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Meet Paul Krauss of Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paul Krauss. 

Hi Paul, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born in Michigan and when I was younger, I had several family members seek help for mental health. Unfortunately, they did not receive the type of care that I believe should be standard. After college, I moved out of the state to study psychology and become a Licensed Professional Counselor. In the process, I met my partner, Dr. Nicole Cain, who was also studying mental health. Together we lived in Chicago and Phoenix for around 15 years. During this time, we worked in counseling agencies, mental health facilities, and Universities. In 2017, we formed Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids in Grand Rapids, MI together with an emphasis on providing clinical excellence with therapists that were nonjudgmental and able to work with people of all ages and from all walks of life. In fact, within Health for Life Counseling we started The Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids which is a specialty therapy clinic where all of therapists are not only trained in talk therapy, but in specific advanced modalities, such as EMDR Therapy, Somatic Experiencing Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, etc. Now, 4 years later, we have expanded to our second location of Health for Life Counseling in Ada, MI. Currently, I also host a podcast called “The Intentional Clinician” which discusses psychology, philosophy, and ways to live a full and vibrant life. I am an EMDRIA approved consultant and an approved Counseling Supervisor and currently mentor and supervise many therapists who are just starting their careers. My goal is to continue to help the community through restorative counseling practices, including individual counseling, trauma-informed counseling, family therapy, couples counseling, and more. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
There have been many challenges. For instance, it is very difficult as a therapist to help 25-30 people a week with their mental health, while also attempting to navigate personal challenges, issues with family, and running your own business. Many times, it was difficult to balance life and work. I have gone through approximately 50 hours of advanced trainings every year since I received my Master’s degree. At times, it was difficult to keep learning, while working, and maintaining a personal life. 

As a therapist who wants to be optimistic about healing and believes in all of their client’s potential to heal, it is difficult sometimes when their path takes a difficult turn–it requires patience. 

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Health for Life Counseling is dedicated to serving the West Michigan and Grand Rapids community. Health for Life Counseling offers high-quality counseling and therapy services that is highly curated. We have very high standards for the counselors that work at our clinic. All of the therapists have advanced training in some type of therapy technique, such as EMDR therapy, ACT therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, etc. As a group of therapists, we meet regularly to talk about a work/life balance, learn together, and talk about the best practices to help others. Together, we have created the Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids: Our counselors have advanced training on how the brain and body respond to and hold onto the effects of trauma. Our team understands how trauma can have a lasting impact on people’s perspective, relationships, life story, daily functioning, and how its effects can lead to feelings of extreme depression and anxiety as well as being misunderstood by people in your life, misdiagnosed by professionals, or even medically mismanaged. We have therapists that specialized in multiple advanced modalities. Because we know from research that Counseling (talk-therapy/ psychotherapy) is highly effective, imagine having therapists that are already very good on their own, and then learn advanced modalities and are dedicated to delivering high-quality care–that is what we strive for. 

In addition, we aim to serve all people including the following types of therapy: Individual Counseling, Family Therapy, Couples Therapy, Counseling for Children, Specialized Therapy for Women and Men, Trauma-Informed Counseling, Counseling for Parents of Adolescents, Counseling for the Parents of Young Adults, Counseling for the LGBTQIA+ Community, Counseling for Eating Disorders, Counseling for the Journey of Parenthood, Specialized Counseling for Anxiety, Specialized Counseling for Depression, Counseling in Spanish, Counseling for Spiritual Issues, Counseling for College Students, Counseling for Business Professionals, Counseling for Intimacy Issues and Sexual Wellness, Counseling for Foster Care and Adoption Issues, Counseling for Victims of Physical Violence or Sexual Trauma. 

We have a free health blog for the community to read about mental health. We provide a free podcast about Psychology called “The Intentional Clinician” as well. In addition, we have online health courses that you can take from the comfort of your own home. 

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
There is a great sense of community in Grand Rapids. So many organizations and community groups work together to help the citizens of Grand Rapids. What do I like least? There is an emphasis on consuming alcohol that, at times, can influence people in the community in a negative way–because drinking too much alcohol regularly can cause major mental health issues. 

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