Therapist Melissa Fernald Photo

Melissa Fernald, LCSW

Addictions Family conflicts Trauma, Abuse Parenting issues Depression
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About me

Welcome to BetterHelp, your decision to explore therapeutic options to address your unique challenges and struggles you are facing is one of the best decisions you could make for yourself. My name is Melissa Fernald, I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor with 25 years of field experience. I am a passionate therapist who thinks outside of the box. Each person is different, therapy isn't a one size fits all and using a cookie cutter treatment modalities isn't effective. My experience, training and personality lends itself well to customizing individualized treatment plans. I have had extensive training in a range of Cognitive Behavioral Treatment based approaches and am well versed in most treatment approaches. My experience across a range of treatment and intervention settings is unmatched. My curiosity and desire to learn more about the work I do drives me to keep up on the latest advances and research. My commitment to offer my clients the absolute best experience awards them with cutting edge treatment that will elevate them beyond their expectations. Your experience in therapy is paramount to me and my core values/beliefs are well matched for me to achieve this goal. Below are my core values that drive my interactions with my clients regardless of treatment modality used.
-CLIENT CENTERED:; Meeting my client where they are at, which means you drive the treatment. The pace is set by what is most comfortable for you (I do encourage you to beak through your ambivalence).
-STRENGTH BASED: During our sessions you can expect that I will use your strengths to address your struggles/challenges. My belief is that you know most of your weakness/problems but it is your strengths that will get you through them. This will help you feel empowered as you move through the therapeutic journey. Building self-efficacy is always the golden rule of any good treatment.
-SOLUTION FOCUSED: I am firm on this as it allows you to feel empowered during the treatment process. Even more important is that it conditions your brain to begin to approach your life focusing on the solutions and not getting paralyzed by the problems.

There are many misconceptions people who enter treatment have,. Sometimes it stems from not having been in therapy before and other times it comes from a bad experience. One of the first questions I ask all my clients is if they have had therapy before. If so what worked and what didn't work. What are you looking for from your experience with me? I then share how I operate in my sessions, aside from the approaches I have describe I have a strong belief about what is important in the beginning. I believe that in order for anyone to tackle the toughest problems/challenges they have is to first learn ways to cope with day to day life. We do this together by building on your coping skills, developing techniques to manage the difficult moments that come up in life. I want you to feel empowered so that when it's time to dig in deeper you are more confident and prepared to take that journey. Whether you and I end up working together or not I hope that your experience in therapy is a positive one.

Professional experience

20yrs in practice
Addictions Family conflicts Trauma, Abuse Parenting issues Depression

Additional areas of focus: Stress, Anxiety, Relationship issues, Intimacy-related issues, Eating disorders, Anger management, Self esteem, Career difficulties, Bipolar disorder, Coping with life changes, Coaching, Compassion fatigue, ADHD, Abandonment, Blended Family Issues, Caregiver issues and stress, Co-morbidity, Codependency, Communication problems, Control issues, Domestic Violence, Drug and Alcohol Addiction, Family Problems, First Responder Issues, Guilt and shame, Impulsivity, Life purpose, Midlife crisis, Mood disorders , Obsessions, Compulsions, and OCD, Panic disorder and panic attacks, Postpartum Depression, Post-traumatic stress, Process addiction (porn, exercise, gambling), Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Self-Harm, Sexual Assault and Abuse, Smoking/Vaping Cessation, Social anxiety and phobia, Women's issues, Workplace issues, Young Adult Issues

Clinical approaches: Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused Therapy, Trauma-Focused Therapy

Services offered

Live Chat

License information



These quotes represent just a few of the many positive reviews that we have received for Melissa Fernald. We don't pay anyone to provide their review and they are all made voluntarily. Some people's experience receiving therapy with BetterHelp might be different.

Melissa shows interest in what I am saying by listening, asking clarification questions and paraphrasing what she heard. Melissa has provided me some wonderful worksheets to use along with wonderful feedback.

Written on Dec 08, 2022 after therapy with Melissa for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, family conflicts, self esteem, and career difficulties

I've worked with three different therapists over the past 5 years and I really feel like I finally found one who is taking an approach I trust. I've benefited tremendously in the past 6 weeks, and I look forward to continuing the process with Melissa.

Written on Dec 08, 2022 after therapy with Melissa for 1 month on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, and anger management

Very friendly funny and insightful!

Written on May 25, 2022 after therapy with Melissa for 3 weeks on issues concerning stress, anxiety, addictions, and relationship issues