HeadshotHello and thank you for visiting my website.

I am a clinical psychologist in Birmingham, Michigan in the metro Detroit area, and Cheboygan, Michigan in Northern Michigan, focusing on the treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders.

In my practice, as a certified Cognitive Therapist through the Academy of Cognitive Therapy in Philadelphia, I use cognitive therapy and other methods including psychodrama, dialectical behavioral therapy, mindfulness and EMDR collaboratively with people in the transformative process of psychotherapy to grow and learn more fulfilling ways to regulate thoughts, moods and behaviors so that they no longer cause unpleasant or self-destructive outcomes. In addition to teaching the skill of cognitive therapy, I work with people holistically utilizing many scientifically supportive neurobehavioral, relational and action methods through individual and group settings to integrate mind, body and spirit.

I treat a wide-range of emotional difficulties including anxiety and depressive disorders, as well as substance and other abuse and dependence problems. At a deeper level, clients and I often work together to strengthen personal authenticity, meaningfulness and direction, emotional connectedness, and interpersonal effectiveness and satisfaction. I also provide family and couples therapy, and psychodramatic group work, addressing life conflicts and increasing resilience and psychological well-being.

My work includes the treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders, and substance and other abuse and dependence.  Having worked in the expertise area of dual diagnosis for over 29 years, I understand the importance of providing clients with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, and utilizing state of the art, clinically proven, empirically based treatment methods. Other conditions that occur with people who may benefit from individual therapy include…

  • Depression or other mood disorders
  • Anxiety, fear, specific phobias, panic attacks or obsessions and compulsions (OCD), general worrying
  • A major life change such as loss of job, loss of driver’s license, legal proceedings, incarceration, illness
  • Loss due to death, divorce, or abandonment
  • Desire to improve personal or professional relationships
  • Desire to heal from experience of abuse or trauma
  • Low self-esteem or other blockages which keep you or a loved one from achieving goals
  • Loneliness, social disconnect or social anxiety
  • Feeling disconnected from yourself or the direction or meaning in life
  • Difficulty controlling your drinking or drug use, or desire to explore abstinence or moderate drinking possibilities
  • Difficulty with a loved one with a mental health or addictive disorder
  • Drawing boundaries, keeping limits, finding your voice, learning not to rescue others.

One of the goals I have with all of my clients is to help them with the initial feelings they may have about being in therapy. I never judge clients, but instead, I help them understand that everything we talk about is confidential, and help them feel safe. Whether you are searching for a therapist for yourself or for a friend or loved one, my hope is that you will find this web site to be both informative and helpful. After helping people like you for many years, I know how painful psychological stress or an addiction can be, for you or a loved one, but I also know how much better life can become with treatment.

I feel honored to be involved in the important personal journeys of people’s lives. I hope visiting this web site will be your first step toward a better life!

Thank you for visiting.


Dr. Elizabeth A. Corby

Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Guide to the DSM-5 for Substance Use Disorders

If your Michigan operator’s license has been revoked for multiple drunk driving arrests, then a hearing will be required before your license can be reinstated.  At this hearing, you will be required to submit a substance abuse evaluation.  This is defined by the applicable administrative rules as follows:

(o) “Substance abuse evaluation” means a written report regarding the petitioner on a form prescribed by the department that includes a statement of the testing instruments used and the test results, if any exist, a complete treatment and support group history, diagnoses, prognoses, and relapse histories, including those relapse histories that predate the beginning of the most recent treatment program.

To help lawyers understand what a substance abuse evaluation is and to help them understand how substance use disorders are diagnosed, Dr. Elizabeth Corby co-authored an article on this topic with Michigan DUI defense lawyer Patrick T. Barone.  The article is entitled Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Guide to the DSM-5 for Substance Use Disorders and appeared in the November 2016 SADO Criminal Defense Newsletter. This article covers the basics relative to how substance use disorders are evaluated for court purposes, including driver license restoration hearings.

This is an important article because many defense lawyers have little knowledge about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), or even how substance use disorders are diagnosed.  And yet, as indicated, substance use evaluations are required for a driver license review hearing.  Also, the DSM is updated regularly, and the most recent update contains significant changes in the way substance use disordered are diagnosed.  There are new diagnostic codes as well, and a failure to use the updated information can result in a failure to meet your burden of proof at the driver license appeal hearing, even if all the other evidence you present is in order.

A copy of this article may be downloaded here.  Please contact Dr. Corby with any questions about the article, or to schedule a substance use evaluation.



