November 2017 Therapist Spotlight - Michelle McGivern
Hello! My name is Michelle McGivern. I have been working at A Healing Place and Britt & TJís Place since October 2014, and I am incredibly grateful to be a part of a team that is so passionate about the work that we do. I have had an amazing opportunity to fulfill my dream of working with clients with eating disorders, as well as people having difficulty with body acceptance.
I achieved a Bachelorís of the Arts in Psychology and Womenís Studies in 1999, and a Masterís of Social Work in Interpersonal Practice and Mental Health in 2002, both completed at the University of Michigan. During my time at U of M, my studies focused on the objectification of the female body in the media, and the negative impact this has on womenís self-esteem and ability to function in the world. This course of study shaped my interest in working with people struggling with body image issues and eating disorders from the time I began considering a career in mental health.
During my internships, I had the opportunity to work with people surviving trauma through domestic violence, sexual assault, and childhood abuse. I also spent a year interning at the Counseling and Psychological Services at the U of M, providing counseling to undergraduate and graduate students, which solidified my desire to work with adolescents and young adults. I feel that adolescents are often struggling with becoming their own individuals and facing significant life transitions; I feel honored to be able to help guide and assist them on that path, and see that there is so much potential for change and positive growth with a focus on the future.
After I completed my MSW, I worked in a community mental health setting providing outpatient therapy for 12 years. This allowed me the opportunity to gain experience with working with individuals presenting with a diverse array of mental health concerns. I was also able to focus on developing expertise in my areas of interest, including: womenís issues, adolescent issues, eating disorders, body image concerns, domestic violence, sexual assault, human sexuality, gender identity, depression, anxiety, difficult life transitions, familial and relationship issues. My mission in providing therapy is to assist clients in building upon natural strengths and developing coping skills to increase a personís ability to manage their emotions effectively, focusing on improving self-esteem, increasing confidence in managing difficult life situations, and improving the quality of interpersonal relationships. I enjoy working with couples and families as well to assist with improving communication and emotional expression in relationships, as I find that peopleís relationships within their natural support system have a significant impact on their mood and self-esteem.
I am incredibly grateful that my professional journal has landed me here at A Healing Place and Britt & TJís Place. When the opportunity arose to join this practice, I was excited to have the opportunity to continue to work toward my professional goal of working with clients struggling with eating disorders and body image issues, as well as continue to work I enjoy doing with clients presenting with a myriad of other concerns. I have the opportunity and privilege to meet and develop deeply personal relationships with people; I look forward to seeing my clients every week and checking in, to knowing what is happening in their lives and working toward the goals that we have set together. Seeing people enact change in their lives is so empowering, and being able to play a role in that process with my clients is a very meaningful experience.