Took all those not-so-good "qualities"​ about myself and made a living out of it. Award winning author, public speaker & impresario of life.


    licensed therapist

    As Jung said, the privilege of a life time is to become who we truly are, are you living your true life intention, are you being your authentic self? If not, let's work together.


    published author

    Writing is my passion. I've authored two books, and currently act as a freelance writer for the Georgetown Gazette.



    #beyoufindhappy is a revolution to help people find happiness. Helping YOU to be the best YOU, you can be. Join us at one of our workshops or retreats, or simply join us on the site for weekly inspiration via our blog!

  • schedule an appointment


  • WHO I AM

    Mommy, Wife of an Ocean Angler, Photo Crazy, Hippie at Heart

    on paper

    Award winning author, licensed psychotherapist and former Managing Editor of the Georgetown Gazette (owned and operated by the Mountain Democrat -California's oldest newspaper- a division of McNaughton Newspapers). Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism Communications, and a Master's of Arts in Psychology.

    the real me

    Down to Earth, honest & full of laughter. I live in Northern California with my husband and our son, Tucker. We have a full house including fish, chickens, ducks, a Golden Retriever (Dennis), and a rescue cat named Stilly. We are an organic family working towards self-sustainability.

    I draw inspiration from my hometown in the Sierra Nevada's and have a passion for traveling around the world (16 countries & counting). I have a great love of the ocean and everything in it, especially crab with a side of drawn butter. I rarely find myself without an activity whether it be hiking, yoga, tinkering in my garden, golfing, reading or spending time outside. In my most simplest I love poetic quotes and all things metaphysical.

    other fun things

    I take a tremendous amount of photos. My brain remembers moments in pictures, I am rarely without a camera, and absolutely love capturing candid, inspirational adventure and life stories. A tiny fraction of those photos can be seen on Instagram.

  • Counseling

    California State Licensed Psychotherapist #90280

    What to expect

    Finding a counselor can be challenging, my approach is collaborative, down to earth, and honest. I currently work with kids, teens & families who have experienced trauma, grief, loss and child abuse. As well as couples who are struggling with communication in their relationships, and individual women who are working towards finding a balance in life from the many pressures modern women experience.

    Our collaborative goal is to help you gain the internal clarity you need to live your best life. I believe we each have undiscovered (and sometimes discovered!) elements within ourselves that contribute to difficulties in our relationships with our loved ones, at work, and even with perfect strangers. Together, we can work towards mindfulness, alleviating stress and anxiety to work towards finding happiness and contentment.

    Through my experiences as a volunteer in trauma centers as a Pet Assisted Therapist, and as an EAGALA certified therapist, I have witnessed the amazing way that animals have an innate ability to heal. I can refer clients to local Equine & Pet Assisted Therapy programs. I currently offer a Be You: Find Happy workshop as well as Love & Logic parenting & educator classes, for more information about groups, see below.


    My location is just minutes from Highway 50, in a comfortable private practice setting. At South Fork Counseling & Mediation Center, you will be surrounded by team of holistic practitioners. When you arrive for your scheduled session you'll enjoy a confidential lobby area with soothing music, magazines, tea and water. For more about South Fork Center, please click the link above.

  • Love & Logic Parenting Classes

    Love & Logic Parenting is a proven method for raising happy kids, built around the science of love. In this 6- week class, parents learn skills for how to handle stressful parenting situations, poor grades and behavior, and tools for raising self-confident, motivated children.

    Be You Find Happy Workshop

    During this 3-hour workshop you will learn tools to build self confidence, silence negative self talk allowing you to challenge your fears and find happiness.

    Together we'll find your direction to happiness, regardless of the life circumstances. Be it marriage troubles, past trauma, day to day exhaustion or financial woes. Happiness is a choice; we can help you choose you.


    Available in paperback, Kindle & at Audible

    Award Winning Memoir

    Third Place Books Review

    "Teetering on Disaster is a funny and poignant autobiographical novel, which tells how she fought for her American Dream through the Sierra Nevada's and beyond."

    Laura Delaney of Rediscovered Book Shop in Boise, ID says "Michaela Renee is friendly, personable and all around lovely."

    Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos, Author of Silent Sorority included it in her Amazon Listmania as one of the "eclectic mix of memoirs that take a look into the unpredictable and absurd ways of life written by women with a sense of humor."

    4.5 Stars On Amazon

    San Francisco Book Review

    "Sarcastic and witty, 29-year-old Alex Swanson planned to be a serious journalist until her stepping-stone-into-the-business talk radio position became a path to nowhere. Now the Suits in charge are offering up her dream job on a platter-if only she'll help them out with one little project: an endorsement deal for CreateADate's online dating service. All they're asking is for her to broadcast her personal life for listeners' entertainment. Never mind that she lives with her grandparents and hasn't been on a date since high school prom. Still, Alex finds a way to put her own spin on the assignment and enlists the help of her conspiracy-theorist Grampa and reality-television-loving grandma Moe as she tries to figure out the dating world. Along the way, she must evaluate her objectives in life and love and finally face demons she'd thought long buried. Alex's self-effacing wit paired with Moe's flamboyant enthusiasm makes for an entertaining story as Alex wades through her tragic past."