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Parenting our children: one of the noblest and most challenging among all of life’s callings. Doing it well . . . that’s another matter, especially in the face of a complex culture, competing interests for your time, and a thousand potential land mines on your child’s road to adulthood.

Some of the issues many parents struggle with today include:

Pre-schoolers and toddlers

Time-outs vs. spanking vs. other forms of discipline; tantrums and whining; separation anxiety; potty training; daycare and babysitter issues.

School Age children

Public vs. private vs. home & online schooling, after-school care, growth and development issues, delayed learners, talented/gifted students.


Peer groups, identity and self-esteem issues, drugs, sexuality, dating, curfews, driving, college and job choices, school violence, self-destructive/self-harming behaviors

Challenging children of all ages

Those with ADD or ADHD; Tourettes disorder; fearful, sensitive, actively aggressive or angry children; Oppositional-defiant personality disorder; conduct disorders; those with eating disorders (Anorexia or Bulimia) or who struggle with obesity.

Serving parents in the Columbus area for more than 20 years, the counselors at Directions Counseling Group understand how difficult it is to raise emotionally healthy children in a fast-paced society that often has little regard for a child’s timing and development. We can help you, and your children, whatever your unique needs may be. Call us today at 614.888.9200.

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Family Therapy

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Family Therapy

Early family life for each of us is the “DNA” and framework that lays the foundation for the course of the rest of our lives. Family systems therapy is a discipline and art form that has the highest regard for this inherent power in the family dynamic.  In family therapy change takes place rapidly and often in unexpected but surprisingly pleasant ways.

Family therapy can be used in a wide variety of circumstances, but the following is a brief list of typical situations where we recommend it:

  • When a family member has died
  • When the family is being broken apart by chronic, unresolved conflict
  • When a teenager is “acting out” and typical course corrections aren’t working
  • When one member is struggling with a substance abuse problem or an addiction
  • When mental illness of one family member is profoundly impacting the others
  • When the family is adjusting to a difficult relocation, job loss/change, or other  temporary but significant circumstance

As you can imagine, assembling several family members in one room with an outside party to talk about the family “rules”, strengths, weaknesses or current problems – causes something deep to start taking place. The familiar patterns, which are often counterproductive or reinforcing the problem, begin to give way to the strengths that are emphasized by the family therapy process. We love to help families regain their balance, mature, and find ways to move past difficult problems.

Directions Counseling Group is pleased to offer professional family therapy services with trained and experienced family therapy specialists.

Family Therapy Specialists:

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Blended Families

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Blended Families

Approximately 1,300 new step-families are formed everyday in the United States.  Sixty-percent of those will end in divorce, usually within the first two years of marriage. Not surprising statistics, considering the unique struggles facing the blended family.

Common stresses typically faced by blended families can include:

  • Financial stress and complex child support problems
  • Difficult step-sibling relationships
  • Loving the spouse but not his/her children
  • Court custody and visitation battles
  • Difficulty merging household rules and responsibilities
  • Value differences between merging households
  • Polarized parenting roles with new spouses ex
  • Great difficulty with what goes on at an ex-spouse’s house

While blending families is challenging, it is not impossible.  Whether you are nearing the blending of families, recently married or have been in the process for an extended period of time, we strongly we strongly recommend you find a counselor experienced in this area of work.

Taking the time to do this may represent an additional time and expense. However, we challenge and encourage you to consider putting your new marriage and parenting relationships at the top of your priority list.  In the long run it may help you beat the odds and allow you to keep and thrive in the marriage and family you have dreamed of having.

Blended Family Specialists:

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Premarital Counseling

Getting a marriage off on the right foot leads to marital bliss.  Premarital counseling helps couples identify their strengths and weaknesses, learn new ways to communicate in marriage and improve their basic relationship skills to truly enjoy the ‘honeymoon stage.’  Couples who participate in premarital counseling are better able to stay focused on their marriage, improve their own self-awareness and confidently avoid the ‘seven-year itch’ as they embrace a thriving (versus just a surviving) marriage.

Quality premarital counseling is one of the best ways to lay a foundation for a strong marriage. Unfortunately, most couples receive no premarital counseling or only a relatively brief, and superficial look at what lies at the heart of their relationship. Researchers estimate that 41 percent of all first marriages end in divorce and 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce. Couples must take the necessary steps to end up on the right side of this statistic.

