The most important part of treatment is establishing a trusting client-therapist relationship. I work to build a warm, open environment so you feel safe when sharing difficult thoughts and feelings. My specialty is helping couples and individuals struggling with: depression, anxiety, grief & loss, trauma & abuse, low self-worth, stress management, relationship difficulties, loneliness, experiences of oppression, discrimination or marginalization, and life transitions. I have extensive experience with individuals who have experienced trauma, including: sexual assault, unexpected death of a loved one and traumatic childhoods. And couples who have experienced infidelity & loss, parenting issues and are struggling to maintain a healthy relationship. Even if you do not see your particular concern listed, I invite you to contact me to talk about your needs and goals.
My process is collaborative and individualized while taking an empathetic, supportive, and nonjudgmental approach. This method helps to challenge problematic thinking patterns, aid in the management of symptoms, and help develop self-confidence to manage the difficulties of life. I use a combination of techniques including: cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness, person-centered, EMDR, and other humanistic approaches.
Michelle Fahrnow, MS, LPC
M.S., Clinical Community Counseling, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
B.A., English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Areas of Practice
The key features of anxiety are persistent and excessive worry about various domains, including work and school performance, that the individual finds difficult to control. The individual can also experience changes in sleep pattern, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and muscle tension. The anxiety and excessive worry can result in marked impairment in functioning related to school, work, and maintaining relationships.
The essential feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure to one or more traumatic events. The clinical presentation of PTSD varies.
Depression is very real to anyone experiencing it. Symptoms can vary greatly, but can include apathy, hopelessness, difficulty sleeping or wanting to sleep all of the time, guilt, anxiety, loss of appetite or overeating, lethargy, changes in libido, and loss of pleasure.
Many relationship conflicts occur due to failure to communicate. Over time, problems and stress build up. If they are not resolved, the anger individuals hold against each other pollutes their
relationship. Therapy gives partners (whether romantic, family, work, etc.) a chance to learn new communication skills in a safe, non-confrontive environment.
Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives.
When adolescents go through tough times, they may not always have the ability to express how they are thinking and feeling. Pain tends to come out sideways for these individuals, often seen in their behavior and interactions with others – family members, peers, and/or teachers.