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Michael Kaplan

Counseling in Columbia, MO

About Me

Counseling is a second career for me. I earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University in the 1980s, and spent several years in publishing as a writer and editor while living in Chicago.

My interest in mental health grew sharply after I read The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Washing by Judith L. Rapoport, the classic book on obsessive-compulsive disorder. I found the content fascinating and tragic, and decided to shift my career in the direction of helping people to enhance their mental health.

In 1996 I took a position with the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association (now known as the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance). While there I wrote speeches and assembled the organization’s national newsletter.

A few years later I decided to return to school for a master’s degree in social work with an emphasis in mental health. After receiving my degree, I practiced for six years on the staff of a community mental health center in Columbia, Missouri. In addition to working with individuals and couples, I led several therapy groups at the center, including groups on anger management, winter depression, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT teaches mindfulness and other skills to help people manage intense, painful emotions.

In 2006 I opened my counseling practice on Forum Boulevard, moving to my downtown location in 2012. Since 2010 I have also been on the staff at the MU Counseling Center, which has been a wonderful opportunity to serve the unique needs of college students. My third professional role is at the MU School of Social Work, where since 2007 I have taught a class on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to students earning their master’s degree.

I have been married for more than 18 years and my wife and I have one child. In addition to my other roles, I had the incredible privilege of being a stay-at-home dad for several years.

My professional qualifications include: