About Rebecca Swenson
I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who provides evidence-based treatments for anxiety, OCD, eating disorders, and other emotional/behavioral health issues. I work primarily with children, adolescents, young adults, and their families, providing individual and family therapy. I also have specialized training in pediatric psychology, and provide therapy to youth with co-occurring psychological and medical problems (e.g., issues coping with chronic illness/medical procedures), as well as to those affected by family illness. Additionally, I offer parent coaching for concerns ranging from promoting the social/emotional development of a new infant to increasing compliance and emotional regulation skills in your preschooler with positive parenting strategies. If your child is having an issue that you think I could help with, please reach out today! I would love to see how I can help your child and family to thrive.
License: #6301017725 (Michigan)
Education and Clinical Training
After graduating from Kalamazoo College with a BA in Psychology and English, I earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University at Albany, State University of New York in 2007. I completed my predoctoral clinical internship at the University of Arizona Medical School in Tucson, Arizona and a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship in pediatric psychology at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. In 2021, I earned a Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH) Endorsement as an Infant Family Associate.
In 2010, I joined the faculty of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University as an Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Division of Pediatric Psychology. In addition to clinical research on prevention programing and intervention development, I provided clinical psychological services through the Child & Adolescent Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic of Hasbro Children’s Hospital from 2010-2015. My family then spent several years living abroad in Asia, traveling, studying Mandarin, and serving as a consultant to children’s developmental clinics, schools, and hospitals. In 2019, we returned to my hometown, Traverse City, Michigan, and I have since opened a private practice to provide high-quality, evidence-based psychological treatment to children, adolescents, young adults, and families in the Grand Traverse area.
I have taught college courses in child development, psychological disorders, and research design as a teaching fellow at the University at Albany and as an adjunct at Skidmore College, a liberal arts college in Saratoga Springs, New York. I greatly enjoy working with students and am available for psychological training and educational workshops. Contact me to discuss teaching/training opportunities.
A Little More About Me
I grew up in Northern Michigan and am thrilled to have returned home with my husband to raise our children near their grandparents. My husband and I are proud parents to our two biological children and also excited to be newly licensed foster parents. When I’m not at work, I enjoy looking for Petoskey stones at the beach, hiking and camping, cross-country skiing, knitting, and volunteering at my children’s schools or as a mentor with Generations Ahead. Our family also enjoys exploring new countries and cultures. Some of the places we’ve been together include Spain, Australia, Dubai, Borneo, Thailand, Macau, and Cambodia. I speak a little bit (yi dian dian) of Mandarin from our time living abroad in Hangzhou, China, and can often be found trying to learn more. One of my all-time favorite games to play with friends is mahjong. And of course, because I’m a native Michigan gal, I play euchre too. When I meet with your child, we might “break the ice” by playing a slightly easier game such as Jenga or I-Spy.
Birch is one of my favorite trees of Northern Michigan so when I discovered that the birch tree symbolizes growth, renewal, stability, and adaptability, “Birchwood Psychology” just felt right. Proof of this is seen in the ability of birch to easily re-populate areas heavily damaged by fire or clearings. What a beautiful image for entering therapy! Like children, birch trees are quick growing and can renew themselves after a stressful event. And like the birch, good therapy will help your child to grow up healthy and rooted, emotionally stable and adaptable to change in their environment.