Trauma-Informed and Couples Therapist
“The ache for home lives in all of us – the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou
My desire as a therapist is to join you in your journey as you discover, process, and heal in a safe and compassionate environment. I believe therapeutic change happens through building a relationship with my clients based on trust and collaboration. As a trauma-informed and couples therapist, I center on my client’s physical and emotional safety first and foremost as I work with them to encourage healing without dangerously triggering any difficult memories, emotions, and experiences.
I am passionate about empowering my clients and improving lives. I believe this is possible for every individual and every couple. My therapeutic approach is holistic, integrative and personal to you – meaning there is no “one size fits all” template that I follow. I honor the uniqueness of humans and their individual life experiences.
Together, you and I will tailor the therapeutic plan that best fits your personal goals. I am here to help you create a meaningful and healthy life. My hope is to guide you toward rejuvenation of mind, body, and spirit. My goal is to help you find resiliency as you navigate personal, professional, and interpersonal difficulties. Trained and skilled in evidence-based therapeutic approaches such as EMDR, The Gottman Method of Couples Counseling, CBT, CPT, and more. I focus on strengthening couple’s relationships, healing anxiety, depression, trauma, PTSD, self-esteem, grief, OCD, and addiction disorders.
Training & Certifications
- The Gottman Institute: Level Two Certification in the Gottman Method of Couples Counseling
- Seattle University: Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, 2019
- Central Michigan University: Bachelor of Science, 2006
- Board Certified National Certified Counselor (NCC, #1235614)
- Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) training
- Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Somatic Based Therapy
- Couples Counseling
- Addiction – Substances and behaviors like gambling
- Adjustment Disorder
- Chronic/toxic Stress
- Work Stress
- Toxic Relationships
- Crisis counseling and crisis intervention
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Motivational Interviewing Solution-focused therapy
- Strengths-based therapy
- Career counseling
- Anger Management
- Bipolar Disorder
- Coping Skills
- Developmental Disorders
- Dual Diagnosis
- Emotional Disturbance
- Family Conflict
- Intellectual Disability
- Learning Disabilities
- Life Transitions
- Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
- Suicidal Ideation
- Women’s Issues
Remember: What Has Happened To You is Not Your Fault
A common result of trauma and adverse life experiences are self-defeating thoughts and negative views you hold about yourself and the world around you. These thoughts can present as “I am not worthy”, “No one will accept me the way that I am” or even “I am not loveable”. My goal is to help you release limiting beliefs and identify any maladaptive coping behaviors that might be rooted in past trauma. You are worthy and you are loveable. It is my honor to join you on your journey as you rediscover this about yourself. At the end of our work together it is my hope you will be free of these negative self-beliefs and regain sight of your true value and find peace. During our time together, we will explore the story you are telling yourself about you. Over time, we create stories (narratives) about ourselves and often get caught up in “this is the way it will always be” or “this is who I will always be”. In our work together, you will get the chance to rewrite your story. When we try to cope and soothe trauma, anxiety, chronic stress, grief etc., we can learn what is called maladaptive coping skills. This means that anything we reach for and lean on is a coping skill that temporarily eases the pain. Some coping skills are just more harmful than others. These are also called numbing behaviors. Maybe you oversleep or drink a little too much to avoid feeling your feelings. Sometimes we cope by spending too much money or too much time online. There is no shame in trying to cope with pain, but if we do not look at the pain, we can never resolve it and move forward. I am motivated and skilled in helping you adopt healthy coping skills and ways to move past what is getting you Above all else, I will offer you encouragement, empowerment, support, and evidence-based therapeutic approaches as you pursue and accomplish personal growth.
What is Trauma-Informed Therapy?
Although it may sound like a specific kind of treatment, trauma-informed therapy refers to an overall philosophy or approach. In trauma-informed therapy, I center my client’s physical and emotional safety first and foremost as I work with them to encourage healing without dangerously triggering any difficult memories, emotions, and experiences.
What is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)?
The EMDR Institutecalls EMDR a “psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that result from disturbing life experiences.” During EMDR sessions, I give you directions for lateral eye movements and other minor physical movements; these actions help us transfer pain, trauma, and adverse life experiences into a place of acceptance and resolution.
How does EMDR help heal trauma?
The EMDR Institute uses this helpful explanation: “By using EMDR therapy, people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound; if a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.”
What Is Couples Counseling?
Going into your first session of couples counseling can feel intimidating at first. Couples therapy differs from individual therapy in that your therapist is treating you and your partner as a couple. Therapy is focused on the best interest of the couple, it is not focused on the interest of one of the partners.
However, couples therapy does include individual therapy at times so that your therapist can get to know you and learn your history and perspective as an individual as it pertains to your relationship. You do not need to be married to go to couples therapy, any type of relationship or partnership can benefit from doing couples counseling.
More About Michelle
Born and raised in the Midwest just outside of Detroit, I first worked in Animal Welfare after graduating with my Bachelor of Science degree in 2006. I knew I always wanted to be in the helping field – I believe though both personal and practical experience I gained a gift in connecting with others that I have a calling to share. For the last 4.5 years, I have worked in various mental health settings gaining a breadth of experience with many populations and modalities of counseling. Outside of meeting with clients, I enjoy swimming, gardening, true crime, football, naps and being in nature.