Our Team in Southfield
Welcome! Transformational Choices is a community-based professional service that provides a full range of life enhancing services in a holistic, mindful, and supportive setting.
Transformational Choices respects and affirms each client and works in partnership to create a life based in positivity and action. We want you to give yourself permission to shine and develop the future that you deserve. We accept you and honor your story and experience.
Our mission is to support mindful change within individuals, groups, and organizations. We are proud to offer a diverse array of services, including mental health counseling for individuals, groups, families, children. We work to address relationship issues between couples, within small groups, and in families. We offer life and wellness coaching and consultation, as well as organizational evaluation and consulting.
We are committed to providing the best professional services by working with our clients and developing and implementing the most effective and customized life enhancing change plans, through the promotion of learning and personal growth.
Transformational Choices uses a natural and organic mind / body approach to restoring healthy emotional, behavioral, and cognitive functioning. The client and therapist are partners and work together to discover the choices necessary to reach new goals and break old patterns.
Our approach to the helping relationship is especially effective in dealing with depression, anxiety, emotional dysfunction, creative blocks, relationship concerns, and debilitating personality traits that interfere with love, work, and the knowledge to sustain health.
Paige Pattenaude, LLMSW
I believe that working together to create a collaborative approach is vital to a therapeutic relationship. I recognize that it takes courage to seek help--with that in mind, I treat my clients with respect, an open mind, and dignity. The truth is, we all have our own story to tell, and we all need help at least once in our lives, whether we want to admit it or not.
For clients to tell their story and work through their struggles, they act as the driver while I am the passenger. The passenger outlines details and shares concerns or suggestions with the driver, but ultimately the driver is in control. The client is the expert in their own life. I believe, wholeheartedly, that each person strives to become their best selves. To achieve their full potential, I provide a strengths-based approach with support, assistance, a listening ear, and guidance.
Carol Auiler, LMSW
My approach to therapy is based on the idea that each person has gifts, passions and skills that can be tapped into to guide them toward an authentic, value-based life.
My goal is to partner with you to provide a safe, non-judgmental space that allows for reflection, healing from past emotional wounds, and growth by establishing new coping skills to replace old patterns of thinking and behaving.
I have extensive training in trauma and EMDR through the International Association (EMDRIA) as well as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). My special areas of interest include trauma and PTSD, anxiety, depression, mindfulness, codependency and addictive disorders, and working with couples on relationship and intimacy issues.
Cayla Yuhn, LLMSW
Asking for help is difficult for many of us. In my perspective, picking up the phone and overcoming that challenge is a strength that demonstrates incredible dedication to growth and healing. Therapy requires us to be vulnerable which can seem like a daunting task. My goal is to develop a safe, trusting and non-judgmental relationship with you that you can rely on. You are the expert, and it is my job to highlight your strengths and resources to facilitate the change you desire and deserve. Our relationship will be collaborative and solution-focused and I will carefully choose and utilize evidence-based techniques to meet your needs. Together, and at your pace, we will engage in an exploration of experiences, ideas and beliefs to better understand the impact on your daily life and to inform the process of moving forward. I am prepared to address addiction and substance abuse, codependency, body image, self esteem, gender identity, sexual orientation, trauma, abuse and neglect, grief and loss, family conflict, intimate partner violence, depression, suicidality and anxiety. I have extensive experience working with adolescents and have also provided therapy to adults and families. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with you and look forward to our first session!
Jennifer Smak, LLMSW
I have a firm belief that everyone can benefit from therapy. Whether you're going through a tough time, trying to manage symptoms that accompany a diagnosis, or simply wanting to better yourself, therapy can help. My therapeutic practices are grounded in a psychodynamic approach, allowing me to help you explore your emotions and find out how your life experiences have shaped who you are today. In addition, I use cognitive behavioral techniques, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness to help you engage in self-awareness and healthier thinking patterns. There is no "one size fits all" approach to therapy, which allows me to create a combination of evidence-based practices that is beneficial to each individual's specific needs.
I have experience working with individuals struggling with obstacles such as ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), depression, anxiety, substance use, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), poor self-esteem, and family conflict. No matter what you're struggling with, it is my job to not only provide you with the tools to overcome your obstacles, but to walk along side you in your journey.
Brett Schwartz, LLMSW
As human beings, we all share variations on a similar range of emotions, stressors, responsibilities need for and challenges in relationships. These are universal themes running through all our lives - even when they sometimes show up in unexpected or unusual ways. As the late, great Maya Angelou once said: “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike”.
Whether you are seeking guidance in your life, help managing painful symptoms and emotions or if you simply want to be more proactive and live a more fulfilling, vibrant life, seeking a sincere conversation with a therapist can be of immense help.
My therapeutic approach combines both insight and action and is grounded in both mindfulness, as well as cognitive behavioral approaches - namely the dynamic relationship between our thoughts, feelings and emotions. Trained in both Psychology and Social Work, I carry a passionate interest in physical and emotional well-being, human relationships and mind-body issues. I am eager to make your acquaintance and discuss the various challenges and gratifications in your life.
Christina Finelli, LLMSW
Trauma can be defined as manifestations in both mind and body, stemming from either an isolated painful experience or a recurring theme of pain over the course of one’s life. Through this lens, I utilize an integrated whole-person and trauma-focused therapeutic approach in effort to create space for healing from the adverse life experiences that often interfere with our daily lives.
As an Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) trained therapist through the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA), I recognize most behaviors or presenting symptoms as adaptations to traumatic experiences. By combining this “inside out” therapeutic approach with tenets from various other psychotherapy modalities, we will work together to restore your innate capacity for mental wellness and empower you to make changes that lead to whole health and happiness. There is hope!
Amanda Shelton, LMSW
Your journey is very important to me. You are the expert of your life, story, and experiences. Every individual is unique in their own way and our life is often shaped by our identity, experiences, beliefs, and environment which constantly evolves. Therefore, it is important that I meet my clients where they are. My therapy approach is creative, strength based, and unique to the person or family’s needs. I will serve as a support to help you recognize your strengths and work through various challenges, thoughts, and feelings. It is my hope that we can collaborate and engage in a respectful and safe way in order to develop healing and growth. My passion is to help children, adolescents, individuals, and families to achieve balance and a healthier quality of life.
Erin Shawgo, LMSW
My hope as a therapist is to work with the client to cultivate a safe and courageous space to begin to explore from a holistic lens (mind, body and spirit). We each come into this work through a unique context of intersecting identities and experiences that deserve to be honored. My work is trauma informed and I understand trauma as something that can be experienced interpersonally, generationally, and systemically.
I take an integrative approach to therapy, rooted in humanistic, pyschodynamic and relational perspectives. I also weave in cognitive-behavioral, dialectical behavioral and mindfulness approaches into my work, so that you may develop skills to bring about more immediate shifts in mood and sense of wellness. Creativity, compassion, and curiosity are central to my work as I also incorporate somatic understanding, expressive arts, and a person-centered approach that focuses on what you want to work on.
I have experience in working with adults and teens struggling with addiction, substance abuse, interpersonal difficulties, life transitions, grief and loss, and experience of chronic pain and terminal illness. I also have experience supporting individuals who identify as queer, non-binary, gender non-conforming, trans, gay, lesbian, and bisexual. We all deserve a space to heal. I am here to help hold that space with you.
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