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Navigating Mental Health: A Conversation with That Girl Dr. Michele Leno, Licensed Psychologist

Meet Dr. Michele Leno, a native of Detroit and a beacon of mental health expertise. As a Licensed Psychologist, Dr. Leno holds a Ph.D. and is the proud owner of DML Psychological Services, PLLC. With an extensive background in clinical psychology, she has become a trusted source of guidance, offering psychological evaluations, therapy, coaching, and consulting services.

What inspired you to follow your career path?

Dr. Michele: I was fortunate to have many sources of inspiration, including family and instructors. I was always encouraged to do more because I wanted more. Drive inspires me.

What do you enjoy most about the work that you do, what have been some challenges?

Dr. Michele: I love to witness the point where people believe in themselves. I love being a trusted and reliable source. I offer a safe space to laugh and cry.

I have to remind myself that therapy is a process. I’m a problem solver and I have a tendency to want to fix things right away, especially when I see someone struggling to cope.

What strategies do you use to assist busy professionals in managing their mental health effectively?

Dr. Michele: Busy professionals need a coach to manage anxiety and depression. My job is to help them remain motivated and push through self doubt and imposter syndrome. Their concerns are often disregarded or overlooked because people only see their success.

In your opinion, what role does self-reflection play in the process of personal growth and overcoming obstacles? How do you encourage clients to engage in this practice?

Dr. Michele: Self reflection is necessary for personal growth. When someone is struggling to grow, it’s usually because they fear looking within themselves. It feels safer to look outside of ourselves or focus on others, so we tend to self neglect. I allow my clients space to vent and focus on external matters, but they do not get to end a session without self accountability. No matter the situation, I ask them to consider their role in it.

In your experience, how has social media impacted the mental health of individuals, particularly in relation to anxiety and self-esteem?

Dr. Michele: Social media, while valuable, is a breeding ground for anxiety. Some cannot resist the urge to compare and contrast or focus on what their life is lacking. It’s not just a social platform; it’s an emotional platform that can bring on sadness, anger, and laughter. A healthy relationship with social media requires self awareness and self regulation.

How do you strike a balance between addressing the underlying mental health issues and managing the physical symptoms of your clients?

Dr. Michele: Mental and physical health are connected. Sadness can cause pain, and pain can cause sadness. I always encourage clients to have regular check-ups and discuss any medication side effects with their physicians.

What words of encouragement would you have for anyone who is currently struggling with their mental health?

Dr. Michele: There is always hope and help. When you believe you cannot take anymore, think about how you made it the last time.

My motto: Improve your mental health, improve your life.

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