Making Relationships Work

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IMG_2447edit Elizabeth Sawyer Danowski (LMSW, ACSW, RPT-S) and Dr. Sara Dupuis (PH.D, LP, LMFT) became fast friends. Danowski is a licensed clinical social worker who has found her calling working with kids. Her business partner, Dr. Dupuis a licensed psychologist and marriage and family therapist, completes the puzzle by working with parents, couples and families. Together they have worked to build therapy space, which is a safe haven for families to build lasting relationships.

IMG_2473edit “I think really what we both do is help families learn how to communicate with the language of emotion,” said Dupuis.

The women became friends nearly five years ago when a common thread kept pulling them together.

“I would hear about Sara from my patients, they would ask me my opinion and then say ‘Sara said the same thing,’ and it just kept happening. Our view on a lot of things just aligned so closely. I had to meet her,” said Danowski. “We have a lot in common. I like her and her kids and her husband; we just get along. We are like-minded but balance each other out. “

Although the women have a lot in common, their areas of practice are different, but just like their relationship, complementary.

IMG_2497editDanowski works with children using play therapy, allowing kids to express themselves through games and make believe. A favorite among Danowski’s patients is the sand tray that takes center stage in her office, where kids of all ages can tell their own story using action figures and toys.

Dupuis works to aid her patients through her work with System’s Theory, which helps each family member identify their role within the whole system. Together the pair can work with every family to help build a stronger communication system.

“Systems Theory, in simple form, is looking to see how each member effects and interacts with the other members of a family,” said Dupuis. “When Liz and I come together we, in a way, can see the whole family. You might need to bring all the people in a family in to see how the system works and how they all support each other. Everyone owns a little piece of that.”

What brought the two women together has also helped them build a successful business based on collaboration and support. Each drives to accomplish the same thing – building communication, trust and love for families.

“I work with couples and families to improve relationships and help families function together. I primarily work with marital issues, sexual issues, blended families, anxiety and depression,” said Dupuis.

IMG_2475edit“I work with families too, but in a different way. I help kids feel happier, whether it’s at school or at home. I help families learn how to make changes so everyone can get along better,” said Danowski. “I work with depression, anxiety or behavioral issues like ADHD or maybe a child who is acting out in school. My clients sometimes are dealing with parents that are divorcing or maybe it’s a blended family situation. I work with kids who are experiencing grief, a large change in their family or trauma.”


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Ami Iceman-Haueter

Ami Iceman-Haueter

Ami Iceman-Hauter is the Brand Manager at M3 Group in downtown Lansing. Iceman is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelors degree in creative advertising.

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