Events & Workshops

Upcoming Workshops

Anger Management Class 

An 8-week class

Whether mandated by the courts to participate in an anger management program or choosing to seek help for anger control on your own, our Anger Management Class can make a positive impact on your relationships and quality of life.

Class participants will be led through this 8 week workshop by Certified Anger Management Specialist Susan Bourquard, DMin, LPC, CAMS.  Each class is an hour and 1/2 long and is limited to 9 participants in order to maintain exceptional quality.  After completing the registration form on the right, you will receive a call from Susan Bourquard. She will assist you in completing the enrollment process.

Due to the sensitive nature of the workshop, family members may not participate in the same class.

Upcoming Dates

Dates: 8 Saturdays, February 11 – April 1, 2023
Location: Directions Counseling Group, NEW OFFICE – 1480 Manning Parkway, Powell, OH 43065
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Leader: Susan Bourquard, DMin, LPC, CAMS
Ages: 18+
Fee: $475. Half due at time of signing up; other half due on first day of class.
Cancellations: A full refund of the deposit will be given if the participant provides notice of cancellation at least 2 weeks prior to the first class.  If cancelled with less than 2 weeks notice, only 50% of the deposit will be refunded. No refunds will be given once the class begins.

RSVP by February 1, 2023. Space is limited to 12 participants, please call today to reserve your spot: 614.888.9200.

Complete Registration Form on this page to get additional information


Marital Communications in Cross-Cultural Marriages

An 3-week Zoom class

Marital communication has been identified as one of the BIGGEST problems in marriage. Particularly for those in a cross-cultural marriage, marital communication can become EVEN MORE of a problem due to the challenges of navigating cultural differences within the marital/familial contexts. As a clinician and an academic professor/researcher, Nori Shoji-Schaffner brings the expert advice of building/improving cross-cultural marriages/families. Whether you are in a cross-cultural marriage, starting a cross-cultural family and/or blending a cross-cultural family, the perspectives/skills gained from these sessions can help.

Week 1: Reasons for conflicts

· Understanding why conflicts happen

· Communication problem as the enemy related to all problems

· Improve communication to confront the underlying issue(s) of conflict

Week 2: Ways to effectively communicate

· Recognize the response tendencies

· Handling the challenges of cross-cultural communication patterns

· Communication skills for when under stress

Week 3: Prepare for ongoing improvements

· Recognize the new effective cycle to refine

· Take time to resolve the unresolved

· Identifying progress each

Upcoming Dates

Dates: TBD
Location: Zoom
Time: 8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Leader: Nori Shoji-Schaffner, PhD, LPC
Fee: $300. A deposit of $50 is due at the time of booking; the remaining balance is due at the first class.
Cancellations: A full refund of the deposit will be given if the participant provides notice of cancellation at least 2 weeks prior to the first class.  If cancelled with less than 2 weeks notice, only 50% of the deposit will be refunded. No refunds will be given once the class begins.

If interested, please call Nori at 614.888.9200.

Complete Registration Form on this page to get additional information

Registration Form

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Types of Treatment


If you are considering counseling for yourself, a loved one, or family member we encourage you to become more knowledgeable about the kinds of treatment commonly used by professional therapists and coaches today. Below is a description of some of the types of treatment most frequently used by our practitioners. This list is not exhaustive. If you are looking for a particular type of treatment that you do not see here, please call our client relationship coordinator to see which of our counselors can best meet your specific needs.


Career Coaching can help people with a wide array of career-related goals and issues. Some seek career coaching because they’re stuck in a job that brings no meaning or purpose to their lives, while others are challenged by the demands of balancing their work lives with their personal lives. Some clients know exactly what they want to do with their lives but need help finding and executing a plan to get there, while others have languished without a clear calling in life. Career coaching helps people with these concerns and more.

Career coaching is a type of personal coaching that helps people find greater fulfillment in their careers by establishing professional goals, creating a vision and a plan and overcoming obstacles that may be in the way.

