Comments from Marie Gale about her approach to helping others:
The most common request people ask for therapy services is to learn coping strategies to deal with their emotions or stressful situations. I have many resources on coping strategies and the accompanying research that has demonstrated the effectiveness of them. I accept referrals for ages 11 to 18, and adults of all ages. I provide individual services and have treated and specialized in anxiety, depression, grief and loss, trauma, sexual abuse, adoption, and individuals struggling to cope with dysfunctional family issues/behavior such as alcoholism, narcissism, substance abuse, emotional neglect etc. In addition to outpatient clinic work, I have worked in a psychiatric hospital, and in residential treatment. I work with individuals in troubled relationships but do not do couples work. I work with parents periodically as part of treatment for those under 18, but I do not offer family therapy as a primary treatment plan.
After over 25 years in practice with some of the most complex of human situations, my best work is providing insight into the more subtle factors contributing to distress. I ask a lot of questions and don't make clinical conclusions without a thorough understanding that can take time. Some examples are: a client with anxiety that feels irrational and without obvious stressor was helped by learning about intergenerational transmission of trauma, how their parent, a veteran with PTSD, may have contributed to a dysregulated emotional system during their formative years and how to make use out of this research in practical ways. Another example is a young person with OCD symptoms that concerned and frustrated parents, benefitted from learning that OCD is common and somewhat normal in gifted and highly intelligent youth and a treatment plan that emphasizes understanding gifted qualities and needs is more helpful than one that provides only routine OCD strategies.
It is very common that people come to therapy for one reason and stay for different reasons. I create an atmosphere where some people have eventually shared very private details about themselves that they did not initially plan on revealing. Whether some people finish therapy because they've received the skills they needed or if they've stayed because I am patient, thorough, and non-judgmental, I deeply appreciate the trust people have placed with me and find this collaborative work rewarding.
If you have further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (616) 457-0016, extension 0.