Jean Snyder, MA LPC
I always knew I wanted to do something that would help people and I started to love reading psychology magazines at a young age. I'm not sure why I fell in love with psychology, but I found it fascinating. People are really, really interesting and I believe that helping people is important. Maybe it's because I'm a middle child? Or because my mother was a nurse? Whatever the reason, I've been banging around helping professions since 1987.
My Bachelor's degree was from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids Michigan, then I went on to earn a Master's Degree in Counseling from Oakland University and later a Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy from Wayne State University. I worked in community mental health for some years with people with chronic mental illness. It was there that I found I really liked helping folks with trauma backgrounds, with mood disorders, and with dual diagnoses of mental illness with substance abuse. I specifically like working with survivors of abuse and really like to see people make progress towards their goals.
When I worked as an Occupational Therapist, I found that I really enjoy working with seniors. I find that as a group, these folks are often overlooked or are infantized, and I really disagree with that. I think that no matter your age, you have the potential for happiness and to live a fulfilling life. I think in this area, my background in occupational therapy and specifically aging in place works well with my counseling skills.
Through my years of working with people I have come to the realization of several core beliefs:
I believe that we are all born with an intrinsic worth and that we all deserve to be loved. You do not have to earn this! It comes with simply being human.
I believe that we are all capable of profound change and that growth continues throughout our lifespan. Change will take effort, and at times can be difficult, but it is always possible.
I believe in the power of living a balanced life to bring us happiness and peace. Being unbalanced whether it is in our relationships, emotions, or with work-life balance can lead to unhappiness, stress, and anxiety. Finding a healthy balance can keep us happy and productive.
I believe in the power of meaningful activity to bring purpose and improved self-esteem. this comes from my Occupational Therapy background and can be really powerful when trying to improve your mood, your motivation, your productivity, or your self-esteem. We all need to have some kind of "work" that is important.
I believe in the healing properties of art, music, and nature. If you don't believe this, try taking a walk on the beach or listening to a favorite song. It will reliably give your mood a boost and make you feel better!
And lastly, I believe in the power of intimate relationships which will bring longevity, happiness, and growth. In fact, there are studies out there now that show your social connectedness is more important to living longer than diet or exercise! Think about that for a minute!
In my counseling, I try to weave these beliefs and values into our work. Of course, I will also include any core beliefs or values that you hold as well because we need to work together for meaningful change to occur. Actions that you as a client take will need to follow your particular values so as to make lasting changes in your life.
the Personal Side
My husband and I have been together for over 30 years and were finally married on the street outside The Historic Holly Hotel during Covid lockdown in 2020. We have no children but have had several dogs over the years and the current ones are Izzy, named after Isadora Duncan the great American dancer from the 20's, Brienne (yes! That is a Games of Thrones reference!), and Marchelo, because a fancy little dog deserves a fancy name! In case you're wondering, Izzy is the Golden, Brienne the Boxer, and Marcelo, our first boy, is a Caviler.
The dogs and I love to go for walks in the many parks around Michigan and I often bring my camera and take pictures of all the beautiful scenery and plants. I must admit though, that I am not a big fan of our Michigan winters or of snow.
Contact me to schedule your first appointment. Let’s work together to better help you manage your life’s journey.