Meet Paul Krauss MA LPC
Paul Krauss MA LPC is a licensed professional counselor for over 16 years now and has been in Grand Rapids, MI since 2017. He’s been working in the fields of psychology and education for more than 18 years. He holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and a degree in Education and Psychology from Michigan State University. Currently, he specializes in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, and as a result of receiving advanced training, he has obtained EMDRIA certification–he is also a Certified EMDRIA Consultant.
After taking a 40-hour supervisor training course in Michigan and completing multiple specific supervisor trainings in Arizona, Paul is now allowed to work as a supervisor in Michigan. Since 2017, he’s been providing a supervisor in Michigan for LPC candidates. In addition, he has experience teaching the Master’s Level Counseling Program at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, and used to run a successful group practice called Intentional Counseling Services in Tempe, Arizona.
Regarding licenses and certifications in different types of psychology and counseling, Paul is a certified trainer in the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) method, having obtained certification in this area in 2010. Up until now, he has managed to offer A-CRA training to more than 300 clinicians. Other than training clinicians, he contributes to the mental health industry by reviewing counseling sessions in behavioral health agencies, such as Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and Open Hearts Behavioral Health.
Paul has developed an advanced counseling training called “The Intentional Clinician.” He also manages the blog and hosts the podcast of the same name to discuss various topics and modern challenges in the fields of psychology and counseling and interact with people all over the globe.
In 2017 Paul Krauss and his partner Nicole Cain, ND MA, founded Health for Life Counseling — an integrative health clinic in Grand Rapids, MI. Now he’s the Clinical Director of its specialized center, the Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids.
Despite his thorough experience and education, Paul still continues to study and gain more expertise in the following approaches to psychotherapy:
- Depth Psychology/Jungian Approach
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Motivational Interviewing
- Humanistic/Existential Approach
- Narrative Approach
- Person-Centered/Client-Driven Approach
- Solution-Focused Approach
- Interpersonal Neurobiology
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
- Ericksonian Hypnosis
- Mind-Body Therapies
- Family Systems
- Trauma-Informed Therapy
- Neuroscience informed
- Eco Psychology
- Positive Psychology and more
From risky idea to reality: The journey of founding the Trauma-Informed Counseling Center
Back in 2017, people diagnosed with PTSD in West Michigan didn’t have many options outside of traditional counseling for treatment. Paul had a mission to provide trauma-specific therapies such as EMDR therapy or Somatic Experiencing Therapy in greater quantities in Michigan. As a result, together with his partner, Dr. Nicole Cain, he decided to establish the Trauma-Informed Counseling Center near his hometown in Grand Rapids, MI.
That’s why Paul and Nicole decided to move from Arizona to Michigan in 2017. Even though getting used to a different culture and climate in a new state seemed challenging, they rented a building and started offering trauma-informed clinical supervision. However, they were still far from achieving their goal.
It quickly turned out that people in Grand Rapids rarely understood what “Trauma-Therapy” even meant. Most of the locals were either skeptical or indifferent about the idea of receiving EMDR therapy, as they weren’t aware of this concept or had heard odd rumors about it. Paul realized that a lack of awareness regarding trauma-specific therapy was a huge obstacle on his way to success. Not only did it slow down the process of the newly founded Trauma-Informed Counseling Center, but it also didn’t allow him to help people and offer the type of counseling he considered worthwhile for Michigan-based people.
That’s why he and his team decided to raise public awareness and spread information through free educational articles and podcasts. Paul managed to explain that instead of replacing traditional approaches such as talk therapy, he aimed to use it in combination with EMDR therapy — an effective way to work on the root cause of the symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other disorders.
Surprisingly, Paul soon found out that many people were enthusiastic about the Trauma-Informed Counseling Center. Thanks to his educational articles and podcasts, Paul explained the benefits of EMDR therapy and gained clientele who were eager to receive counseling. In fact, numerous therapists soon were calling and wanting to join in a common mission of providing trauma-specific therapies. Yet, that’s exactly what happened — the demand from therapists was so high that soon after the establishment of the Trauma-Informed Counseling Center, there wasn’t enough room for them in the building.
Since that time, Paul and his team have been working together to train more therapists in West Michigan and teach them trauma-informed methods. Together, they help people who suffer from trauma, depression, anxiety disorders, relationship problems, and more. They utilized the most advanced methods (such as EMDR therapy) combined with all of the traditional and empirically proven talk therapy techniques (such as DBT, CBT, and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy).
How they managed to reach more people:
Something that helped Paul engage customers and grow his clientele was a focus on quality over saving money. As he believes, the key to the success of a counseling business is to provide quality therapy, instead of focusing on profits.
Considering this, Paul and his team are adamant about helping clinicians maintain a work-life balance and practice self-care. In addition, Health for Life Counseling works to help clinicians grow professionally by providing ongoing educational programs.
