For those who want to learn a little more about Gary: “I’m a Michigan native and grew up on the east side of the state. Then I migrated to Grand Rapids after college. I have a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Michigan State University and a Masters in Social Work from GVSU. I’ve been working as a therapist in the Grand Rapids area for over 25 years.”
“After 15 years as a school social worker, providing counseling for teens and young children, I went into private practice because I wanted to provide counseling for teens and families more effectively. I studied Solution Focused Therapy with Peter De Jong, one of the best people in the counseling field, for several years. Peter taught me the finer points of Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Peter is one of the earlier pioneers of SFBT and collaborated with Steve DeShazer and Insoo Kim Berg, who are the creators of SFBT. He also co-wrote the book, “Interviewing for Solutions”, which the primary text book for learning Solution Focused Brief Therapy.
I counsel lots of different people at my Grand Rapids office so you’ll fit right in. We all have something we’re trying to deal with and it doesn’t make you weak if you get help. After all, you could probably fix your car by yourself (eventually), but it’s easier and faster to take it to an expert who can fix it quickly.
The people who come to me for counseling are regular people like you. I counsel for problems related depression, stress, and relationships and also help with parent-child problems, work problems, or trouble gaining clarity about a big decision. I also work with many teens and college students struggling with anxiety, stress, and social situations.
What Kind of Counseling Do I Use?
Solution Focused Brief Therapy focuses on the changes you want to make in your future, not your past. I’ll help you figure out what things you’re already doing right, so you can do those things more often. We’ll also figure out how to apply past skills and successes to your current situation. 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 important to feel at ease with your therapist so I try to keep a comfortable, safe environment where you can discuss your concerns freely. It helps to have a sense of humor too, so don’t be surprised if you have a laugh or two along the way.