Therapist Spotlight Emily Lemke, LMSW

What do you specialize in? 

I have had a lot of training and experience in different areas, particularly severe and persistent mental illness, though I am most interested in anxiety, depression, stress and trauma-related issues, and substance use/abuse. I work with individuals across the lifespan, as well as families. I am particularly passionate about teenagers and young adults, as well as working with those experiencing difficult life transitions, including work/life balance issues or grief/loss. I am a true social worker at heart, therefore, promoting the well-being and interests of all humans is my thing.

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

 I think it’s important to provide a safe place for people to explore themselves and gain insight or solutions without feeling judged or shamed. I am also very into eliminating the stigma around mental illness and therapy in general. I want people to feel “normal” about having feelings and to know that we have them for a reason. I also think it’s very important to remain genuine and be on the same level as the client – we are all human.

How do you help people, in your opinion?

I work to form a trusting alliance with my clients and reinforce the idea that we are a team from the beginning. I try to eliminate that power differential the best that I can, as I believe that they are the expert in their own lives. Together, we explore what brought them to therapy and come up with a plan for our time together, with tangible goals to manage and understand the issues at hand.  I guide people in gaining self-awareness and insight around their own thoughts, feelings, and behavioral patterns and help them find positive coping skills and strategies that complement their strengths and interests.

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

That we all have a story. No matter what side of the office you are on, we all bring something unique to the table. I think it’s important for people to know that if it wasn’t for my own personal experiences with depression and anxiety, I would not be where I am today. I have found that my “specialties” are very much related to what I have experienced or witnessed within my own life or within my family. With that said, I am able to remain professional and unbiased within my client relationships. I really think that my personal experiences add a deeper level of empathy and understanding to the work that I do.

Name an influential person or experience in your life.

My time studying and living in Veracruz, Mexico, was one of the most influential experiences of my life. During that time, I was completely immersed in the language and culture, as well as the incredible food, music and absolute beauty of the country.  Since then, I have worked with individuals from Mexico and surrounding Latin American countries in some shape or form and am passionate about every aspect. I feel very fortunate to have had that experience when I did and will continue to support these communities. I would also like to mention that the two therapists that I have had the opportunity to be a client of over the past several years have greatly impacted me, on both a personal and professional level.

Emily Lemke is located at our Great Lakes Psychology Group – Southfield office. To learn more about Emily, please visit her therapist profile below.

Emily Lemke, LMSW