Malissa’s career as a therapist started during her first practicum (clinical internship) providing counseling to women who experienced Intimate Partner Violence.
Her first full-time position as a therapist was at The YWCA in Tacoma, Washington helping women rebuild their lives and heal from the impacts of relationship abuse. During this time she discovered her talent and passion for helping clients heal from trauma while leading them to develop their own personal empowerment.
Later she worked as a therapist at the Department of Veteran Affairs providing evidenced-based therapies and trauma focused therapy to Combat Veterans and Veterans who experienced Military Sexual Assault.
The nature of her work, along with specialized training, has lead Malissa to develop an in-depth understanding the nuances that anxiety, psychological trauma, and grief has on a person's day to day life.
She uses the Social Work perspective of Person-in-environment which means taking into consideration how a person's environment, life experiences, and systems impact their well-being and behavior.
When needed Malissa helps her clients gain insight into how systemic oppression and sexism adds to their distress; she also teaches strategies to better handle these difficulties.
The therapeutic approaches she uses are evidenced-based, which means they have been studied and researched and shown to be effective.
In addition to providing individual therapy (just the client and therapist) Malissa is an experienced group therapist and workshop facilitator. Throughout her career she’s lead several therapy groups and enjoys developing and leading therapeutic workshops.
Malissa is an experienced and engaging public speaker who has spoken at fundraising events for non-profits, professional summits, and professional trainings.
Throughout her career she has trained mental health professionals, healthcare professionals, and Intimate Partner Violence victim advocates on the dynamics of Intimate Partner Violence and the impacts to the victims and their children, and how to de-escalate and respond to difficult client behaviors.
Most recently she developed and facilitated a three hour workshop for the National Association of Social Workers Washington State Chapter on the impacts of Intimate Partner Violence and effective therapeutic techniques.
"My clients tell me my therapy style puts them at ease, feels conversational versus overtly clinical, and helps them quickly get to the core of their struggles." - Malissa