About Compassionate Counseling Services, LLC

My name is Michelle Muff and I own and operate Compassionate Counseling Services. I am a licensed associate marriage and family therapist and offer family, marriage and individual counseling. I specialize in working together with children and parents. I believe in helping children through play therapy to achieve their potential, and develop healthy skills for functioning in the home, school, and in relationships. Play therapy gives children a special place to play out their problems and share those using toys as their words and their play as their language. Do you need help in your marriage to improve communication and restore positive feelings? By focusing on what is working in your marriage and striving to make individual changes, marriages get better and improve. I provide marriage counseling that heals wounds and enhances commitment. Don’t let the problems of life weigh you down and snowball into anxiety, depression or a broken marriage or other relationship problems. Enriching your life through meditation and spiritual beliefs has been shown to improve higher cortical brain functioning. I will walk with you on your spiritual journey and incorporate these principals into your counseling session.

Catholic and Christian

I am a Catholic Christian counselor. I am a Christian counselor because I love and know the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I pray daily and read scripture daily.  I meditate on the word of God to grow in my personal life and to help the clients that work through my door.  I am a Catholic Christian counselor because I believe in the power to the sacraments to help us heal, forgive, gain strength and courage to live my Catholic Christian faith and belief in the power of the Lord.

As a catholic the Eucharist gives me power, strength and courage to walk on my journey of faith. The Mass enables me to meditate on the scripture and the power of the Lord and receive the Lord in His body and blood to gain strength for the journey of my life.  The power of reconciliation enables me to meet my Lord and savior through the priest and speak the ways in which I am sorry for my sins.  I then receive the forgiveness of the Lord through the sacrament of reconciliation and penance.  I receive the power of the sacrament of matrimony when I was married and call upon the grace of that sacrament to love my spouse, to love my children, and to build a family of love and pass on my faith.   These sacraments are a gift of the church that gives all of us the strength to live well.  The rosary is another example of the wonderful teachings of our faith.  The rosary is a beautiful wonderful powerful tool given to us to help us live our life well.  The question I ask myself is, “Do I utilize the fullness of the church to my advantage?”  In all honesty the answer is that I do not.  I fall short of taking advantage of the fullness of the church.  What steps can I take to grow in my faith and receive the fullness of the church?  Complete the sentence…In order to grow in my faith I will ______________every day and at least once per week I will_____________.  My completed sentence needs to be answered like this: In order to grow in my faith I will read scripture every day and at least once per week I will go to daily mass.

We are blessed. We only have to open the door to the beauty of our Catholic faith and receive.  Once we receive we are then equipped to give to others.  The truth is; we need to take time to nurture ourselves through our faith to receive the fullness and love of God.  Once we are nurtured we can then go out and take time to help feed others through our services in the church, through the love we give to our family members and our neighbors.

Many blessings sent your way!

Michelle

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The Power of Gratitude

We all hear enough negative news.  We hear it on the news, we listen to complaints from our friends and family members, and sometimes we feel negativity in our own life.  What if we worked every day to be more positive?  What would be the outcome?  Researchers such as Amit Sood state that by making an effort every day to be grateful and compassionate towards others we are actually building our higher cortisol brain functions which will result in greater peace and joy in our lives.  By focusing on the positive and being grateful for what we have, we reduce the power of fear which can cripple our behavior and immobilize us.  Try  today to list 5 things you are grateful for.  Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have.  Be grateful for the moment you are alive and for the little things that you take for granted. Be appreciative of the mundane and seek to find novelty in the ordinary.  Find joy in your journey.
Many blessings sent your way.
Michelle

About Me

Michelle is a  Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in individual, couples and family therapy, and maintain a private practice in Waseca MN. Michelle  graduated with a Master’s degree in Counseling from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH in 1991 and attained  additional  training in marriage and family therapy at Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN, and her license associate in marriage and family therapy in June 2010.

With over 11 years’ experience as a Mental Health Counselor she is currently serving as a private practitioner working with a broad spectrum of clients. Among her areas of expertise are ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Autism, Asperger’s, Alcohol and Substance Abuse and helping families cope with the changes involved with divorce and remarriage.

Michelle Muff is an interactive, solution-focused therapist who implements play therapy with children ages 5-12.   Michelle integrates a holistic approach and believes that treatment needs to incorporate the physical, social, psychological and spiritual aspects of life.  Her therapeutic approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges. She integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client. With compassion and understanding, she works with each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing.

