“Success as a therapist is not found in doing something for a client, but rather in being someone for a client.” ILI RIVERA WALTER
I recognized from a very early age that feeling as if the entire world is landing on your shoulders can make life extremely difficult, especially if you are working through these issues on your own. It took experiences from early childhood through adulthood to make me aware that getting help doesn’t mean that you are weak but rather brave enough to accept that you don’t have to go through difficult times in your life alone.
Depression had been in my family for generations and at times it was so debilitating in my own life that it made it nearly impossible to function. Until I sought help during high school and throughout my adult life, I didn’t really understand how to function to my maximum capacity. It was only when I developed a close relationship with a therapist that different ways of coping and thinking were introduced that made me believe in hope and living a full and happy life. Therapy can do that for you. It can open doors and have you looking at your experiences in a different and enlightening way that makes you feel that anything is possible. I am here to share that journey with you.
I believe the counseling process helps clients to achieve their goals and dissolve barriers that prevent them from personal success. While stress, trauma, and difficulties can overwhelm a person, one also has inner strength. For counseling to be successful, one must tap into this self-leadership and realize their true dreams and potential. Having a greater understanding of the problems you are facing and why they have arisen can offer release from negative thoughts and feelings that are affecting you and bring about change in many aspects of your life. For the counseling relationship to be successful, a sense of trust must be established between the counselor and the person being helped. Emotionally, a person may be exposing vulnerabilities about past experiences, relationships with family, friends, and peers. This sense of vulnerability will strengthen one’s resolve to bring about change and how these issues are affecting one’s life and how they may make different decisions to bring about change. A person in therapy should also know that they have the permission to say what they please without being reprimanded or judged.
Therapy can be exhilarating as you get unstuck and make the progress that you desire. There can also be periods of discouragement or emotional pain when difficult issues are broached. Designing an individualized program will give the client the autonomy to make changes with the help of the therapist. A person, in turn, must be motivated to make constructive changes in their life in order for the counseling process to be effective. There may be times when I, as a counselor, may find it necessary to challenge you, confront you regarding certain issues, or may encourage you to change some aspect of your behavior. It is my hope that you will feel comfortable in expressing your feelings, thoughts, opinions, and reservations in order to enhance the counseling process. The treatment plan will include techniques to improve the body’s well-being, change behaviors and clarify and calm the thoughts so coping and problem-solving become more effective.
In addition, I believe the counseling process is collaborative in nature between the therapist and the person being helped; both working together to bring change in the participant’s life. Homework assignments to facilitate this process of change are often given throughout the course of counseling to aid the client in this process. Understanding the importance of regular attendance, following through on assignments between sessions, and being direct and honest with your therapist will only lead to a more successful journey.
Michael D. McCall, MA, LPC, SPADA, CAADC, ADS, MITS is a Counselor and Clinical Supervisor in Grand Rapids, MI specializing in counseling for families, couples, adults and children navigating the impacts of depression, anger, trauma, anxiety and substance use in their lives which may impact relationships with their career, family, spouse, and home or school life. Michael has extensive training and experience working with individuals with substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, mental health and family systems who are working towards living a more productive and prosperous life.
Michael uses cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, motivational interviewing, solution-focused therapy and aspects of dialectical behavioral therapy to help an individual find their inner strength to build coping mechanisms, skills and alternative mindsets to steer through difficult times and move forward to a better life.
Michael is also able to use his certification as an Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist to help with depression, anxiety and substance use disorders to complement his mindfulness-based counseling. Michael uses a collaborative approach to counseling to help the family, couple or individual achieve their highest potential. Michael is talented with using different approaches to address the particular needs of a client, couple or family to achieve the best outcome, rather than using one particular therapy for all issues. Each person is unique and has their own individual problems and need to be treated as such.