Client Testimonials


Our greatest satisfaction comes from watching the positive transformation of individuals, couples and families, as it unfolds. We are happy to share some of their thoughts about their experience with familyWORKZ, including the client who composed a wonderful poem.

(Note: To protect client privacy, we are not including any identifying information.)

At familyWORKZ, I have learned self-control, gained self-confidence, and through my experiences with Dr. Zierk I have learned how to move beyond survival mode.

I look at you
No longer confused
About who you were in my life
About who you will be
About walking away


Dr. Zierk has been an inspiration in my life. He has taken me from the lowest point in my life to an exceptional place. I began my journey in therapy many years ago. Seeking someone who understood me, I went from therapist to therapist feeling as though they were going through the motions - halfheartedly listening, giving advice I had already learned in books, and scheduling a next appointment because they were out of time.

At familyWORKZ, I have learned self-control, gained self-confidence, and through my experiences with Dr. Zierk I have learned how to move beyond survival mode. I have been able to get out of bed, live life everyday to the fullest, and when I begin to struggle due to the many stressors in my life, I am able to get through them with the guidance and caring of a wonderful therapist, who is available at times other than "our next appointment."

In short, Dr. Zierk is a wonderful, caring, and compassionate person who does truly does care. I strongly recommend Dr. Zierk and familyWORKZ to anyone who wants to improve their life.

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The Therapy Journey

Part 1
We walked into that room
Of strangers
Both of us for the first time
As if it were our destiny
To meet
Accidentally, purposefully
At that time, in that place.

There was something different about you,
Different from all the others I had sought help from before.
You removed my disguise with one glance
and gave me some bullshit

About intimacy...

I had to know more
So I walked into your private room
And you looked me straight in the eye,
Your gaze steady; never faltering and
So sharp it cut through the crap
Leaving me angry, confused, sad; yet so amazed
I was drawn to you like a heat seeking missile.

Tell me more...

So you excavated my dreams, my nightmares
My authentic self
Peering so deeply into my soul
I couldn't breathe
I could only cry.
You challenged me so
Harshly, unforgivably to
Live out loud.

Part 2
I screamed silently
I disguised myself
But you found me anyway
Out there
On the ledge
Ready to jump
And you calmly beckoned to me,

Come inside...

And when I whispered the words
I want to die
It hurts too much
I can't be saved
You deliberately said

Yes, you can...

And when you heard me speak my truths
You saw them for the lies they are
The false words that live deep inside me
That seared themselves across my heart
Leaving the scarred imprint
"I'm not worth it"
You tenderly said

Yes, you are...

I am a mirror, you said
Look at me and you look at your most wonderful self
But I look and I see nothing
I don't exist
And you confidently said

But you will...

I won't let you go
Until you do.

Part 3
You ask me
How strong is your brink
Because you are on it
Will it withstand
The flex of your body
Poised to leap
Away from me
And into your life?

I answer
It's strong, I think
You should know
We built it together
But ready to leap
Away from you
And into my life?

I don't know
I can only try...

Part 4
It's harder than it looks, I say
Letting go and
Grabbing onto
Something else -
This time, my life

What if I slip?
What if I fall
Down hard?
Who will be there?

You will, you say
You are capable, competent.

What if I am flooded
Again with emotions?
Who will bail me out?

You will, you say
You are courageous.

Acceptance, you pronounce
As the seeds of self doubt begin to root
Acceptance, you declare
As the winds of panic blow around me
Acceptance, you assert
As my highest aspirations collide with my deepest fears

I curve off track and each time you gently nudge me back
Acceptance, you say, you are there

If I am there
Then this must be what acceptance looks like
And I can live with that.

Part 5
I look at you
Across the half empty coffee cup
The flattened brown bag
The banana peel
And the bread crumbs

Remains of two and a half years
Between us
Casually, unimportantly strewn
The sustenance consumed and appreciated.
The pushing away from the table

The most important two and a half years
Of my life
I prepare myself to stand up
And walk away from it
Because it's time
Because I am able
Because you are no longer Z
You became D.

Hundreds of lessons later
About intimacy
About authenticity
About living
About me
I prepare myself for life post-Z.

I look at you
No longer confused
About who you were in my life
About who you will be
About walking away
From the intimacy of our former relationship
Toward the birth of something new
You will not disappear
You simply will no longer be center stage
You have stepped aside
So I can move forward.

Part 6
At the first sign of trouble
I brace my self for the sickening sweep of anxiety
Like a swelling wave
Pulling the detritus behind it
But it doesn't come

I ponder my existence
Here and now
And lift my head
And look straight ahead
And live out loud

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When I first met you, it was as part of a we. Two people, excited about starting our therapy life together. You taught us to connect during conflict; the importance of being shown love when I was being unlovable; how touch can melt the ice, secret words, and the value in speaking our deep truth.

When I next came to you it was not just as a grieving Aunt, but a grieving sister and daughter. I had watched my family's greatest fear come to fruition and you gave me back my equilibrium, my balance, when it had been lost, seemingly forever.

And then, after he spoke his deepest truth, and I admitted mine, I came to you...alone. All of my dreams that had been within in my grasps were shattered, and my heart was broken, my ego torn apart, and my soul left empty. Like a beacon in a storm, you were my light. You helped me to focus on me, contact my deep little secret, and to learn know who I was again, for the first time. You taught me about cliffs, about falling, and you offered to be my catcher. Over this past year, you have given me the insight to identify that moment before my fall and to take a step back away from the ledge. While I don't succeed every time, I have begun to catch be my own Catcher in the Rye.

Your guidance, compassion and commitment on my journey have meant so much to me. You bring love, skill and integrity into our work together. You have such wit, authenticity, and intuition. Every time you reach into your box of tricks, I am fascinated and encouraged. You have helped me to challenge my feelings of worthlessness and shame and to begin to feel a new sense of self worth, to develop healthy boundaries and to make peace with my past. Time and time again, you push me to hold onto my hope for a future that includes all of my dreams, all of my possibilities. And most amazing, most beautiful, is that I can show you me and know that you will see without judgment. To have that trust is… indescribable. You are such a gift to me and I believe, all of those who are blessed to have your presence in their life. Perhaps, that is why you have come to be called Our Family's Miracle.

Thank You, David, for helping me to not only become myself, but for insisting that I love and respect my true self.

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