Bring Cutting-Edge Therapy to Our Communities

The five of us are recent graduates (within the last 1-3 years) of the University of Michigan Masters of Social Work program. Many of us identify with marginalized identities, and we all work with communities generally excluded from specialized therapies. The individuals we work with suffer from the traumatic impact of oppression (white supremacy, trans and queerphobia, poverty, incarceration, etc) and deserve to receive services that have proven both effective and liberating. We have chosen our careers because of our deep belief in social work and mental health care, but we also are impacted by the lack of priority and funding afforded to our field; additionally, many of us have student debt that puts a huge dent in our take home salaries.

Upon completing our trainings, we plan to provide a teach back (likely Summer/Fall 2019) to those who have donated to us and others interested in our learning. We are excited to share what we learn with you and want to hear how you think we can best use this to support our clients and communities!


About Us:

Jeweletter is a Licensed Master Social Worker and Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor at Connally Counseling, a private practice aimed at providing quality care to LGBTQAI youth and adults in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. She integrates interventions from CBT and DBT to aid her clients to blossom into the person that know that can be. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Carleton College and then her Masters in Social Work in 2015 from the University of Michigan. Jeweletter focuses on mental health and substance use as well as the connection between present day difficulties and past trauma(s). She uses a trauma-informed approach and hopes to continue to expand her skills in helping clients live the life they desire.

Emma is a home visitor with Early Head Start in Jackson where she does weekly home visits with families who have children between the ages of 0 and 3. She earned her Masters in Social Work in 2016 and recently completed a yoga teacher training with the intention of integrating mindfulness with her social work career. Her specialization is in helping families and individuals feel empowered to break cycles of intergenerational trauma utilizing infant mental health skills. She also facilitates a trauma-focused parenting group to provide a supportive space for parents to process their own early experiences to then better understand how to move forward with their children.

Sarah is a clinical therapist in a private practice setting that serves the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as in research around increasing opioid safety and reducing suicidality. She is passionate about working with individuals to live and thrive by creating a space to explore resilience, trauma, growth, and self-compassion. She is driven to provide resources, as well as to be a resource for those experiencing crisis, sexual assault, trauma She has her clinical LMSW and focuses on using a round and diverse perspective from sociology and psychology, attachment theory, trauma-informed approaches, and a social justice lens.

Lance is a biracial / Black trans femme born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from Wayne State University in 2016, and a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2017. Lance currently provides outpatient psychotherapy to LGBTQ youth, most of whom are homeless, low-income, or facing housing or financial insecurity. His specializations include treating survivors of complex trauma, clients navigating the mental health impacts of structural oppression, and youth and young adults with a range of mental healthcare needs. In his free time, Lance is an avid reader who loves making art and spending time at home with family.

Raina is a psychotherapist at Amplify Colectivo, a newer private group practice committed to serving all communities in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. She holds both a Masters of Social Work and a Masters of Public Health. She is also a yoga and mindfulness educator and recently launched her own business, RISE Education and Consulting, and strives to create truly inclusive and non-judgmental spaces for learning and practicing yoga based on her own experience as a brown, curvy woman in mainstream yoga environments. Raina specializes in the treatment of stress, anxiety and trauma, and takes particular interest in the needs of survivors of sexualized violence and the impact of traumatic stress on the body.


About the Training:

Each of us aspires to receive intensive training in one of two cutting-edge therapeutic approaches -- types of therapy that are almost never accessible to the people we serve. These two therapies are Sensorimotor Psychotherapy  and Internal Family Systems . 

Internal Family Systems, or IFS, is a a non-pathological approach to therapy. In other words, the model focuses on seeing people as unique individuals, where other approaches emphasize diagnoses and labels. In some of the most common forms of therapy, the focus is on “coping” with distressing thoughts and feelings, and learning to turn away from pain and suffering. In IFS, clients turn towards what hurts them, listening intently to the parts of themselves that need to speak, and finding self-compassion and the strength to nurture themselves from within. The model views each person as made up of many parts. The same client may have a part that loves herself, one that hates herself, one that wants to care for others, and one that desperately needs to be cared for. While other forms of therapy train clients to suppress parts of themselves associated with suffering, IFS teaches its recipients to make peace with the whole self by listening carefully to what each part has to say.

IFS is a great therapeutic model for clients who have survived trauma, which often causes parts to become fragmented and volatile. A 2013 research study  has shown the model works well to minimize symptoms of physical pain, as well. Unfortunately, IFS is an expensive treatment. The official IFS website lists only 7 fully-certified IFS therapists in the state of Michigan, and most practitioners are not accessible to low-income clients. By offering IFS to clients on Medicaid, accessing public mental health services, this initiative would offer an invaluable service to those with the greatest need.

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a method that integrates body-based/sensorimotor processing with cognitive and emotional processing in the treatment of trauma. When an individual experiences trauma, their body and nervous system are impacted. Traditional forms of talk therapy (such as CBT and DBT) may help some but often do not directly address the ways in which trauma gets stored in the body, as often trauma is stored in unconscious ways. By utilizing the body’s experience in the moment (rather than cognitions or emotions), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy directly addresses the effects of trauma on the body, which in turn facilitates emotional and cognitive processing. When words are not enough to heal, a somatic approach can be useful in deepening an individual’s ability to integrate their experiences and feel empowered to find resources within themselves to heal.


The trainings we are interested in are NOT cheap! We hope to raise $5,500 by the end of January so that each of us can have $1,000 towards the cost of our certifications, plus a little extra to cover the expenses of this fundraiser. Upon completing our trainings, we plan to provide a teach back (likely Summer/Fall 2019) to those who have donated to us and others interested in our learning. We are excited to share what we learn with you and want to hear how you think we can best use this to support our clients and communities!


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  • Michael Gendernalik 
    • $20 
    • 19 mos
  • Maria Ibarra-Frayre 
    • $30 
    • 19 mos
  • Trevor Schaff  
    • $25 
    • 19 mos
  • Kirstin Tyler 
    • $10 
    • 20 mos
  • Elise Matatall 
    • $25 
    • 20 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Community Therapists (5)

Lance Hicks 
Raised $925 from 10 donations
Detroit, MI
Raina Maris 
Emma Schaff 
Team member
Raised $245 from 5 donations
Jeweletter Anderson 
Team member
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