Career coaching can help people

  • Create their vision and find their passion, purpose and calling
  • Explore new careers
  • Build confidence and interviewing skills
  • Improve their resume to achieve more interviews
  • Identify new options through the use of career and personality assessments

“CBT” is an evidence-based model currently enjoying a wave of popularity in the U.S. as the therapy of choice to get fast results. In plain terms it is an approach that rests on the idea that people can have better emotional, relational, and spiritual health if they utilize counseling to leverage changes in their habitual negative thinking and/or behavior patterns.

Practically speaking, if you are considering the CBT approach it is helpful to think of CBT and CBT counselors in two categories. The first category is an eclectic counselor’s use of CBT and the second is a CBT model that is more formal in terms of method and practice.

CBT from an eclectic therapist’s point of view means the therapist is frequently exploring and then jointly planning changes in the client’s thoughts and behaviors. Emotional and/or relationship changes will fall in place as one’s thinking and behavior choices are improved. The flow of the counseling is usually very straightforward, logical, conversational, and in many ways very natural.

The second CBT category is one which is more disciplined and structured. It involves written thought challenges, “stop behaviors,” use of ranking scales for monitoring change, and a lot of repetition or practice of a particular behavior.

Both of these approaches are effective and useful in the proper setting, but as a consumer of services you should be knowledgeable about the difference. Our practice has numerous therapists using cognitive behavioral techniques mixed with other approaches (see eclectic approach), but most of our counselors do not currently offer the more rigorous CBT approach typically found in in-patient settings. If you are interested in either CBT approach be sure to mention this when you speak to our client relationship coordinator for appropriate counselor selection. We’ll be happy to match you with a counselor who emphasizes this approach.


Conflict coaching is a one-on-one process that develops the client’s skill at handling conflict and supports the client in working through a particularly difficult or complex conflict. This process uses a Conflict Dynamics Profile Assessment instrument that deals with positive and negative conflict behaviors. It provides a powerful way to improve self-awareness of what triggers conflict in individuals as well as how they respond to conflict. The assessment followed with one-on-one coaching sessions helping to create goals and strategies to effectively manage conflict. As deemed necessary there could be a mediation session for two parties in the conflict.

Outcomes Include:

  • Improving a significant relationship that is damaged by on-going conflict
  • Constructively resolving conflict
  • Managing change effectively
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

EMDR is a form of integrative psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  Research has established EMDR as effective for issues such as:

  • PTSD
  • Panic attacks
  • Complicated grief
  • Phobias
  • Sexual and/or physical abuse
  • Performance anxiety
  • Disturbing memories that are not always identified as traumatic (death of loved one or excessive grief from other causes, abandonment, rejection, feeling powerless)
  • Mental health issues that can be traced to earlier troubling events in life (e.g., a trauma­ related depression, certain anxiety disorders, and addictions)
  • Low self-esteem and self-defeating beliefs (e.g., “I’m not worthwhile” or “I am out of control”)
  • Anxiety produced by upcoming events

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a short-term form of therapy that focuses on adult relationships and attachment/bonding. The therapist and clients look at patterns in the relationship and take steps to create a more secure bond and develop more trust to move the relationship in a healthier, more positive direction. EFT focuses on the present time to makes changes in the here and now. There are three steps, or stages, of EFT. The first is to de-escalate the couple’s or family member’s negative cycle of interactions, and help them see and understand what is happening in their relationship. Clients come to see that the problems lie in insecurities and distance. The next stage is to restructure interactions, wherein the therapist helps clients discuss their fears in the relationship, using language that doesn’t push the other away. Clients learn to turn toward each other and discuss their needs and they become more open and responsive to each other. Consolidation is the third stage of EFT, wherein the therapist helps clients see how they got into negative patterns and points out how they were able to change those patterns and can continue these types of conversations in the future.


Instead of adhering to one particular approach or school of thought, a counselor with an eclectic approach has been trained in a variety of therapeutic techniques and employs elements from those that best meet the personal needs of the client.  The goal is to personally tailor the course of treatment while enhancing the client’s progress. A successful eclectic therapist is competent and trained in several types of counseling. They will blend or shift between therapy modalities very purposefully, thoughtfully, and strategically for your benefit.

