What Should I Look for in a Counselor?

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What should I look for in a counselor?  

lookingHow do I find a good fit?

For some people, the very thought of seeking out the professional help of a professional counselor is scary and intimidating.  Sometimes their social, family, or (sadly at times) faith community has implicitly or explicitly frowned upon mental health help, so there is a stigma to get over or through from their environment.

Other times, it is a matter of pride (seeing a counselor is a sign of weakness or that you are ‘broken’) or self-abasement (being too bad off to be helped) that the person has to overcome.  As for others, it could be horror stories of professional helpers imposing their personal values (e.g. “believing in God is your problem,” “Why not just get a divorce?” etc.) that become a barrier to seeking care.

Realizing the hurdles that some people face to even consider picking up the phone to seek out a professional counselor, having an idea of what to look for and find a good fit, is a helpful way of removing another potential hurdle.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Research different types of mental health professionals: counselors, coaches, social workers, psychiatrists, and psychologists to determine what may be best for your situation.  Consider asking your primary care physician for help.
  • Know what you are looking for: gender, experience, specialty, expertise, age ranges with whom they work, and location(s).
  • Decide how you will pay: Insurance or not?  What is the fee?  How do they bill? Do they accept credit card payments?  Are scholarships available?
  • Your counselor should be available and able to see you on a regular basis once you begin  counseling.
  • Referrals are a great help in obtaining a good therapist.  Ask your friends, pastor, coworkers, doctor, etc.
  • If you have several referrals, call each of them.  Talk to them and find out a little about each one.  Your initial conversation over the phone may not be too extensive, but it should give you an opportunity to see if it could be a good fit and ask them specific questions that you may have about therapy, the therapist, the counseling process, fees, etc.

Statistically, the majority of people in the United States believe in God and/or consider themselves to be spiritual.  Some hold more firmly to the values and beliefs of their faith’s worldview than others.

For Christians who consider biblical faith to be important, here are some additional things to look for and ask about when seeking a out a therapist:

  • If your pastor supports professional health care, ask if they have any referral ideas.
  • Google “Christian counselor” and research the agencies that you discover online.
  • Ask what the counselor believes about marriage and divorce?
  • Does the therapist attend church regularly (you do not need to inquire as to which church)?
  • Are they open to the idea of the use of Scripture as a potential element in the therapeutic process?

For more information, please contact CornerStone at 614.459.3003.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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I always thought I was just a worrier. I’d feel keyed up and unable to relax. At times it would come and go, and at times it would be constant. It could go on for days. I’d worry about what I was going to fix for a dinner party, or what would be a great present for somebody. I just couldn’t let something go.

When my problems were at their worst, I’d miss work and feel just terrible about it. Then I worried that I’d lose my job. My life was miserable until I got treatment.

I’d have terrible sleeping problems. There were times I’d wake up wired in the middle of the night. I had trouble concentrating, even reading the newspaper or a novel. Sometimes I’d feel a little lightheaded. My heart would race or pound. And that would make me worry more. I was always imagining things were worse than they really were. When I got a stomachache, I’d think it was an ulcer.

People with Anxiety girlgeneralized anxiety disorder (GAD) go through the day filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it. They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety.

GAD is diagnosed when a person worries excessively about a variety of everyday problems for at least 6 months.13 People with GAD can’t seem to get rid of their concerns, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. They can’t relax, startle easily, and have difficulty concentrating. Often they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Physical symptoms that often accompany the anxiety include fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, feeling out of breath, and hot flashes. Anxiety is a chemical response in the brain which can therefore be controlled by things like cbd edibles, which are a form of medical marijuana. Using these enables you to calm your symptoms for long enough to see possible longer term solutions, like counselling, more clearly.

When their anxiety level is mild, or has been controlled by herbal remedies like those mentioned above, people with GAD can function socially and hold down a job. Although they don’t avoid certain situations as a result of their disorder, people with GAD can have difficulty carrying out the simplest daily activities if their anxiety is severe.

GAD affects about 6.8 million American adults,1 including twice as many women as men. The disorder develops gradually and can begin at any point in the life cycle, although the years of highest risk are between childhood and middle age.

Treating anxiety is a personal journey. Some people go through counseling and therapy to help them develop coping strategies, whereas others prefer to look at hemp products and other natural remedies. Ultimately, finding a treatment that works for you is crucial. If you do go down the medical marijuana route, or any derivatives from that area, make sure you are using businesses that are environmentally friendly, as terpenes can actually harm the environment, which come from the growth of marijuana, so make your choices wisely.

Taken from National Institute of Mental Health.

For more information or help with GAD, please contact CornerStone at 614.459.3003.

5 Reasons Why You Should Try Therapy

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5 Reasons Why You Should Try Therapy

by Jenessa Michele

thinkingWhen I was younger, I thought only crazy people or people with ‘real problems’ went to therapy. Then, one day I became one of those people in therapy for some personal issues I was going through. Was I crazy? Not at all! In fact therapy opened me up to myself, and even when I ‘stopped needing’ it, I still wanted to go. It’s my time and I love it. Ever since, I have become a big believer in therapy and I feel like everyone should go at least at one point or another in their life!