Education:
Master’s Degree in Counseling, Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH, 1991
20 Graduate Credits in Marriage and Family Therapy, Minnesota State University of Mankato, MN, 2007

License:
Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Professional Activities and Memberships:
Member of American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy AAMFT
Member of  American Association of Christian Counselors AACC
Member of Association of Play Therapy APT

Setting Experience:
Home-Based Family and Marriage Counseling
Residential Treatment facility for male adolescent clients
Therapeutic Activity Program for children ages 6-12
School Chemical Dependency Counselor
School Mental Health Counselor

Spiritual Counseling

What is spiritual counseling?  Depending on the provider of spiritual counseling you will receive various definitions.  At Compassionate Counseling Services I provide spiritual counseling to clients that desire it. Spiritual counseling addresses the client’s unique perspective of the divine and integrates that belief system into the treatment plan.  The integration of spiritual treatment may include praying with the client, leading the client in healing prayer, discussing practical steps to grow closer to the divine (defined by the client).

My personal belief systems originate from Catholicism.  My Catholic Christian belief is a foundation of my life and serves as a guide to the meaning and purpose of my life. I pray for each and every client during my daily prayer time.

I do not discriminate on the client’s belief system if it does not match mine.  I meet the client where he/she is at.  Depending on the needs of the client or wishes I may or may not integrate spiritual principals into the counseling session.  This decision is approached at the initial intake or first counseling session.  I discuss with each client if they are spiritual or religious and what that means to them.  If this is important to them I will include discussions for integration of spiritual matters into the counseling session. If spiritual or religion plays no part in the client life, then spiritual aspects of treatment are not integrated.

The most important part of the session for me as a professional counselor involves respecting the client’s belief system and integrating that into the treatment plan. I walk on a journey with each and every client, present to them in their pain, sufferings and hope for change.

Marriage Help

I am a compassionate and heartfelt listener, especially when a married couple walks through my door.  By the time most couples walk in the door of my counseling office they are highly distressed and what they want most from me is the “fix” or “change” their spouse.  Unfortunately that is not what a good marriage counselor does.  A professional and licensed counselor works with the client/consumer to enlighten the areas that each individual needs to change.  In other words, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”  as opposed to, “If it is to be, it is up to them. (meaning the other spouse). If a married couple can come to terms with this premise early in the counseling experience, then more often than not, the counseling experience will be positive.  Change happens in a system through positive and negative interloping interactions.  Will that change be positive or negative?  That is the question that you need to ask yourself if you are struggling with you marriage.  What changes can you personally make to influence your marriage relationship for the better? You’d be amazed at the effect a single action of kindness can have on your mate.  Ask yourself the question, “In what way does my spouse most desire my love or attention?”  Give to your spouse in the manner in which he/she will receive.  If your spouse loves to talk then the gift you can give is having a long conversation.  If sexuality is the way your spouse communicates his/her love, then honor that in your relationship.  Try this exercise of giving and let me know what happens.
Many Blessings Sent Your Way!!!!

Michelle

Hello world!

Hello World!! My name is Michelle Muff and I am a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist.  I own and operate Compassionate Counseling Services, LLC in Waseca MN.  I provided family, marriage and individual counseling.

My passion is working with parents and children.  I provide play therapy for children ages 5-12. For children, play is there language and toys are their words.  I have a wonderful play room full of specific toys that aid children in discussing their problems with me.  I love working with children that are going through changes in their family and help them express through play what is bothering them.  Client centered play therapy enables the child to freely play while I monitor and track their play.  After I get to know the child I use a more tailored and structured approach to meet their specific need.  Some of their needs involve adjusting to divorce or a remarriage, problems in school, dealing with bullying, academic challenges, sibling issues, blended family issues, or adjusting to a move.  Changes in family life do effect children.  Many times parents underestimate the effect change can have on a child.  Assuming the child is resilient and can handle changes on their own is unfair to the child.  Working with the child and the parent, I  increase effectiveness in bringing about positive adjustment and positive change in behavior.  Many times I bring the parent into the play room and teach them play therapy techniques that they can use in their home.  Parents love to have a structured and identified approach to play that is proven to help their child, increase communication between them and decrease opposition.  I hope to post a picture of my play room soon.

Further post will revolve around family and children services, marriage help and spiritual integration in the counseling session.  I can’t wait to share what I know.  Many blessings sent your way.

Blessings!! Michelle