Therapist Spotlight Nicole Potapa LPC, CAADC

What do you specialize in?

As a therapist, I am very versatile. I have extensive experience working with people with severe and persistent mental illness. I have worked in inpatient hospitals, partial hospitalization programs, crisis residential programs, and as an outpatient therapist. I specialize in working with people with depression, anxiety, co-occurring substance use disorders, behavioral problems, codependency, and boundary issues/relationship problems, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and people with self-esteem and existential issues. I am a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor as well. I have worked with people of all ages and have a substantial amount of experience working with children and teens.

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

The most important part of my role as a therapist is to make a person feel comfortable discussing some of life’s most difficult challenges. I strive to be genuine, empathetic, and nonjudgmental. However, to help people facilitate positive changes in their lives I work to challenge, encourage, and empower people to reach their goals and make progress in their lives.

How do you help people, in your opinion?

I help people to improve their lives by assisting them in gaining a better understanding of themselves, improving their motivation to change, and assisting people in gaining more positive, realistic, and healthy perspectives on life’s problems. I challenge people to identify and address their thoughts and feelings and help them to work through them and process them in a way that is caring and empathetic. I also help people to realize the potential they have in improving their own lives through the goals they set and the decisions they make.

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

I am incredibly passionate about helping others and have a very down-to-earth approach when establishing a therapeutic relationship. I genuinely care and am truly invested in working with others to help them improve their lives. When life knocks you down it’s difficult to get back up. I am here to be a helping hand in that process, but ultimately, it’s up to each person to be the one to stand up. That being said, I believe in people and believe that people have the power to change their lives for the better and overcome adversity – and I’m here so that people don’t have to go through that process alone.

Name an influential person or experience in your life.

Prior to becoming a therapist, a significant experience I have been fortunate to have was being able to implement and direct the Gatekeeper Youth Suicide Prevention Program in middle schools and high schools on the west side of the state. This opportunity allowed me to touch the lives of thousands of young people by not only educating students on how to identify risk factors for suicide in their friends but also providing ways to assist their friends in getting help. Through this program I got to work one-on-one with kids, who trusted in me, to be the person to connect them to consistent and reliable professional help. My ability to connect with these teens helped me to prevent suicide, a cause I am very passionate about. My experience with that job led me to further my education and become a licensed professional counselor.

Nicole Potapa is located at our Great Lakes Psychology Group – Shelby office. To learn more about Nicole, please visit her therapist profile below.

Nicole Potapa LPC, CAADC