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LGBTQ Couples Counseling

Professional licensed counselor serving trans, non-binary, lesbian, and gay couples in Ohio (Columbus, Dublin, Upper Arlington, Clintonville, & more)
 

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A safe space for LGBTQ couples to grow and heal together.

Leave arguments and awkward disconnection behind. Queer, lesbian, and gay couples counseling can help you get to the root of communication problems so you can enjoy physical and emotional intimacy like never before. 

*If you or someone you know is in a crisis and needs immediate help, do not use this site, as we don’t monitor messages in real-time.

Instead, use these resources to help

Queer, Lesbian, & Gay Couples Counseling For Ohio Couples

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Uncover What Holds You Back

Unpack the extra “tax” many LGBTQ couples carry on their shoulders due to social discrimination and unsupportive families.

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Unlearn Toxic Communication

Ditch unhealthy learned behaviors from your upbringing and early adulthood in place of healthy coping skills and conflict management. 

Online Counseling Sessions

No need to leave the couch. Enjoy 100% fully virtual sessions from the comfort of your home.

Squash small problems while they're still small.

Counseling isn't just for relationships in crisis mode - in fact, if you wait until things are urgent, you may have waited too long.

Here's How It Works

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Book a free consultation.

Find out if we’re the perfect match for each other. If your partner isn’t ready yet, that’s okay. I offer individual counseling, too. 

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Hit the ground running.

We’ll begin the important work of healing your relationship from day one. 

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Attend weekly sessions.

Most couples reach a point where they feel ready to navigate the relationship on their own in as few as 6 months. 

Research-Based Practices Supporting LGBTQ+ Counseling

Same-sex and queer couples deserve proven counseling techniques and methods that are tailored to your unique needs. Doctors John and Julie Gottman have conducted decades of research on same-sex and queer couples in distress—and that’s what we use here.

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Hi, I'm Terri.

Terri Kern, Clinical Counselor

This is a pic of me at the family cottage this past summer.  I'm a straight cis lake gal!

 

Also, I'm a Gottman-trained couples counselor dedicated to helping couples build healthy and fulfilling relationships. I’m passionate about guiding couples through their journey of reconnecting. My goal is to provide a safe and supportive space where you can explore your concerns, deepen your understanding of each other, and develop effective communication and problem-solving skills.


Using the Gottman Method, which is grounded in decades of research and clinical practice, I assist couples in identifying negative patterns of interaction and replacing them with healthier alternatives. I emphasize the importance of fostering emotional intimacy, trust, and mutual respect to create a solid foundation for long-lasting happiness and fulfillment. 

 

MORE ABOUT ME

Take the strain off your relationship.

See your partner for who they are. Build unbreakable trust. Leave the pressure of outside events at the door. 

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"Love is old, 
Love is new,
Love is all,
Love is you."

