Counseling

Alcohol & Drug Counseling

We believe that there are a wide variety of complex issues to consider when it comes to substance use, abuse, diagnosis, and treatment. Each individual situation needs to be carefully reviewed by a skilled professional before concluding what course of action is appropriate. When treatment is needed, one-to-one counseling can play a vital role at different points in the process of regaining a sober life.

You may want to consider the use of outpatient individual counseling if:

  • Attempts at “rehab”, intensive outpatient, or inpatient treatment have not worked
  • You have great difficulty attending or agreeing with 12 Step meeting philosophy
  • You do not want to stop the use of any particular substance at this time, but do wish to reduce use or high risk/harmful behaviors involving use
  • You would like to explore issues that may be contributing to your use
  • You are using Suboxone therapy to stop using painkillers
  • Group treatment has left you with empty clichés and ideas that have not worked
  • You are looking for professional support for relapse prevention
  • You wonder if you are seeing some early signs of a substance abuse problem

While abstinence is certainly an option at all times and for some absolutely necessary, we recognize that each person and situation is unique. For many, decreased use and harm/risk reduction are worthy goals. We also realize that true and lasting change occurs in stages. Your readiness to change and internal motivation are critical. We will work with you regardless of whether your current motivation is high, feels almost non-existent, or it varies greatly from day to day. Change is possible.

Unsure if drinking is problematic?  The AUDIT questionnaire is designed to help in the self-assessment of alcohol consumption and to identify any implications for your health and well being.  Click here to begin this self-assessment.  For more information and to begin the journey of healing, call our client relationship coordinator to find out what steps you can take now.

Also see:

Drug and Alcohol Assessments
DOT/SAP Evaluations
Teenage Substance Abuse

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Interventions

family intervention, drug, alcohol, counseling, columbus, ohio

Interventions

Interventions are positive, solution-oriented services we offer to help families when a loved one is struggling with an addiction, compulsively damaging behavior, or other debilitating emotional condition that is ultimately affecting the whole family. Not all cases that are brought to us will result in an intervention.  We determine this based on an initial Family Consultation.

Family Consultations

In the initial family consultation, each person can share the story of how they’ve been impacted by their loved one’s behavior. We invite questions that help the family consider their options more thoroughly. In addition, we do a thorough assessment to determine the needs of the client and the previous approaches to treatment.

Sometimes the family gains insights and confidence to talk more assertively with their loved one. The family may decide to pursue counseling to understand codependency, addictions, or mental health more clearly.  In other cases, the family presents a scenario that is more complex or may even post a life threatening situation that requires immediate intervention. At this point, we begin planning a specific course of action that will move the individual and the family toward the first steps to hope and lasting change.

Intervention Services

An intervention may be the most loving response someone can give to a loved one who is out of control. The family’s preparation for this process is a vital part of the success of the intervention. This is based on our belief that the family has tremendous influence because of a multitude of ways they may support the person. Once a struggling person knows they may be jeopardizing their family support, we find that they respond more positively to the help they are being offered.

Upon agreeing on a family intervention strategy, we provide the family with the following services prior to the intervention:

  • Facility placement options that will best meet the needs of the loved one
  • Expertise and practical assistance to identify the best treatment resources or facilities
  • Education about how to identify the most influential family and friends who will take part in the intervention
  • Meetings and/or conference calls to prepare the influencers for the actual intervention

While the loved one is participating in their recovery, the interventionist will stay in touch with the treatment center to make certain an effective discharge plan is prepared and meet with the family to prepare for their loved one’s transition to a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle. We find this is vital to the success of their loved one’s return into the family fold.

If you would like more information about how to proceed with a family consultation or intervention, call us today at 614.888.9200. You can also read more about the types of interventions we offer.

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Hoarding

Hoarding

In recent years, compulsive hoarding has been spot-lighted in a number of reality TV shows as well as in print and online. The truth is that hoarding can be traced back more than 100 years, but because of its negative stigma, most people have suffered in silence and have been reluctant to seek help. Contrary to popular opinion, hoarders are not careless individuals who simply choose to live in disarray. Hoarding crosses all socio-economic and cultural lines. People who hoard are often struggling with overwhelming life stressors and the acquisition of tangible things provides some form of comfort. Hoarding is also complicated because it can be a cause or a symptom of a secondary issue such as depression, anxiety or unresolved grief.

Hoarding has a profound effect on family and friends. They become frustrated because the behavior often makes no sense on the surface; and the living environment is not only a hazard to health and safety, but also keeps the hoarder isolated. Often friends and family members become discouraged when repeated efforts to help the hoarder clean up yield only a very short-lived change. Without follow through and persistence, the habit often returns and worsens.