2. Sometimes when we are going through things, it may be difficult to open up to family and friends. They may not fully understand or they may not know what to say or how to deal with us. That is okay – it’s human nature. A therapist can get you to be more open and can help you assess the situation at hand. They can give you positive enforcement with an unbiased attitude that will help you get through this trying time in your life.

3. It feels good to talk to someone. Yes, we have family, and yes, we have friends, but sometimes they are bombarded and busy with their own lives. It is nice to schedule at least one hour a week to just plain pour your heart out, whether it’s good or bad. This is your time, let it all out.

4. Good therapy will give you the courage you need to stand up for yourself. If you are in a negative situation, sometimes therapy is just the push you need to help yourself get out of it. It’s that boost of self-confidence that you need to make better more positive decisions that will enable you to be in a better place.

5. Therapy is a great place to let out your inner crazy. You can say everything you are thinking, and you are not being judged (theoretically at least; everyone judges — that’s just a fact!) It’s a place for complete honesty. There is nothing like having an outlet where not only can you be completely honest with someone else, but you can be completely honest with yourself. Personally I believe this leads to better relationships with others – not just romantic relationships, but all relationships (family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances).

CornerStone Counselor Snapshot: Carrie Hover, MACMHC, LPC/CR

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Carrie Hover is a Licensed Professional Counselor who considers it an honor to walk with people in the process of finding hope, healing, or direction.  She is passionate about helping others to reach their potential and teaches them skills or offers insight that comes from training at Ashland Theological Seminary and plenty of life experiences.  Carrie’s background as a mom who has experienced divorce, singleness and remarriage connects her intimately with pain and joy that comes through suffering and ultimately growth.

Carrie provides counseling services for:
Marriage, Blended Families, Thriving through Divorce, Life Transitions, Parenting, Children (6 & up), Grief/Loss, Depression, Anxiety, Coping Skills, Women’s Issues, and Communication Issues.

Carrie is also Prepare/Enrich Certified.

Carrie ACA

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Postpartum Depression

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postpartumAs many as one in seven women in the United States, or nearly 15% of new moms, is believed to suffer from some form of mental illness during or after pregnancy, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The spectrum of illnesses goes beyond depression, which people don’t realize, said Stone. Moms could be suffering from a range of mood and anxiety disorders; in the most rare and serious cases,impacting only 0.2% of all moms, they suffer from psychosis, the disorder that often garners the painful national headlines….In the vast majority of cases, women with perinatal mental illness won’t ever physically harm themselves or their children.

Take a look at one mother’s struggle with postpartum depression and how she has started a movement to inform and help others with similar struggles:


10 Tips to Stress Less

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Here are 10 tips to reduce stress:

Stress Reduction

CornerStone Counselor Snapshot: Therese M. Grieco, MA, LPC/CR

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ThereseTherese Grieco, MA, LPC/CR is a Licensed Professional Counselor who considers it a privilege to walk alongside people as they work through difficulties in their lives. Her background in customer service, business, and counseling serves her well in connecting with people and helping them identify their strengths and options.

As a professional counselor, Therese provides counseling services for Adults, Anxiety, Communication/Conflict/Coping Skills, Couples, Death/Grief, Depression, Family, Life Transitions, Marriage, Pre-Marriage (PREPARE/ENRICH), Postpartum Depression/Anxiety (PPD/PPA), and Women’s Issues.

If you would like to contact Therese, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614.459.3003.

CornerStone Counselor Snapshot: Seth Evans, MACMHC, LPC-CR

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Professional Information

Seth Evans is a licensed professional counselor who graduated with high honors from Ashland Theological Seminary’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.  He incorporates his strengths from his backgrounds in counseling, pastoral care, and mechanical engineering to assist people in reaching their biopsychosociospiritual goals.

As a professional counselor, Seth provides counseling services for:

Adults, Anxiety, Individual, LIMRI Certified (Premarital & Marital), Marriage, Men’s Issues, Mood Disorders, Pastoral Counseling, Premarital, Spiritual Concerns, Young Adults (16 years old+), Life Transitions.

In addition to face-to-face counseling, Seth is available as a counselor through a verified by Psychology Todaydynamic video counseling service.  You can contact him in this capacity through Hearkn.com.

You can check out Seth’s Psychology Today profile here.

Personal Information

Seth EvansACA Membership Logo Large works hard as a counselor with CornerStone Family Services, but he enjoys to take time to relax and have fun with his wife. He also loves to sit back and drink a nice hot cup of coffee (black – no sugar or cream) while reading a good book.  Seth enjoys a variety of genres of literature – young adult, history, adventure, academic, spiritual, and the occasional mystery novel.

He is also highly involved in his local church – working with the church leadership, helping to lead a small group Bible study, and occasionally preaching the Sunday morning sermon.

hearkn  Find Christian Counselor


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