Thomas Cliff, JD, LMSW

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I am a fifth-generation Detroiter (using that term in its broad sense).  Following high school, I graduated from Amherst College and Harvard Law School.  Not quite finding my niche in private law practice, I turned to the trust and investment aspect of banking.  When the time came to move on, I decided on graduate school to train as a psychotherapist, and earned my MSW from Wayne State University.  Since then I have worked in clinic settings and also in private practice.  This is by far the most rewarding work I have found.  I am grateful to use my life experience in the service of clients.
A theme through my journey is education.  To deepen my appreciation of the astonishing complexity of our emotional lives, I continue to make use of courses at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute and the Michigan Psychoanalytic Council, as well as continuing education classes and professional supervision by a noted psychoanalyst. 
In my training and my work I have learned an important difference between a good friend and a therapist.  When we are in difficulty, having a good friend to talk with is a blessing, because no one should have to go it alone.  A good friend wants the best for us, wants our pain to let up, wants us to feel better.  But friends rarely are trained to listen carefully, with acceptance, without judgment, without immediately telling us what we need to do.  A good therapist brings patience and empathy to the desire to help.
Years working with affluent individuals and families taught me that prosperity does not guarantee freedom from trauma and the anxiety and alienation that can follow in its wake.  Nor does prosperity ensure rewarding relationships; far from it.  I am able to understand this life context and to appreciate the complexity it can bring.

Thomas Cliff Reaches

Grosse Pointe MI