I believe that our birthright as human beings is a natural ability to heal and grow towards our highest selves – confident, compassionate, calm and connected with all living things. Life doesn’t tend to pull punches though, and sometimes we might feel we have lost these abilities or qualities. Maybe in some cases we might feel we never had any of these in the first place! However, I believe that these qualities can never be permanently missing or lost – sometimes life just gets in the way. Difficult circumstances, traumatic experiences, and societal influences can all obscure the radiance of our inner, authentic selves.
Counseling is a sacred relationship between two fellow travelers that can help draw these qualities back to the forefront of our lives. In order to invite these qualities into our relationship, I take a curious, compassionate and collaborative approach. What does this mean?
Curious: I will not make assumptions about what is true for your experience – I enter into our relationship with an open heart and mind and treat you as the expert of your own experience. Through gentle curiosity, I will aim to help you self-discover new perspectives, deepen your understanding of perspectives you already have, and help you draw connections between important ideas and concepts in your life.
Compassionate: I aim to have a non-judgmental presence that exudes care, warmth, support and safety. I aim to create a space where you can feel safe being yourself and sharing all parts of yourself – “good”, “bad”, “ugly”, “hurt”, “strong” – all parts are welcome and deserve compassion.
Collaborative: We will work together as equals to define the goals for counseling. I will not simply tell you what to do or assign homework that you could find by reading web articles or self-help books. Instead, we will work together to create uniquely tailored interventions to meet your specific strengths, needs and goals.
Josh Zheng MS LLPC is a counselor in Grand Rapids and Ada, Michigan that holds the counseling relationship to be sacred and of the utmost importance in the courageous work of self-learning and healing. Josh specializes in Internal Family Systems Therapy and seeks to cultivate a space of compassion, courage and creativity that can help those struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma and interpersonal or family conflict.