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Tony VandenHoek, Intern

Phone: 616-426-9034 ext. 605

Email: tvandenhoek@secondstorycounseling.com

My Story

I am currently pursuing a M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. I graduated from Kuyper College with a double major in Bible & Theology and Youth Ministry.

My story is a tale of two worlds. I grew up in the country of Haiti, while my adult years have been spent in West Michigan. Both the contrasts and similarities between the two has influenced the way I view the world. And just as my experiences shaped who I am today, the same is true for you. We are all journeying through life, and it is a privilege for me to be welcomed into your story. Of all the people I have met in all the locations I have traveled to, I have found the following to be true: though each story is unique, everyone faces challenges, and everyone has the need to be heard, to be valued, and to be loved. 

Outside of counseling and school, most of my time is spent with my family. My greatest joy is spending time with my wife and two kids. We enjoy playing games, reading books, building Legos, playing pretend with dolls and other toys, spending time outside, and being goofy together. We have five pets, including a cat, two guinea pigs, and two rabbits. My favorite personal pastime is reading, especially the fantasy genre. One reason why I enjoy counseling is because I am given the opportunity to enter into the story of each person and journey through it together. 

My Approach

I aim to be someone who is loving, values who you are as an individual, and listens attentively to your story. I view counseling as a collaborate process in which we work together to meet your unique needs. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to counseling, and so I prefer an eclectic approach. Some I have found effective are cognitive-behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, narrative therapy, and mindfulness-based approaches—though I am always open to discovering others to meet your needs more effectively. I place immense value on the counseling relationship, approaching it from a person-centered perspective, and focus early sessions on building rapport. When engaging with children in counseling, I also incorporate developmentally appropriate play and art techniques.

What You Can Expect

Trusting people is difficult, especially when it comes to the vulnerable areas of our lives where pain and suffering exist. So, you can expect early sessions to focus on building a foundation of mutual trust. Together we will create an environment of safety where you are free to be and express who you are. I will give you my full, nonjudgmental attention as you share your story. Then we will collaboratively explore your needs, set goals, and problem-solve as we journey towards hope and healing.


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