Mothers who have support are better able to care for their children

Mothers who have support are better able to care for their children

Amy’s story

Amy is a young married professional from Ann Arbor, struggling with depression and anxiety. After the death of her father, Amy found herself suddenly responsible for her mother, who has a disability, and who  continues to relate to her in ways that Amy found overwhelming as a child.

As a first generation Asian-American, she is caught between her duty as a Chinese daughter and her desire to set more American-type boundaries around her work, partner-relationships, and responsibility for an aging parent. She is also looking for another job with fewer hours and the ability to work from home, so that she can balance competing priorities.

Over the course of 11 months, Amy benefited from 19 hours of personal counseling and 3 hours of individualized Job Coaching at The Women’s Center.

Amy reports that she is still looking for a job that can better accommodate her caregiving responsibilities and lower the cost of childcare. Her ability to address her depression and anxiety has improved. “My therapist helped me with self-care and to identify and accept my emotions before they spiral out of control.”

She is using many of the skills she practiced in therapy — assertiveness, emotional containment, and mindfulness.

“I am taking a cue from my three-year-old,” Amy says, “who is open and direct about what she wants and what she feels without being shamed for it.”

We can work it out!

We can work it out!

From crisis to stability

“I started receiving counseling three-quarters of the way into my ‘year from hell.’ December 2014, my husband left our family; January 2015 I lost my job; March 2015 foreclosure process began on our home and April 2015, our youngest was facing legal issues.  Did I mention I was at a point where I couldn’t get/afford health insurance?) The Women’s Center helped me sort through all of these issues and prioritize what was most important to work on first. Talking with a counselor on a weekly basis helped me identify my priorities and cope more effectively with the stress and depression. As of today, I am divorced, have a good-paying full-time permanent position at University of Michigan, have full benefits covering both the kids and me, and we now have a new home!”

Simona volunteers at The Women’s Center of Southeastern Michigan 10 hours a week. She participated in our Divorce Support programs as well as Personal Counseling, which helped her transition out of an coercive marriage and establish stability for her daughter and herself.

Originally from Romania, she’s been in the U.S. for about 14 years. Simona graduated from The Natural Medicine School of Ann Arbor and is currently a naturopath. She takes interest in spirituality, gardening, self-help, psychology and more. Simona has a daughter that is attending her first year at The University of Michigan and studies environmental science. Simona was interviewed in April 2016 by videographer, Robert Hays.

We appreciate your hard work Simona!


Susan is a former Women’s Center who graciously agreed to be interviewed in 2013 by occupational therapist and oral historian, Claudia Bennett, about her participation in our counseling and job coaching programs.

Kapree is a clinical mental health counseling intern at The Women’s Center of Southeastern Michigan from Eastern Michigan University where she’s attending her fourth year of graduate school. She interns about 16-20 hours a week at the center. In her free time, Kapree loves to dance!

University of Michigan graduate, Ashley Kuroiwa, interned at The Women’s Center from January through August 2015. She grew up in Indiana, and came to Michigan via her undergraduate program in Utah, where she was active in LGBT advocacy. She feels strongly about dispelling the stigma surrounding depression and other mental health problems.

Danielle TenCate is a Room To Talk therapist who also participates in The Women’s Center’s eleven-member supervisory team. Danielle is a former engineer and Women’s Center intern, who moved to Minneapolis after graduating from University of Michigan’s social work program. Upon returning to Michigan, she worked as at outpatient mental health professional at Briarwood Clinica before rejoining our counseling program in 2014.