Melinda began her career in therapy as a wilderness instructor for Outward Bound programs and as coordinator of adventure-based counseling services for an East Coast residential treatment center. After leaving the wilds of New York, Vermont, California, Idaho and Oregon she completed her Masters in Counseling at Oregon State University. Her strong knowledge of schools and Special Education were honed while spending 10 years as a school counselor in Sisters, OR and the Bend-LaPine School district's behavior therapist in Bend, OR. Melinda's understanding of the critical relationship between schools, children and parents creates an additional layer of services - she is passionate that children and parents have a successful experience socially and academically in their schools.
Melinda was trained as an EMDR therapist in 2006, a best-practice therapy for children and adults who have been exposed to traumatic situations. Traumas can be clear (exposure to abuse, criminal behavior, auto accidents, death, divorce) and unclear (career or school issues, emotional loss, social changes); regardless of the source, the past event can become a physical and emotional trigger for current and future situations. Melinda specializes in working to relieve the impact from traumas in order for people to live peacefully and fully in their lives. She believes strongly that there is no single therapy that works for everyone. Melinda utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Play and Narrative therapy and Motivational Interviewing as strategies to help her clients reach their goals. Melinda enjoys a wide variety of clientele and issues; it is not unusual for Melinda's clients to be seen for anxiety, OCD, depression, trauma, ADHD, or an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Melinda is a Level 1 trained PACT Couples therapist. PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy) utilizes an understanding of how the brain is wired to protect, attach and defend the individuals within their relationship. Attachment theory and how couples manage their energy (to stress or de stress) is used to help couples understand how they bring safety as well as insecurities to their relationship.
GritPerformance (www.gritperformance.com) is a specialty Melinda provides for athletes of all ages and abilities. The combination of past coaching experiences (swimming, rowing and skiing) and her therapeutic skills allow Melinda to speak the language of an athlete while implementing brain based research skills for athletic success. She defines grit as "the strength of the mind enabling an athlete to endure pain and hardship"; using techniques based in current brain research, mindfulness, activation management and trauma recovery Melinda works with athletes to achieve the results for which they are training.
I Think, I Feel, I Am (www.ithinkifeeliam.com) is a therapeutic deck of 50 cards Melinda created for children, adolescents and adults. The cards provide visually stunning statements to encourage conversation and clarity. The cards were designed to be used by other therapists, teachers and parents and can be purchased both online or locally - please contact Melinda with any questions.