What do you specialize in?

I have had a great deal of experience with children, adolescents and families over the years. I think I am pretty rare in that I really like the teens! As a previous school social worker, I have seen the “inside” of the school systems and can help families navigate the challenges of getting support from the teachers and administrators.

What do you think is important about your role as a therapist?

I feel like one of the most important aspects of being an effective therapist is building rapport with the patient. I believe that once a person believes a therapist is genuinely interested in helping them improve their lives, they are more open to trying new ways of thinking. Without that therapeutic relationship and trust, therapeutic goals are hard to achieve. I also think its helpful to prepare patients so they understand that making changes often takes time and lots of practice, but is ultimately worth the time and effort. Honest feedback can be painful to hear, so being able to gently communicate can make a difference in how the patient “hears” what is being said.

 
How do you help people, in your opinion?

I want to provide a safe place for patients to express thoughts, feeling and emotions so they can build the insight they need to function better.

 What is something that you wish people knew about your specialty, or about therapy in general?

Being a parent has given me a very different perspective on being a therapist. I better understand child development, emotional meltdowns, hormones and sibling conflict after living through those experiences as a caregiver. My 3 kids each have their own challenges and strengths, and I have to adapt to meeting them where they are individually. The same goes for being a therapist; each patient needs me to meet them where they are in the process.


Erin Dunahoo is located at our Great Lakes Psychology Group – Novi office. To learn more about Erin, please visit her therapist profile. To learn more about our Novi location click here.

Erin Dunahoo, LMSW