“My partner and I are passionate about providing powerful, safe, and effective tools to the Grand Rapids community utilizing counseling, psychotherapy, and online health courses.”
Other than growth opportunities, encouragement in maintaining balance in life, and courses to raise general awareness on important matters, another strategy for the Trauma-Informed Counseling Center is to help people in the community learn more about mental health. For this purpose, Paul and his team regularly publish blogs and podcasts on tough subjects and choose topics of discussion based on their clientele’s feedback.
Paul’s tips for resilience and overcoming stress & burnout
Although burnout is a universal problem for people, regardless of their profession, age, or origin, for some reason, there’s a common belief that healthcare professionals know how to prevent burnout — they don’t experience work-related stress.
Paul Krauss recently shared with CanvasRebel, that the assumption that healthcare professionals always know how to navigate work-related stress is a large mistake. In fact, therapists and counselors do experience burnout. Even though they know theoretically how to manage stress, it’s not always easy to actually follow and implement those ideas into practice.
Paul admitted that his burnout lasted for 8 months. During this time, he could hardly function on a daily basis for 3 months. Even though within 4 weeks of receiving professional help, he started to feel better, it took him 3 more months to recover from burnout and feel like himself again.
“Burnout from stress is worse than you can imagine (if you haven’t had it). My body would not do what I asked it to do. I had little to no energy, yet I still had trouble sleeping. I was almost shaking at times when I would get stressed, and other times I couldn’t seem to move.”
According to studies, mental health professionals who deliver psychological interventions most frequently experience emotional exhaustion (McCormack et al., 2018). Some of the other factors that contribute to the development of burnout in counselors and therapists are related to age, gender, coping mechanisms, personality characteristics, work settings, or professional support in the workplace (Van Hoy & Rzeszutek, 2022).
As Paul Krauss MA LPC says, while your body and mind face burnout, you might experience symptoms similar to depression. In particular, burnout can negatively affect your interpersonal relationships, creativity level, and day-to-day functioning.
After overcoming this challenging time, Paul believes that “it is not worth sacrificing your health to move anywhere, set up anything, or meet any goal faster than the pace you naturally work at.” During the interview, he offered some tips to help people prevent burnout, manage stress, and maintain resilience during tough times.
- Give yourself enough time and space in times of changes
If you’re going through a significant transition in your life, working towards a goal, or facing changes, you need to develop the habit of giving yourself some time and space to lower your stress level.
Keep in mind that having higher demands for yourself makes you susceptible to perfectionism, which has negative effects on our mental and emotional well-being (Nazari et al., 2022). So, whenever you notice you don’t have any time left for yourself, try to answer these questions and reflect:
- Do you put unnecessary pressure on yourself through arbitrary goals that you set?
- Do you often find yourself fixated and worried about something that is only a short-term issue?
- How often are you rushing toward a goal and forgetting about the important journey of learning?
Get into a rhythm of “being” yourself instead of always “doing” things to achieve something. This will keep your stress level low and prevent the risks of burnout, anxiety, and depression.
- Learn how to manage stress
Having effective stress-coping mechanisms is one of the best ways to avoid burnout. For this, you should try to develop a specific rhythm in your life. It doesn’t mean having a perfect schedule, though. Instead, you need to adjust your rhythm and rework your goals from time to time. Remember that if you stick rigidly to a single goal, chances are that you’ll miss out on your life.
So, set goals, but make sure that they are adjusted to your current “flow” of life. Don’t aim for perfection. No matter how much you try, as a part of nature, you will always be imperfect, and so will your schedule. Just consider the fact that nothing in nature is perfect. Even if it doesn’t make your life easier, it will get more balanced, and you’ll develop more adaptive reactions to particular events in life.
- Insert spaces in your schedule to “just be”
How often do you give yourself some time to relax and “just be,” instead of filling your time and space with things with specific plans? Nowadays, we often push ourselves to spend our time mindfully, and we end up having strict routines where each and every minute is planned in advance.
If this sounds familiar, you need to make sure to insert spaces in your schedule to “just be.” Yes, spending time mindlessly on activities that you didn’t intend is important. It doesn’t mean that you should spend that time on addictive activities such as watching TV or scrolling mindlessly through social media. What’s more important is to spend time with your family members or close group of friends to consume specific media (intentionally) and not just any media.
So, invest yourself in meaningful activities and place spaces in your schedule to reflect or “just be.” That way, you’ll find it easier to figure out what’s right and what doesn’t work for you.
- Find activities you get “lost in”
And the final tip is to engage in activities that make you get “lost in.” If you’re wondering what kinds of activities can make you feel this way, they could be anything from exercising, walking in nature, reading, cooking, cleaning, spending time with friends, dancing, volunteering, listening to your favorite podcast, and more.
Make sure that activities help you feel detached from your routine and reduce stress. Ideally, you should have one or two such activities in a week.