Growing up in the Dallas area, Melanie identified early in her childhood a desire to help others. Since that time, Melanie pursued an array of volunteer and academic opportunities to prepare herself for a career in the counseling profession. Upon graduation from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Minor in Human Development, Melanie completed a Master’s of Science degree in Counseling from the University of North Texas whose counseling program is ranked 15th in the United States according to Us News and World Report. In addition to her educational training to work with adolescents and adults during her graduate program, she completed specific coursework through the Center for Play Therapy to effectively work with children through the medium of therapeutic play. The Center for Play Therapy is one of the most renowned programs in the world and she studied under one of the top leaders in the field of play therapy.
Melanie began her clinical experience by completing an internship at the Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center working with children who had experienced sexual and physical abuse and their families. She also led support groups for children to heal from the harmful effects of abuse as well as parenting groups. She was then hired as the Child and Adolescent Program Coordinator for New Beginning Center, a non-profit domestic violence agency. She eventually went on the become the Victim Outreach Coordinator overseeing all clinical services for the Victim Outreach Program and then became the Director of Non-Residential Services where she was directly responsible for all clinical and administrative aspects of the Victim Outreach Program and the Battering Intervention and Prevention Program. Once Melanie left New Beginning Center to begin to build her private practice, she worked at Family Place providing individual and group counseling services to victims of family violence. In addition, Melanie partnered with Jonathan’s Place, a residential emergency shelter for children in foster care, to provide counseling to children in their programs from 2006-2013. She also has provided home based therapy for children in the foster care system through a World for Children, Jonathan’s Place and Youth in View.
Involvement in the Community
Over the years Melanie has been very active in the community serving as an advocate, spokesperson, and consultant for many issues related to child abuse, domestic/family violence, play therapy, and victim issues. Melanie has worked with the Administration for Children and Families, Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, Dallas, Garland, and Mesquite Independent School Districts, the Texas Council on Family Violence, and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office to name a few as a trainer and consultant.
She has received the honor of being recognized as a “Mom Approved Therapist” from Dallas Child Magazine.
Now in private practice, Melanie counsels children, adolescents, and adults experiencing a wide array of issues. In addition to providing counseling services, Melanie is a board-approved supervisor who provides supervision to students working towards licensure as Professional Counselor in the State of Texas and for those working towards becoming a Registered Play Therapist. In her free time, Melanie enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons.