About Melissa Guard
I am trained and licensed as a mental health counselor and my graduate work was completed at Walden University in 2013.
I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is a structured therapy that encourages the client to focus briefly on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements or other rhythmic left-right stimulation), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotional association with the trauma memories. EMDR taps into the clients own innate system of healing and allows a person to see cognitive and affective material in a less distressing way. EMDR allow for new ways of cognitively re-organizing thoughts and gives way to more calm and empowered feelings. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and PTSD symptoms.
I have also been trained as a court appointed special advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected children and have been volunteering in this position since 1999. I am certified as a Daring Way Facilitator (CDWF), which is based on the research and work of Brené Brown. See more about Brené Brown's work here on my website.
Authenticity is my core value and something that I seek to provide to the counseling relationship, in that I believe it makes a positive difference for my clients. Unfortunately our culture has given us the inaccurate impression that being vulnerable is to be weak. In actuality, vulnerability is sharing with the intention to connect; it is about trust, intimacy, and connection.
I have an engaging, down to earth, straight forward style that will put you at ease with humor and empathy in order for us to commence a solid therapeutic relationship.
My approach to the therapeutic relationship is person centered and solution focused, with emphasis on cognitive behavioral approaches.
We will also explore and pay attention to family of origin issues. My style is collaborative, therefore interactive. I have found it helpful to be fairly straightforward. I ask a variety of questions, listen intently, provide feedback, and occasionally give homework.
Treatment is tailored to each person and together we discover what is helpful for you. My passion is working with both adolescents and adults to build a healthier and more enjoyable life. I have a very integrative style of counseling and enjoy finding what works best with each individual. My approach includes paying attention to biological, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of each client.
My goal is to help individuals, couples, and families create positive changes in their lives. I will work collaboratively with you to: identify negative patterns that bring distress to you, process and resolve past and present wounds, develop the skills or strategies necessary to create change, and apply these skills or strategies to improve emotional health, and build more satisfying relationships.