The North Star is a guide - a fixed point that provides direction even when the world around it is spinning.
At North Star, we believe that it is possible to find peace and be content even in difficult times. Often, our suffering comes from avoiding suffering. But when we can hold pain gently and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, our problems can pass with more ease and we can grow more authentically - we become wiser and more connected to others.
Strength isn't the absence of vulnerability or fear. Happiness isn't the absence of sadness. Safety isn't the absence of threat. Our peace can come from knowing how to be vulnerable, how to express sadness, how to navigate threat. As long as there have been humans, there has been trauma. And there has been healing from trauma. At North Star, we trust the innate wisdom of our bodies to heal - we often just help people get their brain on board with the intuitive and natural process of healing.
We want to help people find their own ground and create their own path. We can't keep the world from spinning, and we can't change what's already happened. But, as service providers, we know that sometimes places that are supposed to be safe can sometimes cause harm instead. We are committed to safety. We want to heal trauma, not cause it. We honor the opportunity to serve, and, therefore, are actively grounded in our guiding principles.
North Star Wellness Center Co-Founders
Shari and Lauren met in 2005 when both served on the Capital Area Sexual Assault Team - Shari as the Coordinator of the MSU Sexual Assault Program and Lauren as a volunteer at a local crisis center. Lauren joined the Sexual Assault Program in 2008 and worked alongside Shari until 2015, when both women left because of concerns about how the MSU administration was responding to sexual assault and domestic violence. In 2018, they opened North Star Wellness Center in downtown Lansing with their colleague, Tamra Frei. Their goal was to provide a place for people to heal and grow - in an environment that provided safety and connection. They believe that individual wellness is greatly influenced by the people and communities around them.
Shari and Lauren decided to expand their practice and moved into a new space in the summer of 2020. Unfortunately, Shari's health declined quickly and she was unable to see the completed expansion. Lauren continues their work from the 3rd floor of the Pere Marquette Building.
Shari had another office at Psychological & Behavioral Consultants. She loved the setting in nature, the deer and wild turkeys she could see from her window, and the garden planted outside her door. She appreciated collaborating with other therapists in the building. Tamra now works full time at this practice.
MSU School of Social Work Interns
North Star is excited to partner with MSU School of Social Work to offer internships for master level students, with an additional opportunity to receive a Trauma Certificate. Students provide counseling, participate in community outreach, and work with community agencies to provide comprehensive care for marginalized populations.
Affiliated Independent Partners
North Star leases space to clinicians who own their own business but share similar values for social justice, community wellness, healthy relationships, and individual well-being.