  • What can we expect from a discernment counseling session? Is it like traditional couples therapy?
    Discernment counseling differs from traditional couples therapy in its focus and structure. During sessions, the counselor will help you and your partner gain clarity about your individual needs, assess the potential for change, and explore the possibilities for your relationship. It's a compassionate and non-blaming process, aimed at understanding the factors contributing to your ambivalence and helping you find the best path forward.
  • We have children. Can discernment counseling help us navigate the complexities of co-parenting?
    Absolutely! Discernment counseling recognizes the importance of considering the well-being of your children during this challenging time.
  • How long does discernment counseling typically take, and how many sessions will we need?
    Generally, it involves 3-5 sessions, but the exact number will be determined based on your needs. My goal is to create a supportive environment where you can explore your options at your own pace, without rushing through the process.
  • What are some common discernment counseling questions?
    How did we get to this point in our relationship? Are we both willing and able to put in the effort required to work on our marriage? Have we sought individual therapy or counseling before considering divorce? What are our hopes and fears about staying together or getting divorced? Have we explored all possible avenues for improving our relationship? How have our communication patterns contributed to the current situation? Are there any unresolved conflicts or resentments that need to be addressed? Have we considered the impact of divorce on ourselves, our children, and our extended families? What are the alternatives to divorce, such as separation or a trial period of working on the marriage? How have external factors, such as stress, work, or financial issues, affected our relationship? What are the positive aspects or strengths in our relationship that we can build upon?
  • What is divorce ambivalence and how can discernment counseling help?
    Divorce ambivalence refers to feeling unsure about whether to end a marriage or try to work things out. Discernment counseling can help you and your partner explore your options in a safe and non-judgmental space. I’ll help you gain clarity, understand your emotions, and make a decision that feels right for both of you.
  • How much does premarital counseling cost?
    The cost of premarital counseling depends largely on how long you choose to attend. I understand that weddings are expensive, so my goal is to help you reach your premarital counseling goals no matter your budget. To that end, I structure premarital counseling sessions in such a way that most couples are able to reach that feeling of “readiness” within just two months. Additionally, I offer fully virtual sessions, which are more affordable than in-person counseling.
  • How long is premarital counseling?
    Six to eight weeks is typical for premarital counseling, though some couples may choose to attend for a longer period. As with all forms of counseling, the length of time may vary depending on what types of issues come up and how long it takes to resolve them.
  • We’re newly married. Is it too late to start premarital counseling?
    Though premarital counseling is typically aimed at those who haven’t yet tied the knot, you can absolutely attend as a newly-married couple. Couples counseling early in your marriage can help you learn valuable strategies for reducing friction and increasing marital satisfaction.
  • When should we start premarital counseling?
    Couples typically begin premarital counseling shortly after getting engaged. If your wedding is approaching and you feel cold feet coming on, schedule a consultation ASAP.
  • What types of challenges or issues can you help LGBTQ+ couples navigate?
    I can help LGBTQ+ couples navigate a wide range of challenges and issues, including: communication difficulties conflicts around identity or coming out managing external pressures or discrimination navigating open relationships or non-monogamy fostering intimacy and connection building a strong foundation for the future
  • How do you ensure confidentiality and privacy for LGBTQ+ clients?
    Confidentiality and privacy are of utmost importance in my practice. I adhere to strict professional ethics and legal standards to protect the privacy of my clients. All information shared during counseling sessions is confidential, unless there are legal exceptions or situations that require mandatory reporting. I’m committed to creating a safe space where LGBTQ+ clients can openly share their experiences without fear of judgment or breach of confidentiality.
  • What makes you a gender-affirming mental health professional?
    I’m knowledgeable about the specific challenges and concerns faced by LGBTQ+ couples and strive to provide culturally competent and affirming care. respect and validate the identities and experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals, recognizing that each person's journey is unique.
  • How can couples counseling benefit LGBTQ+ relationships?
    Couples counseling can benefit LGBTQ+ relationships by providing a supportive and nonjudgmental space for partners to explore and address their unique challenges. It offers an opportunity for improved communication, conflict resolution, and a deeper understanding of each other's needs and desires.
  • Can a marriage survive infidelity without counseling?
    Every relationship is different, and there’s no definitive answer to this question. Certainly, many couples stay married after infidelity, though it may not be a healthy marriage. Infidelity counseling can help couples recover from infidelity and build a stronger partnership.
  • What kind of therapy do I need for infidelity?
    Infidelity counseling is a good choice for those whose relationships have been affected by infidelity. It may also be worth considering traditional one-on-one therapy, which can help you address any underlying personal issues that may be affecting your relationship.
