February 2, 2022
MCHC Health Centers is pleased to welcome Michael Heinlein, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) to our behavioral health team. Michael chose to become a therapist after a career in various helping services including teaching and substance abuse counseling. Michael’s desire to provide expert-level care to people enduring hard times created his motivation to undergo the many years of education required for the expertise and licensure to practice. “We all have times when friends, family members, or our own personal struggles are to the point where we need some professional help. I wanted to learn how to be that help and how to participate in people’s healing,” expressed Michael.
Michael first studied Philosophy at San Francisco State University in the master’s program prior to beginning the Social Work program at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Philosophy professor, Don Ciraulo, taught Michael a lifelong lesson about how it is each person’s responsibility to give back to society as much as they have been given. This belief has served as the cornerstone of Michael’s adult life as he has treated patients with issues such as substance use, depression, complex trauma, as well as working with the incarcerated population(s), and persons in crisis.
Ben Anderson, LCSW, the Behavioral Health Director at MCHC states, “Michael’s depth of knowledge and experience in the behavioral health field, combined with his commitment to giving back to society will serve as a tremendous resource for our community, particularly for patients who find it challenging to come into the health center for care.”
Michael joined the MCHC team as a licensed tele-therapist providing care for patients in Mendocino and Lake counties while continuing to live in his home near Yosemite. The teletherapy model works well for providers such as Michael who have loved ones embedded in a distant community, yet desire to share their expertise with patients in a wide variety of locations, thereby helping a greater number of patients. Michael shares, “I feel that patients have responded incredibly well to teletherapy and I am so pleased that patients with significant barriers to going into a healthcare office (or anywhere in public) are getting the care they need.”
Many people are seeking help right now with anxiety and depression which are fundamental to the human condition. These struggles derive from many places including relationships, jobs, finances, COVID or illness and general life stressors. Therapists, such as Michael, help us understand what is going on in our brains and bodies as we experience strong feelings and adverse circumstances, and teach us strategies so that we can become confident in our own abilities to successfully navigate life’s stressors.
Scott McFarland, MCHC’s CEO shares his thoughts, “We have a very compassionate team of Primary Care Counselors (therapists) at MCHC, including Michael Heinlein, who are here to care for our patients. The expansion of teletherapy is paramount to growing health equity in our region and I am proud that MCHC is on the forefront of these efforts.”
To make an appointment please call 1-855-FOR-MCHC (855-367-6242)