What is your approach to counseling?

My counseling approach is encouraging, empowering, nonjudgmental, and thorough. In addition, I believe in collaboration and complete transparency in counseling. I will offer you various options for treatment during the counseling process and together we will determine what works best for you. I will make sure to explain all aspects of what I do in the counseling process.

How does counseling work?

Counseling can be quite simple. Since I have been trained in several empirically-proven and evidenced-based forms of counseling, I intend to begin with the most tried and true counseling methods. You may tell me about yourself and what goal you want to achieve or what symptom or thought(s) you desire relief from. Then together, we will work collaboratively toward that end. Based on your preferences, I may utilize any number of basic or advanced counseling techniques. All of the techniques I utilize have been proven to be effective in research studies.

How long does the counseling process take?

This question is unique to each individual and depends on their situation and history. Ideally, you will begin to feel better or experience hope after just a few sessions. My goal is never to keep someone in counseling– I aim to help you reach your goal or obtain relief from symptoms or thought(s) by the time we have decided to conclude the counseling process. My hope is that you will feel empowered and leave my office with tools to assist you on your journey toward health and wellness.

What do I do if I have a crisis?

If it is an actual dangerous, life threatening, or potentially life threatening crisis, call 911 immediately. If you just don’t know what to do and your life is NOT in danger, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Life Line: 1-800-273-8255. For more mental health resources, click here.

How do I make an appointment?

Please call Paul to discuss the best times and dates to meet at 616-200-4433.

How do I cancel an appointment?

Make sure to call Paul at 616-200-4433 and leave a message to cancel your appointment. You must cancel 48 hours in advance, if possible. If you cancel less than 48 hours in advance there will be fee. If you cancel more than 48 hours in advance, there is no fee. Please call to cancel your appointment–do not email.

Do you take insurance?

Yes, I take many different insurance companies for payment. Please see my website’s getting started page and my Psychology today profile for the full list.

Are you licensed?

Yes, I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, and approved to practice counseling in Michigan by the Board of Counseling. I am also licensed in Arizona by The Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners.

What are the policies for your practice?

Please read my informed consent document, which is available on the Getting Started Page.

Do you text message with clients?

No. I do not text message with any clients for any reason. In fact, my phone number 616-200-4433 is set up to NOT receive any texts.

What techniques or modalities do you use?

Basic: Humanistic, Existential, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Career Counseling, Family Systems Therapy, and Psycho-educational (teaching various skills).

Advanced: EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy), ACRA (Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach), Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Do you work with all ages?

Not currently. I am focusing my practice on working with those 16 years old and up.

I have the most experience working with people of all ages, including 60+ and under 10. If a client is under the age of 10, I prefer to utilize mostly family counseling and very little one-on-one counseling with the child because of many factors, but most of all that the research evidence is conclusive that the environment, actions, and reactions of the caretakers have the largest influence on a child’s behavior before the age of 10.

Do you work with people struggling with substance abuse?

It depends on the person and their level of use and level of readiness for treatment and whether or not I believe that we would be a good fit working together. If I decide that we are a good fit and the person’s level of use and level of readiness meet my criteria, I amy decide to start working with this person. However, I may refer to another counselor or to a higher level of treatment depending on the situation.

I currently work with many people of all ages with various types of addictions.

Please note: I will not work with adolescents where substance use is the primary concern unless the substance use is VERIFIED to be at a low level (e.g. marijuana use, occasional experimenting with alcohol, has tried a harder drug but is not habitually using) by the parent. If the substance use is VERIFIED and the parent is keeping a close watch on their adolescent– I may decide to work with the family.

Another criteria I always consider is if the teenager has a VERIFIED low level of substance use AND meets the requirements for outpatient services according to ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) criteria.

If there is a higher level of substance use, or the parents are unsure of how much or how many drugs the adolescent is using, or it is a clearly a high risk situation, I recommends inpatient treatment at a hospital or reputable treatment center immediately.

[faq-toggle title=”What is your background and experience?”]

Long before I was a Counselor, I was a volunteer: Beginning in 2001, I was a mentor to children and adolescents both in the inner-city and the suburbs throughout my undergraduate career at Michigan State University. I then began teaching in public schools for a time. Soon after, I found that my that my calling was to be a Counselor. I attended the Chicago School of Professional Psychology from 2005-2007 and received my Master’s in Clinical Psychology; Counseling Specialization.

I completed my 700 hour practicum at Loyola University Chicago, where I saw students with general and career counseling concerns. I also served as a teaching assistant for a career planning and exploration class there. In 2007, I began working as a Licensed Counselor for Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, where I worked on a team that helped serve patients who were frequently in extreme distress and crisis due to various circumstances, diagnoses, and chronic illness. In 2008, I began work as a Counselor for Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Phoenix. I have worked with a large variety of patients while at JFCS. In 2010, I underwent extensive training and became a certified ACRA Clinician by Robert J. Meyers and associates and shortly after became a certified ACRA Trainer/Supervisor at JFCS. In 2013, I opened my private practice at Inner work Counseling building in Tempe, AZ. I worked there for 4 years, before moving to Grand Rapids, MI where I now live permanently. I work in an integrative clinic called Health for Life Grand Rapids. More information can be found here: http://www.healthforlifegr.com/

What else do you do?

I am a Clinical Supervisor and work with counselors to make sure they are doing ethical and excellent work. More information on that here: http://www.counselingsupervisorgr.com/ I continue to serve as ACRA Trainer/Supervisor at Jewish Family and Children’s Service in Phoenix. I used to teach a Master of Science in Professional Counseling class as Adjunct Faculty at Grand Canyon University.

You look young, how old are you, and how long have you been a counselor?

I was born in 1982.
I first began work as a counseling intern in 2006.
I have been a licensed counselor since 2007.

Questions Answered by the American Counseling Association:

What is professional counseling?

Counseling is a collaborative effort between the counselor and client. Professional counselors help clients identify goals and potential solutions to problems which cause emotional turmoil; seek to improve communication and coping skills; strengthen self-esteem; and promote behavior change and optimal mental health.

How long does counseling take?

Ideally, counseling is terminated when the problem that you pursued counseling for becomes more manageable or is resolved. However, some insurance companies and managed care plans may limit the number of sessions for which they pay. Check with your health plan to find out more about any limitations in your coverage.