Michele is a mental health counselor licensed in New York and New Jersey, and an ordained rabbi. She received her Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree from Hebrew Union College in NYC in 2016. The D.Min. degree is an interfaith program for clergy to enhance clergy counseling through formal mental health counseling training. Michele's rabbinical background helps her provide additional insights to clients with mental health challenges as well clients seeking personal and spiritual growth.
Michele was ordained from Hebrew Union College in NYC as a rabbi in 1997. She was a congregational rabbi for 25 years. Prior to rabbinical school, Michele had a career as an optometrist and had her own private practice. Michele received her Bachelor's degree from Cornell University.
Michele's interests include listening to music, playing guitar, reading, sewing and quilting. She also enjoys outdoor activities with her husband, including walking, kayaking, boating, recumbent trike riding, and birding. Michele has two dogs, both cockapoos, that bring her great joy and comfort.
Michele provides a safe, non-judgmental, caring space for clients to share what is on their mind. The challenges of life can sometimes catch up with us. Having a comfortable place to discuss life's various stresses can be helpful. For others, a more comprehensive mental health counseling program is necessary. We can also add a spiritual dimension to therapy, incorporating various religious backgrounds, which can enhance therapy by helping clients to find meaning and purpose in their daily lives.
Each client is different, and each situation is different. Michele practices Holistic/Integrative Therapy by using various counseling tools and techniques to best help her clients. Her approaches include Talk Therapy, CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), , Positive Psychology, IFS (Internal Family Systems), Polyvagal Theory, meditation and mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and inspirational readings.
While we prefer not to use medication, sometimes when a client is not progressing, medication can help a client better access and use the techniques offered in therapy. Treatment is always coordinated with your primary care provider or psychiatrist. If you are already on medication, adding mental health counseling can sometimes allow you to decrease medication with the consent of your doctor.
For those who are interested, combining spirituality with therapy can add an additional dimension of healing. Michele has been in the clergy for over 25 years. Early in her career a variety of events set her out on a spiritual search. On that journey she discovered new ways to connect to God through prayer, meditation, and action. It helped her to explore her purpose in life. Each of us is created in God's image, but is also unique. No one else is exactly like us. Some mental health issues are exaggerated by having no aim or purpose in life. Figuring out what your specific purpose is can enhance well being. Adding prayer, spiritual readings, and/or scriptural readings to your therapy approach can expand your journey toward healing.
You may say, "I am not religious." Spirituality is more about connecting to something greater than yourself, regardless of your religious background or beliefs. It reminds us that we are part of a greater whole, beyond our own selves. It takes the focus off of us as individuals and encourages us to focus on the we, rather than the me.