Lisa Wolf, PsyD

Photo of Lisa Wolf PhD

Lisa Wolf, PsyD

Core Faculty

Office phone: 248.476.1122 ext.127
Email: [email protected] 

Dr. Wolf joined MSP as Core Faculty in the PsyD program in August 2022, after being an adjunct professor in the MA program during the 2021-2022 academic year.  In addition to her role as Core Faculty, Dr. Wolf is a clinical psychologist in Ann Arbor.  She is the founder and owner of Therapy for Change, PLLC, where she provides individual, group, and couples therapy. Dr. Wolf’s clinical career spans over 3 decades. She has experience working with diverse populations in a variety of settings such as outpatient clinics, hospital settings, inpatient units,  private and group practices, Community Mental health, and college counseling centers. She specializes in complex presentations, and trauma, as well as sex therapy.   Dr. Wolf encourages her clients to face and accept all aspects of themselves. Through witnessing, encouraging, exploring, and education, Dr. Wolf supports her clients to delve into aspects of their lives that can evoke pain and struggle, to face and dissolve defenses, and to surrender and rediscover lost aspects of self. Through a process of collaboration, she empowers her clients to return to the core of their beings and remember and reclaim their authentic selves. Dr. Wolf also explores how white supremacy, systemic racism, and other forms of oppression/marginalization impact presenting concerns, mental health, and the physical well-being of her clients. Her clinical practice is grounded in the belief that sound and ethical mental health services are a right for all individuals. Social justice and cultural humility are central to her practice of psychology.

As a professor, Dr’s Wolf’s passion is to educate emerging clinicians on how to be “human with the human in the room.” As a professor, her commitment is to aid in the development of self-aware and respectful clinicians who engage with dignity and curiosity to understand the multiple influences and traumas, e.g., personal, historical, generational, ancestral, and institutional, that impact individuals.

Education

  • PsyD in Clinical Psychology, Union Institute and University
    • Dissertation: Psychological Perspectives of the “Lived Experience” of Hate
  • MA in Humanistic and Clinical Psychology, Michigan School of Psychology (formerly known as Michigan School of Professional Psychology, or in some cases Center for Humanistic Studies)
    • Thesis: The Experience of Being a Victim.
  • BA in Psychology and Piano Performance, University of Wisconsin 

Licensure

  • Licensed Psychologist – Michigan

Areas of Expertise/Interest

  • Complex trauma and dissociation
  • EMDR
  • Sex Therapy and Sexual Health
  • Shadow Work (therapeutic activism)
  • The impact of systemic oppression and marginalization on client’s lives and identities
  • Gender and sexual identity
  • Relationship Therapy
  •  LGBTQIA2S concerns
  • Wounds of childhood/Family of origin issues

Select Presentations

  • Wolf, L.C. (2011, April). The experience of hate: Intrapersonal processes that lead to manifestations of hate, an exploratory study. Paper presented at the Second International Conference of Hate Studies, Spokane, WA.
  • Wolf, L.C. (2011, August). The experience of hate: Intrapersonal processes that lead to manifestations of hate, an exploratory study. Poster session presented at the 2011 American Psychological Association Convention, Washington DC.

Professional Memberships

  • The American Psychological Association (APA)
  • The Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict & Violence APA Division 48
  • Michigan Psychological Association (MPA)
  • EMDR International Association (EMDRIA)
  • Washtenaw Psychology Society
  • The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT)
  • The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD)

Q&A

  • Describe your clinical philosophy.

As a psychologist I am committed and dedicated to walking the path of healing and recovery with my clients.  Whether my clients struggle with depression, anxiety, concerns with sexual health, gender or sexual identity, wounds of childhood, and/or trauma (among other presenting concerns), I strive to create a safe container for them to share their challenges, as well as successes.  

As an emotion focused, psychodynamic therapist, I witness, encourage, explore and educate clients.  I support clients to delve into aspects of their lives that can evoke pain and struggle. I encourage them to face and dissolve defenses, and to surrender and rediscover lost aspects of self.  Through a process of collaboration, I empower my clients’ to return to the core of their beings and remember and reclaim their authentic selves (who they really are). 

I believe that sound and ethical mental health services are a right for all individuals. As such, my commitment to social justice and cultural humility is central to my practice of psychology. Through this framework, I consider influences outside the individual that may be contributing to presenting concerns, including oppressive environments, discrimination, prejudice, privilege, as well as cultural and societal norms.  In order to truly understand the unique needs of clients, I strive to understand how multiple identities, emotions, cognitions and worldview influence presenting concerns.

  • Please describe your teaching philosophy.

When in the classroom I invite students to be active participants in the learning process, to accept what they know and can contribute to the class discussion, and to also accept that they are still learning and don’t know everything. I invite humility, self-responsibility, curiosity, and openness to identify and push growth edges. I stress that learning is lifelong, that mistakes and failure are part of the process, and that it is human to stumble while learning new skills. My hope is that this invites students to be searchers, to be better equipped to face challenges, to develop patience and self-compassion, and find balance, a “both/and perspective.” I approach teaching much like I do clinical work. I focus on building relationship and on creating safe spaces for exploration and growth.

Methods I employ in the classroom include lecture, discussion, real life examples, humor, experiential exercises to help student’s embody concepts, student’s teaching each other course content when appropriate, and offering questions to develop critical thinking skills. I encourage collaboration, kindness, respect, empathy, and mutuality.   My teaching philosophy as it relates to the discipline of clinical psychology is to teach students to be human beings with the human being in the room, to ask rather than assume, to consider how multiple identities impact perceptions and to grow in their ability to hold their own, and other people’s identities with care and with curiosity.

I have high expectations for students.  I want my students to become the best they can be, and as such am direct and constructive in my feedback. I care deeply about the work that I do, and hope that the students I work with experience my care and commitment to their growth and development.

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