Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in Gainesville, Florida
Florida license: IMH23681
I was raised in Southwest Florida, and have been in Gainesville ever since. I attended the University of Florida where I graduated with my Master’s degree and Education Specialist degree in Marriage and Family counseling, and my Bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences. I have had the honor of serving and giving back to the Gainesville community in a variety of settings. I have helped adults with intensive care needs going through medical transitions and financial stress at the Care One Clinic through Shands. Then, at Girl’s Place, where I supported children and adolescents through counseling, play therapy, and psychoeducational groups. I have also worked at UF Springhill’s Clinic for OCD, Anxiety and Related Disorders.
I consider myself a student for life, striving towards always learning from others and growing as a person in a personal and professional role as a therapist, all while I get the privilege to walk alongside others on their own healing journeys. I love working from a systemic lens that takes on a zoomed out approach of humanity and our interconnectedness with our world and each other. Thus, I integrate different theories and therapy styles into the work I do with clients, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Multicultural and Feminist theory, Narrative therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Multigenerational Family Systems Theory. With clients who want to work through concerns of an OCD diagnosis, I use exposure and response prevention (ERP) with integration of CBT and ACT. My therapy style includes using metaphors, offering re-framed ways of thinking and alternate perspectives. Most of all, the therapy space with me is one in which I help you to feel comfortable to take up space and allow yourself to be heard in the brave effort to be understood. I truly believe that the path to how we can live a better life, and how to reduce our suffering, is planted like seeds within all of us. In therapy I help you to cultivate those seeds of potential, and grow towards the warmth of the sun.
Approach to wellness:
A motto I share is that things tend to get harder before they get better. This is often true when trying to try or learn things for the first time. I have recently found myself learning new, or revisiting forgotten hobbies and skills. For example, I have been learning how to do wheel thrown pottery, like that scene from the movie Ghost. Well, not exactly like that scene! (If you know you know.) I also enjoy learning to cook and bake, leaning into my creativity through arts, crafts, creative writing and personal journaling (when inspiration strikes), listening to audiobooks and podcasts, and doing yoga. As I am a forever learner of the world and growing towards the direction of my own healing and self-understanding, I do not see myself mastering or honing in on any one of these activities; however, I enjoy them all for the simple fact that they allow me mediums of expression and being, and they feed my inner child’s desire to play and learn more about my own potential. I also enjoy spending time with my loved ones in shared activities and experiences, and am admittedly a homebody at heart. A perfect night to me is one where I am cozy and cuddled up with my cats and blankets at home.
Melanie’s sessions are not eligible for out-of-network insurance reimbursement. She is supervised by Jennifer Martin, PhD.