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Therapist Spotlight: Stephanie Gonzalez, LMSW

Updated: May 14

I have been working in the field of social work since 2006. Over the past thirteen years, I have gained experience working in the child welfare system, as a Juvenile Justice Specialist, Foster Care Worker, Child Protective Services Worker, and Child Welfare Equity Analyst, both in the private and public sectors. I also have several years experience as a medical social worker, both providing in-home services and working for the Department of Veterans Affairs. I have experience collaborating with various health care agencies as well as providing psycho-social assessments, counseling, short-term and long term planning, and community referrals to clients.

I grew up in a low-income family and became homeless at the age of 14. I lived in seven different homes of varying ethnicity, religious belief, and socio-economic status during my four years of high school. It was during this time that I realized my passion for social work. Through my diverse array of life experiences, I decided that I wanted to help and advocate on behalf of vulnerable children and families. My experience and career path have allowed me to continue to help others.

What made you want to do what you do now? Since a young age, I have enjoyed helping others. As a clinical therapist, I am able to connect with children, adults and families, to provide support as they navigate life events.

What clients do you work with usually? I work with children (ages 10+), teens, adults and I also offer couples therapy and family therapy services.

What modalities do you use and what made you chose them? I utilize talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy modalities.

Why do you think therapy is important to everyone? I believe it is important for everyone to have a neutral, non-bias, outlet to discuss thoughts, feelings, and emotions related to life experiences and significant transitions in life.

What would you want your potential new clients to know before the first session? I would want a potential new client to know that the session is guided by them and I take their lead. So, don't be nervous. I strive to engage with, and make clients comfortable, as we begin the therapy intake process.

What in your experience are some common fears that new clients have about starting therapy and what to do about them? In my experience, one of the most common fear that clients have prior to starting therapy, is that they will not feel comfortable with, or connect with the therapist. Make sure you are honest and open with the therapist regarding what you are looking for from therapy sessions.

How do you take care of yourself? I am a strong believer in self-care. I enjoy spending time with my son, family and friends. It can be difficult to balance self-care with parenting, however, I do my best to find time each week to go to the gym and fit in the occasional Netflix binge.

Your favorite quote? "Never underestimate your ability to make someone else's life better ---- Even if you never know it."

What brings you joy? Family and food! I have a close family/friend support system and I am foodie at heart! Mexican food is my favorite. A few of my must haves are pico de Gallo and guacamole dip. :)

Stephanie is currently acceptig new clients. If you are interested in making an appointment with Stephanie, please contact GPS at 517-667-0061.

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