About Allison Heeren:

Before I began my career as a social worker, I was a sophomore at Michigan State University and I volunteered at a domestic violence shelter.  I was profoundly impressed with the transformative effect of therapy. The women in the shelter entered the program feeling helpless, desperate and overwhelmed.  With the support of housing, legal assistance, and therapy, many of the shelter residents were able to emerge as empowered, self-reliant women, ready to re-claim their lives. I knew I found my life’s work.

I received my bachelor’s degree in social work in 1981 from Michigan State University, and I went on to earn my Master’s degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago in 1982.  I spent the first ten years of my career as a hospital social worker.  I started out working in all areas of the hospital, but I eventually specialized in maternal/child health.  While working at University of Michigan Hospital, I organized and ran a Child Assessment clinic to evaluate children for child abuse and neglect.  I also spent several years running a grief support program and support group for parents who lost children to miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death.  I went on to join the faculty at a Family Medicine medical residency in Hinsdale Illinois, as a behavioral medicine specialist.

In 1995, I moved with my family to Traverse City to assume the position as Director of Behavioral Medicine for the Munson Family Practice residency program.  In that position, I designed and taught the psychosocial curriculum for the family practice residents and medical students.  Over the years, I have maintained a relationship with the residency program and have provided various lectures on psychological issues as well as being a resource for therapy for the medical students and residents needing care. 

In 2001, I opened my private practice, providing individual, couples and family therapy. I have developed a generalist practice working with a wide variety of client diagnoses and issues, and additionally specialize in treating eating disorders and clients living with chronic and serious illnesses.  I have extensive background and experience with various treatment techniques, and offer individualized care for each client that I see.

I feel fortunate to have had an interesting and fulfilling career.  I value continuing education and I am interesting in learning new information as opportunities arise.  I greatly enjoy my work, and plan to continue working with clients and families for many years to come.

About Roy Heeren:

During my undergraduate years of college I explored social work and psychology as a career option, but instead moved into an honor’s program and became a teacher.  I began to volunteer in the evenings for a crisis mental health center and I found the impact of therapy to be extremely important and personally rewarding.

I returned to the graduate program at Michigan State University, and received my Master’s degree in Social Work in 1982.

I began my career in emergency mental health services and adult outpatient psychotherapy in the community mental health system.  In 1986, I became the clinical director of a large non-profit mental health agency in Chicago. I created a therapy program for treating underserved children and their families in the public schools. In that position, I supervised and taught clinical skills to social work graduate students. I later began a full time private practice providing psychotherapy for several years.

In 1995, I assumed the position as Executive Director for the Child Guidance Center in Traverse City.  The Child Guidance Center included outpatient mental health services, foster care, home based service and the Doula Teen Pregnancy program. In addition to my administrative duties I provided supervision to the clinical staff.  I found that I missed direct clinical services, so in 2003, I retired and joined Allison Heeren in private practice.

I have recently retired from Manistee-Benzie community mental health system providing crisis therapy and home based services. In my private practice, I provide individual, couples and family therapy and I have expertise in marital therapy, child play therapy, adolescent treatment, and trauma based care in addition to a generalist practice.

“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.” ― Shannon L. Alder