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Melissa Vollhardt, MS

Registered Marriage & Family Therapist Intern
Co-Founder of New Growth Counseling

Phone: (904) 999-1953
Email: Melissa@NewGrowthSTA.com
Offering in-person or telehealth appointments

 

Welcome!

Thanks for stopping by my page to learn more about me and how I can help you or a family member. Caitlin and I started New Growth in 2021 as we saw a growing need in our community for mental health services for children, adolescents, and their grown-ups. We work with individuals of all ages, including parents and caregivers. I encourage you to read through my page to learn more about the areas I commonly treat and my approaches to counseling. If you think we may be a good fit, please feel free to reach out to me to discuss scheduling an intake session or to have a brief, free consultation over the phone.

A little more about me… I take a very person-centered approach to counseling and focus on providing a place of unconditional positive regard, warmth, and empathy with all the children and adults I see. When working with children, adolescents, and even some grown-ups, I will often incorporate Play Therapy techniques. When working with children, it is essential that therapists can strategically create an environment that meets the child on their level, in their world, to allow for the expression of feelings in the most age-appropriate way. Just as adults "talk out" their issues, a child's natural way of working out a problem is through play. Self-expression happens more naturally through play for children. Play is the "language" in which children can communicate in a non-threatening way. As Virginia Axline once said, "Enter into children's play and you will find the place where their minds, hearts, & souls meet".

I have completed a Graduate Certificate of Psychology in Play Therapy and am currently receiving play therapy supervision from a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S). I am expecting to receive my Registered Play Therapist (RPT) credentials in the Fall of 2022.

Prior to becoming a therapist, I worked in the non-profit sector with women, children, and families in prevention programs. I am passionate about family work and helping all individuals live their best versions of themselves. Sometimes we get stuck in patterns that have become harmful and we can't find a way out. We can feel stuck, lost, hopeless. Together, we can begin pulling back the layers, uncovering strengths and making the shift towards personal growth and healing.  

​My Graduate Degree is in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy from Capella University. I am currently practicing under supervision of a Licensed Qualified Supervisor. I am expecting to receive licensure as a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) in the Fall of 2022.  

On a more personal level… I am a “Jersey Girl” born and raised on the Jersey Shore. I moved to FL for college (Go Knights!) and never left. I have been married for 6 years and am an adoptive mama. I love to travel, go to the beach, hang with my dogs, go to concerts, and be with my family.

 

FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions and requests below. If you have more questions or would like to schedule an appointment, feel free to contact me.

How long is each session?

Every therapy session is 50 minutes

How do I schedule an appointment?

All new clients must call (904-999-1953) or email (melissa@newgrowthsta.com) me to schedule an intake session. If you are a current, existing client, you can view my calendar to request an appointment through the client portal here- your secure client portal.


For new clients, once we speak and schedule the first session, you will receive an email with consent forms and intake questionnaires to complete prior to your appointment. These documents must be completed at least 24 hours prior to the start of the first session.


If you are scheduling an appointment for your minor child, I will need to speak with the parent or legal guardian prior to the first session. 

If you are the legal guardian of a child or have shared custody of a child, I am required to obtain legal guardianship and/or custody agreement documentation prior to the fist appointment.

What is your session fee? Do you take insurance?

My session rate is $150 per session

College Student sessions are $75*

*Dependent on availability as I am only able to offer a limited number of these sessions. Please contact me directly to schedule these appointments or be added to my waitlist.

I currently do not accept any insurance plans. 

How do I pay for sessions?

I accept cash, all major credit cards, checks, and HSA cards.

What type of therapy do you do?

I take a very person-centered and strength-based approach to counseling. I currently practice the following:

  • Narrative Therapy

  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

  • Person-Centered Therapy

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • ​Play Therapy

  • Family Systems/Relational Therapy

  • I am also a trained facilitator for Prepare Enrich, which is designed for premarital and marital assessment and counseling

What can counseling help with?

Here's a rundown of challenges I commonly treat

Children & Adolescents:

  • Childhood Anxiety

  • Low Self-Esteem

  • Behavioral Issues

  • Problems at School

  • Poor Social Skills

  • Sadness & Depression

  • Difficulty Coping with Emotions

  • Family Concerns & Conflict

  • Anger & Aggressive Outbursts

  • Bullying

  • Traumatic Stress

  • Attachment Issues

  • Disruptive Behaviors

  • Emotional Regulation/Expression

  • Transitional Issues

  • Parent/Child Relational Problems

Adults & Parents/Caregivers:

  • Anxiety & Stress

  • Depression

  • Premarital Counseling

  • Infertility & Adoption 

  • Postpartum Depression

  • New Parents

  • Life Changes & Adjustments

  • Family Problems

  • Relationship Concerns & Conflict

  • Low Self-Esteem

  • Difficulty Communicating

  • Parenting Difficulties/Differences

  • Blended Families

Do you work with Teens? Couples? Adults?

Yes! 

I enjoy working with all ages. When working with children or teenagers, depending on treatment goals and needs, parents are typically very much involved in the therapeutic process. 

I mainly work with couples who are experiencing parenting difficulties, those who are going through the adoption process, or couples who are having communication difficulties leading to frequent conflict. 

I'd be happy to discuss your goals for yourself and/or your child and if we are not a good fit, I can make a referral to another therapist who may be.

How involved do I have to be in my child's therapy?

Great question! Every child is different, and I don't take a one size fits all approach. The level of involvement from parents & caregivers will look different from family to family. As a systemic family therapist, I strongly believe that families play a crucial role in how children develop and heal. I can tell you that children often heal faster when we (therapist, child & caregivers/parents) work together.


We will discuss, based on your child's needs, what level of involvement is most appropriate. At the minimum, I require all parents & caregivers to complete an update/progress form prior to each session. I also may suggest family sessions and/or individual sessions with caretakers to teach skills & techniques, provide additional support, and to address your concerns.

How often will I come to therapy?

Due to the importance of establishing a strong, trusting, and secure therapeutic relationship, I suggest that all clients attend one session per week for the first four weeks. After that time, we can discuss spacing sessions as needed or maintaining a weekly schedule. I will regularly collaborate with you on this.

How long will I or my child be in therapy?

Therapy ends when treatment goals are achieved. Every individual is unique, so giving a time frame is difficult. According to the Association of Play Therapy, research suggests that most children attend an average of 20 sessions. However, every situation is different, and some children improve faster while others need more long-term support.

 
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What is Play Therapy?

From the Association for Play Therapy

 

My Favorite Books

To name a few!

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