Together, you and the therapist can select an approach or mix of approaches that help you find solutions in a timely and practical manner. On the other hand, if you are searching for, or need a very specific type of therapy, our client relationship coordinator will help you find the counselor who specializes in that area of practice.


Professional counseling and therapy literature is packed with discussion about “evidence-based” treatment models. While this does not refer to one specific therapy type, the term means that the therapy model being applied has been found to be the “most effective” in clinical trials and research. Currently the types of counseling and therapy earning the title “evidence-based” are generally those which change behavior the fastest. CBT, ERP, and Brief Solution Focused treatments are generally the treatments being referred to wherever you find the term “evidence-based” being used. Our practice is very appreciative of clients, clinicians, and researchers participating in these outcome based studies. You can also learn by looking at our counselor bios that we have many clinicians well trained in evidence-based treatment modes.

On balance, we also encourage counselors and clients working together to assess and reassess client “outcomes” or results throughout the counseling process. Just because an evidence-based therapy may work for a percentage of the population in a brief period of time does not necessarily mean that same therapy is the one which will help you the most. Our philosophy is that good counseling is an art form as well as something that comes from diverse training and extensive clinical experience. The ultimate measurement of the effectiveness of any given therapy is whether or not that therapy type is producing positive emotional, behavioral, and mental health for you; not just for the population at large.


ERP is designed to help adults and children to overcome various forms of anxiety. Its classic use is with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or “OCD.”  This is a relatively easy therapy to understand because it simply helps a person build a gradual tolerance to the things they are having anxiety responses to. Common sense tells us that controlled practice or “exposure” to a troubling circumstance can help a person learn to cope with and eventually master the situation. While the concept is simple this is very difficult to successfully implement without skilled assistance. A trained counselor will help you set your practice exercises at an appropriate level – not too easy, but not overwhelming either. Exposure response therapy for treating difficult patterns of anxiety (such as OCD) is often more effective when used in conjunction with appropriate medication. Brain chemistry imbalance or deficiency is known to be a strong component of some anxiety disorders; therefore, the most effective treatment is often accomplished by a combination of ERP treatment along with appropriate medication.  As with “CBT”, ERP is considered among the state of the art, evidence-based treatments.


Faith-based approaches to counseling and therapy incorporate one’s faith and spiritual beliefs into the process of personal growth, healing and change. In American culture, the term “faith-based” is usually used with specific reference to the Christian faith. Christians of various denominations look for faith-based counseling because they want to share a common foundation about life, relationships and mental health with their counselor.

We believe that the fields of counseling, psychology, psychiatry and social work have much in common with the principles of a Christian worldview. For clients specifically seeking faith-based counseling we offer an integrated approach that incorporates the client’s convictions and practices of their faith, current psychological research and professional ethical standards into the counseling and therapy experience.

While many clients from the local Christian community come to us specifically for faith-based reasons, we welcome people of all faiths and allow each person to determine how much their personal faith and beliefs enter into the therapy process.

If you have questions about how our counselors will work with you in reference to your faith, we encourage you to call and speak with our client relationship coordinator.


Family systems therapy is often a neglected treatment option in today’s short term results-oriented world. Ironically, because of the dynamics that happen when many family members get together, family therapy can actually be one of the fastest means to bring about meaningful behavioral and emotional changes for the whole family.

Many would cringe to think about bringing multiple family members together to discuss a problem. The “cringe” usually is evidence of the fact that the family is overwhelmed by the problem, lacks hope, and isn’t talking about the problem because discussion frequently turns into an emotionally charged event. Though it can be uncomfortable, most families are surprised by the rapid change in dynamics that can come from family sessions. The family therapist is trained to help alter the familiar communication, coping, and problem solving patterns – which often are being held onto even though they are not currently helping the problem.


