just a friendI am a down to earth direct and bold person with over 3 decades of experience helping people come to their own decisions about what is best for them and they want the most in their lives. Lets take an honest look at where you want to be and the next right thing to do for you to get there. Between a Life Coach, Addictions Professional, Therapeutic Behavior Analyst, Mental Health Professional, Social Worker, and motivational speaker, I have had the honor to serve every kind of person in unique challenging situations.
It is my purpose to help people become the best versions of their authentic self. I specialize in “life situations” that will not last forever, just seemingly impossible to get through at the moment. A helping hand, a sounding board, a support system and someone to trust while you face unexpected situations head on.
“Just a Friend – Helping a Friend”. I am the world’s greatest friend. Obviously, I haven’t met everyone in the world so I have limited proof of this. However, the friends I have will tell you, I am always there for them. I am non-judgmental, kind, patient and loving – all the time. They will tell you I always have time for them; I am always fair and direct while being gentle. I pull no punches, and will tell you what you do not want to hear when necessary, but I will stand beside a friend throughout their time of uncertainty.
I will treat you the way I treat my friends. I will assist you the way I would want to be helped and I will see the best in you even when you don’t. I will remind you how awesome you are, and when you should consider making an apology. I will point out new perspectives and bring attention to what you can actually control. And what you have to let go of. I will help you realize that the “light at the end of the tunnel is NOT an illusion; the tunnel is.”
WORDS FROM FRIENDS
Friendship is vital in my life. Due to the fact that I credit my friends for making me who I am today, I thought it would only be fair for you to hear from them directly. Here is a sample:
Michele has been my counselor for six years now. She helped me in divorce with children’s issues, career loss and alcohol addiction. She has been there to guide me through most everything life can throw at a person. There were plenty of times I felt I would rather die and Michele saw me through the most difficult, back to a happy, productive life.
I met her when I started going through my divorce. I had been married for 22 years and unfortunately mine was a worst case scenario. My Ex was extremely bitter and tried to take my children away. Michele spent countless hours counseling with me in person and on the phone. She made herself available almost immediately, any time I needed help. She helped me understand the behaviors of my former spouse and how to deal with all the difficult situations. She helped me understand the hearts and minds of my three children (ages 6-17) who were caught in the middle and struggling. I stood to lose their respect and affection forever, but Michele taught me how to take the high road and “do the next right thing so that the right things could happen.” It worked, it took time, but I have wonderful relationships with my children and am happily remarried.
When I lost my job Michele was there. I had been very successful in a long career that I built my identity around. I lost my home, my valuable possessions, my retirement and the bright future that I had all laid out. This was devastating and I felt undone. Michele taught me how to live out “acceptance is the key to life.” It was quite difficult to apply, however understanding this truth enabled me to move on to other great successes and not get stuck in the past.
It’s not hard to imagine that in all these trials I had problems with alcohol dependency as well. Suffice it to say that once again, she knew exactly how to help and guide me. She has always given me the tools I desperately needed and the support and direction to use them. I tried five different counselors before finding Michele. She is someone with the right education and vast experience that has a deep commitment to caring for her clients as her own friends. I personally can’t say enough to describe how much she has helped me in my life.
I cannot use my real name for personal reasons. I was involved for several years in a misogynistic relationship. Of course, I didn’t know I was in an abusive relationship. When we were young teenagers there was so much laughter and love. When he was arrested the first time, it was someone else’s fault. When he was charged with a crime that cost him 8 years in prison, it was someone else’s fault. When he made me promise I would be faithful to him while he was serving time in prison, I was compliant. When he was released and moved into my apartment and convinced me he should be allowed to see other women because he lost 8 years of his life in prison, I naturally agreed. When I paid all his bills and served as his taxi cab, I made excuses as to why this was “just the way it is”. When he hit me and called me names and placed blame for his choices on me, I dismissed it. I deserved it. When my family gave me an intervention and said either I leave him or they will cut me off from all family connections, and 10 years has passed, I thought to myself, maybe I should think about this a little. After speaking with a few other professionals, I finally found Michele. Well, my mom found Michele through her employee.
When I met her she was dressed in work out clothes and hair in a pony tail and no shoes on. She explained she just got home from the gym, offered me water and we sat on her purple couch. She told me a little about her day. She was bright and smiling and down to earth. I felt like I was sitting with someone I knew for a long time. I was with a friend. It felt that way. I told her things I never told anyone. I shared horrible stories with her that no one knows. She listened. She cared. She immediately saw all these positive qualities in me I did not know existed. She gave me homework. When I was ready to leave she said “Tell me what’s awesome about you today”. I didn’t have an answer. She said “no worries, you will have that answer very soon.” She texted me little inspirational quotes and pictures. She asked me how I was doing today. She did not get paid for time in these little friendly gestures and yet she continued to do them. I have seen Michele for 7 weeks now. 7 times. In those 7 weeks I have kept a journal, I have returned to school, I have moved out of the apartment and stopped accepting collect calls from the jail where my ex will reside until he is sentenced to up to 40 years in prison for beating his other girlfriend. I am getting closer to my family. I see some good in who I am and am starting to see who I want to be. I know now what I don’t want in my life, that’s for sure. Michele has treated me like a friend. She never judged me or pushed me to be something. She just believed in me and listened to me and gave me homework. Like I have to smile now. I have to smile and give myself permission to smile. I don’t have everything figured out, but now when she asks me what is awesome about me today, I have an answer. And my face hurts from smiling.
If you are…
If you are in a situation in your life that you know is temporary and know is dragging you down and you are not sure what to do, contact me.
If you are looking for guidance because these feelings are just strange and uncomfortable for you, contact me.
If you know you will eventually be “okay” but just need a sounding board and maybe a little support, contact me.
If you are in a situation where you can’t trust anyone else because it is embarrassing or against the moral “norm”, contact me.
If it’s about the ex, the in-laws, the neighbors, the children, the boss, the best friend etc., contact me.
If it’s about wanting to be a better person, definitely contact me.
If you are suicidal get off this site right now and call 9-1-1.
If you need intensive help (3x a week or more) please find a licensed professional in your area who can meet your needs.
If you have a history of chronic depression or other chronic mental health issues and are not on medication, please locate someone in your immediate area to assist you or call 9-1-1.
If you are an addict seeking recovery please contact and complete a local detox program or hospitalization detox and then contact me. If you love your partner but cannot seem to “make them understand”, contact me.
If you are not sure if “this” is going to work out, contact me.
If you are on the fence about a job a relationship, a situation that is confusing, contact me.
If you feel alone, contact me.
If you aren’t sure about any of this stuff, contact me for free for a free brief consultation and I will do the best I can to help you find what you need.