Welcome. I am so happy you are here.
As humans, we are extremely resilient and adaptive to our surroundings. At times this can be a gift, and can also lead us down a path that is no longer serving us. Therapy has the potential to change the quality of our lives and for those around us, for generations to come.
I specialize in guiding people back to themselves, while setting the conditions for healing to take place. Given the right conditions, our bodies and minds can heal. You already carry everything you need within.
We develop a core belief of ourselves that is created in the subconscious mind between birth- age 7. We often internalize this as "truth" or "reality." These beliefs stem from the beliefs of parent figures or those closest to us, along with experiences of loss or trauma. The subconscious mind is working every second of the day to confirm core beliefs created in childhood. Examples of core beliefs could be "I am unlovable," "I have to be perfect," "I am a disappointment," "It is my fault." As a result, many experience feelings of depression, anxiety, numbing, substance use and disconnection from self.
Becoming aware of these beliefs allows us to make new choices beyond them, while realizing these beliefs never belonged to us. We can then have the opportunity to develop new beliefs and responses that are in alignment with who we really are. In turn, reconnecting with our truest and most authentic version of self. Often experiencing a sense of peace and relief from symptoms we thought "defined" us. Sometimes meeting ourselves for the first time.
I utilize an integrative treatment approach that combines various evidenced-based treatment methods to meet each individuals unique needs. I have a strong focus on the treatment of trauma, and enjoy working with a diverse group of clients, from all walks of life. My approach is rooted in authenticity, compassion and client empowerment.
I grew up along the beaches of West Michigan and my love for the water and nature led me to Northern Michigan in 2008, where I have been fortunate enough to put down my roots and call home.
Being raised around the Social Work and Psychology fields with a strong focus on social justice, advocacy and inclusivity initiated my passion and interest in the field from a young age.
I graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work in 2008, and later attended Grand Valley State University Master's of Social Work Program.
I started my career providing advocacy and counseling for survivors of domestic violence, and later worked as a Family Resource Specialist with Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency providing in-home services to at-risk families with children ages 0-3 and expectant mothers.
I completed my Master's in Social Work internship at Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program. When I graduated in 2011, I was hired as an Outpatient Mental Health Therapist at North Country Community Mental Health providing therapy to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness, as well as emergency services for three counties. In addition, I was contracted to provide mental health therapy in two rural medical offices.
I most recently provided Behavioral Health Therapy in the elementary school setting in Petoskey. While working in the schools, I opened my private practice in 2016 after seeing a gap in services for expectant mothers, providing specialized therapy to women and families experiencing Perinatal Mood Disorders, grief/loss and trauma. I transitioned into private practice full-time in 2020, which has allowed me to combine my areas of interest and specialties into one setting.
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family. I am a music enthusiast and avid concert/festival goer. I enjoy thrifting and antique/flea markets, boating on Burt lake, hiking, interior design, traveling, writing, and enjoying all that northern Michigan has to offer.
Jessica R. Stefanski, LMSW
Licensed Master Social Worker
Your thought begins it. Your emotions amplifies it, & your action increases its momentum.