FACILITATING CHANGE; ATTITUDES, BEHAVIORS, EDUCATION & COMMUNITY
In 1997, Melissa received the Prudential Spirit of Community Achievement Award for three years of community service at an elderly home and a homeless shelter in Connecticut. During this experience she quickly became aware that the only constant in life is change. From 1999 through 2002, Melissa worked encouraging youth to use this constant to their advantage. She worked in Western Massachusetts at a residential facility for adolescents learning to change how they express anger and as the live-in manager/mentor at a transitional living program for young adults "aging out" of the foster care system.
Melissa has extensive experience providing support and assistance to individuals diagnosed with Schizophrenia and co-occurring disorders at different stages of recovery including crisis stabilization/hospital, jail/forensic settings, residential and outpatient treatment and independent living. She has provided training to staff to assist them in working with individuals diagnosed with co-occurring disorders and prevent relapse.
Melissa also has extensive experience with both adolescents and adults who suffer from substance dependency, behavioral and emotional difficulties. In Miami she has worked with children and families in the home/school setting as well as at the Crisis Unit of Juvenile Detention Center and Village South (Substance Dependency Rehabilitation).
In 2008, Melissa realized that the movements and principles of the Pilates Method could help the individuals she counseled and she began training to become a Pilates teacher with Pilates Education Group. She observed and student taught under Kevin Bowen for two years and Anna Alvarez for an additional year prior to completing the 450 hour comprehensive training program in January 2011.
In 2009, Melissa branched out into private practice where she continues to provide counseling and coaching to individuals interested in personal growth and self improvement. Reasons individuals seek her help include sad mood, anxiety, stress, relapse prevention, indecision, self-exploration, life transitions and/or a desire to make changes within or outside of self.
Melissa reaches out to other wellness practitioners for consultation and collaboration in providing services in her private practice and to the community. She served as Chair for WHOLE, Web of Wholistic Educators, an organization which sought to connect wellness professionals across wellness disciplines and to provide education to the community regarding holistic and healthy living. She also belongs to The South Florida Health Coaches with whom she most recently co-hosted a transformational wellness retreat and presented on the topic creating and maintaining change.
CHANGE IN SELF
"It all seems natural to me because of my upbringing. Some of my earliest memories are of listening to child meditation tapes. As I grew into an adult, I instinctively used mindfulness to ground myself. I remember soothing myself by looking at the mountains and trees, remembering just how small I am in the big picture and appreciating the beauty before me. Bits and pieces such as this stayed with me during my personal struggles. My struggles have not been insignificant, although I recognize that many others’ struggles have been and remain more challenging than my own.
About 8 years ago, principles of mindfulness kept reappearing in my life in the form of books, people and surroundings. Around the same time other key components of whole body health (Pilates and balanced nutrition) kept reappearing in my life as well. Becoming reacquainted, and more intimately involved, with these ideas and behaviors of holistic health, they became a priority in my life. I rediscovered and expanded the ideals instilled in me as a child and began to share them with all who would listen. Right now I feel as balanced, happy and healthy as one could hope. And it seems so natural to pass it on… "
Melissa Cramer, LCSW, MCAP
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
C010796 (NC) SW 9441 (FL)
Master's Level Addictions Professional
Master of Social Work
Bachelor of Science
Umass, Amherst 2001 Psychology & Sociology
Melissa understands the need for balance in healing and the unique nature of every individual’s journey. She utilizes interventions from cognitive and mindfulness-based therapies, psychodynamic psychotherapy and coaching. In addition to her education and experience in psychotherapy, Melissa has studied the Pilates Method, a mind body practice which she has integrated into her practice. She maintains close working relationships with practitioners in related wellness professions, such as the South Florida Health Coaches. The result is a holistic & individualistic approach to personal growth and healing.