Melaina Garrison

Senior Associate Therapist

Clinical Degree: Azusa Pacific University, Clinical Psychology – Marriage and Family Therapy

Prepare/Enrich Certified: Yes

Available: Monday (afternoon & evening), Tuesday (afternoon)

Fees: $170 per 50-minute session; $255 per 90-minute session; $1150 for five-session Prepare/Enrich package

Clinical Special Interests:  Depression & Mood Disorders; Childhood Disorders, Trauma, & Development; Adolescent & Young Adult Identity Formation; Premarital Counseling; Infertility & Pregnancy Loss; Fostering & Adoption; Post-Abortion Coping & Processing; Faith & Spirituality; Anxiety; Grief

Contact: Email, 703-951-6409

My Background

I worked in marketing and graphic design for five years before changing career paths and entering into the field of clinical psychology. I felt called to help people, particularly to strengthen our society by strengthening the nuclear family—whether that be through individuals or together as a unit.

I work under the premise that all humans have a void that they are seeking to fill. That void is Love. Some people try to fill that void with substances or even other people, but only love can fill that void. Once we truly love ourselves, only then can we fully offer authentic love to those around us.

I take a charitable, nonjudgmental approach and accept every person where they are at in their journey. I will help you discover insight that can lead to growth, to help you find the fullness and happiness that you want and deserve. Or, if working with your child, I will seek to reveal and enhance the true potential that your child was born to fully live out.

Clinical Expertise

My theoretical underpinnings are psychodynamic in nature. That is merely how my brain was wired—it instinctively psychoanalyzes situations, patterns, and cognitive processes in attempt to better understand people in efforts to help them. I feel very passionate about what I do because it feels innate and a true vocation. Whether I am psychoanalyzing individuals’ cognitive or relational patterns, or psychoanalyzing a child’s play, as the therapist I seek to discover the subconscious motivation that can lead to insight and growth of the client.


I have extensive clinical experience working with children and their families, having been a therapist in the school systems for several years, preschool through high school. My expertise extends from identifying and diagnosing early onset mood and behavioral disorders, to assessing the need for medication evaluation, to advocating for your child within the school system and even providing intervention recommendations within the classroom.

Every child is unique, but essentially every child wants to be heard and understood and feel loved. But children—younger children, especially—often do not know how to express to you, the parent, what they need. As a result, a child may internalize or externalize what they are feeling. Those that internalize often shut down. More commonly, a child may externalize, and his or her behavior might become disruptive in their attempt to try to communicate to you that something is wrong. I seek to create a safe, therapeutic space for your child so that they are able to open up—directly or indirectly—through the utilization of therapeutic approaches such as art or play therapy techniques.

I often tell parents that a child in therapy is a human ahead of the game. Through therapy, a child can learn many life skills early on that are often not learned until later on in life—such as emotion regulation, problem-solving, decision-making, attention and focus, conflict resolution, coping skills, and social skills. I am here to help your child unlock and maximize their true potential and to help strengthen the parent-child bond.

Teens and Adults

Life is always in transition—change is the only constant. Whether I am working with a teen evolving into young adulthood or an adult progressing through life, I can help clients navigate life circumstances that may have them feeling stuck. We are all on a journey to become better versions of ourselves, and every journey looks different. My job is to help you on your journey, to help you find that better version of yourself.

Couples and Families

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I have specialized training and experience working with multiple people in the room, observing and managing interactional patterns, facilitating effective communication, and helping couples and families create a graceful “dance” that strengthens the marital or familial bond. I particularly enjoy working with premarital couples who are about to embark on the exciting new journey of marriage. Marriage is an adventure in itself, and the most successful marriages contain two differentiated persons who continue to grow individually while also growing together, and who help each other become better versions of themselves.

About Me

My faith has led me to where I am today and continues to mold me into an ever-evolving person. I am from the Midwest, but I have lived on both coasts, and temporarily in two other countries. I try to take a natural approach with my health and enjoy researching the connection between nutrition and psychology. I have been blessed in a marriage to the most kind-hearted and charitable man. Together we love sports and being active, enjoying the outdoors, raising our sweet goldendoodle pup named Basil (who is training to be a future therapy dog), traveling, and discovering new places. I look at life as an exciting adventure made better by positive relationships and helping others along the way.

Phone: MD: 240-752-7650
4905 Del Ray Avenue, Suite 301
Bethesda, MD 20814