I am a licensed clinical social worker providing women and their families with supportive counseling and psychotherapy during the childbearing years.

My mission is to help parents and children remove the barriers to creating strong, healthy, loving relationships with one another.

As a social worker, I am trained to view the “person in the environment.” I take a wide-angled view and look at all the factors affecting the client and the problem and can therefore intervene on many levels.

Moreover, I utilize a strengths-based approach in working with clients, identifying what the client is doing well and using those strengths to address the problem or to increase the clients’ functioning. Although some clients and some problems require long-term counseling, I primarily do short-term therapy. My goal is to help clients get better and to meet their goals in the shortest time possible.

Education and Training:

B.A. Psychology, cum laude, Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH, June 1985
Master’s in Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, December 1994.
Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor, June 1993
Certified Childbirth Educator (BirthWorks), September 1998
A. C. S. W., Academy of Certified Social Workers, June 2001
L. M. S. W. Licensed Master’s Social Worker, State of MI, 2001
E. M. D. R. (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), Level II, April 2005
Dynamic Facilitation Training, September 2007


October 2007 – Present
MATERNAL INFANT HEALTH PROGRAM COORDINATOR, Managing a Medicaid-funded, State-wide program designed to reduce risks associated with maternal and infant morbidity/mortality in OBGYN clinic settings, supervising staff, providing quality assurance, and carrying a caseload of high-risk pregnant women.

October 2001 – Present
PRIVATE PRACTICE, Specializing in treatment of perinatal mood disorders, traumatic birth, childbearing losses, and child guidance.

January 1994 – March 2001
INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY THERAPIST, Specializing in individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy and play therapy for victims, perpetrators, and non-offending parents of physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse and domestic violence in an outpatient setting.

February 1990 – December 1993
SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELOR, Specializing in culturally sensitive substance abuse treatment and prevention services for adolescents, women, and impaired drivers in residential, hospital, and outpatient settings.

January 1987 – May 1989
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENT, U.S. Peace Corps, Senegal, West Africa


Melisa trains doctors, nurses, childbirth educators, doulas, La Leche League leaders, parents and expectant parents about postpartum depression. Topics include: Postpartum Depression, The Myths of Motherhood, Counseling Skills for Doulas, Making Effective Referrals, and Self-Soothing Skills for Mothers with a Trauma History.

Grand Rounds, Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pediatrics, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital: Postpartum Depression: The Case for Universal Screening. September 1, 2005.

NASW-Michigan Conference: The Myths of Motherhood: Innovative Treatment Strategies for Postpartum Depression. May 19, 2006.

Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health: The Myths of Motherhood: Innovative Treatment Strategies for Postpartum Depression. May 7, 2007.

Midwifery Today Conference — Hope and Healing: Collaborating to Bring Midwifery and Mental Health Care to Women Who are Survivors of Sexual Abuse: Positive Coping: Helping Survivors Self-Soothe without Substance Abuse or Harmful Behaviors. May 10, 2008.

Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health: Self-Soothing Skills for Mothers: Managing the Intrusive Symptoms of PTSD. April, 2009.

Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health: Mom Power: A Community Based Intervention to Enhance Reflective Functioning in At-Risk Mothers. May, 2011.

Mom Power: A 10-Week Attachment-Based Intervention for At-Risk Mothers: Co-Developer, Facilitator, Supervisor, and Trainer. 2008-2014.

Community Service:

Co-Founder and Facilitator of Postpartum Depression Support Group of the Greater Ann Arbor Area, October 2002 to 2014.

President of the Board of Directors of the Center for the Childbearing Year, February 2003 to November, 2006.


Postpartum Adjustment: A New Mother’s Guide, self-published, copyright 2002
Livingston Parent Journal: Monthly articles on parenting topics, May 2005-December 2006
The Light Within: Meditations for Peace and Inner Strength (Vol. I & II). April, 2009