Growing up, Melissa remembers being sensitive, hardworking, and keenly aware of others emotions around her. It has always been a part of the way God wired her. Throughout her childhood and adolescence, she found herself drawn to helping and serving those younger than her, often volunteering in the Children’s Ministry, leading bible studies, and mentoring younger girls by whom she was surrounded. Helping, listening and showing empathy was something she realized God had created her to do. At the same time, she often found so much of her identity in performing well and pleasing others that it led to an unhealthy lifestyle of perfection and anxiety.
Throughout her adolescence and young adulthood, Melissa often found herself exhausted from the standards and expectations she placed on herself and those she allowed others to place on her. She began attending counseling in her early 20s and began to understand her anxiety, shame and perfectionistic thinking in a whole new way. Her work in therapy helped her to find freedom from the fear of failure as she learned to accept herself as imperfect but wholly known and loved by God. She fell in love with the therapy process not only professionally but personally.
From her own personal journey of growth, Melissa knows the tension of living in unhealthy perfectionism verses healthy vulnerability and authenticity. As a wife, and mom to 3 children, she relies upon the grace of God and the truth about her identity in Christ.
Melissa believes that every family comes to a place where they can benefit from a counseling experience. Family and relationships are crucial and worth the investment to work through different issues that arise. God grew a passion in her to see children and families thrive so they are able to overcome challenges that are negatively affecting their lives. Melissa is committed to assisting in the process of healing and growth to help clients break dysfunctional cycles.
Since earning her degree, Melissa has received advanced training in Play Therapy. Melissa has used her education and skills in various fields. From her time in the classroom as a kindergarten teacher to her service in the office as a case manager for Devereux Therapeutic Foster Care, she has always found caring for children rewarding. Melissa also spent time doing home studies for families wanting to adopt. Her work as the Director of Young Women's Ministries at the Gathering Place in St. Simon's Island, GA kindled a desire to work with young adults.
In addition to working with children and adolescents, Melissa is skilled at working with parents to help develop strategies and work through challenges that come with parenting. She also works with adult women going through various life transitions and challenges. Anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and relationship concerns are just a few of the issues Melissa enjoys helping adult women overcome.
In her spare time, she enjoys drinking coffee, listening to music & podcasts, eating sushi, going on long walks, and being with friends and family.