Clinical Psychologist-in-training, Micah Zylstra, specializes in trauma, anxiety, depression, adjustment issues, and difficulties involving low self-esteem and confidence. By integrating psychodynamic, mindfulness, cognitive, and behavior-based therapies along with clinical hypnosis, he provides therapy attuned to the unique needs of each individual patient.
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Micah Zylstra’s interest in clinical work began as an undergraduate psychology student. As a Youth Specialist at Child & Family Charities, a shelter for at-risk adolescents and teens, he learned evidence-based counseling techniques for severely traumatized children. He then sought to further develop his crisis de-escalation and behavior management skills at Seattle Community Care as a behavioral specialist with children displaying physical and verbal aggression due to a variety of mental health diagnoses (e.g., RAD, ODD, ADHD, and self-injurious behavior).
Micah later became the Lead Behavior Specialist at Accelerator, the YMCA’s foster care permanency program, where he supervised a team of behavioral specialists and created evidence-based trainings on attachment styles, childhood development, de-escalation techniques, and interpersonal attunement and behavior responses in traumatized children.
When Micah began working in mental health settings in New York City, he began working at NYC Well as a crisis counselor for a behavioral health hotline. While conducting thousands of assessments, implementing crisis relief techniques, and connecting callers with appropriate mental health agencies, he gained insight into building relationships and providing client-centered interventions with individuals from diverse backgrounds. After spending ample time as a counselor, he was promoted to a training specialist, where he oversaw the training development and supervision for onboarding mental health professionals and counselors.
Micah is a doctoral student at Adelphi University, where he studies subjective responses to trauma, including suicidality — a complex phenomenon which often includes feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, burdensomeness, and social isolation. His current research and clinical pursuits involve examining how the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the frequency of these experiences.
During his training, Micah had conducted intakes with children and families with challenging and complex presenting problems. These evaluations have helped him to become adept in clinic procedures, establishing rapport, completing rapid assessment with limited clinical data, and formulating case conceptualizations and therapy recommendations. Micah also facilitates a relational psychoanalytic therapy group, which has allowed him to broaden his skills in both group dynamics and clinical conceptualization.
In his work, Micah incorporates multiple modalities, including psychodynamic therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), mentalization-based techniques, mindfulness approaches, and hypnosis. More specifically, he incorporates hypnosis to address issues regarding trauma, confidence, motivation, unwanted habits, and depression. He also has a special interest in using hypnosis to address issues with anxiety and the performing arts, including stage fright. Lastly, he encourages mind/body-based therapies, including yoga and qigong.