Gestalt therapy relies greatly on client and counselor awareness of emotional states in real time in the session. It shares many of the basic assumptions of psychodynamic theory but seeks to help individuals live well in the “here-and-now” moment. Gestalt therapists believe that when one identifies and expresses what is going on inside them, change is initiated even though it is often an indirect process. Indeed, many people grow up in families or subcultures which discourage them from being self-aware or able to assert themselves when something is being experienced “on the inside.” In Gestalt counseling the client is learning the skill of identifying and articulating present states of thought and emotion. Likewise the counselor is also aware and noticing the experience of being with the client and honestly, sensitively, and constructively shares that experience with the client. This can become a powerful means of change for many individuals, especially if they have had few people give them honest feedback without being harsh or critical.


Couples begin therapy with a conjoint session, followed by individual interviews with each partner. Couples complete questionnaires and then receive detailed feedback on their relationship.

Interventions are designed to help couples strengthen their relationship in three primary areas: friendship, conflict management, and creation of shared meaning. Couples learn to replace negative conflict patterns with positive interactions and to repair past hurts. Interventions designed to increase closeness and intimacy are used to improve friendship, deepen emotional connection, and create changes which enhances the couples shared goals. Relapse prevention is also addressed.

Some of the relationship issues that may be addressed in therapy include:

  • Frequent conflict and arguments
  • Poor communication
  • Emotionally distanced couples on the verge of separation
  • Specific problems such as sexual difficulties, infidelity, money, and parenting

Even couples with “normal” levels of conflict may benefit from the Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Gottman-trained therapists aim to help couples build stronger relationships overall and healthier ways to cope with issues as they arise in the future.


Leadership Coaching is a collaborative, individualized relationship between a leader and the coach — the leader could be an executive, manager, supervisor, team leader, parent, pastor, church group leader, or business owner for example — anyone in charge or responsible for a group of people.

Leadership Coaching focuses on the following:

  • Personality assessments and tools
  • Exploring the life of the leader as a whole person, not just who we are at work.
  • Developing an effective leadership style
  • Succession planning & management
  • Interpersonal or communication skills
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Developing teams and individuals
  • Managing “difficult” people
  • Finding work / life balance and navigating self-care and well-being
  • Priority setting and time management
  • Enhancing presentation and networking skills
  • Engaging in career development & planning for self and others
  • Improving crucial conversation skills
  • Conflict-management skills
  • Exploring how to manage up, down, and side to side
  • Strengthening self-confidence and assertiveness

Coaching for leaders tends to fall into two main categories: Developmental Coaching or Coaching to Resolve Problems or Risks

Developmental coaching is about improving skills and knowledge, providing frameworks for effective work-life balance as well as developing sound emotional intelligence. Driving higher level performance in the team and understanding self and others which all orient towards good leadership.

Coaching to Resolve Problems or Risks is about helping to prevent career derailment by reducing stress, resolving conflict between team members, ineffective communication, or other emotional factors that might get in the way of effective performance.


This method of counseling is normally in reference to substance abuse counseling but the principles can be used in any setting. The “motivational” aspect of the counseling is the recognition that one must be internally or self-motivated if any lasting change is going to take place. (Ultimately self-motivation trumps the pressure, wishes, or thoughts of others.) The “interviewing” part of this therapy refers to the therapist being trained and skilled at asking questions in such a way that the client is helped to come to their own discovery of the need, desire and resources to change.

Unfortunately, mandated (court or employer for e.g.) alcohol/drug treatment programs are externally motivated.  They are someone else’s idea that the client or offender needs to “cut back,” quit, or change certain behaviors. If change were only this easy! External motivation can be helpful in the short run for individuals, but problems often occur because the change may also only last as long as the person is being watched (probation, drug testing, etc.).  Eventually the external motivation for change will be removed, at which time the moment of truth begins. Motivational Interviewing attempts to address problem behavior at the level of one’s internal motivation to encourage long-term, maintainable change.


Play Therapy is an alternative to talk therapy and is used to help children make the transition to verbalizing their problems and finding solutions. Play therapists receive special training so that they are equipped to use “play” in a very strategic and purposeful way.  By utilizing things such as common toys, games, sandbox, art, or puppets, children tend to relax and be themselves. This encourages and expedites the communication of important information and often sheds new light on difficult subject matter.  It also can give children a number of alternative means to express difficult emotions so they can reduce or eliminate destructive expressions of anger, frustration, sadness and so forth.


