Speciality of Practice
MSW, Widener University, 2014; MEd Human Sexuality, Widener University, 2014, BA, Sarah Lawrence College, 1996
Additional Clinical Education
Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Philadelphia, PA; Hall Mercer Community Mental Health, Philadelphia, PA
Weightlifting, reading everything( especially history, historical fiction, and queer and trans-YA novels), vegan cooking, sewing, tarot card reading, hiking, trying to garden, baking bread
3 rescue cats: Minnie (Bruce Pratt), Zora (Neal Hurston), Tiny Dancer; 1 rescue dog, Connor (named after no one famous)
I am more likely to be listening to NEPR or one of my favorite podcasts.
Melissa practices trauma-informed therapy, sex-positive therapy, body- and fat-positive therapy, kink and poly welcoming, social justice-oriented therapy, and relational therapy.
Melissa K. Heckman, LICSW, MEd (they/them/theirs & she/her/hers) grew up in Maine and came to the Valley by way of Philadelphia, PA. They received a master’s degree in social work and a clinical master’s degree in human sexuality education from Widener University in 2014. Before joining Transhealth Northampton, Melissa worked as a clinician, supervisor, and assistant program director in community mental health in Springfield, MA. They provided trauma-informed care for children, adolescents, adults, and families with a range of presenting needs, including depression, anxiety, psychosis, mood disorders, experiences of trauma and PTSD, compulsive and impulsive behaviors, personality disorders, and experiences with the Department of Children and Families and other systems. Melissa also founded, developed, trained, and ran a team of clinicians who provide affirming care for transgender and gender-diverse people in the greater Springfield area. Along with this team, Melissa trained numerous mental health care providers, schools, and medical sites on best practices for affirming care for transgender and gender-diverse people. Melissa received their certification in EMDR in 2018 and currently provides a trauma-informed, relational, attachment-based, and collaborative approach to mental health.
Melissa is dedicated to providing sex-positive, body-positive, disability-aware, social and racial justice-oriented mental health care for transgender and gender-diverse and queer people and their families and communities. Melissa is kink and poly welcoming, and with her sex therapy training, she is comfortable discussing sexual behavior, orientation, questions, or concerns. Melissa came to mental health after seeing friends and family who are part of queer, trans, kinky, and poly communities struggle to have positive experiences with mental health providers. Their passion is working to create positive experiences with mental health care for transgender, gender diverse, and queer people, and they believe that their clients know their lives, needs, and selves better than anyone. This belief guides Melissa’s practice, approach, and philosophy. Melissa feels deep gratitude for the clients who choose to trust them to be present in their lives and is so excited to be working with Transhealth Northampton to support a team that mindfully centers transgender and gender-diverse communities.