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Melissa Gilbarg, LCSW
I utilize a collaborative, strength-based approach that is client-centered and solution-focused.

Our Team

Melissa Gilbarg, LCSW

Location

Licensed In

CA

Approach

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), Harm reduction, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), Relational, Solution-focused, Strengths-based

Therapy Style

I am an open-minded therapist who believes that everyone deserves a safe, non-judgmental, and validating place to work through life’s challenges, feelings, successes, and stagnation. I understand that we all experience our journey in different ways. I also know that your experiences are real and while I may not share them, I will hear you, see you, and work with you to navigate those experiences in a culturally responsive way that feels right for you. Together we can find the spark to make the changes you desire, get you back to feeling like yourself again, or figure out who you truly are. I utilize a collaborative, strength-based approach that is client-centered and solution-focused.

I have extensive experience working with people who are experiencing depression, anxiety, low motivation and self-esteem, behavioral concerns, trauma, relationship issues, or simply just feeling stuck in life - even if you don't know how to describe it yet. I also encourage my clients to explore holistic approaches to their mental health by incorporating practices and activities that feed their souls (we can work together to identify these things too). I consider myself a life-long learner both personally and professionally. I am always learning new things about myself and continuously engaging in professional development and training to become a better therapist and person.

Education

MSW - Social Work, Boston University

License Number and State

CA 95634

Pronouns

she/her

What are your interests outside of work?

Spending time with my family, fostering kittens, and walking in nature.

What is one thing you do daily that supports your mental and emotional well-being?

10-15 minutes of yoga every morning with my husband. May not seem like a lot but we have hectic, early morning routines and carving out this time before anything else truly sets the stage for the day.

What book have you read more than once?

The Glass Castle, I’ve read it twice. Once because I found it at a book store and thought it looked like a good read. It was excellent. The next time it was an assignment for grad school, and it was so good that I decided to read it again even though I already knew the whole story. There’s so much to learn from the book and so much that is relatable.

Favorite organization/non-profit?

Coalition for Social Justice (formerly the Coalition Against Poverty) in New Bedford, MA. I got involved as a young single mother when I was a student in community college. CSJ introduced me to so many concepts that I had no idea of - economic justice, white privilege, equity vs equality, grassroots organizing, etc. They also opened my eyes to so many of the injustices in our society and truly transformed me into the empathetic, outspoken, anti-racist, inclusive, equity-oriented person I am today. I went on to become a lead organizer and co-director for many years. I left the organization after I received my MSW degree so I could pursue my career in mental health. The organization means a lot to me because they focus on community organizing in low income, working class neighborhoods and developing leadership within those neighborhoods. The focus of public policy change is always centered around fighting for economic justice and equity for all.

How do you recharge?

Sometimes I sit in my car, in the driveway, after work. Listen to music and prepare to switch gears from work to home life. I can leave the work energy in the car and enjoy my family. I love my work and I also need to keep the energy for each separate.

Do you have any pets?

We have a 25-pound cat named Bear. We’ve had him since he was born and have marveled at how big he kept getting when his siblings stopped growing. He’s 6 years old now and is a big gentle giant, except when he wants to eat! He will follow me around the house meowing and swatting at my legs until I feed him.