Listen. Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life? – Mary Oliver
We all struggle. We say we’re fine even when we know we’re not. We distract, avoid, and try to escape from the pain, but it still lingers inside of us, looking for a way out. We think we’re in control, but we’re not. We spend so much time and energy trying to contain the thing(s) we don’t even want, that we find ourselves missing out on the present because we are consumed by our past. That’s the thing about pain, it needs to be owned, acknowledged, and dealt with before it ever really goes away. Left unattended, it begins to seep into areas of our life like an uninvited guest. It can impact our relationships, our work, and our own thoughts and beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. Eventually, we become a person going through the motions, frustrated with what life has become, but unsure of where to go from here.
This place can wreak havoc on us, but it can also be the launchpad for stepping out into the unknown, hoping that what will be can be better than what has been. As a therapist, I find joy in meeting you where you are at, and walking with you through the fog until you reach your destination. The destination is determined by you.
I approach therapy from an eclectic, person-centered point of view. I believe each person is unique, meaning that what works best for one person doesn’t necessarily work best for another. I use what you teach me about yourself, to determine what the best course of action might be. Together, we decide how to move forward with the goals you have for yourself.
I have over a decade of experience working with individuals who have experienced trauma in their lives. Types of trauma can include child abuse, sexual abuse and assault, spiritual abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, physical or intimate partner violence, and other life experiences that have negatively impacted your life, preventing you from living the life you want for yourself.
I offer talk therapy, utilizing techniques like mindfulness, narrative counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, dialectical behavior therapy, and others depending on the needs of the individual.
I enjoy working with individuals ages 12 and up. In addition to working with trauma, I’m also passionate about helping people who have struggled with their faith or been hurt by their religion or religious leaders and are trying to reconstruct what spirituality looks like for them. I believe in helping people feel whole again, and for many, spirituality is a part of that.
Jennifer McKinstry, LLPC, is a therapist in Grand Rapids, MI offering personalized therapy to individuals. Jennifer provides a safe and non-judgemental environment, including experience in working with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community. Jennifer has extensive experience in the area of sexuality, sexual violence and spiritual issues, including spiritual abuse and faith reconstruction. Jennifer believes in helping others become the best version of themselves, and that the journey towards wholeness is always worth it.