Michelle Topal MSW, LCSW, Marriage & Family Therapy in Raleigh, North Carolina, 27609

Michelle Topal


Michelle Topal


Professions: Marriage & Family Therapist, Mental Health Counselor, Psychotherapist
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.
Primary Credential: Licensed Clinical Social Worker - C003891
Billing and Insurance:

I don't currently accept insurance, but I can provide documentation if clients wish to submit to an insurance company for "out of network" benefit coverage


111 Windel Drive
Suite 213
Raleigh, North Carolina 27609
5417 S Miami Blvd
Durham, North Carolina 27703

My Approach to Helping

I know it's not easy to seek help and confront the concerns you are experiencing. I am here to help you explore the obstacles you are facing and find the path that is best for you. I believe that we are all capable of creating change in our lives and I try to create a safe, accepting space for you to see what is possible for you. Talking about struggles and finding solutions is not easy, but I work to make it as comfortable and safe as possible. In coming to see me or another therapist in my group practice, you will feel cared for, heard and understood. I will help you find practical solutions, different ways to think about your situation and options, and have a life that is full and meaningful. My approach is informal, straight-forward, honest, caring and genuine. It can also be more structured and goal-directed, if this is preferable. I am committed to making it safe to express sometimes confusing and conflicting thoughts and feelings and figure out what they mean to you and the life you want to have. Call me. I want to help you begin making your life more of what you want it to be.

More Info About My Practice

I am the owner of Change for Living Counseling, PLLC and Raleigh Counseling Collaborative. At my group practices, there are therapists with diverse backgrounds and specialties. It's important to find a counselor that helps you feel comfortable and understood, so contact us to see who may be the right fit for you.

-$95-150/50 min individual session (rates vary depending on service & therapist level of education)

-Are offered on a limited basis.
Please discuss with us any financial hardship that might impact your ability to pay our self-pay rates. I know things have been difficult for a lot of people, so we have options to lower rates in a limited number of cases.

-Call us to find out what insurance we take.
The providers at my practice take insurance, though which ones they take varies from therapist to therapist. Due to issues of confidentiality/privacy I limit involving insurance companies in client treatment. However, I do accept some insurance, so let me know if you have insurance that you would like to use.

-Cash, check & credit card (through Paypal accepted)

-Evening & Weekend hours available
We're here when you need us. In order to accommodate people's schedules, we do have evening and weekend hours available.

Please call now at 919/807-1454 to see how we can help.

Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With

At Change for Living Counseling PLLC and Raleigh Counseling Collaborative we have a number of therapists, with different areas of specialty/expertise. While I have focused on addressing the unique needs of the LGBT community (this includes those along the continuum of sexual and gender identities), couples and family relationships, and child/family/parenting concerns, the other counselors in my practice are here to help you address many different concerns/issues. We are here to help if you are having overwhelming feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety, and panic, as well as challenges related to ADHD, OCD, hoarding, and trauma/PTSD. We also have someone who is uniquely qualified as a yoga teacher and psychologist and who incorporates these offering alternative, research proven strategies. We offer therapy to individuals, couples, especially LGBT couples, adults, kids, and families. We welcome the opportunity to help you with whatever challenges you are facing. If we are not a good fit, we are committed to helping you find a therapist or practice that is.

Theoretical Influences that Guide My Work

I believe that we all have struggles, including those of us in the helping professions. I believe it is part of the human condition and it unites us in many ways. Because of this, I see most of what we do as purposeful attempts to get our needs met that are adaptive and "normal", but that may become problematic when they are no longer working for us. I see challenges and healing as a combination of mind and body. My approach to helping myself and others is to incorporate changing ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. In this effort, I look at applying research and our understanding of the brain and it's functioning to gain insight into how change is best created. This includes how the therapy relationship can help to heal the brain and increase feelings of connection, so that relationships outside the therapy office are improved.

Importance of the Client-Therapist Alliance

We at Change for Living Counseling are committed to making people feel safe, understood and accepted in their experience with us. The most important aspect of therapy is the relationship between you and the therapist. To that end, we want you to feel that you can trust us to care for your feelings and needs in a way that is healing unto itself. Often it is in the unconditional acceptance found in this relationship that change and healing occur. This is not necessarily because this relationship is entirely unique, but because it offers the opportunity to feel responded to, that provides unique benefits. We want you to feel in talking with us, that we are authentic, care and have the knowledge and experience to put this into practice in a way that makes you feel understood and heard.

Video Message

Please note: The video above was submitted by Michelle Topal, and any views or opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. We do our best to ensure videos align with our mission and vision; however, if you find there is inappropriate content, please email us or call 888-563-2112 ext. 2.

Image Gallery

Services I Provide

  • Clinical Supervision
  • Consultation
  • Family Therapy
  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling

Ages I Work With

  • Children
  • Teens
  • Adults
  • Elders


  • English

Groups I Work With

    I am here to help you feel understood and to create a space for you to address the issues you are facing. I have over 25 years experience working with kids, especially teens, and their families. I also have spent over 25 years education and experience with issues of sexual orientation/sexual identity and working in the LGBT community. I also specialize in working with couples, including LGBT couples, to help them improve connection, communication and trust. In addition to my areas of expertise, the other experienced and skilled therapists at Change for Living Counseling PLLC have wide ranging specialties and are available to help, including anxiety/panic, PTSD, sexual abuse/trauma, depression, loss/grief, substance abuse and addiction, and cutting edge approaches incorporating meditation/yoga and neuroscience.

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Abandonment
  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment Issues
  • Blended Family Issues
  • Child and/or Adolescent Issues
  • Communication Problems
  • Control Issues
  • Depression
  • Divorce / Divorce Adjustment
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Emotional Overwhelm
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Family Problems
  • Fear
  • Forgiveness
  • Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
  • Health / Illness / Medical Issues
  • Identity Issues
  • Inadequacy
  • Inattention, Impulsivity, and Hyperactivity (ADHD)
  • LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Issues
  • Men's Issues
  • Midlife Crisis / Midlife Transition
  • Oppositional and Defiant Behavior in Children and Teen
  • Parenting
  • Perfectionism
  • Phobias
  • Relationships and Marriage
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Doubt
  • Self-Esteem
  • Sensitivity to Criticism
  • Shame
  • Stress
  • Trust Issues
  • Values Clarification
  • Women's Issues
  • Worry
  • Worthlessness
  • Young Adult Issues

Types of Therapy

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Anger Management
  • Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT)
  • Body-Mind Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Conflict Resolution Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT)
  • Integration of different therapy models
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Parent Work
  • Process Oriented Psychology
  • Psychodynamic
  • Reality Therapy
  • Relationship Enhancement Therapy
  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
  • Systems Theory /Therapy
Visit Website

See other therapists in Raleigh, NC.

See other therapists in Durham, NC.

By using this site, you signify your assent and agreement to the Terms of Service.