Hello! I'm Dawn Rodgers-DeFouw, a dearly beloved child of God. I'm a licensed professional counselor in the state of Michigan. I'm interested in the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being of individuals. My desire is that individuals would see themselves as God sees them: individuals of great worth. God created us to be thinking beings, and we tend to behave the way we think. By approaching counseling from a cognitive-behavioral perspective, I hope to help individuals see where thinking errors impact the way they behave. In response, I hope to help individuals correct thinking errors and align their thoughts with the truth of Scripture. For we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
I am passionate about walking alongside those traveling on a grief journey. I approach grief counseling from a companioning model because you know better than I do what your grief means to you.
Individuals experience grief for many reasons. Sometimes grief is complicated by past experiences and expectations, either expectations we have of ourselves, or other people’s expectations of us. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help us discover if what we are thinking is true. If what we are thinking is true, we can learn to understand that truth and accept it into our lives. If what we are thinking is faulty thinking, CBT can help us discover the truth and begin behaving and feeling in accordance with the truth.
The events that lead to our experiencing grief can be traumatic. I believe the majority of people, given personalized support, will experience post-traumatic growth. We can become stronger and more resilient through our grief experience.
Grief can also cause us to use unhealthy coping mechanisms. Motivational interviewing can help people discover how unhealthy coping mechanisms are further complicating their grief journey, and explore ways to replace unhealthy coping mechanisms with healthy coping skills.
Grief is a journey. You are not alone on that journey. I would like to walk with you, no matter how far you are along in that journey.
Education and experience:
I have a bachelor’s degree in health communication and a master's degree in professional counseling. I am currently working on a second master's in ministry. I have been teaching at the university level for the past ten years. I volunteer with a local grief ministry, facilitating spousal loss and adult loss support groups. I also volunteer with Give-an-Hour, providing mental health care for military families. I offer free suicide awareness training in the community.
I am also a wife, mother of 8, grandmother of 17, and great-grandmother of 1. I enjoy my morning walk because it gives me an opportunity to appreciate God’s amazing creation. I love reading and quilting.
If you would like to schedule an initial session with me, call 616-499-4711 or click the "Schedule With Dawn" button below; I'd be happy to meet with you and help you explore the next steps.