This type of counseling presumes that people have a “subconscious” and a personal history which deeply impacts the way that they think, feel, and act in the present moment. The early development of professional psychology and counseling comes from psychodynamic schools of thought. In psychotherapy, the therapist may dialogue extensively with you about early life experiences or long standing thinking/feeling/behavioral patterns that seem to be connected to unmet psychological and emotional needs.

This type of therapy can at times seem abstract, indirect, or impractical as it stands in contrast to more modern brief solution focused therapies or cognitive behavioral therapy.  Strict cognitive behavioral therapists are critical of seemingly endless examinations of the past that don’t necessarily translate into behavioral change. Psychodynamic advocates argue that there is far more to mental, emotional, and spiritual health than thinking accurate thoughts and achieving predefined behavioral outcomes. Our practice strongly believes that either extreme can be counterproductive to the process of helping people. We tailor the counseling approach to the needs of the individual, which might involve the use of both types of therapy or a balance of the two at different points in the process.


Sand tray therapy is a form of expressive therapy used with clients of all ages.  Sand tray therapy allows a person to construct his or her own microcosm using miniature toys and colored sand.  The scene created acts as a reflection of the person’s own life and allows him or her the opportunity to resolve conflicts, remove obstacles and gain acceptance of self.

Although sand tray therapy may look like child’s play, it is a highly therapeutic and multidimensional form of therapy that can provide emotional release and realization for a person in therapy. Adults who have been traumatized and show limited response to other forms of therapy may respond well to sand tray therapy. The environment presents an atmosphere free from threats, and the therapist works with the person in therapy to alter the positions of the miniature objects as representations of the true people and events. By beginning to facilitate change on a fictitious level, a person can gain the courage and ability to recognize that these same changes can be made in his or her own life. While the sand tray process involves creating a series of trays and might last for months or years, significant change may be experienced in just one sand tray session.


Spiritual direction is a process of listening, discernment, prayer, contemplation, and spiritual companionship in a confidential setting. It is not therapy, or coaching. Spiritual direction explores a deeper relationship with God. Simply put, spiritual direction is helping people tell their sacred stories and to notice their inner spiritual journey. Spiritual direction helps us learn how-to live-in peace, with compassion, humility with inner wholeness and an increased awareness of the sacred.

Spiritual directors listen carefully to the unfolding of their directees’ lives to help them discern how God is leading them. A director and directee have regular one-on-one meetings (usually about an hour, once a month) to more deeply explore the directee’s spiritual journey and life with God. Our spiritual directors also have an expertise in Formational prayer counseling and inner healing modalities.

Formational Prayer provides a safe space for inner healing to occur. A person is opened to Holy Spirit for deeper intimacy with God. Through open discussions, positioning a safe place with the Holy Spirit, and the practice of spiritual disciplines, including silence, meditation, imaginative prayer, scripture, and journaling, etc. the believer is brought before Christ for inner healing. The director and directee have weekly to bi-weekly one-on-one meetings in Formational Prayer to more deeply explore the directee’s wounds, lies, dysfunctional behavior and the journey toward inner healing.


“Talk therapy” in the broadest sense refers to the notion that human communication has a healing and life-giving quality to it when done under the right conditions. Most people have experienced at one time or another that sense of “I just feel better after I talk about it.” On one level talk therapy isn’t really all that complicated and you can practice it with a good friend.

You might rightly wonder though, “how is talk therapy with a professional any different than a good long talk with my friend over a cup of coffee?” Three major differences exist. First, a good counselor is highly trained in the art and science of listening and giving feedback (as opposed to advice). Second, a professional is dedicated to be in this role in a safe place conducive to a private and intimate discussion. Finally, the correct counselor assignment means she or he has a wealth of experience relevant to your particular situation. This means they are skilled not only at identifying specific clinical diagnoses but they have talked to and helped dozens, if not hundreds of individuals who struggle with problems similar to yours. A wealth of experience combined with on-going education, training, and a caring heart usually translates into a very positive and life changing counseling experience.

