HISTORY OF MCGR - After a slow gestation period of nearly 12 years, Mindful Counseling GR was born in June of 2013 from a vision and passion I have to help people reconnect with their innate ability to flourish. I have worked in the mental health field in various roles since 2002 including a locked residential facility for “at-risk” youth here in Grand Rapids, a psychiatric hospital in Seattle, WA, in a community mental health agency in Asheville, NC and now in private practice.
During this time my experience in working with my clients evolved to a place where it was not compelling to view people through the lens of pathology, illness, and symptom management. I came to the conclusion that I don’t work with sick people. No matter how intense and limiting their symptoms might be, I work with courageous people who bear the marks of painful stories needing to be told. I have come to view symptoms as messengers working to make their way into conscious awareness and work to help my clients slow down and turn towards their symptoms with curiosity rather than aversion.
I believe that we all have everything we need to flourish, but life often piles all sorts of stuff on top of that which prevent us from living our best lives. Things like, mental, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse coupled with experiences of shame, abandonment, betrayal and loss all force us to find ways of surviving rather than thriving. ••
At Mindful Counseling GR we are striving to de-stigmatize counseling. This is why we view our work as therapists not as giving our clients something that they are lacking, but rather, to travel with them through the process of reconnecting with what is most true about them, with their own ability to flourish in the world.
Our hope is to reframe what counseling can be for the people who come to see us. To take counseling and therapy out of the category of something that only “really sick people do.” We believe that counseling is a great resource for anyone who is on a wellness journey towards being their best and most authentic self.
With gratitude, Bryan Nixon