Hi, I’m Melissa!
I grew up in a family that had its fair share of mental health and alcohol abuse issues. There was a lot of fighting, violence and avoidance strategies used that made for a toxic home environment. Like any other child raised in a household like this, it was difficult to understand what was happening around me. As I grew up, I fell into similar unhealthy relationship patterns that had been modeled for me. It wasn’t until I became a single mother at age 19 that I made a vow to myself to give my daughter a different start in life.
I decided to go to college to become a teacher and earned my degree in Behavioral Science, with an emphasis in psychology, and Elementary Education, and later Early Childhood and Special Education.
I learned how important early childhood experiences are for the development of our brain, personality, our relationship with ourselves and how we engage in relationships with others. I became interested in the connection between our mental health and relationships. I realized that the human connections that we have in our world growing up are very indicative of the types of relationships we will have as adults-unless we proactively change the cycle.
After teaching for over 10 years, I decided to return to school for my Masters in Social Work to gain a deeper understanding of mental health. This conceptual understanding helped me discover the reasons why what happens to us in life can influence our behaviors, especially in relation to others. However, I found that the traditional education around mental health focuses more on diagnosing and treating symptoms by ‘talking about’ them and is really lacking in providing an effective way for helping people heal from their past experiences.
I found this missing link when I entered into the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method® program, Touched By A Horse. Through this program, I not only learned Gestalt,a highly effective method for helping people heal past wounds and discover who they are once they have released them, but also what incredible healers horses are. I experienced their healing first hand and have grown into a more authentic, happier, and peaceful version of myself because of it. This approach has changed my life, and my relationships, and I am very excited to embody this form of healing in my own therapeutic coaching practice.
My experience and educational background has given me a highly compassionate and empathic view of mental health and relationship issues, as well as the skills to be able to help others show up more fully in their lives and in their relationships.
My Credentials and Professional Background
Certified Equine Gestalt Practitioner
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Masters in Social Work
Bachelor Degree in Behavioral Science, emphasis in Psychology
Early Childhood, Elementary and Special Education teaching license and endorsements
Teacher for 10+ years, preschool through high school in private, public and residential treatment facility
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