Melissa MacNish is a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) who uses a relational, psychodynamic approach, as well as a variety of other theories and techniques, to support clients through growth and change. She believes strongly in the power of the therapeutic relationship to create a safe space for individuals, couples and families to explore patterns and the new possibilities that begin to emerge. She is grounded in an existential perspective and believes that collaboration, creativity, reflection and curiosity are fundamental to the therapeutic process and self-empowerment. Melissa has post-graduate training in existential, object relations, family and couples therapy.
In addition to her experience working with people struggling with anxiety, depression, relational issues, and trauma, Melissa has extensive experience working in the GLBTQ community. She specializes in working with transgender and non-binary youth, young adults, and their families. Melissa has been involved with the GBPFLAG parents of transgender/gender non-conforming children support group since its inception in 2009. She is also on the founding Board of Directors and Assistant Director for Harbor Camp’s Camp Aranu’tiq, summer camp programming for transgender and gender variant youth and their families. Melissa strongly believes in supporting and increasing clinicians’ competency in working with transgender and non-binary identities and is involved with Maebright’s therapy training series. Melissa is deeply committed to creating safe spaces for trans, non-binary and queer youth to develop healthy identities.
For the past decade, Melissa has had the privilege of supporting many families through the process of understanding a family member’s gender identity and expression and has helped both families and individuals navigate the complex issues that often arise as a result of a gender transition or non-binary gender presentation. She also has extensive experience aiding couples of all identities in improving their communication, reestablishing connections and strengthening their relationship. When facilitating groups, she is awed by the power of group process to build community, offer support, and allow for growth and healing.
Melissa recently launched a socially conscious organization, SAYFTEE: Supporting Alternative Youth & Families through Education & Empowerment, whose mission is to provide a safe place for connection that builds resilience and strengthens families. SAYFTEE is committed to offering workshops, groups, and services to meet the needs of gender expansive and LGBTQ youth and families in greater Boston.