Melissa Woods, LPC-S, LPA

Assistant Director

In addition to being one of the Assistant Directors at Gearing Up, Melissa Woods is a veteran of the counseling field and one of the most gifted therapists in Texas. With over fifteen years at Gearing up, she is not only an extraordinarily accomplished counselor, but she is a leader among fellow clinicians, clinic operations, and in the community at large. She has a reputation for incisive and innovative work that goes right to the heart of the matter.  With over 25 years of experience, she is able to decipher and understand complex clinical data and make effective, creative recommendations on clinical matters at Gearing Up. Along with Dr. Gearing, she oversees clinical training at Gearing Up to uphold the highest standards of clinical care in Texas.

Prior to joining Gearing Up, Melissa worked at the Dallas County Juvenile Department as a Psychology Assistant on the Psychological Evaluation Team. In this capacity, she worked with acclaimed senior psychologists from UT Southwestern Medical School in evaluating hundreds of children and teens. She became an expert in adolescent psychological evaluation, interviewing, and clinical treatment.

In addition, Melissa is an experienced clinician in the treatment of traumatic stress in children and adolescents. She has studied the ARC system (Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competence) and uses this cutting-edge system in the evaluation and treatment of children and teens at Gearing Up. Melissa has also completed 55 hours of advanced training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). She has completed Dr Marsha Linehan’s, the creator of DBT, Foundational Training in which she studied such topics as the Scientific Foundation and Evidence for DBT, Acceptance Principles and dialectical foundations of DBT, how DBT individual sessions and DBT skills training sessions are conducted and much more.

Fluent in Spanish and equipped with twenty-five years of clinical experience, Melissa possesses a keen understanding of a variety of psychological disorders, treatments, and therapies. As a forensic evaluator, she has evaluated hundreds of adolescents, adults, and their families for court. In addition, Melissa has spearheaded Family Training Programs, Anger Management Programs for individuals and families, and has conducted therapy and assessments in both English and Spanish for many years.

Melissa’s Extensive Specializations and Experience:

  • Individual Therapy with Adolescents
  • Individual Therapy with Men and Women
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents
  • Complex Trauma
  • Mood Disorders
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Non-Suicidal Self Injury (NSSI—both assessment and treatment)
  • Eating Disorders (both assessment and treatment)

Specialized Trainings:

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – completed over 60 hours of advanced DBT training.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • MBCT – Certified for Adults and Children
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia
  • ARC Trauma Treatment for Children and Adolescents
  • Trauma Conference: The Body Keeps the Score with Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk
  • Disordered Eating: Somatic, Self-compassion, and
  • Mindfulness Interventions for lasting Recovery (in training)
  • Emotional Eating, Chronic Dieting, Bingeing and Body Image: What every Clinician Needs to Know (in training)
  • Neuroscience and Yoga in the Treatment of Complex, Developmental or Repeated Trauma
  • Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy
  • Complex Trauma Certification – Melissa has completed her training and certification in Complex trauma and is studied the work of internationally renowned psychologist and author, Janina Fisher, Ph.D. Dr. Fisher was one of the first psychologists in the country who began studying and treating trauma and is a former instructor at Harvard Medical School. Upon completion of this prestigious program, Melissa became a Certified Complex Trauma Treatment Level Two Professional and an expert in the treatment of Complex Trauma.

Melissa’s Expertise in Psychological Assessments In:

  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Educational Testing
  • Psychological Testing
  • Projective Testing
  • Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Assessments (NSSI)
  • Eating Disorder Assessments

Melissa’s many accomplishments include the following:

  • Baylor University, B.A. in Psychology, with a Minor in Spanish
  • The University of North Texas, Master of Arts in Counseling
  • Licensed Member of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Psychology as a Licensed Psychological Associate (Independent Licensure)
  • Licensed Member of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors
  • Licensed Member of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors as an LPC Supervisor
  • Dallas County Juvenile Department Employee of the Year–Psychological Services, 1999
  • Dallas County Juvenile Department Employee of the Month, February 1999.
  • Dallas County Juvenile Department–Psychology Division, Staff, 1997 to March 2007
  • Early Childhood Intervention Therapy Group for Children (ages 3-12)
  • Conducts Therapy and Assessments in Spanish
  • Managed High Volume Referrals for Psychological Intervention in Psychological Department at the Dallas County Juvenile Department
  • Clinical Supervisor for Interns Completing the Master’s degree at the University of North Texas and Southern Methodist University
  • Clinical Supervisor of L.P.C. Interns

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