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Melissa Weinhandl, MA, LMFT

“Not all those who wander are lost” – J.R.R Tolkien
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Hi, I'm Melissa Weinhandl!

A mentor once asked me to come up with a metaphor for how I see myself as a therapist. After some reflection, I decided that the best way to describe my work with people is as a travel companion. As a companion, I have the opportunity to explore alongside, facilitate the discovery of new things, and, at the end, help to create a lovely and enriching experience.

 

I believe that we all have the resources within us to grow through challenging and tough times. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary the definition of hope is: “to cherish a desire with anticipation”. My goal is through companionship, exploration, and building from the resources that folks already have, we can collaboratively cultivate hope in a desired future.

Therapeutic approach: I primarily work from a narrative perspective. This means that I believe that we get stuck in problem-saturated stories.  I see challenges from the perspective of a narrative.  As with prose, we tend to see our stories, ourselves, and others in story form with themes and plots.  I also see problems as separate from the person and believe that people have power over their narrative.  Therefore, the individual is not the problem but the relationship we have with these challenges is the problem.  For my clients, I help to uncover newfound strengths and resources through conversational and experiential interventions.

 

Supplementing my narrative work, I also use mindfulness, advocacy, and work with people to build new skills. 

 

In addition to being a marriage and family therapist, I also have an MA in theology from Luther Seminary and have directed programs in children, youth, and family ministry. I have a special interest in the intersection of spirituality and mental health as well as the benefits of community on individual and family health. I have also spent some time on the creation of programming within the church to help encourage and support the mental well-being of individuals, couples, and families.  

 

I have experience in residential, community-based, and outpatient services. I have also led several workshops, retreats, and other educational events for children, youth, families, and couples. 

Therapeutic strengths: In sessions, I like to utilize warmth and genuine care for the client (with some humor and maybe even a little sass thrown in). I am very collaborative. I want those that I work with to own the work they are doing in my office. While I will always have thoughts about what the work looks like, ultimately, it is up to the client.

 

About me: I am a mom who highly values family time, connection, and play. I am a lover of travel and exploring new places. While traveling, I especially enjoy nature, national and state parks, and am an avid hiker. I consider myself to be a lifelong learner and am always searching out new ways to gain information. I am almost always in the mood for a good podcast, documentary, or autobiography! I am also an “animal person” and am an owner of horses and a dog.

 

The academic:

MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s university of Minnesota

MA in Theology from Luther Seminary

Prepare/Enrich Certified

Certified in Psychological First Aide

Ongoing trainings in Narrative Therapy

 

Areas of special focus:

Individual therapy for adults and children

Family therapy

Parenting

Couples

Church/spirituality

Intern Options

Ask me about utilizing a Playmore graduate level intern in a therapeutic team approach. Working with an intern offers more than just another weekly session (for free), it creates more opportunity for family and creative interventions. This therapeutic team approach expands the observation, intervention, and evaluation of the therapy process. All details and arrangements will be discussed and agreed upon with clients prior to utilizing interns.

Services & Fees

Services:

I offer individual, couples, and family therapy. For more information about my approach, see above.

Fees:

I am a fee-for-service provider, which means I do not accept insurance. You may be reimbursed by your insurance company for my services if you choose to request "out-of-network" reimbursement. Please verify the specific requirements for reimbursement with your insurance provider, and I will be happy to provide you with the appropriate receipt, billing codes, and diagnosis needed (insurance will not reimburse if there is no diagnosis).

Payment is due at time of service and I accept cash, check, or credit card payments, including Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) cards.

 

My rate is $100/hr.

Forms

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