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Steve Thomas, LMFT

Steve Thomas, LMFT

ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS

 

I am Steven Thomas. I have recently moved back to Michigan from the State of Washington. I retired from the Army as Chaplain and have spent the last 10 years finishing the process to be a Family and Marital Therapist. In the Army I performed countless marriage counseling as well as marriage conferences. Other types of counseling were grief, family/parenting, depression/anxiety.

 

In therapy I found I had a knack with children and families and went back to school for a year to get a background in Play therapy. It has been vital in working with children with behavioral struggles grief and issues related to abuse. I also have worked with adults with anxiety, depression, trauma, and struggles associated with disabilities of self and family members.

 

Prior to entering the Army, I have worked as a teacher. This has shown useful helping parents communicate with teachers and understand how to get help with accommodation or IEP help. I have taught all ages from preschool to adult, and have brought the understanding of development levels into therapy. I am comfortable within multicultural exchanges as I lived in Japan, Germany, and served with countless people of different faiths and heritages while serving in the Army.

 

I have worked as a therapist with children with trauma, grief, special education concerns such as ADHD and autism as well as adults. I have specifically worked with adults with PTSD depression and anxiety and parenting in and outside of the military.

 

I believe that healing and growth can happen best within the context of relationships, and though I am client-based, desire to on the behalf of the client work within family structures as much as the client is willing to look at such context.

 

I pull from numerous methodologies listed below with a basic explanation

 

Client-Centered- You are the expert of you. A therapist should not judge you. If God desires to forgive and restore a therapist should support the same way.


Solution Focused-- Build from your strengths is the goal, not getting stuck with problems as positive growth gives less room for problems to exist.


Motivational Interviewing-- supporting another respecting their process of change and working from whatt he person shares as their reasons to desire change.


Narrative Therapy/Spiritual Guide. Every person is the hero of their journey and when the person takes on the role of a journeyman than they can concentrate on how to overcome the obstacles that make them who they are. From a spiritual perspective, Jesus has come to set the captives free, restore, and to equip the saints. This places all those under Christ unto a destiny or their specific ministry in Christ.

 

Cognitive Behavior Therapy, This is the belief that there is a relationship between beliefs, feeling, and actions. Change in one of these may change the others. Healing is connected to a change of faith/belief, actions, and awareness of feelings.


Dialectical Behavioral Therapy- This methodology helps a person learn emotional regulation skills,
radically accept limitations of a person in this broken world, and skills that help a person to make choices for change. This methodology has had negative views in Christian communities, but David in the Psalms says he holds every thought captive (emotion regulation), Submission and trust of God is needed to leave what can separate us from God. We cannot be under God’s “eternal life” in John 3:16 if we lack “belief”.

 

Child-specific: The methods above are applied in developmentally appropriate ways.

 

Play therapy. Child centered is an interesting way for the client to be able to communicate and process without an adult directing them in what to do. It has shown helpful in times where a child has blocks of anger or trauma. This is my main way of working. I also can be prescriptive and work on goals of emotion regulation and tolerance through different activities. Play is metaphorical and through items like sand tray a child can process struggles that words cannot. If a child is more into talking there are methods more like are used with adults that can be utilized

 

Experience and Education
I have a Family and Marital Therapy license in Washington and Michigan. I have practiced play therapy methods under this license and am pursing that endorsement. I received an M.A. in Psychology from Brandman University on the Joint Base Lewis McCord campus in 2018 and a Masters of Christian Education from Asbury Theological Seminary. I served in the Army as a Chaplain 2005-2015. I have also been a licensed teacher in several States and now hold an Elementary certificate in the State of Washington.


Family
I am the father of two men in their twenties. My wife, Riza, have been married for 8 years. We both love football and hiking. I support my wife’s love of cooking as being the main receiver of her talent. We are consistent church attenders and are searching for new ways to serve and express faith in our changing lives.


Areas of Focus: My heart is to be involved in the restoration of families and individuals that have gone through traumas
• Children/family
• Veteran issues
• Trauma and PTSD
• Depression
• Family Conflict
• Grief
• Life Transitions
• Marital and Pre-Marital Counseling
• Men's Issues
• Parenting
• Relationship Issues
• Self-Esteem
• Spirituality
• Suicidal Ideation

  • Accepting Ages:

    Family Counseling: 0-65

    Individual Counseling: 3-17

  • Location(s):

    Muskegon Campus

    Telehealth

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