Therapist Profile

Name:
Melissa J. Pierce, M.A.
Professional Title:
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Email:
Email
Location:
2220 St George Ln #7 Chico, CA 95926-1307
Phone:
(530) 514-7246
Website:
License Number
LMFT50311
Practicing Since:
2011
Additional Licenses:
MFT

Personal Statement

Personal Statement:
I began my quest of becoming a licensed therapist in my middle 20s after finally completing my Bachelor's Degree. I sometimes describe my personal path as being somewhat labyrinth-like, with LIFE having intervened in my "plans" in various ways over the years. Two children and marriages later, I found I was still very much drawn to the work of therapy and continued to take step after step toward my dream. I'm so glad I did! I am alternative and open-minded when it comes to lots of things, and one relevant way worth mention here is that I am not into pathologizing people. While many in my profession still love to label people with lots of disorders, and certainly doing so is necessary for insurance and billing purposes, I find little of value in this and in fact see much harm it often does for many who come to identify with and see themselves through that lens of dysfunction and disorder, missing all or so much that is right with them, their lives and story! I believe what we focus on expands and this clearly and rightfully should direct us toward our wishes and dreams, our strengths, aspirations and what feels good. Uncovering, exploring and clarifying the distortions that have entrenched themselves in our thinking is a huge and important part of the work I do with people and certainly supports movement in the right direction! We are creative beings and it is through our consciousness that we live, breath and have our being. Let's learn to use it wisely. No description of my work would be complete without reference to my strong value in health and prevention. I see both as being very much along a continuum and find delight in supporting people in living their own best lives. My business name, Be Well Therapy: Body, Mind and Soul, speaks to much of what I feel is important to know about me. I value the whole person and the role of one's inner life including dreams, intuition and spirituality as one defines this for themselves, in how I see and relate to those I work with. While not religious, I value kindness and a sense of the sacred and see and feel God in nature, creativity, people, animals, community and in fact all of life. I feel blessed to have been raised during much of my life with lots of love and kindness, if also the ample challenges that made me who I am today. I have a special joy in working with kids and families, seeing parenting as so key in both preventing problems for kids and in healing our own historical hurts so that we can be happier. Working with parents in doing their work is such a joy as I see the huge difference it makes for they AND their children and families. What a gift! I am somewhat of a journal and bibliotherapist, often suggesting writing activities or readings that I believe would support the growth and change people are seeking. In many ways I believe that I have been preparing for this work of being a therapist all my life! Having a life with lots of challenges has, I believe, given a basis of experience that allows me to bring tremendous empathy and compassion to my work. I appreciate all of my life learnings as the most profound training ground for the work I do and the help I am now able to offer those I see. I have done a lot of work on myself and still I am always learning, both from my clients and all of life! I feel honored and blessed to do what I do!

About My Practice

Office Hours
Usual available hours are Mon.-Fri. 9-4, or as agreed individually. May be available in crisis if needed.
Services
I am a generalist. I specialize in providing diverse psychotherapeutic services to a wide range of individuals, ranging from young children aged 6 and above, teens, young adults all the way up through the elderly. I work from a strengths based philosophy that emphasizes acknowledging and building on people's innate positive qualities as a means of exploring problems and determining the best means of understanding, healing, altering perspectives, behaviors and emotions. I believe in all people ultimately having everything they need within themselves to lead joyous, harmonious, meaningful and rewarding lives and that my job as therapist is to support people in a wide range of ways depending on their particular needs and challenges to bring out these qualities and capacities. Often people benefit from utilizing a therapist in recognizing patterns and the origins of these patterns and in changing how they see themselves which aids them in adjusting problem thoughts and behaviors that may have served at one point but no longer. Through the development of a nurturing, trusting, therapeutic relationship, old and new wounds, grief, loss, betrayal etc. may be laid to rest in ways that allow new levels of happiness and functionality to surface both for individuals and for people's relationships with family and loved ones. I love to assist individuals in their personal growth as they come to recognize their responsibility for their own happiness and learn, develop and practice the skills to support high states of joy, meaning, health and fulfillment.
Insurance
Medi-Cal, Most Insurance Accepted, Out-of-Network coverage, Victims of Crime
Credit Cards Accepted
None
Free Initial Consult
No
Offers Teletherapy
Phone

Education

Degrees
My highest degree is a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco, which I received in 1989. Prior to this I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Health Education from California State University Chico in 1985.

Area of Specialty

Specialites:
Addictions
Adolescents
Anger Management
Anxiety
Bi-Polar
Career Stress and Changes
Children
Childhood Trauma
CoDependant/Adult Children of Alcoholics
Communication Skills
Creative Solutions
Crisis Intervention
Depression/Clinical Depression
Domestic Violence
Eating Disorders
Employment Issues
Grief/Loss Terminally Ill
Issues of Abuse (Abused)
Issues of Abuse (Trauma)
Individual
Life Transitions/Mid-Life Issues
Parenting
Personality Disorders
Play Therapy
PsychoEducational
Post Traumatic Stress Disorders
Relationships
Self Esteem/Personal Growth
Stress
Telephone/Online Therapy
Trauma
Victims of Crime

Other

Theoretical Orientation
Attachment
Brief/Solution Focused Therapy
Cognitive-Behavioral
Cognitive
Communications
Eclectic (Many Therapies)
Emotion Focused Therapy
Family Systems
Gestalt
Humanistic/Existential
Jungian
Narrative
Object Relations
Psychodynamic
Satir
Certifications
My areas of work leading up to and beyond MFT licensure have involved many things. A partial list includes: Grief and loss, Hospice, Adult Children of Alcoholics, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS and sexual orientation struggles and issues. Hepatitis and other blood borne and sexually transmitted diseases, depression, crisis intervention and suicide assessment and prevention as well as surviving/thriving beyond suicide, school counseling ages 5-18, family issues, poverty, eating, weight, and body image issues, divorce, foster care and out of home placement, anger management, addiction and drug and alcohol recovery, including harm reduction. My certificate file is thick and I enjoy learning new things all the time, attending enriching professional development trainings regularly and reading extensively in my wide areas of psychological interests.
Languages Spoken
Ethnicity
Caucasian (Non-Hispanic)

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