Melissa has 10 years experience as a Psychologist in private practice, hospital, and government settings. Melissa has provided individual and group based therapy to adults experiencing a diverse range of psychological difficulties including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, social anxiety, chronic stress, sleep problems, grief/loss, and relationship issues. Melissa has also worked with clients who have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder or traits.
Melissa graduated with First Class Honours in Psychology from Monash University in 2006, and completed her Masters of Clinical Psychology at RMIT University in 2009. Melissa has worked in two private hospital perinatal mental health units as well as with perinatal clients in private practice. This work has involved supporting clients throughout pre-conception, pregnancy, birth, the postnatal period, and the early parenting years. She has enjoyed working collaboratively within a multidisciplinary medical and allied health team, providing assessment and tailored therapeutic interventions, with a focus on antenatal and postnatal depression and anxiety, and parent-infant bonding and attachment difficulties.
Melissa works with parents (mothers/fathers/co-parents) who are struggling with depression, anxiety, stress, fertility challenges, challenging birth experiences, difficulties in the transition to parenthood, relationship issues, parenting of infants and young children, pregnancy uncertainty/decision making, and pregnancy grief and loss. As a queer-identified therapist, Melissa is passionate about supporting members of the queer community to create their families, with a deep understanding of the extra set of challenges that this journey may present for queer parents-to-be and queer parents.
Melissa is motivated to helps parents create a strong and rewarding parent-child relationship, by working with parents to explore and reflect on their strengths and challenges within this relationship. Melissa works alongside parents to improve their capacity to self-reflect and cope with the challenges and life changes that parenthood presents. Melissa helps new parents to bring curiosity and confidence to understanding their child's cues and needs (physical/emotional).
Approach to therapy
Melissa believes that the struggles we face (despite the incredible suffering we feel) can be an opportunity to clarify who we are, see things anew and grow into a wiser version of ourselves. Melissa supports women and couples through the pain of fertility struggles and the losses of much-wanted babies. She appreciates that pregnancy, birth and the adjustment to parenthood can bring about stress, anxiety, depression and other difficulties that requires extra support. Her warmth, compassion and open-minded approach to therapy creates a safe and trusting environment to help explore the challenges of this potentially transformative time.
Melissa has a multi-modal therapeutic approach and will consider your presenting issues and unique personality when drawing upon an evidence-based therapy to support you. Melissa is skilled in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness, Schema Therapy, and Attachment Based interventions. Melissa values the role of the therapeutic relationship to inspire hope and a sense of empowerment on the path to greater well-being and values-based parenting.