Michelle Sheridan, LMFT
I specialize in working with individual and couples with depression, anxiety, self-esteem and self-confidence issues, past trauma, relationship issues, sexual concerns, parenting issues, adjusting to life transitions, loss and grief, career related difficulties and overall life dissatisfaction.About Me
I work with individuals and couples and when appropriate any support person, friend or family, to foster positive change. We have all felt the pain of strained relationships with loved ones. Through encouragement, empathy and compassion together we can identify old patterns that aren't working, new ways to communicate your needs and wants and finally turn a corner toward a greater sense of peace within yourself or in your relationships.
Sometimes you just need a safe place to say what you feel and think. Sometimes you just need to know someone truly understands your pain and suffering. Past trauma, depression and loss are complicated and deep, those feelings can lead to anxiety, depression and stress. I will be a compassionate ear to listen and when you're ready to move through your life's journey at your pace, I will help guide you.
Monumental changes or shifts aren't necessary to experience friction or discontent in one's life. Sadness, apathy, anger and anxiety can be just underneath the surface without knowing from where it comes, or why. No one deserves to feel alone in these struggles. Let's explore what areas you can change or control and what areas need acceptance.
This is a bit of a lengthy "Testimonial"; however if you are hesitant to enter into therapy, doubt that it can change things for you...please read this amazing letter, written by a former client who is a very talented writer and wanted me to know their journey during our sessions: To my therapist, The first day I came to your office I didn't want to go in. I sat in my car in the parking lot, talking myself into going inside. I told myself that it would be okay, because this could be the last thing I had to try, and if it didn't work then I could kill myself and nothing had to be a problem anymore. It may have been a lie, it may have had some truth, but either way it was what comforted me into getting out of my car and going inside. I walked in that first day with something building inside me. A balloon was slowly blowing up inside my chest. Every day a little more air was added, stretching me out, the tension growing against the inside of my belly. Some days I floated higher with a little bounce in everything I did, and other days I scraped by knees on the ground a I skimmed over the dirt. The overcast world I saw had sharp edges and I maneuvered carefully around them so that nothing was disturbed. It was not a perfect system though, and the day was going to come where I would twist in the wrong direction and hit a spike and I knew it would burst me apart, everything inside me spinning up into the sky shrieking out, leaving behind nothing but shreds of myself in the shadows. So I told myself what I had to and hauled myself into your office. I expected to walk out on my last day completely fixed, completely over everything that was ever an issue, but I was never broken, and what I've learned is that I'll never be able to shake my past. I'll never be a able to shake one moment of happiness, pain, contentment, anxiety, depression...because every single one is a part of what makes me, me. You said something really important to me (you've said a lot of things that are really important to me). You said that these things explain why I am the way I am today, and that by understanding them I can understand why I do certain things I do, and find out if they are serving me in any way today. If they aren't then it's up to me to make the changes I need to, because as you've also said, "It takes a lot of hard work to become the person you want to be." When Wonder Woman first came out in theaters I became slightly obsessed by Gal Gadot's portrayal of her. She was a tough fighter, and she fought to the end with tears in her eyes, letting every emotion she had fuel her movement forward. Though other characters noticed her initially for her beauty, they quickly came to realize that she was also open, curious, strong, and emotional, and while I watch my pendulum swing from side to side, Diana Prince can bust dead center through the middle of the spectrum by being nothing but herself. I want to be strong. I want to be real. I want to become an amalgam of my favorite qualities of the people I admire the most: fierce, empathetic, unapologetically honest, unabashedly passionate, perseverant, openly vulnerable...not with the intention of replacing my fundamental values on life, but to become a person that can fully grasp life with both hands and scream back in it's face, "FUCK IT! You can't keep me down." I'll never be Wonder Woman, because I'm just me. Frustratingly, begrudgingly me. We talked a lot about authenticity, and although I don't always accept every part of myself (yet), I'm beginning to at least tolerate all of the parts, and recognize the little things that put me together. I've come so far from where I've started, and if I try to look back at who I was I can barely see myself through a telescope, but there I was, laying on the ground, angry and afraid. I'm standing up right now with my feet on the ground and a bag on my back full of tools, and although I move on shaky legs I'm moving forward all the same, and I'll draw arrows on the trees in case someday my past self catches up to my current trail. This way, they point. This was the direction we were headed. Therapy is a resource that is ending though, and honestly, I'm pretty scared. I know what life was like before it, and I never want to be back in that place. But some part of that potential for disaster lives inside, and I can shut it down now and work through it, but it's sill there. It creeps up when I'm vulnerable and whispers in my ear and tries to pull me back down. Most times it's easy to brush off, just a nuisance blowing past me, but some days it gets a grip in my gut and I have to fight it so hard because I don't want to drown again. But this is the part where I have to choose and embrace the fact that just because my sessions are ending doesn't mean that everything I learned has ended and I still get to carry all of that along with me. It's easy to be brave on paper though. You helped me learn how to live. Now I need to go do it. I'd say thank you for all you've done, but you said that we are the ones who do all of the work and that you are just there to guide and facilitate. I get that. I figure it's like we've been throwing a tennis ball back and forth, but when you aren't there anymore I'll be bouncing it off a wall back to myself. Except now the ball is going to come back with your voice because I've spent a lot of time in your office and now when I fight myself inside I'm running back to our past conversations for ammunition and support. I may have put a lot of hard work into my progress, but I'm grateful that you listened, guided, and facilitated. Because I had a wall to bounce things off of before I came to see you, and it was going to topple over and crush me. Things are remarkably better now, but I'll always need help and support, because everyone does to get through life. As Gnarls Barkley sang: "Maybe I'm crazy/maybe you're crazy/maybe we're crazy/probably." Thankful anyway (because I have the right to feel the way I feel).
This former client and partner came in with many challenges. They struggled to make a commitment to each other. This year they were married. I was invited to their reception, which I stopped by for a few minutes to wish them well. This is the "thank you" card I received. I'm so very happy for them. Dear Michelle, I can't even begin to tell you how much it meant to us that you came to celebrate with us on our special day. Although you say we did the work, we couldn't have made it this far without your direction and help. We owe you so much of our success. I am so happy our hard work and all of our time paid off. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
This former client struggled with past and decisions made and the current consequences of these decisions. This client is a very smart, intelligent, and strong person. They felt insecure, had much self doubt, lack of an ability to trust themselves or others. They came to sessions regularly and worked hard to change their understanding, perceptions and outlook. This is what they wrote a couple of months ago: "I also have learned (using things I learned with you) learned how to distinguish between "worry/anxiousness" and "being overwhelmed". I no longer feel worried or anxious about things after continuing strategies learned with you. Long story short there, I was tested for ADD/ADHD. I know we talked about this occasionally in sessions as well. Right now, I am on a low dose of Adderal. Medication is not always the answer but with this and some other coping skills I am doing MUCH better on several different levels. I am able to feel less scattered and I am able to focus on finishing a task as well as managing school/work/home/life. I really wanted to write you because after thinking through all of the things I am managing/handling and how well I am doing in life right now, I have you to thank. I cannot thank you enough for all that you helped me work through. I learned so very much from you and I cannot say enough good things about your influence on my life. In such a short time, you became an important person to me. I am thankful for what you do and how you helped me."