What do you specialize in?

I specialize in Couples, Adolescents, Family Systems, Substance Abuse & Addiction, Grief & Loss, Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment, Anger & Depression, Domestic Violence, Self Compassion, and Mindfulness.

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

I am neutral ground for my clients, especially couples. I serve as a safe space where clients can feel supported, accepted, and free to express their deepest truths without shame or judgment. For many of us, a therapist is the first person in our lives to provide this experience. When we are feeling safe, we are able to open up and embrace change.

How do you help people, in your opinion?

I help people build awareness around their own human experience. With that awareness, we can take action toward your goals. I get to observe, witness, hold up the mirror for people, help them explore the true source of their hurt, pain, frustrations. I help them to stop blaming, become more assertive, and own more of their reality. And of course, in therapy, we take steps toward success so I also get to celebrate with people, which is the best part!

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

I see the awareness building in our society already in how people who actually participate in therapy are strong, powerful, willing, inspiring, and not weak.

Name an influential person or experience in your life.

I have been beyond blessed with loads of influential people and experiences in my life, so it is a challenge to select just one! Living and volunteering on the island of Bali, Indonesia, transformed my life in so many ways. I was there for about a year. I did service work at an international sustainable school, which operates completely off the grid. The Balinese people are true healers, totally dialed into spirit, ritual, and community. They show up for each other and choose to live a more present life. I found them inspiring. Learning a new way, getting outside of my comfort zone, and seeing how others less fortunate live with such gratitude and grace left an imprint on my heart.

Angela Palaian is located at our Great Lakes Psychology Group – Clarkston office. To learn more about Angela, please visit her therapist profile below.

Angela Palaian, MA, LLP, MFT