Therapist Spotlight: Ron Shier, M.A., L.P.C. Great Lakes Psychology Group
Therapist Spotlight

Therapist Spotlight: Ron Shier, M.A., L.P.C.

Josh Johnson MA LLP

Get to know therapist Ron Shier, MA, LPC.

As a therapist, what challenges do you specialize in treating?

I think a specialization that sets me apart from many other clinicians is that I’ve gotten a lot of training in Codependency issues. These often crop up alongside other issues or get left out, but they impact us quite severely. Many times, when I have a difficult relationship, whether it’s friend or family, there’s co-dependency issues. Usually, this means that I have difficulty saying “no” to others, I can’t make time for myself, I worry more about others than myself, or I just feel like I’m going crazy trying to make relationships work.

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

The role of the therapist requires strong boundaries. We are here to offer very strong support, but we can’t be friends. Friendship requires a two-way street. You don’t want this with your therapist. You never want to be worried about what your therapist is going through. The whole point is to be able to sit down with a professional who puts everything aside and listens to you unconditionally. And I think that’s something we all need from time-to-time, even therapists.

In your opinion, how do you help people?

I help people by helping them find their inner strength, helping them see from new perspectives, and helping them see possibilities that they didn’t know exist. Ultimately, a person has to be willing to help themselves, but we often can’t do everything alone. A person may no longer trust themselves, or may often sabotage their own efforts to be healthy. I help them break through these obstacles so that they can take over their own lives again.

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

That it can be hard work, and that it can be painful. Yes, my job is to help you find inner healing and to be truly healthy, but sometimes it takes a great amount of effort to get there. After all, if it were easy, why would anyone need us? But it’s not about needing therapy, it’s about recognizing that you deserve to accept help. Sometimes the hardest part is just showing up. Once you’re here, you’ve already done a large part of the work.

Can you describe an influential person or experience in your life?

I had a mentor who taught me a few extremely useful lessons: Always follow the client where they go, and get comfortable with silence. Following a client where they go means that sometimes you may come in and find yourself talking about something completely unrelated to what brings you in. This isn’t a bad thing. If it’s on your mind, then it’s worth talking about.

Therapy can’t be strict and rigid, it needs to be fluid and comfortable. As for silence, there are moments where a person just has no words to express what they’re feeling. I once had a woman in my office who just cried for close to an hour. I said nothing, I was just present to her. I feel it can be a mistake to trample over silence. Sometimes the best way to show someone that you’re willing to listen is by showing them that you listen to their silence.

Ron Shier offers online therapy appointments. To learn more about him, please visit his therapist profile.