Justyne Ortquist

Trauma-Informed Counseling and Emotion-Focused Therapy for Couples, Individuals, and Families

Justyne Ortquist, MS, MEd, LLPC


Master’s of Science in Couples and Family Therapy and Master’s of Education in Prevention, Science from University of Oregon, Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University


The focus of my clinical and educational training have been focused on how relationships impact mental health issues and how healing in the context of relationships is long lasting and meaningful. This has also included training in individual therapy, because together we explore the context of that individual’s life, which always includes support people and families of origin. Much of my post-graduate work has been working with children and families navigating the foster care system both in home and at a residential facility. I also have experience working with both individuals and relationships dealing with trauma, addictions, eating disorders and body image, anxiety, depression, attachment, and communication issues.



Justyne Ortquist, LLPC, is a therapist in Grand Rapids, MI that offers trauma-informed talk therapy to individuals, couples, and families dealing with trauma and mental health issues. Justyne identifies as a white, agnostic, cisgender female. Justyne has experience working with individuals and relationships working on trauma, addiction, eating disorders and body image, anxiety, depression, attachment, and communication issues. Her approach to therapy utilizes the physiological underpinnings of mental health issues, trauma, and stress on the brain and body to heal in the context of the relationships that are most important to the client.

Insurance Accepted

Justyne 's Bio

My main area of specialty is relational therapy with couples and families. Our relationships shape our beliefs, behaviors, and overall experience in the world. Often I find that there are so many small misunderstandings and misinterpretations being built up over time between individuals that they begin to feel that they don’t know each other anymore; they can’t have the conversations to create the change they want. Relational therapy is about creating a safe space to have productive conversations about patterns in our relationships. Utilizing Emotion Focused Therapy, we will explore the ways we communicate thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in relationships so that we can develop a shared understanding of the problem. When we all have the same understanding of a problem, it makes tackling that problem seem much more manageable. Then together we create strategies that are meaningful to your relationship.

Many mental health issues are related to a trauma response in the brain and body. Trauma is often conceptualized as one single event or experience that causes intense fear or distress. However, not all people who experience these kinds of events develop trauma symptoms, and many people who do experience trauma symptoms cannot identify a single event such as this. Another way to understand trauma symptoms is that they occur when an individual’s context overwhelms their nervous system’s ability to cope. This forces the nervous system to utilize strategies to try to bring the body back into balance. These strategies are usually useful or adaptive in the moment, but unhealthy and disruptive in the long run.

The coping patterns can be related to addiction, disordered eating, the way we emotionally engage in relationships, or the chronic up-regulation (anxiety) or down-regulation (depression) of our nervous system. All are attempts to process the energy stored in the nervous system in response to stressors. Together we will utilize elements of mindfulness, somatic expression, Family Systems Theory, and Narrative therapy to develop new strategies to express emotion, regulate the nervous system, and communicate effectively with ourselves and with the people in our lives.