Bi-Weekly Personal Growth Group

  • Bi-Weekly Wednesday Psychodrama Group
    with Dr. Corby

    This 2 1/2 hour twice monthly psychodrama group is an on-going personal growth co-ed group for men and women. These groups will use psychodramatic techniques, sociometry, and many other empirically-supported methods to enhance personal development. In this group we address a wide variety of issues, such as depression, anxiety, distorted thinking, substance abuse, feelings of not belonging, codependency, shame, trauma, as well as bodywork emotional release, wholeness and mind-body wellness.

    The current group, which has existed for a decade, consists of a small group of highly motivated individuals who are experienced with the experiential action group therapy method known more broadly as psychodrama. New members are usually easily role-trained in the method by other more experienced members and the facilitators.

    A typical psychodrama session will usually consist of three phases: the warm-up to action, the action or drama, followed by group sharing. Through the psychodrama action method, the protagonist and other group members develop insight into past inter and intrapersonal issues, traumas, present challenges, and future goals and find healing through psychologically and physically working through unresolved issues. Group members are the healing agents for one another.

    Psychodrama incorporates and involves both the body and the mind and is effective toward the treatment of a broad range of issues and concerns. For example, persons experiencing relationship challenges, overcoming past trauma, loss or addiction may find psychodrama to be a profoundly healing experience. The therapeutic group provides those in treatment for these and a variety of mood, emotional or personality disorders with a safe space and format to process and communicate  difficulties, pain or challenges.

    Each session is different, but generally begins with the directors checking in with the protagonist from the last session, and a brief processing of their work and group building. Then, after warm-up, the group will typically move into action with activities and/or the selection of a new protagonist. Break out sessions periodically enable members to share on a smaller level and get to know each other individually. Many psychodrama interventions are utilized each session which may consist of everything from empty chair work all the way through to more complex dramas involving multiple scenes and auxiliaries.  Participants therefore will have the opportunity to experience the psychodramatic roles of protagonist, auxiliary, double, witness and audience member.

    The Wednesday afternoon psychodrama therapy group is open to anyone wishing to explore and experience the profound therapeutic value of psychodrama and group therapy. No psychodrama experience is necessary; however, participants must make a commitment to the group to attend every session. No drop ins are allowed as this is a working therapy group. Individuals interested in simply trying psychodrama are advised to enroll in one of our daylong, weekend or intensive workshops.

    Additionally, this group requires and incorporates high levels of individual and group trust, safety, and confidentiality. Consequently, when selecting new group member candidates, it is necessary for us to carefully consider group dynamics and sociometry, and this requires that any potential new group candidates be prescreened. The group must also be prepared for the possible entry of a new group member.

    Cost is $75 per two and a half hour session. Insurance may reimburse part of the cost. Contact me for more information.

The Trial Lawyer’s Use of Psychodrama

Psychodrama is a deep action method developed by Jacob Levy Moreno (1889-1974), in which people enact scenes from their lives, dreams or fantasies in an effort to gain new insights and understandings, and practice new and more satisfying behaviors.[i]

Psychodrama is an amazingly versatile modality.  As a method of healing it has been used in group therapy and in one-on-one therapy (as an extension of Freudian “talk” therapy).  And Sociodrama, as a sub-set of psychodrama , had even more far reaching application, and allows further expansion of the method’s versatility.

Sociodrama is a type of psychodrama, but rather than using the methods to address individual issues, sociodrama identifies and explores group issues.  It is “a learning method that creates deep understanding of the social systems that shape us individually and collectively”[ii]

Sociodrama, is used in the classroom and in businesses.  It is also used for exploring literature and deepening religious understanding, such as with bibliodrama.

A blend of psychodrama and sociodrama is also used by trial lawyers. According to psychodramatist John Nolte, “as many as 1500 trial lawyers have been exposed to psychodrama through Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer College.”[iii]  Lawyers (staff and students) “have gone far beyond this goal (of personal development) by developing unique and creative ways of utilizing the psychodramatic method in training and their work.”[iv]

It is fascinating to observe how creative and spontaneous trial lawyers are and can be when bringing the tools of psychodrama to the courtroom.  For example, lawyers will often use the various methods of role reversal, doubling, chair back, and soliloquy to help deepen their understanding of their client’s case.  This can allow them to become better story-tellers in the courtroom.

Trial lawyers use psychodrama to increase their own creativity and spontaneity. They can then use the information they gain from these exercises to help bring their cases to life.

According to one lawyer deeply steeped in the method:

Trials are frequently likened to a drama. The comparison is an easy one to accept since both theater and trial involve storytelling. One of the lessons we can take from the theater is the notion that credibility originates with the inner feelings the actor is experiencing and not the action itself.[v]

As finally, as John Nolte eloquently explains, trial lawyers “have reinforced strongly my long-held conviction that psychodrama is indeed the road to spontaneity-creativity and that psychodrama is for everybody.”[vi]



[i] Garcia, Buchanan, Current Approaches in Drama Therapy, Chapter 9, pg.162 (2000).

