My Approach

Thank you for visiting my page! I am happy to share a little about myself as you decide if we might be a good fit for working together.

 

I approach my work from a strengths-based, relationship-first perspective, meaning I work with you to see your unique gifts and abilities, and view our therapeutic relationship as the most critical piece of the work. It is my intention to be transparent in my approach--I do not believe that any intervention is magic. Instead, research suggests that strong and intentional therapeutic relationships are what make therapy work. Thus, I work to create a safe space where you can be honest and explore fully what you are facing--all with sensitivity to your timing and readiness. I believe in the power of animals and nature and connecting regularly with both. You will likely see one of my dogs sitting in the chair next to me during sessions. The presence of an animal can bring out a lot in us!

Further, I rely heavily on cultural-relational, feminist, and narrative therapy models. By-in-large, this means that I value the larger context and background of who you are, work hard to help you feel empowered in your own voice and abilities, and listen closely for the patterns and themes that come up in your life story and relationships to help determine ways in which you might live a fuller and more contented life. I believe that sometimes this means gently confronting challenges and maladaptive tendencies, and sometimes it means learning to love yourself and your unique attributes more fully. I will work collaboratively with you to develop ideas for how our time can best be spent and believe that you and I both have expertise into how to move you forward and closer to where you'd like to be. 

While this is my approach in a nutshell, there are also times when I find Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Existential Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing to be useful to our goals. If you have questions about my work and general approach please feel free to ask! Deciding upon a therapist and making sure my approach is a good fit for you is an important step in your process!

Melissa and pets.jpg