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A Note from the Director Regarding Coronavirus

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To our Cornerstone Family and Followers:

Cornerstone Family Services has been monitoring the Coronavirus situation carefully, and it is our goal to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our clients and clinicians alike. We have implemented common sense measures at our facility to help meet the highest standards possible.

We understand the importance of consistent and continuing behavioral healthcare for those experiencing emotional pain and acknowledge the additional distress being caused for many due to the Coronavirus outbreak and its social and economic impact. This is a time of rapid change and uncertainty which can add to anxiety, stress, and isolation. Please know that Cornerstone Family Services is here to serve and to help those in need.

In that light, and so that we can continue to maintain a healthy environment, we respectfully request our clients adhere to the following guidelines:

  • If you or someone you live with has experienced flu symptoms, please reschedule for at least 3 weeks. Many of our counselors and coaches have the necessary qualifications to meet remotely. Consult with your counselor or coach as to whether this is a possibility if you meet the above criteria.
  • Please communicate directly with your counselor or coach as to how they are addressing the Coronavirus situation within their individual practice, and any concerns or questions you might have.

For guidance on how to deal with the stress and emotional impact of Coronavirus, we would like to share some excellent recommendations in an excerpt from the article “Coping With Stress During the Season of the Coronavirus” , by Elisa Joy Seibert, Ph.D., M.Div.:

Things you can do to support yourself:

  • Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life.
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships.
  • Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.

Share the facts about COVID-19 and the actual risk to others. People who have returned from areas of ongoing spread more than 14 days ago and do not have symptoms of COVID-19 do not put others at risk.

  1. While the world is talking about “social distancing”, EFT trainer Jim Thomas is renaming it as “physical distancing” since we don’t want to distance ourselves from each other’s hearts. Now more than ever we need to be here for each other. We will not survive this ALONE. We will survive it TOGETHER! As you follow appropriate physical precautions, don’t let that lead you to distance your heart and withdraw into fear. See this video of how some lovely Italian
    communities are using music and singing to connect with each other and break the isolation:
  2. Validate. Validate. Validate. Validate yourself and each other, including fears. Be present. There are real reasons you (and others) feel the way you do.
  3. Listen in to how you are feeling. What is that feeling saying to you? If you see that part of yourself as a friend that is seeking to care for you and needs to be heard right now, what is it saying you need? Honor it. Find a way to care for it, hold it, soothe it, and respond.
  4. Name your fears. “Naming is containing” (Kathryn Rheem).
  5. Find ways and places to process your fears. As Dr. Kathryn Rheem says, “Unprocessed fear moves under the surface and tweaks behavior.” We need to find places and safe people with whom to process our fears. Holding the fears alone will only grow anxiety in us. Bringing them out into the light, naming them, and processing them with a safe other will help them be released AND we will feel less alone! That leads to the next point….
  6. Find meaningful and safe ways to connect with those who bring you life. “Isolation is inherently traumatizing to the human brain” (Rheem), so make sure to lean in, connect, reach, and respond to each other. We WILL survive this virus, and we will survive it better if we stay connected! This includes leaning into your faith supports, if those are important to you.
  7. Seek healthy, safe, physical touch with those you love. While keeping in mind appropriate handwashing and germ reduction protocols, we do well to remember what James Coan’s hand holding study teaches us … that the hand of our loved one “calms jittery neurons” in our brain (which we are probably all needing these days!), as well as the truth that a hug releases oxytocin which calms us. As Dr. Sue Johnson says, in summarizing Coan’s study, “The people we love … are the hidden regulators of our bodily processes and our emotional lives” (Hold Me Tight (2008), 26).
  8. Open your eyes to those around you and the needs around you. How might you be a gift to another human in this season of global stress? While we are all too aware of the negative stories on the news, we could be part of the stories around the globe of good will and kindness which can be the answer to another’s prayer.
  9. Do the things that bring you life and joy! Do you like to create? Then create! Do you like to pet your animals? Then pet them! Do you like to go for walks or a good run or hike? Then move and let the fresh air fill your lungs and the scenes of trees and creeks remind you that life is good and there is plenty in this world to enjoy and center us.
  10. Spend time outside in nature. It is grounding, centering, and soothing.
  11. Incorporate music in your day. Listen to your favorite music, play an instrument, sing, release the stress! Music really helps with expressing, soothing, and shifting emotions.
  12. Keep healthy routines and structure in your lives. We all function better with regular wake/sleep cycles and predictability in our days. Notice and pat yourself on the back for the
    small accomplishments each day: “I made my bed!” etc.
  13. Exercise, even a brisk walk, adds oxygen to our brains to help us think more clearly and releases endorphins to help us feel better.
  14. Eat balanced diets.
  15. Drink lots of water and healthy fluids.
  16. Get plenty of rest. We all function better when we are well rested.
  17. And remember to lean in, lean in, lean in to those who are safe havens in your life! We all function better TOGETHER!

