Meet Melanie

Melanie S. Villanueva, LMSW, IMH-E
Infant Mental Health Therapist

A Bit About Melanie and The Nurturing Space Counseling

In case you’re wondering, the letters after my name mean Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and Infant/ Family Mental Health Therapist (IMH-E).

For the past 10 years I have worked in a variety of home, school-based and clinical settings. The nurturing therapeutic support that I received when facing challenges as a first-time parent to a young child who was struggling inspired me to change careers so that I could offer support to others who were struggling. I completed my Bachelor of Arts degree and shortly thereafter I embarked on my new career as a home visitor where I provided support and education to expectant moms and young families. Eventually, in my role as an Early Head Start Child, Family and Resource Specialist who practiced exclusively with pregnant and parenting teens, my passion for Infant Mental Health and supporting the development of young parents was born. Through this work I came to understand the adverse impact of trauma on development and relationships across the lifespan and I became inspired to work with clients at a deeper therapeutic level.

Later, while enrolled in Michigan State University’s clinical Master of Social Work program, I sharpened my skills in Infant Mental Health practice and I completed an intensive certificate program for providing trauma treatment for children and adolescents. Upon graduation, I began my first position at a mental health agency providing clinical therapy for anyone who wanted it, age 3 to 63! Boy, did I learn a lot! However, in time, I was offered, and accepted, a position as a home-based therapist for children age birth to 18 where I worked intensively with infants, toddlers and children in biological and foster families who were challenged with severe emotional problems and symptoms of anxiety, depression and the adverse effects of trauma.

Through the course of my career I have developed a special interest in working with babies and their caregivers, prenatal and postpartum mothers, children, teen parents, and adolescents on the cusp of adulthood, who are struggling with relationships.  I have created The Nurturing Space Counseling so that I can provide treatment that best meets the needs of my clients in a way that is authentic, compassionate and nurturing.