Meet Melissa Geiger!

Melissa is a licensed marriage and family therapist who has been a part of the Family Guidance and Therapy team for 7 months. She enjoys working with children, teens, and their families who have become off track and out of sync with one another, themselves, or just need a little extra help getting back to where they want to be. Melissa also has experience in working with youth 5-24 years of age with emotional disturbances including: major depression, anxiety, attachment issues, ADHD, extensive trauma, adoption, foster, school issues, suicidality and aggression. At the Family Guidance and Therapy Center of Southern California, each team member works from a set of personal values that drive client care. In the interview below, learn why Melissa decided to become a clinician, the values that she brings to the FGTC team, and what challenges her on a personal level.

My goal as a therapist is to listen, get to know people, identify strengths, build self-awareness and create a safe environment where positive change happens, hope flourishes, and relationships thrive.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I have worked in the mental health field for 10 years. I am passionate about helping others and effecting positive social change.

What inspired you to work as a therapist?

My parents and their relationship. They inspire me to give back to others what I was so graciously given.

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Explain your personal value words and why they are important to you.

Unconditional love and laughter. All people want to feel loved, and without conditions. Laughter is something I need in my life, it bring me joy.

What is unique about your work with clients?

I think what is unique about my work with client's is my ability to build rapport with what most would categorize as "challenging." I focus more on the relationship and connecting rather than the behavior.

What’s the most challenging and rewarding part of your work?

The most challenging is maintaining appropriate boundaries without damaging the client/therapist relationship. The most rewarding part is being a part of positive progress and knowing I was able to help someone along their journey in life.

After a long work week, how do you de-stress or unwind?

I really enjoy hot yoga, it helps me visualize melting away others emotions or stresses that I may be holding on to. Water is a big part of my life, whether it is surfing or just being near a body of water, that really helps me feel grounded. And of course, being around my support system.

Tell us a funny story about yourself!

I was riding my cousin's moped in Kauai and my friend and I got out of sync and we both fell and went opposite directions pulling into my cousin's yard, the motor fell on my calf and left a burn, it happened in slow motion so we were cracking up and my cousin said, "Well you are local now, all locals have moped burns or scars."

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