Signs of a potential hoarding problem:
  • Persistent difficulty parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value (due to a perceived need to save them)
  • Rooms or living spaces in the home are inaccessible or unusable due to clutter or congestion
  • Appliances are inaccessible or unusable due to clutter or congestion
  • Animal care and control is unmanageable (having more animals than you can reasonably take care of as governed by local animal control laws)
  • Health and safety of the individual(s) living in the home are of grave concern to family and friends due to the living environment being congested or compromised

Directions Counseling Group offers hope for the hoarder as well as those affected by his or her behavior. We can help distinguish between disorganization and true hoarding behavior, assess the severity of the problem, and offer hope and a working plan to bring about lasting change. While the counselor assesses and helps with the internal reasons for the hoarding, the client may also enlist the help of a professional organizer for the clean-up portion. We also help families who want to implement a coordinated effort that includes the one suffering, the family members, the counselor and a professional organizer. If you or someone you know struggles with hoarding, please call us today to discuss how we can help.

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License Reinstatement Evaluations

license reinstatement, DUI, OMVI, assessment, drug, alcohol, columbus, ohio

License Reinstatement Evaluations

It is easy to take our license to drive for granted. But once lost, we realize how much our daily lifestyles depend on our ability to drive. Individuals who have received an alcohol or drug related legal charge may lose their driving privileges for a considerable time period. Getting your license reinstated can be a complex, frustrating and time consuming ordeal.

Most states require individuals seeking reinstatement under these circumstances to obtain a professional alcohol and drug assessment as an initial step in the reinstatement process. This type of assessment must be conducted by a professionally licensed or credentialed person who can ethically and legally diagnose substance abuse disorders.

We offer license reinstatement substance abuse evaluations online and in-person for individuals seeking reinstatement from many states. Since each state’s motor vehicle division sets its own standards for the reinstatement process, we will review your state paperwork and advise you of the time and fees involved for your situation.

We recognize that legal charges of impaired driving encompass a wide range of situations – from individuals who are chronically impaired and not ready to drive to individuals who have been arrested and lost their driving privileges for circumstantial reasons only and do not pose a threat to safety. These represent two extremes and 1000s of daily arrests in America fall anywhere along a continuum of circumstances between the two. Our evaluators are trained to accurately assess your situation using a fair, balanced and professional assessment process.

While completing an assessment does not guarantee an automatic license reinstatement with your DMV, it will provide you with an objective view of your use of the substance in question and answer the professional questions on your DMV paperwork. Our ultimate hope is for you to drive safely, responsibly and freely. Call 614.888.9200 to speak with our client relationship coordinator about how we might help you with a license reinstatement evaluation.

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Types of Interventions

Types of Interventions

Johnsonian Intervention

The traditional intervention approach was pioneered by Vernon Johnson in the 1960’s. Johnson was an Episcopal priest, Rutgers University professor, and a recovering alcoholic. He developed the classic intervention principles and technique now referred to by mental health and substance abuse professionals as a “Johnsonian Intervention.” Johnsonian interventions are aptly represented by reality TV programs such as Intervention or Celebrity Rehab. Families typically meet a few times with the interventionist, create a plan, and invite the individual to a confrontation where they are presented with an ultimatum to enter treatment or risk losing valuable emotional, financial, and other support provided by the family and social group present. This approach may be appropriate in high risk or life-threatening circumstances.

Basic Elements of a Traditional Johnsonian Intervention are:

  • Family members and supportive parties meet as a group with a trained interventionist.
  • All group members write a letter stating the impact the behavior is having on their life.
  • All group members state what addiction enabling behaviors they intend to remove.
  • The intervention is typically accomplished in a 2-4 day total time period.
  • Family members quickly move from disorganized to organized.

Beneficial Features of Johnsonian Interventions:

  • May save a life if the addict is in a high risk condition.
  • Forces change to happen quickly or raises a person’s “rock bottom.”
  • May result in the family member of concern entering a treatment center immediately.
  • Overt enabling behaviors from family members are stopped immediately when the individual enters treatment.
Open Intervention

Open interventions differ from Johnsonian interventions in that the intervention process is “open” to the person being intervened upon. The family does not have to “trick” the individual into showing up for a surprise confrontation. Instead, the family works with the specialist to form a plan to engage the person, followed by a gradual but effective process of confrontation. Open interventions are often a very realistic way to approach a family member because he or she does not want to lose various forms of support provided by the family. Open interventions, by design, offer long term planning and long term support to the family as the individual moves past their initial recovery into a stable future.

Basic elements of an Open Intervention are:

  • Family members meet together with a trained and licensed therapist to assess reasonable options for the family.
  • Initial meeting with all parties present can be accomplished within 1-2 weeks minimum; however, preparation can be as long as the family/group chooses.
  • Meetings with the individual of concern can be flexible. Use of pre-written letters, large group meetings, one-on-one meetings with a therapist present, etc. are all optional parts of an overall plan that takes into consideration the personality and specific needs of the individual and the family.
  • The family member of concern, once sitting down with therapist and concerned family members, is provided with a combination of love and support as well as important ultimatums to motivate change.

