William P. Kooistra, Ph.D.

About William P. Kooistra Clinical Psychologist

William P. Kooistra, PHD

I received my Doctoral degree from Bowling Green State University in 1990 after completing an internship at Albany Medical Center in Albany, NY.   In 1990, I took a position as an outpatient psychotherapist with Holland Community Hospital.  In 1993, I began work as a psychologist in private practice in Holland where I worked for seventeen years.  I moved my practice to the present setting in Grand Haven in 2010.

In regards to my approach to psychotherapy, I believe that it is fundamental that therapy begins with active listening on the part of the therapist.  It is important that therapists avoid imposing their ideas, models, and techniques on clients, but rather seek to develop a solid understanding of clients’ experience and needs and then to draw from a variety of approaches to address those needs. 

I value taking a wholistic approach in which clients’ challenges can be addressed from the multiple perspectives of mind, body, and spirit.  As a psychologist, I have extensive training and experience in many different models of the mind.  Although I tend to draw from a variety of therapy models, I have been most influenced by psychoanalytic psychotherapy, existential psychotherapy, family-systems therapy, cognitive psychology, and mindfulness-based models.

In addition, I often find body-based therapies to be a beneficial adjunct in the therapy process.  For clients who have interest in exploring and addressing the ways in which their psychological stressors are connected to physical symptoms or patterns of contraction in their bodies, I draw from a variety of models of “bodywork”.   For example, I have been trained in Cranio-Sacral Therapy—a model that seeks to create greater emotional and physical health by addressing contractions or blocks in the body.  As noted above, I seek to guard against imposing any model or technique on my clients, but for those who have interest, I find that exploration of the mind-body connection can be very helpful in the growth and healing process.

Given that many of my clients also find spirituality or faith to be influential in their lives, I also seek to help them integrate these elements into their therapy process.  As whole persons, it is important to recognize that the process of growth and healing for our minds and bodies is often interwoven with the beliefs and practices that convey our deeper sense of meaning and belonging.