About Therapy

1163474824You are worth the work.

I named my counseling practice Restoration Counseling because when we work to restore what already exists rather than build something new, it is because we understand what exists is valuable and worth the work.

When restoring a house or building, the builders know there is something special about it, and they seek to honor the original structure while making it whole again.

You are worth so much more than a mere building. Your value exists because you are worth the time and effort of the healing process.

Go beyond your fears and questions about whether you can ever get over your pain and the things from the past that haunt you. Move past the thought that says,“I know I’m safe, but it feels like danger is always right around the corner.” You deserve to know that you are brave, bold, confident, and powerful, and doing hard things is possible for you to do.

Brokenness is not who you are.

You feel broken, shattered by the people supposed to love you, and left in pieces by accidents and events outside your control.

Unable to succeed when you give your best effort, you hear that inner voice saying you aren’t valuable and good enough.

These are lies your past tells you. The lies are loud, but the truth has more power when you learn to believe it and give it the space it needs to flourish. Instead of feeling broken, you can grow and transform toward your best self.

208356901You can heal.

Within you exists the ability to heal through your brain’s and body’s natural state.

Let’s work together to recreate your deserved balance because you are worth it.

Let’s nurture your mind, body, and spirit together as one. You can learn to love and respect yourself through acceptance and growth.

How will this work?

You need someone who can be more than just a helper but a partner who knows the way and can walk the healing path with you. I have years of lived experience healing trauma and learning how to access holistic, brain-body restoration.

My approach to healing trauma and anxiety will invite you to center yourself in balance, let go of the past, and embrace your desired future using your natural learning processes. This space is a judgment-free zone, filled with genuine care, compassion, and acceptance, and dedicated to you and your journey.

Sometimes, therapy will look like talking through your story, verbalizing your past pain and hopes for the future. At other times, therapy will be about finding the piece of relaxation missing in your body and mind and developing a sense of calm you can access anywhere at any time.

Still, on other days, therapy will take action in the imagination, where we will work to cut the ties of the negative memories, images, emotions, and physical sensations while creating space for the resilience, empowerment, and joy that come with a balanced being. (For more information on how that works, look at my EMDR and ART pages.)

Therapy with me is about YOU.

You may have previously participated in some form of counseling, or maybe you are new to therapy and only know what TV, movies, and other media have shown you. You have a sense of how you think counseling should go or what it should look like.

The design of space and time I provide my clients focuses on intentionally helping promote healing, safety, and forward movement.

Whether working in person or using a virtual platform, I welcome you into a space where you can transform your struggles into successes, your pain into peace, and your fears into empowerment.

About Me – Deborah (Debbie) Westrate

AdminHealing is my birthright.

Raised by a biracial immigrant mother who lives to help others, I grew up in the inner city of Grand Rapids, MI, living and serving alongside a diverse community. From a young age, I could be found being part of and leading programs that fed, sheltered, and provided recreational opportunities for those in an at-risk community like me.

I learned to serve and help from my mother, and as a teen, I began my program connecting people who longed to give to others with children in the area who would otherwise not receive gifts for the holidays.

Knowing that I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself, I earned my bachelor’s degree in social work from Calvin University before moving to Chicago to work with an adult mental health population group providing services and managed care.

After a few years, my husband and I moved back to Michigan, and I began working as a director for middle and high school youth programs. After a few more twists and turns, including four wonderful children, I returned to graduate school and received my master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Cornerstone University. I am currently licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Michigan and am a Certified Trauma Professional.

Healing is my journey and passion.

My mother played a significant role in my development as a helper, but there’s more to the story that made me a healer. I inherited generational trauma passed down from my family in many forms, including my family members surviving the internment camps in Indonesia during WWII.

Trauma followed me from before birth and throughout my childhood, both from indirect contact and direct exposure. I suffered from it, and I watched as family members and friends also went through it. With the help of my husband and a fierce dedication to raising our children well, I knew that I couldn’t stay in it, and I did not want to pass it down.

Empowerment and confidence, built through life experiences, as well as therapeutic interventions such as EMDR and ART, have helped me overcome my history of trauma. Individuals helped me along my journey, and I want to help those with similar needs.

I also have a deep passion for helping children prevent trauma and promote resiliency through recreational means. While volunteering as a coordinator and coach of a Fun Run Club at a local elementary school, I use my experience as a therapist to help create a program that builds confidence and skills for overcoming hardship. I still coach youth sports in the city leagues to stay active with kids and provide a positive experience and environment for those participating.

Healing is my future.

Part of my story is being diagnosed with ADD as a child (now ADHD-Inattentive). That part of me has played a role in both my trauma and healing. I like to say now that it is my superpower. I have been able to harness it and learned to use it in a valuable and life-giving way. I am intensely curious about many things and love learning – constantly pursuing new information on healing and being enthralled with the science of how the body can heal itself from emotional wounds.

As a long-time youth sports coach (25+ years of experience), I know that physical movement is crucial to the healing process, so I remain involved in that area as a coach and in my ongoing journey.

From personal experience with a total knee replacement, I know how hard it is to relearn to run again and how it changed my abilities and expectations as an athlete. As a result of that injury, I had to let go of my first love, soccer, and learn to embrace a new relationship with running.

That transition is tentative and ongoing, but I can do hard things and love the challenge. I also enjoy camping, backpacking, reading with my family, and long road trips.

Healing is about you.

Are you still questioning whether you want to engage in therapy? You made it this far, which tells me the chances are good that you are ready to take the next step.

You can do the work, and I can help you in your journey to become your healer. You don’t have to do this alone. Let’s talk.

We can explore further with a 15-minute phone call and determine if we are a good fit. There’s no obligation, and you are worth the time.