  • Does marriage counseling work after infidelity?
    Yes. But it takes hard work. As a couples counselor, I’ve found that a few things must be true for a marriage to survive infidelity: Both partners must be honest with themselves and with each other. Both partners must listen and be open to constructive criticism and feedback. Both partners must use the skills learned in counseling, now and into the future.
  • What are some couples communication techniques?
    One technique that I often recommend for couples to try right away is using "I" statements. Using "I" statements to express your feelings and needs help you avoid blaming or criticizing your partner. For example, say "I feel neglected when you spend a lot of time on your phone" instead of "You always ignore me. Another technique to try is “adult time outs.” If a conversation becomes heated or overwhelming, take a break and agree to revisit the topic later. This technique allows both partners to cool down and gather their thoughts, preventing further escalation of conflicts.
  • Where to find printable couples communication worksheets?
    You can find some excellent information in this Gottman couples communication worksheet.
  • How can couples improve communication?
    Here are some quick tips to improve communication: Pay attention to your partner's words, non-verbal cues, and emotions. Show genuine interest and provide verbal and non-verbal feedback to demonstrate understanding. Instead of blaming or attacking your partner, express your concerns using "I" statements to focus on your feelings and needs. Be open to hearing your partner's perspective without becoming defensive. Repeat what your partner has said in your own words to ensure you have understood their message correctly. Regularly express gratitude and affection towards your partner. Small gestures of appreciation can go a long way in building a positive communication environment. Create opportunities for meaningful conversations by setting aside specific times to talk without distractions.
  • How can counseling benefit me?
    Counseling can be highly beneficial for individuals facing various challenges or seeking personal growth. It provides a safe and confidential space to explore thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, gain new perspectives, develop coping skills, and enhance overall well-being. Whether you're struggling with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or simply looking to improve your self-esteem, counseling can provide the support and guidance you need.
  • How much does counseling cost, and do you accept insurance?
    Counseling fees vary based on the type and duration of services provided. Please contact me directly for detailed information regarding the current fees. Regarding insurance, I am an out-of-network provider. If your insurance plan offers out-of-network benefits, you may be eligible for partial reimbursement for counseling services. I can provide you with a receipt (superbill) that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement purposes.
  • How many counseling sessions will I need?
    The number of counseling sessions required varies depending on individual circumstances and goals. Some individuals may find relief and make significant progress in a few sessions, while others may benefit from longer-term therapy. During our initial sessions, we will collaboratively assess your needs and develop a treatment plan. Regular reviews will help us gauge progress and determine the most appropriate duration for your counseling journey.
  • ​​What types of counseling services do you offer?
    As a licensed clinical counselor in Ohio, I offer a wide range of counseling services tailored to meet your specific needs. These include individual counseling, couples therapy, family therapy, and group therapy. I have experience working with diverse populations and addressing various concerns such as anxiety, depression, stress management, trauma, grief, and more. Together, we will develop a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve your therapeutic goals.
  • How do I know if couples counseling is right for us?
    If you're experiencing difficulties in your relationship, couples counseling is a valuable resource. It's suitable for couples facing challenges such as communication issues, frequent conflicts, trust issues, or major life transitions. If you feel stuck, disconnected, or unable to resolve problems on your own, couples counseling offers guidance, support, and tools to help you navigate these issues together.
  • What is couples counseling and how can it benefit my relationship?
    Couples counseling is a therapeutic process designed to help couples improve their relationship and resolve conflicts like: Frequent fighting and blow-ups Disconnection due to mismatched schedules Intimacy issues with a sex-positive approach Life events such as birth, death, and major financial hurdles Uneven distribution of household duties Parenting disagreements and conflicts Infidelity It provides a safe space for open communication and understanding. You can learn effective communication techniques, gain insight into relationship dynamics, and develop strategies to strengthen your bond.
  • What can I expect during a couples counseling session?
    As your therapist, I’ll listen to both of you and facilitate constructive conversations. I’ll help you identify underlying issues, improve communication, and explore strategies for positive change. Expect to engage in open dialogue, participate in exercises or activities, and receive guidance tailored to your specific needs.
  • How long does couples counseling typically last?
    The duration of couples counseling varies depending on several factors, including the complexity of the issues and the progress made in therapy. While some couples may find resolution in a few sessions, others may benefit from longer-term therapy. On average, couples counseling may last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. I’ll work with you to determine the appropriate length of therapy based on your goals and progress.
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