Philosophy of Care
Philosophy translated literally means love of learning and Melanie loves this because she thinks if we could see everything through the lens of learning there would be more understanding, wisdom, compassion, creativity, diversity, and tolerance in the world. Personally, she finds much fulfillment learning about client’s needs, hopes, dreams, values, cultures, spiritual beliefs, and personal narratives. It important for her to understand their psychological, physical and emotional health. The cumulation of this learning really allows her to better understand their struggles, disappointments, road blocks, limiting beliefs, and frustrations.
Melanie believes in the spirit of collective wisdom and take a team-oriented approach to reaching a client’s therapeutic and life goals. Her goal as a therapist is to embody light, magic, wisdom, laughter, and connection, helping people improve their ability to manage the current challenges found in this post-modern life. Technology has brought significant comfort to our lives in many ways. The paradox is that it has also brought significant challenges. One of Melanie’s primary goals is learning how to achieve optimal performance in personal, relational, and professional areas of one’s life. This is accomplished through active engagement and participation for both the therapist and client.
Melanie is fiercely committed to restoring essential connections in our relationships with one another, nature, food, source, and the inter-connected world. She links connections between psychology, neurology, biology, physics, ecology, spirituality, and nutrition. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. and her research bridges modern science with ancient customs in the understanding and treatment of depression. In today’s changing environment, we are often disconnected and fragmented; this can be seen and felt on macro and micro levels, contributing to high levels of stress and anxiety. A term she coined called Beta Burnout helps to explain these phenomena. Melanie is passionate about offering essential survival tools that will help us navigate and find our way through this post-modern world. These practices and tools will ease the effects of Beta Burnout and help us to lead happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives. She offers practices that will increase awareness, consciousness, and connection.
Education and Licensure
PhD In progress from the Transformational Dissertation Studies at the CIIS California Institute of Integral Studies, 2017
LMFT Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, 2012
LMHC Licensed Mental Health Counselor 2012
CDPT - Chemical Dependency Professional Trainee 2013
MA - Clinical Psychology in Systems Counseling 2011
BA Psychology & Sociology with an emphasis in Developmental Psychology, Spanish Minor,
Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 1996
ALDAC Alcohol and Drug Counseling Degree, Bellevue College, WA (2012)
Approaching Difficult Clients Using Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
Therapist Core Training: WA Coalition of Sexual Assault Survivors (23 hours)
Child Protective Services: The Academy Training through the Children's Administration: Included 134 hours of intensive case management and assessment training.
Youth Sexuality and Culture: What Advocates Need to Know to Best Serve Teen Sexual Assault Survivors.
Strengthening Families Facilitator for Parents & Youth Ages 10-14 Certificate.
DSHS Licensed Washington State Childcare Certificate.
Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Certificate.
Diabetes, HIV/AIDS/HBV/Communicable Diseases Training Certification.
Current Adult/Child CPR and AED, First Aid, Environmental Emergencies Certificates.
NCSF: National Counsel on Strength and Fitness for Personal Training.
NASM: National Academy of Sports Medicine for Personal Training.
Melanie’s experience in this field is rooted in her personal, professional and educational development. She grew up experiencing much childhood adversity, which motivated and inspired her to want to ease the suffering in the world. She entered the field of psychology and sociology to better understand how and why violence is so prevalent in today’s society. Melanie wanted to learn how cultural beliefs and values impact well-being. Her mission now is to help create more holistic and reciprocal values in our society in an effort to strengthen our families and communities. She believes that families and communities are the fabric of society and that modernization and technology has significantly impacted our ability to connect in deep meaningful ways. She believes it is separation that drives much of anxiety and depression. So much of psychology today pathologizes the individual as evidenced by the DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual). She is often found to quote Krishnamurti , “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a sick society.”
Melanie has been working with kids since 1985 in a variety of settings. She started out in childcare, volunteered for the Whatcom County Crisis Pregnancy Center, taught English as a Second Language, taught Spanish and Physical Education for the Family Learning Center for Lake Washington School District, and ran Puddle Stompers, a Bilingual Preschool in Kirkland, WA for five years. She worked as an emergency crisis interventionist for Child Protective Services and as a personal trainer, specializing in sports injuries and the psychology of fitness, while earning her M.A. In addition, Melanie has also worked in the corporate world of finance, mortgage and Real Estate which allows her to understand the real challenges many people face trying to find and sustain a semblance of work/life balance.
Entering into the field of Psychology she quickly discovered a massive gap between psychology, nutrition, and exercise. One of her goals with her Ph.D. program is to bridge this gap by offering a more holistic approach to the field, thus creating a paradigm shift in our understanding of depression. Shifting depression from a disease within the person to depression as a disease within societies. Thus, creating a more balanced perspective that places more emphasis on the societal, cultural, technological contributors to depression, anxiety, and relational discord. Melanie founded Eastside Counseling Center in 2012 and then United Trauma Counseling Center a Nonprofit 501(c)3 in 2014. Her next endeavor is to offer three and seven-day intensive coastal healing retreats for people looking for deeper levels of healing within a small and supportive environment.
In her spare time, Melanie loves taking walks with her little therapy partner Flex (a 12 pound Havanese), reading (she’s addicted to Audible), writing, working out, hiking, cycling, playing the guitar, studying, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Areas of Specialty
Adolescents Behavioral Issues
Marital/Relationship Communication, Conflict, & Intimacy Counseling
Trauma & Abuse
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Grief/Bereavement & Loss
Integration of Mind, Body, Spirit
Person Centered/Rogerian Therapy
Solution Focused Therapy
Emotionally Focused Therapy
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Trauma Focused CBT
Tools for Surviving and Flourishing in the Millenia
Wellness and Integrative Workshops and Retreats
(These retreats combine ancient and modern wisdom enriching everyone with useful and pragmatic tools to navigate through these transformational times and increase deeper connections in their lives.)