Your premarital counseling will focus on some of the following issues:

Communication skills – unlock the key to understanding each other
History- learn the benefit of resolving family of origin issues
Love languages – understanding how each of you receive love differently
Conflict resolution – fight fair and learn to resolve disputes
Sexuality – understand differences, work out hang-ups, heal past problems
Spirituality – discover the power of pursuing your faith together
Finances – find freedom through cooperation and compromise
Children – reach common ground and goals regarding parenting
Romance – find the secret to keeping the spark of love alive

Questions about premarital counseling or to sign up today, call 614.888.9200.

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Affair Recovery / Infidelity

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Affair Recovery

“How could he/she do this to me? To us? To our children or family?”

If you have discovered that your spouse or partner has been unfaithful, you are probably agonizing over these same questions – and more. Infidelity destroys one’s sense of self. It creates a spirit of despair marked by a profound sense of rejection in which the betrayed spouse experiences symptoms not unlike those of PTSD: an inability to eat, sleep, or concentrate; obsessive thoughts about the “other man” or “other woman” and what went on with your spouse; a compulsive urge to monitor your husband or wife’s every action; a sense of self-blame, guilt, anger, sadness, and shame alternating with feelings of numbness and rage. It feels like the pain will never go away.

You are not alone. According to The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, the percentage of men who admit to infidelity is 57%, and women are not far behind at 54%. While knowing this doesn’t ease your heartache, it does affirm the notion that maintaining a long term, committed relationship is difficult for most people.

We have helped hundreds of couples in Central Ohio heal from the pain of infidelity. Using solution-focused/strength based therapies, they will guide you through the stages of healing with specific strategies to manage the raw emotions, re-establish trust, and work through forgiveness.

Couples who have walked this restorative journey often say that while they never would have chosen this particular path to wholeness, they are now relating to one another in ways they never thought possible.

If this is your story, please call us today. We are ready to help you.

Affair Recovery Specialists:

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Pregnancy Related Issues

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Pregnancy Related Crisis

A mother’s body experiences the changes of a new life growing within her often before she is aware she is pregnant. During the first three months of gestation, the many biological, emotional and relational changes can be overwhelming to the mother. For some, pregnancy is a time of ambivalence. A mother can be very vulnerable during this time.

Miscarriage & Stillbirth

If the baby is a dream realized, along with nausea and weariness, joy fills the mother’s heart. She will bond with her baby before the baby’s father. Often it takes feeling the first kick, ultra-sound or even holding his child in his arms, before his emotional connection to his child is tied.

When parents carry and birth a baby it is usually a time for celebration. In some cases, a baby does not survive the final months/days of gestation and the empty arms of mom and dad are heavy with loss, guilt, remorse and confusion. When a baby dies, family and friends seldom know how to comfort the grieving parents. Many cannot find words, or sometimes understand the enormity of losing a baby at whatever stage of pregnancy. In the attempt to assist and support the sorrowful mother, they might actually speak words that deepen her pain.


For some couples, the above experiences would be at least a sign that conception is possible. Even the tragedy of miscarriage would reassure them that pregnancy is possible. The yearning of their hearts to conceive, carry and birth a child colors everything; with each other, with friends and even with God. The sexual covenant of their marriage can be strained by fertility assistance and their relationship becomes stressed. There is no death memorial for a dream. Couples who are told that they cannot conceive carry in their hearts a unique sense of grief and loss.


If the pregnancy is a surprise and the mother is frightened, unsupported and alone, she is at great risk. Sometimes in an attempt to establish emotional equilibrium, she chooses abortion as a means to end her anxiety and conflict. Women who have chosen abortion often live as the “walking wounded”. Their pain is wrapped in shame and tucked into the farthest recesses of memory, or it lies just beneath the surface and flares like an angry sore at those we love the most. Abortion is a transforming event in the life of most women and many men. It has the power to impact many levels of their lives with self-hatred, distrust, anger and an inability to find intimacy.

If you are struggling emotionally and believe it may be related to one of the areas mentioned here we hope you will reach out for help.  You do not have to struggle alone and there is much that can be done to heal and recover. Call our client relationship coordinator at 614.888.9200 to learn more about how we can support you.

Pregnancy Related Crisis Specialists:

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Divorce & Separation

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Divorce & Separation Adjustment 

The end of any romantic relationship is usually traumatic to at least one of the parties involved. Regardless of the reason, it can profoundly impact a number of areas in a person’s life:

  • Emotional health
  • Physical health
  • Economic status
  • Spiritual well being
  • Career path
  • Future intimate relationships
  • Parenting

Emotional turmoil can come in the form of depression, anxiety, anger, and can eventually lead to physical health issues. Often under this kind of stress, regrettable decisions can be made regarding one’s children, finances or new romantic relationships. Many people who think they would not risk getting into another intimate relationship soon find themselves in a new romance in spite of cautions by friends, family and experts.

