Portland OR &Vancouver WA
Integrating psychotherapy, medication management, body work & mindfulness for an encompassing and empowering approach to healing.
Melanie Cook, LMFT, Therapist
I knew from an early age that I wanted to help others and always found myself fascinated by how others saw the world around them. I pursued my initial higher education at the University of California, Irvine, where I studied Psychology and Social Behavior. During this time, I began my work with vulnerable families and worked at a homeless support agency. From there, I went on to pursue my Master’s at the University of San Francisco where I studied Counseling Psychology and went along the Marriage and Family Therapist path.
I have held clinical positions in a hospital, domestic violence center, several schools and several community mental health clinics. I have worked with both children (0-18) and adults. I have received training in Child Parent Psychotherapy and Infant Parent Psychotherapy, which are evidence based relational trauma therapies between young children and their primary caregivers. In addition, I have been trained with the Attachment, Regulation and Competency (ARC) model. My early childhood mental health work has focused on early trauma resulting from domestic violence, foster care, and physical and emotional abuse. In this work with young children, I have developed a passion in addressing trauma early on in order to mitigate some of the effects of trauma through the lifespan.
My extensive hands-on experience with children of all ages has helped me to see how adults came to be who they are. The various forms of children’s therapies I’ve practiced require careful listening and attention to both verbal and non-verbal cues and have helped me to attend more closely to a wider range of expression in adults. While my passion is working with early childhood mental health, I deeply enjoy practicing therapy with both adults and children and their families.
As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, my therapeutic technique stems from a foundation in psychodynamic theory, attachment theory, somatic theory, developmental theory and operates from a relational-cultural lens. I believe we all have the capacity and innate strength to engage in the healing process. I cater and support sessions around my client’s comfort level, readiness and willingness for engagement. I support a mindful dual awareness of past and present – staying anchored in the bodily experience of the present moment. I support the awareness of the distinction between what was then and what is now. I offer mental health services that are culturally resonant. My approach includes gentle support for people to share their most important and challenging personal identities. I hope that the work can address what the client wants to understand more, or that one can experience their own complex self in a way that feels more integrated instead of fragmented. I share with my clients my respect for them and my excitement about the power of this work!
- Children and Families
My Training & Approaches
- Child Parent Psychotherapy and Infant Parent Psychotherapy
- Attachment, Regulation and Competency (ARC) model