Children bring a unique ability into the therapeutic process-- magical thinking. Although it's often this magical thinking that sometimes creates emotional struggles for children, it's this same trusting belief in magical outside powers that aids children in quick recovery.
Melissa offers to children many tools through which to express feelings and needs. She understands that children often lack the cognitive abilities and the language to verbally work through difficulties in the way that adults can. It's through their symbolic play, art, pretending, and creativity that children bring forth their struggles and also resolve them.
In the teenage years, youngsters often begin to struggle with forming an individual identity apart from parents and primary caregivers. Their focus for identity may center around peer groups and experimenting with various ideologies and identities. This can be a scary time for parents but also an exciting one, as parents watch their young adult learn to make their own way and lean on the firm foundation provided in the early years of childhood.
Therapy with teenagers is a unique blend of meeting remaining childhood needs, while also acknowledging that this young adult desires to be given more independence in decision-making. This includes their treatment process as well, where Melissa seeks to join with adolescents in their desires for individuation and development of clear values and goals.