“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” –Dr. Maya Angelou
My name is Sarah, and my approach with people is to assist them in shifting away from a negative, self-blaming or disempowered narrative to a true understanding of their own power and mastery over their story. As a therapist, I am honored and privileged to bear witness to your stories. As you process and experience the healing power of feeling, you will have power and mastery over your stories, rather than feeling as though your stories or your experiences have power over you. As Dr. Maya Angelou states above, sharing our stories, and having someone to bear witness and process those stories with us, can be immensely healing.
I have been working in the social work field since 2014. My clinical experience has focused on helping those who have experienced trauma to process their experiences and recover. Throughout this work, I also have worked extensively with the families of those who have experienced trauma, helping them to navigate the experience as well.
My therapeutic style is narrative in nature, focusing on those stories we continually tell ourselves, or have been told, our entire lives. Most of the time, these stories are false, but we find these stories, or “core beliefs,” about ourselves and the world, can impact us every day, and in many different ways. Finding adaptable ways to challenge these stories and create new, healthier beliefs about ourselves and the world around us is one of my many approaches in empowering you to gain strength and live your truth.
My therapeutic approach is both flexible and unique. I believe in bringing my authentic self into the therapeutic relationship, in order to foster a genuine and authentic relationship as we work together to help you find a path to lasting mental and emotional wellness.
I believe it to be beneficial to approach trauma treatment from both a teaching and a learning perspective. I am passionate about the human-centeredness of self-advocacy, and strongly believe in empowering people through education about the causes, symptoms, and physiology of trauma and mental health concerns, and how to best heal from and/or cope with those concerns.
I also come from a learning perspective; that is, I understand you as the expert in your own life and experiences, and I hope to continuously learn from you how to best assist you in your healing journey. I want to work with you as a team, a therapeutic partnership, to create the most meaningful goals and appropriate ways to measure those goals.
While your life and choosing to attend therapy is a serious decision, I want to also help you experience joy again, and my hope is that you find that our time together in therapy can actually be fun for you.
It is also very important to me to have an intersectional approach to therapy; that is, to understand your place in this world regarding every aspect of your life, identity, and experiences, not just the main presenting issues we are addressing in therapy. To understand you and your experiences is to understand what barriers you have experienced; what systemic traumas you or your and/or generations of your family have experienced. I will do my best to understand and honor your life and the greater context.
Trauma symptoms are stored in the body. Though verbal processing can be extremely beneficial in healing trauma, I also believe that self-expression through visual art, music, physical movement, and other forms of self-expression are highly beneficial tools to utilize in therapy. I also am trained in and experienced with play therapy, and believe play to be a highly effective healing tool, not just for children but for adults as well.
I am comfortable working with many populations, including those who are child or adult survivors of child sexual abuse, survivors of intimate partner violence, [more] as well as families of those who identify within those categories. I am also very passionate about assisting those who have concerns surrounding sexual and/or gender identity, expression, or orientation.
My hope and wish is to walk alongside you in your healing journey, whether that be yours, your childs, your family’s, or you and your partner’s. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions about my approaches or experience, or if you’d like to schedule a free meet and greet to get to know each other better.
Sarah Denick, LMSW
Sarah Denick, LMSW, has practiced in West Michigan within the social work field since 2015. Her therapeutic work has mostly focused on children and adolescents who have experienced trauma, as well as their families and other community partners. Sarah is passionate about working with those who have experienced trauma, especially those who have experienced sexual trauma. Sarah is trained in several therapeutic approaches, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR Therapy, expressive arts therapy, and play therapy. When she isn’t spending time with her cat, Pooka, you may find Sarah playing the piano, or reading a mystery novel.