[ii] Browne, R. Towards a framework for sociodrama. Thesis for Board of Examiners of the Australian and New Zealand Psychodrama Association, (2005).

[iii] Nolte, Non-Clinical Psychodrama: Lawyers and the Psychodramatic Method, The Journal of Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy, Vol. 60, No. 2, pg. 7 (2012).

[iv] Id.

[v] Cole, Psychodrama and the Training of Trial Lawyers; Finding the Story, The Warrior, Winter (2002).

[vi][vi] Nolte, Non-Clinical Psychodrama: Lawyers and the Psychodramatic Method, The Journal of Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy, Vol. 60, No. 2, pg. 13 (2012).

Cognitive Therapy for Substance Abuse

Here’s an interesting article by well-known and respected Dr. Kadden at the University of Connecticut, explaining in great detail the functional analysis and approach to substance abuse treatment from the cognitive therapy perspective. It is written for other psychologists, so it contains psycho-lingo, but is very descriptive for anyone interested in this level of understanding of our approach as cognitive therapists:


How to Find the Right Therapist

Once you have made the decision to seek treatment for your psychological and/or addiction concern, the next thing you will need to decide is with whom to treat.  You will also need to make this decision as you look for someone to prepare you substance abuse evaluation for your Michigan Driver License Restoration Hearing.

One thing to consider is the specialized background of your particular therapist.  It is also important for you to have a good professional relationship with the person you choose.

Keep in mind that the area of addiction medicine is very complex and does require specialization.  Also, and I know this is confusing to the public, training levels of professionals vary widely and the term “therapist” tells you very little about the person’s education level.

Master Degree Therapists:

People that have obtained master’s degree level training often call themselves counselors, therapists, psychotherapists, social workers or limited-licensed psychologists.  By Michigan law they may not call themselves “clinical psychologists” because this title is reserved exclusively for PhD level training.

Most master’s degree therapists have anywhere from 1 ½ to 3 years of graduate training after the college degree. You should also be aware that there are health care workers who do not have any or very minimal formal college training who can call themselves counselors.

Clinical Psychologist:

To add to the confusion, there are different kinds of clinical psychologists which depend on the type of specialized training.  Some PhD level psychologists have training that is geared toward research only while others such as myself have PhD training that is geared toward research and treatment.

Typically, clinical psychologists have over 10 years of higher education.  Clinical psychologists must complete a doctoral dissertation or independent full-scale research project as a requirement for the degree. Many clinical psychologists continue research and continue publishing research throughout their careers. At the early part of my career I did research and publishing in the area of cognitive behavioral therapy and addiction and treatment of addiction.  I now devote my practice solely to seeing patients.

After completing their “formal” training, clinical psychologists also must work in the field for one year in internship before being granted the final degree. Then they must pass a grueling state licensing exam which they cannot even take until they have been practicing in the field for two years after receiving their PhDs. In addition, many psychologists like myself, undergo even more training, such as my additional two year post-doctoral fellowship and year-long training for certification in cognitive therapy through the Academy of Cognitive Therapy in Philadelphia.

Finally, once they jump through all these hoops and can finally practice independently (whereas most other counselors, incidentally, can never can practice independently, but must always be supervised), PhDs generally partake in continued education to stay up-to-date on research and techniques to keep them on top of the field.

Because of all this dual training clinical psychologists are true “scientists-practitioners,” and the best always keep their pulse on the cutting edge of biological and psychosocial treatment research, while bringing the developments of science to you in the treatment office. Many clinical psychologists also serve as faculty members at major colleges and universities.

Knowing the background of your evaluator and/or therapist can help you make an informed choice of the best person to meet your needs, and can make a big difference in your treatment outcome.

How I Can Help With Your Driver License Restoration Case

If your Michigan driver’s license has been revoked or suspended you may have a need to seek treatment for a drug or alcohol problem.  In fact, it is likely that such treatment will be necessary in order for you to regain your driving privileges.

At the office of Dr. Elizabeth A. Corby we are here to help.  For over two decades I have been helping individuals to overcome their substance abuse problems through cognitive therapy, alcohol treatment and drug counseling. 

I may also refer you to an in-patient or out-patient program, or recommend a 12 step program with counseling and aftercare follow-up. 

If you are ready to show long term abstinence, then I can write a substance abuse evaluation to assist your lawyer in a driver license restoration hearing.