An Update from John Cassell, Executive Director

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Having recently transitioned from Acting Director to Executive Director of Cornerstone, I would like to thank our supporters and provide a brief but long-overdue update of where we are as an organization.

To our supporters…I fully understand that your past and/or present support for Cornerstone was most likely connected to your love and friendship with Bob and Linda Uhle. Likewise, it was our friendship with Bob and Linda that pulled my wife Krista and I into the Cornerstone mission – she as a Life Coach and me as a Board Member. Like all of us who knew Bob Uhle closely, there is still a hole in our hearts that he once occupied as truth-speaking friend, encourager, jokester, and brother in Christ.

Reflecting over the past two and a half years, I’m amazed at how God has worked through a series of significant events too numerous to list, and how God was working in the previous years to prepare all of us for these events. Several years ago, Bob began floating the idea of my succeeding him as Director of Cornerstone. At first I couldn’t see a path. I was 15 years into a successful career with a good company and the thought of walking away was overwhelming, perhaps even irresponsible. I told God it would take a miracle on His part for Bob’s vision for me to materialize.

But God had a plan. Today, Cornerstone occupies a beautifully remodeled 4,000 square foot facility on Bethel Road with 13 counseling offices, 15 counselors, 3 coaches, and 7 interns. We have remained true to the mission that Bob and Linda advocated for Cornerstone:

  • Help hurting families and individuals, regardless of financial means – We provide high-quality Christian Counseling and Coaching, regardless of an individual’s insurance coverage or ability to pay. In 2019, Cornerstone provided $183,000 in no-cost or low-cost counseling and coaching to 325 families. Hurting families and individuals are getting the help they need with parenting and marriage, anxiety and depression, addiction and substance abuse, and many other areas.
  • Promote Christian counseling and coaching in Central Ohio – We provide internship opportunities for Counselor Trainees who have completed their educational requirements to complete their required 600 hours of supervised counseling. This enables them to obtain their Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) designation and begin their own practice.
  • Share the Gospel – Each month, about two-thirds of our counselors, coaches, and counselor trainees report that they have had an opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ at least once as part of their practice. Many clients have received Christ or come to a deeper understanding of His love, grace, and healing as a result.

Our leadership team consists of Tracy Whiteside, LPCC-S, who serves as Clinical Director. Tracy oversees our Counselor Trainees, performs a long list of administrative duties, and provides supervision for our interns while maintaining her own practice. She also teaches weekly as a professor at Ashland University. Our Coaching Director is Krista Cassell, BCALC, who oversees coaching practices and development, and uses her hospitality talent to ensure that our clients enjoy a beautiful and relaxing environment. I am blessed to say that Krista is also my wife of 29 years. Finally, I left my employer after 17 years, became part owner of a remodeling company, and now split my time between entrepreneur and Executive Director of Cornerstone.

Bob was right, miracles happen.

John Cassell, Executive Director

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