Beneficial Features of an Open Intervention:

  • Does not have to be completed in a 2-4 day period, making it logistically feasible for families.
  • Maximizes motivation for changed behavior, though not as quickly as a traditional intervention.
  • The family member cannot avoid the intervention because the intervention is constructed to be much more than a one-time confrontation meeting.
  • May motivate the family member of concern to engage in therapy, making inpatient or residential treatment unnecessary.
  • Typically less expensive than a Johnsonian intervention, yet equally effective in many cases.
  • Local support is available and easily accessible since the interventionist and therapist(s) are in the same location as the original intervention.
  • No secrecy is necessary to get the family member to attend a meeting.

Impulse Control

impulse control, workaholism, gambling, shopping, addiction, sexual promiscuity, counseling, columbus, ohio

Impulse Control

Regardless of what you want to call it, a “bad habit,” compulsion, or addiction…. some people feel compelled to repeat pleasurable behaviors to the point that they do damage to themselves, and often, others in the process. For someone who is struggling, the urge to engage in a specific behavior feels irresistible and uncontrollable.

How can you tell the difference between a harmless bit of fun and an addiction or compulsion? The short answer has to do with whether or not negative consequences exist, and to what degree those negative consequences have interfered with healthy and balanced living. If one’s finances, family relationships, job, and other important areas of life are compromised then, it is likely that professional help is appropriate.

Common Addictive and Compulsive Behaviors We Treat:
  • Gambling
  • Shopping
  • Internet pornography
  • Video gaming
  • Overeating
  • Internet role playing games/chatting
  • Relationship dependency
  • Compulsive participation in a hobby
  • Compulsive sexual behavior
  • Excessive devotion to work
  • Compulsive involvement in sports or fantasy sports

If you are reading this it is likely you fall into one of three groups:
–    you have been told you have an addiction or compulsion but you disagree
–    you are concerned that you may have an addiction and you are looking for help
–    you are reading this for a loved one who does not believe a problem exists

Those who align with the first group are least likely to seek professional help. We simply encourage you to pay attention and be honest with yourself about the possibility you may be experiencing increasing negative consequences from your behavior. Your friends or family may see something you don’t yet.

If you are in the second group, we recommend you schedule an evaluation to help determine how serious your situation is and what level of treatment would be recommended. We are equipped to help you evaluate your situation and options.

For those how are reading this for a loved one, we strongly encourage you to meet with a counselor to see what options are available to you to help your loved one and yourself. This is a very difficult role to be in but your choices may prove life-saving to the one experiencing the problem, and a tremendous benefit to other family members.

Call our client relationship coordinator to learn more about how we can help.

Also See:
Alcohol/Drug Assessment
Anorexia/Bulimia
Compulsive Sexual Behavior
Painkiller Addiction


Over-eating / Weight Loss

At Directions Counseling Group we find that overeating is often a symptom of other problems. We encourage every client to begin with a thorough review of their physical and emotional health which includes both physician and counselor evaluation. When a significant component of the overeating is an unhealthy means of coping with emotions, we can help you.

The following checklist is designed to help you honestly assess your relationship with food. If you notice three or more of these symptoms we encourage you to call and inquire about how we can help.

  • Continuing to gain or maintain an overweight condition, despite numerous attempts to lose weight
  • Feeling ashamed about what or how much you eat
  • Feeling out of control or emotionally numb when eating
  • A history of joining and quitting various weight loss programs without success
  • Others express concerns about your eating or weight gain
  • Eating frequently to the point of becoming overfull and uncomfortable
  • Avoid eating at public functions, or eating in advance of attending gatherings
  • Overeating during or after emotional highs or lows, especially to cope with feelings of frustration, shame, or anger
  • Obsessively weighing yourself or avoiding scales altogether

Many of us know the deep frustration of getting on a diet or even “making all the right lifestyle changes” only to find we have resumed previous habits.

Our counselors will work with you to:
  • gain accurate insight into emotional dynamics of your eating
  • find new and healthy ways to be aware of, express, and redirect key emotions
  • gradually add behavioral and lifestyle changes which are realistic and sustainable
  • safely taper away from the counseling, while developing a strong and sustainable support system to help make permanent changes

Please call us at 614-888-9200. Our intake coordinator will discuss with you how we can help.

