Michael Zandstra, LMSW
My practice experience is grounded in a relationship based processing style. I work to highlight an individuals strengths and create a safe and comfortable space for clients to process a variety of issues related to grief, loss, depression, anxiety, trauma and family or relationship conflict.
I have medical social work experience with a background working in areas of skilled nursing and hospice. My experience working with grief and loss from an individual level and the impact this has on family dynamics and relationships. Prior to this experience I worked as a crisis counselor/rapid response coordinator at a nonprofit during the flint water crisis.
I utilize an eclectic approach from a wide range of modalities such as Gottman, Emotion Focused, CBT, mindfulness, ACT and Internal Family Systems. I take a growth-oriented and client-centered approach to explore all aspects of a client’s journey.
Born and raised here in Grand Rapids, I feel like I fell into social work accidentally. While taking night classes at GRCC part time, I took a social work class that was being taught by a friend’s mom. I knew that the class would be an easy A for this reason, though I didn’t know at the time that I would fall in love with the profession of helping others. I then ended up pursuing every social work class offered at the community college level before finishing both my bachelors and masters of social work at Michigan State University. I also hold a minor in Anthropology with an emphasis in medical anthropology (how different cultures understand and practice medicine). I am intrigued by the way our cultural backgrounds influence our lives in so many ways. I have many (sometimes too many) hobbies, namely traveling, hiking and riding my motorcycle on a warm summer night. I have visited 17 countries and 25 US states in my travels, which feels like a good start and I hope to continue these travel adventures!