During the bleak period following the ending of a relationship you should be aware that there are things you can do to take care of yourself, recover and enjoy life again.  In fact, we believe if you will look at this difficult time as an opportunity for growth, you can become much healthier on many levels and be better prepared to succeed in future romantic relationships.  However, we don’t believe personal growth and health are a spontaneously occurring event. Honesty about one’s weaknesses and contributions to the problem areas of the relationship, personal reflection, time alone and simply time, are critical elements in finding balance and greater capacity for healthy relationships.

Other things may be accomplished in professional counseling, including:

  • Understanding what went wrong in the marriage
  • Grieve losses while avoiding depression
  • Avoid common mistakes with children
  • Strengthening the relational bond with children
  • Learn to cope with financial changes
  • Plan and re-build a new lifestyle
  • Avoid destructive thought patterns or bitterness
  • Strengthen your spiritual life & relationship with God

Directions Counseling Group counselors have helped thousands of individuals from various backgrounds move toward a fuller and healthier life after the end of a marriage or significant relationship.   Call and we will be happy to find a counselor suited to your situation.

Click Here for Divorce/Separation Adjustment for Kids

Divorce & Separation Specialists:

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Communication / Conflict

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Communication & Conflict

While we go to school for years to prepare for life in the workplace most of us find we are ill prepared for the challenges of communication in an intimate relationship. Couples can often be bewildered by the repetition of “same-old-same-old” arguments that get little to no resolution in spite of a great number of attempts to do so; sometimes even with professional help.

One of our passions at Directions Counseling Group is to help couples find their stride in the strengths of their relationship, which includes education, training and counseling in both the basic and advanced aspects of communication and conflict resolution.

Consider these questions as you think about what kind of relationship you are nurturing:

Do your conflicts often seem to end up with the same negative results? Do you feel yourself losing hope of resolving a chronic area of conflict? Do you often day-dream about being out of this relationship or into another one? Do you often regret what you said, how you said it or how you acted during a conflict? Do either of you resort to physical actions against the other during a conflict?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we believe it would make good sense for you to get help with your communication. Addressing unresolved conflict with the right tools and expertise could make all the difference in your relationship.

Also see: Anger Management

Communication Specialists:

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Codependency is a term popularized in the 1980’s during the growth of the of self-help and recovery movement. The term “codependent” originally applied to people who were closely involved with an alcoholic or other substance abuser. Just as the substance user becomes addicted to his/her substance, so the “codependent” person develops behaviors in response to the addict’s behaviors. The sum of these dysfunctional behaviors is referred to as codependency.

Since its origin the term has come to be associated with an individual’s maladaptive emotional, spiritual, & behavioral response to unhealthy behavior of any kind. In our day-to-day lives we obviously are influenced by those we interact with frequently. This interaction is a normal part of life and can be a healthy and positive influence. But if you find that your thoughts, feelings or actions are greatly determined by how another person acts you may have slipped into a codependent role in the relationship.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Being consistently unable to express your own opinions for fear of disapproval
  • Been told you are very hard on yourself
  • Feel “burnt out” or like you are the “caretaker” in one or more relationships which should be more mutual
  • Feel responsible for other people’s feelings, thoughts, actions, choices
  • Demand perfection of yourself while allowing others room to be human
  • Find yourself in unhealthy relationships (romantic/or friendships) which you can’t get out of

Our counselors can help you find practical ways to change troublesome behaviors in relationships and also help you with the emotional and internal aspects of this problem. If you would like to talk more, call our client relationship coordinator at 614.888.9200 to identify a counselor who would be best suited for your situation.

Codependency Specialists:

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Child Sexual Abuse Recovery

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Sexual Abuse Recovery

Rarely is anything so upsetting as the news of a child being sexually abused. The emotional impact on victims and families is profound and lasting. Some describe sexual abuse as a “crime of the soul,” since it affects all aspects of a child’s emotional development. Being sexually abused as a child affects a child’s view of self, the world, others, and God. Whether the abuse was a brief incident or ongoing a child may develop the following misconceptions:

  • I am not safe
  • I have no rights
  • I am powerless to protect myself
  • I am unlovable if I’m not sexual
  • I can’t trust people
  • God is punishing me
  • Sex is “bad / dirty”

Directions Counseling Group counselors have specific training to help children of all ages begin to talk about what has happened to them. Our counselors are sensitive not to re-traumatize children who find it very hard to discuss what has happened to them. We use art therapy, play therapy, and various proven creative techniques to help children feel and know they are safe before discussing how they have been harmed, and then help to begin the healing process.

Click Here for Adult Sexual Abuse Recovery

Sexual Abuse Recovery Specialists:

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