Lori Edelson, Maple Clinic.
By Susan Peck
Photography by Brett Mountain
Birmingham Maple Clinic’s director and owner Lori Edelson, LMSW, ACSW, BCD, LMFT, has a lot of titles after her name and they all represent one thing.
Edelson’s many accreditations, including a master’s degree in social work and family therapy, are a testament to her commitment to improve the lives of people in her community by providing only the highest quality mental healthcare at Birmingham Maple Clinic.
After more than four decades since the clinic began, the mental health needs of the community have recently reached an all time high.
“I have to think it’s the state of the world today with frightening tweets and internet updates coming in from CNN and other media outlets every other minute. People are suffering with a variety debilitating disorders like anxiety and depression now more than ever,” said Edelson, who started working at the clinic as an intern almost 45 years ago and eventually bought the practice in 1997.
“Thankfully, the stigma attached to mental healthcare is less today, and patients are seeking our support and successful tools to deal with anxiety and depression. But patients are seeking treatment for many issues like OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) for trauma and abuse, ADD and ADHD, eating disorders, family and adolescent problems and life transitions like divorce and loss of a spouse.”
Now located in Troy, the clinic provides established as well as cutting edge psychological treatments like “brainspotting” and specialties that include gender orientation issues, medication monitoring, and group therapy. “Brainspotting is a specialized technique used for trauma patients to detach the traumatic emotions from the traumatic event,” explained Edelson. “We have one of the only therapists in Michigan who provides this effective treatment.”
Group therapy and support groups for on-trend topics like sexual addiction, women in relationships with narcissistic individuals or managing anxiety for the new school year are on-going. “It’s a unique kind of healing where hearing from others with similar issues helps you see that you’re not alone in having challenges, whether you’re grappling with panic attacks or other symptoms to your health or relationships,” Edelson said.
If patients choose to take medication to assist them in overcoming the problems they face, they will receive monitoring and evaluation. “In many cases, medication can be very helpful, while in others it offers few advantages,” said Edelson. “At Birmingham Maple Clinic, we feel our clients should make their own choices as to whether or not to begin taking medication. When medication is recommended or considered, our psychiatrists perform a thorough evaluation and provide meaningful explanations about what they are prescribing and why they prescribed it.”
To connect with younger clientele or the more tech savvy, the clinic has their “PsychoBLOGically Speaking,” a weekly blog with straightforward topics like: Handling Coach Criticism, Tech Addiction and Safe Online Gaming, and Toxic Stress that open the communication and dialogue with family and therapists.
“I am proud of the fact that our entire staff of 37 therapists and three psychiatrists comprise the most experienced and competent professionals in the fields of psychiatry, psychology and social work,” Edelson said. “It was always my goal to have a therapist cover every specialty from A to Z, and have them all under one roof as we do.”
Nationally accredited, Birmingham Maple Clinic’s staff of social workers all have their master’s in clinical social work (MSW); staff psychologists have either their doctorate (Ph.D) or a master’s with limited licensure (MA, LLP), and psychiatrists may either have a medical degree(MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO).
“Although many people are curious about the difference between these degrees, it’s best to remember that the particular degree someone holds isn’t the primary factor in creating successful therapy,” explained Edelson. “The key factors in determining success are the expertise of your therapist with the issues you need help with, and how well you and your therapist relate to one another.”
Adding to the mission statement of the Birmingham Maple Clinic is the acknowledgement of the huge accountability Edelson and her entire staff feel for each patient they see.
“As a therapist I have the privilege of being invited inside the patient’s most private world to bear witness to their deepest personal pain and unexplained emotions and then to take the personal journey with them to untangle, understand and resolve their most critical struggles and conflicts. As therapists, we are the witnesses, the ones who have seen the transition into relief and joy when the patient finally feels more secure and confident,” Edelson said.
She speaks for all of the therapists when she says, “It is truly an honor to work with people who are searching for greater happiness and meaningfulness in their lives. In some way we remain a part of their legacy in the sacred journey they allowed us to share.” NS
Birmingham Maple Clinic
2075 West Big Beaver Road, Ste. 520
Troy, MI 48084