Michelle Mates, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

counselor therapist social worker anxiety depression relationship trauma stress Indianapolis Fishers Carmel Noblesville Westfield

Online Appointments Available!


*Online sessions available by appointment only

I believe that the success of therapy begins with establishing rapport and connection between client and clinician.   This connection helps us to achieve safety and vulnerability, and these are essential to the therapeutic process. 

My therapy style is conversational and direct.  I believe it is my role to be empathetic and kind, but also help a client see things from multiple perspectives. 

While I enjoy using a wide variety of theoretical approaches, I use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) regularly.  To use a metaphor commonly used in ACT, pretend there are 2 people climbing 2 mountains side-by-side.  The person climbing the opposite mountain may have a better view of what is ahead for the other climber because they have a different vantage point.  As a clinician, I will help guide my clients in their own journey and support decisions they make for their lives.  I utilize tools to help clients determine the root of various behaviors, how these behaviors affect the functioning of their lives, and if these behaviors move them toward or away from who/what matters to them. 

I also work with clients to live in their reasonable mind.  This is a DBT concept. People tend to live in their emotional or rational mind.  It is important to be able to live in our reasonable mind, which is a combination of the two.  I like to think of my approach to therapy from a quote I once saw:    

“Come into a room not as a fixer, advice-giver, or critic, but as a person who offers safe-harbor to another soul.” - unknown source 

Areas of Expertise:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Grief
  • Effective Communication
  • Relationship Issues
  • Regulating Emotions

I graduated from Butler University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.  I enjoyed teaching kindergarten, second and third grade in both the public and private setting.  During my 11 years of teaching, I obtained a Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Leadership from Ball State University, although I never worked formally in administration in the school setting as my husband and I started a family.   After taking time away from teaching for a few years to be at home with my children, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in social work (MSW).  While pursuing my degree, I worked in youth abuse and suicide prevention as a program manager.  I have been a facilitator in these areas for both adults and children.  I have volunteered for Brooke’s Place which is an organization that assists children through the grief process.  Currently, I work in both a community mental health center (CMHC) as well as in private practice with Family Counseling Associates.  In the CMHC setting, I provide individual therapy to adults and interact daily with medication providers, psychologists, and colleagues to create a cohesive and collaborative experience for the client.  I have also had the opportunity to facilitate psychoeducation groups, do intake assessments and diagnoses, and participate in ongoing education for other mental health professionals.  

Ready to schedule your first appointment with Michelle?

Contact our office today to schedule your first appointment with Michelle.