A little about Gary
Hi! I’m a Michigan native and grew up on the east side of the state and migrated to Grand Rapids. I have a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Michigan State University and a Masters in Social Work from Grand Valley State University. I spent 15 years working as a school social worker in the Grand Rapids area before going into private practice. I’ve studied Solution Focused Therapy with some of the best people in the counseling field and am passionate about helping people find solutions to problems using their own strengths and abilities. I’ve recently lent my counseling skills to the field of Collaborative Divorce, serving as a divorce coach for couples going through the difficult process of divorce who want to do it as amicably as possible and have the best outcome for their families.
I counsel lots of different people at my Grand Rapids and Holland offices. We all have something we’re trying to deal with and it doesn’t make you weak if you choose to get help, rather than struggle with it on your own. After all, I could probably fix my car by myself eventually, but it’s a lot easier and faster to take it to an expert who can fix it quickly and get me back on the road.
The people who come to me for counseling are regular people like you, and usually come for problems like depression, stress, relationships, parent-child problems, work related problems, and often just to gain some clarity when faced with a big decision. I also work with a lot of teenagers and college students, struggling with anxiety, overload, and social situations.
I use Solution Focused Brief Therapy in my counseling because it focuses on the changes you want to make in your life, not on your past. I can help you figure out what things you’re already doing right, how to do those things more often, and apply past skills and successes to the situation that’s giving you trouble. By creating opportunities for small successes, you develop the confidence to do more and more. Since success leads to more success, you’ll soon be back on track.
It’s also important to feel at ease with the therapist you’re getting counseling from. My goal is to create a comfortable, safe environment where you can discuss your concerns freely and be treated with care and respect. I think it helps to have a sense of humor too, so don’t be surprised if you have a laugh or two along the way.