One legitimate criticism of talk therapy is that the counselor and client may lapse into a “talking” relationship that is a replacement for regular relationships. While not all long term therapy is necessarily unhealthy, our practice strongly encourages clients to develop at least a few close and trusted friends who you can talk with openly and regularly. Good counselors are very skilled at talk therapy, but they are also skilled at helping you develop relationships where talking is part of a healthy life. For some, building a few successful relationships is a big part of the successful conclusion of their time in counseling.




The weekend of January 27, 2023, we will be moving to our new location at 1480 Manning Parkway, Powell, OH 43065.  Any sessions that are scheduled for January 27 or 28 will be via telehealth. Your clinician will send you a telehealth link through your portal.

If you are scheduled for an appointment on or after January 30, you will be coming to our new office. We believe this new location is more serene, offering clients an even greater sense of peace and comfort while we continue to provide excellent services.


Starting in 2022 we added a licensed professional coach through the International Coaching Federation and we have found this addition extremely beneficial for clients who are less inclined to need a counselor, but still want to seek direction and improve their life circumstances.  To learn more about coaching and how it may benefit you, click here.


Decision to Meet Face-to-Face

Most of our clinicians welcome in person sessions while a few are offering telehealth only. If there is a resurgence of the pandemic or if other health concerns arise, however, your clinician may require that you meet via telehealth. If you have concerns about meeting through telehealth, please bring these concerns to your clinician’s attention.

If you decide at any time that you would feel safer staying with, or returning to, telehealth services, your clinician will respect that decision. If you utilize your insurance for counseling sessions, reimbursement for telehealth services are determined by the insurance companies and applicable law, so you will need to address these concerns with your insurance company.

Your Responsibility to Minimize Your Exposure

To obtain services in person, you agree to take certain precautions which will help decrease the spread of the corona virus. Please consider these requests prior to coming into our offices:

  • You will only keep your in-person appointment if you are symptom free.
  • If you are sick and wish to cancel for this reason, you will not be charged your normal cancellation fee.
  • If you come in contact with someone who tests positive for the corona virus, you will immediately let your clinician know and sessions can take place via telehealth.
If You or Your Counselor Is Sick

We are committed to keeping you and our staff healthy and avoid the spread of this virus. If your counselor has tested positive for the coronavirus, he/she will notify you in order to take appropriate precautions and stop the spread of this virus.

If you have any questions about these guidelines, please let us know.


Directions Counseling Group is now releasing short videos highlighting various mental health conditions.  Each 2-3 minute video is designed to give a brief overview of a mental health issue or a form of therapy.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is one of the most prevalent and misunderstood conditions in the world, according to Sarah D. Wright, ADHD Awareness Month Coalition Chair. Directions Counseling Group has joined this education movement to create greater awareness and understanding about attention deficit disorder by preparing a short video entitled “Adult ADHD – what others see and what’s actually taking place,” which can be found on YouTube.

Leslie Marshall-Hansen, MA, LPCC-S, Chief Operating Officer at Directions Counseling Group, specializes in adult ADHD and states, “My hope is that when adults with ADHD see this, they have a moment when they realize, ‘There’s a reason why my brain works like this’,” says Marshall-Hansen.

“Our goal is to educate men and women about ADHD, to dispel myths that keep people from seeking appropriate treatment, and to provide tools to help minimize the impact of this disorder,” she continues.

See the videos here


Brian Davis, LISW-S, SAP, founder of Directions Counseling Group and New Directions Substance and Behavioral Services, will be speaking at the December 6th Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers on the topic of substance abuse.


Autism Spectrum Disorder

autism, asperger, counseling, children, columbus, ohio

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) affect nearly 1 out of every 91 children. ASD are neurological and developmental disorders such as Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Signs of ASD include:

  • Delay in or lack of verbal language
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Poor social skills or play skills
  • Self-stimulatory behaviors (flapping, rocking, twirling)
  • Tantrums
  • Not wanting to cuddle

ASD are more common in boys. There is no known cause. At this time there is no cure. However, with treatment, individuals with ASD can live happy, fulfilling lives.

Offering support to children who have siblings with autism spectrum disorders is also available.  Click here to learn more.

Autism Spectrum Disorders Specialists:

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