Melissa is committed to meeting you where you are at, and strives to build a trusting relationship with you. She uses a culturally responsive, neurodiverse-affirming, and trauma informed approach to foster empowerment and reinforce connection with clients . She strongly believes individuals can rebuild a sense of safety after a life altering event with the right supports in place. Melissa leans on strengths and the unique characteristics of a person while walking beside them through their journey of self discovery and healing. She uses a warm, empathetic and collaborative style to hold space for individuals to process emotions, develop new perspectives and identify effective coping strategies that are unique to them. Being a first generation Asian American woman, Melissa believes representation matters in breaking down the stigma around mental health and that laughter should be an essential part of therapy.
Melissa holds a Masters in Social Work, with a focus in Mental Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also earned a Masters of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Sciences, and worked in the Occupation Therapy/Physical Therapy field prior to studying social work. Her educational background has prepared her to offer client centered care from a strengths-based perspective. She has worked with individuals across the lifespan in a variety of different settings. Melissa’s past professional experiences include behavioral support in home and in therapeutic day school settings, crisis work in large hospital settings, providing support to families experiencing medical trauma at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, and specialized training in working with trauma at the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center. With these experiences, Melissa possesses strong advocacy skills and has gained knowledge in how different systems affect one’s mental health.
Melissa has a strong passion for providing therapy to children, adolescents, and young adults. Her areas of specialty include working with children/adolescents on the spectrum and others who identify as neurodivergent around trauma, emotional dysregulation, behavioral challenges, social skills development, bullying, depression, anxiety, grief/loss, and multicultural issues. She likes to use play, expressive arts, and mindfulness based techniques from CBT, DBT, and IFS theories to honor and tap into parts of ourselves that may need more nurturing.
Services Melissa provides:
Melissa’s Contact Information:
773-417-6342 ext. 2023