a couple will stay together based on a fifteen-minute observation. The Gottman Method for couples therapy is a set of tools and interventions that can be used to meet your specific needs. They cover everything from sex addiction to drug addiction, affairs, communication, and a lack of romance. The Gottman Institute exists to continue to enhance knowledge about what makes for the healthiest relationships.

What is the cancellation policy?

See a blog post on the cancellation policy and why it’s important.

Who sets the direction in counseling?

The philosophy of Cardinal Point Counseling is that clients are the experts of their own lives, but counselors are the experts in how to fix many relationship issues. Counselors are there to help guide you and help you find your direction. Sessions work best when you set the agenda with help from the counselor. Then, you and counselors work together to create a treatment plan with goals and objectives, and this plan can be tweaked or adjusted as needed. The initial session is more structured and involves gathering background information. Couples counseling is slightly more structured than individual counseling but is still a partnership. The client’s goals and agenda ideally lead the pace through individual counseling, but sometimes, clients don’t know what they need and benefit from more direction.

How often and how long would I see a therapist?

There are some general guidelines, but the long answer is that it depends. Many clients see a therapist once a week for about a month or so, move to twice a month for a couple of months, then have a few sessions once a month. Some clients benefit from weekly sessions for a more extended period. Your budget, how quickly you want to process issues, and how much time you have can impact an ideal treatment schedule. Some clients prefer to keep monthly check-in sessions as a maintenance activity for a while. Ultimately, the counselor will have suggestions, but it is up to the client. Some clients determine they benefit from spending years in periodic therapy or come back off and on as needed.
There is also no required commitment or packages to buy. The client can end therapy at any time if they have reached their goals, are not getting the results they expected, or for any other reason.

If I choose Telehealth, will you send me a link before every appointment?

You will get a link, but it will always be the same. The link is always Sessions.psychologytoday.com/aaronengel. People can enter the virtual waiting room at any time and be let into the virtual therapy room when the session is scheduled to start. 

What happens once I find a counselor for couples therapy near me or a marriage therapist near me?

If you choose us, you and your partner will have the opportunity to fill out brief information about your relationship online. An initial history interview will help you review how your relationship started and how it has changed over time. This information can collaboratively create goals and interventions in marriage counseling to help improve your relationship.

May I save a credit card securely and have my sessions auto-paid?

Yes, most people choose to have appointments automatically paid within 24 hours, with a card on file. Card numbers are encrypted and stored securely and never accessible by clinicians. All clients are required to place a card on file to schedule, and cards are charged if more than four days goes by since the last session.

Your Psychology Today profile lists Christian counseling as a specialty; what does that mean exactly?

First of all, we work with people of all faiths, spirituality, or no faith. Christianity helps guide respecting and valuing all clients. If you want to process how your religion impacts what you are experiencing, that is more than welcome. If you want to involve your faith in therapy by praying or talking about your beliefs, that is perfectly fine. If you wish advice based on what God wants from you, that is best left to clergy, religious organizations, and\or your faith understanding. Given many different religious denominations and differences in how some individuals practice and interpret religion (even sometimes within the same small denomination), you will not hear about how you should practice your beliefs or live your life from a religious perspective. This is something you are free and welcome to process out loud. You will not be judged for your beliefs or how you choose to live your life, or the extent to which you follow your beliefs. You will not hear specific Bible or other religious quotes or be told what your therapist thinks God expects from you.

What is the office like?

See pictures of the office environment.

We are both working professionals and have specific questions related to that dynamic.

Please see the page on professional couples.

Our primary issues are with communication. Can you help us to communicate better?

Indeed, communication is an issue with most relationship problems. Please see the page on couples communication.

Where can I find the best marriage counselor in Columbus, Ohio?

The right fit is important. Each counselor offers a different style and personality. It is crucial to find a counselor you feel comfortable with. A therapist trained in topics like the Gottman Method or Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy can be a plus. There are many advantages to working with a male marriage therapist. You may not want the least expensive options if your relationship is at stake. The most expensive options aren’t guaranteed to bring the best results either. Cardinal Point Counseling prides itself on providing premium services at a competitive price.

Where can I find answers to specific questions about infidelity?

Click here for information about affairs, or check the blog.

Where can we find information on how we could use counseling to discuss our couple’s financial health?

There is a page dedicated to what couples fight about the most, money.

What if we have specific concerns or questions about pre-marriage therapy?

See the page on pre-marriage counseling.

We have questions about our sex life or sex therapy

You can find answers on the page about sex and couples.

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