Melissa is a licensed clinical social worker, who received her Bachelor of Science in Family Services from Brigham Young University in 1995, and a Master of Social Work from the University of Utah in 2000. She has been a member of the clinical team at WayPoint since its inception in 2013.
Born and raised in Ogden, Utah, Melissa comes to WayPoint Academy with vast experience in adolescent care across the continuum, including psychiatric assessment centers, residential treatment facilities, and therapeutic boarding schools. She has functioned in various capacities,including milieu, administrative and clinical positions. Melissa’s comprehensive roles have helped her hone her well-rounded skill set as a seasoned therapist.
Melissa has extensive experience treating students and families who are struggling with a wide range of mental health issues including: depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, learning disorders, autism spectrum disorders, psychosis, and attachment disorders.
She utilizes an eclectic and creative approach drawing upon concepts from psychodynamic influences, attachment theory, as well as cognitive-behavioral (CBT), dialectical behavioral orientations (DBT) and acceptance & commitment Therapy (ACT). Melissa is also trained in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), protocols that help address and work through trauma.
Most importantly, she has received training from the Behavioral Technology Training Institute in Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) to address Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and Panic Disorder. This training has been valuable in helping the young men at WayPoint address their underlying fears, avoidance, and life interfering behaviors.
Working in different positions across various treatment facilities has provided Melissa with a unique understanding of out-of-home placement and clinical care. She is skilled at building rapport and therapeutic alliances with her students, while honoring each client as unique and individual.
When she is not working, Melissa enjoys many creative pursuits, from experimenting with new kombucha recipes, designing jewelry, listening to live music, and spending time with friends, family, and aptl- named rescue dog, Oliver.