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DOT / SAP Evaluations

department of transportation, drug screening, FAA, DOT SAP, counseling, assessment, columbus, ohio

DOT/SAP Evaluation

Any individual who has a positive alcohol or drug screen in a safety sensitive job under DOT rules and regulations is required to see a qualified SAP professional for an evaluation. Directions Counseling Group provides DOT compliant SAP evaluations for employees as well as consultation for employers with questions about DOT rules and regulations. We will help employers and employees understand the specific steps of the return-to-duty process and promptly schedule the employee for a SAP evaluation. We assess employees from a variety of safety sensitive industries and are familiar with the rule variations in each, including:

    • Airline – FAA
    • Freight Transport – FMCSA
    • Marine – USCG
    • Pipeline & Hazardous Material – PHMSA
    • Railroad – FRA

Employees with a positive screening are typically very concerned about time off duty without pay, possible loss of employment, an unsure future, and often family members who are upset. While public safety is the central concern of the DOT return-to-duty process, we are no stranger to the process and recognize this situation can be charged with emotion. We have helped hundreds of truck drivers, pilots and other safety-sensitive employees get their focus off of the anxiety provoking circumstances and move ahead with constructive steps to solve the problem.

* Initial DOT/SAP evaluations normally scheduled within 48 hours

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Sexual Intimacy for Couples

sexual intimacy, counseling, couples, columbus, ohio

Sexual Intimacy for Couples

Sexual intimacy can be one of the most difficult aspects of marital life. Many factors can contribute to this reality:

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Poor communication
  • Over-scheduled family and work life
  • Past sexual abuse or trauma
  • Infidelity
  • Poor body image
  • Selfishness
  • Pornography use or other compulsive behavior
  • Unresolved conflict and anger
  • Depression
  • Physical problems

Our counselors are sensitive to the highly personal and emotional nature of problems associated with sexuality. As in other areas of counseling, we will first work to build trust and comfort with both partners, then identify and understand past and present contributing factors to the current problems. From there we will work with you to develop a strategy for addressing contributing factors, recommend specific behavioral exercises when the time is right, and provide helpful follow-up to recommended interventions.

Sexual communication and growth is often very difficult but with good direction, diligence, and courage most couples can dramatically improve their sexual intimacy. Speak with our client relationship coordinator to learn about a potential counselor who is a good fit for you.

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Women’s Sexual Issues

women sexual issues, intimacy, sexuality, counseling, columbus, ohio

Women’s Sexual Issues

Nothing feels quite as private or embarrassing as having to face a sexual problem.  For women, sexuality is intimately connected to the essence of their feminity, and yet many women have never experienced a healthy view of either their sexuality or their femininity.  This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, shame and confusion.

Our counselors frequently see women who struggle with these issues:

  • Believing that normal sexual relations within marriage are dirty or disgusting
  • Being preoccupied with sexual thoughts and urges to the point that it interferes with healthy relationships or with normal responsibilities
  • Having sexual attractions that are bothersome and feel abnormal

Many times, sexual dysfunction can result from things that happened earlier in life including but not limited to:

  • Witnessing unhealthy sexual behaviors in others including parents, other family or friends
  • Being sexually assaulted or feeling coerced into sexual behavior without being emotionally ready to participate in a sexual relationship
  • Never having discussed what healthy sexuality is or being taught (either overtly or covertly) that sex is “bad” or “dirty”

Our counselors understand that it is difficult to talk with someone about these very private issues; it takes courage.  Talking is the first step to developing a healthy, wholesome sexual relationship and improving your view of yourself and others.  Our experienced counselors will sensitively and respectfully provide a safe place where you can reflect, heal and begin to feel whole as a woman in this very personal area of your life.

Please call us at 614.888.9200.  We would be happy to help.

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Sex & Love Addiction for Women

love, sex addiction, womens issues, columbus, ohio, counseling

Sex & Love Addiction for Women

Many women would never call themselves a sex or love addict; however, they find that they are unable to have satisfying long term intimate relationships in spite of numerous attempts. Some find that they have intentionally decided to stop hoping for intimacy and simply see the involvement as short term and/or sexual from the beginning.

Some of the symptoms of Sex or Love Addiction are:

    • Poor emotional and physical boundaries; getting involved with others emotionally or sexually before knowing them
    • Returning to painful, destructive relationships to avoid loneliness
    • Serial sexual or emotional relationships, or even overlapping relationships with no chance for healing in between
    • Chronic feelings of emptiness or fear of being alone; constant searching for intimate relationships
    • Confusion of love with neediness, romantic intensity or sexual/physical attraction
    • Frequently rescuing others or feeling victimized by others
    • Using sex or emotional dependence as a substitute for healthy nurturance and support*

If some of these characterize the pain you feel when dealing with intimacy, we would like to help. You can be supported while you talk through the difficult emotions of healing. You can also learn to enter and maintain healthy and mutually nurturing relationships that last. When you call we will handle your call privately and discreetly. If you would rather not share with the client relationship coordinator the details of your situations, please ask to speak to a clinician.

*Adapted from The Characteristics of Sex and Love Addicts read at Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous

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