Michelle has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi. She practiced law for 20 years before obtaining a Master’s of Social Work from Florida State University in 2017. During her graduate studies, she participated in an International Program to study social work in Prague, Czechoslovakia, focusing on that country's progressive policies regarding addiction and prostitution. She has worked extensively with groups, individuals, and with couples on a variety of mental health issues. Her patients would tell you she is compassionate, knowledgeable, available and engaging.
Michelle has worked extensively as a therapist in multiple capacities both at in and outpatient facilities during her career. She previously worked in Florida at Vista Psychiatric Hospital, at the Florida Recovery Center's residential treatment facility and intensive outpatient programs, Metamorphosis Therapeutic Community, Perspectives Recovery Residences, and in Maryland at the Kolmac Outpatient Recovery Center. Michelle has worked at a psychiatric hospital, a residential treatment facility for substance use disorders, a therapeutic community for substance use and other mental health issues, as house manager for a recovery residence, and at an outpatient clinic for substance use disorders. She is now in private practice full time.
Michelle embraces the strengths-based approach of social work which emphasizes collaboration with a client to identify and utilize the strengths they already possess to achieve the goals that are important to them. Her therapeutic presence is informal, relaxed, compassionate, safe, and generously infused with humor and fun. Her client experiences range from persons with severe mental illnesses to clients with anxiety, depression, mood disorders, substance use disorders, codependency and other relationship issues, low self-esteem, grief and loss, trauma, and existential and other spiritual dilemmas around purpose and meaning.
Michelle is EMDR trained and utilizes this cutting edge protocol for trauma and other issues. Other therapeutic interventions include CBT, Gestalt-type experiential modalities, mindfulness and meditation, motivational interviewing, narrative therapy, and solution focused interventions when lifestyle changes are in order and more practical methods would be useful. She specializes in trauma adhering to the body work intervention models of Bessel Van der Kolk and Eric Gentry.
Michelle loves to scuba dive, hike, and has written three novels!