Melissa Fritchle, LMFT

Holistic Psychotherapy in Santa Cruz


Melissa Fritchle, LMFT


Psychotherapist. I got my Master’s in Holistic Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University and was licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist (CA BBS#48627) in 2010. Since then, I have had a  private practice in Santa Cruz. As an intern, I worked with diverse populations through the Santa Cruz school district, Women’s Crisis Support, and at Process Therapy Institute. I have continued my commitment to holistic therapy, getting additional  training in trauma and the body, mindfulness and cross-cultural spiritual practices, dance and movement therapies, and impacts of nutrition and mood and eco psychology. I have been Certified as a Clinical Trauma Professional & am a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher. I have taught as adjunct faculty for Bay Area graduate programs in clinical psychology & for Stanford University's Healthy Living Program and I am proud to be a Clinical Supervisor for Shine a Light Counseling Center supporting new therapists as they step into this dynamic work. I am currently creator and director of Trauma-Informed Sex Positive Therapy Certification Program.

 Sex Therapist and Advocate. As an intern working at Women’s Crisis Support with survivors of sexual trauma, I discovered the real need for sex-positive therapy approaches to healing. I knew that fulfilling sexual expression and acceptance of your sexual self was a key component to healthy psychology but I didn’t hear many people talking about that. So I began training as a Sex Therapist, completing in internship working in a private practice focused on sex and gender issues. I have been active in the field of sex therapy and sex education and as a member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. I have had the incredible opportunity to travel internationally to teach about diverse, holistic sexual health including a trip to Uganda in 2010 for which I won the Sexual Intelligence award for ground-breaking work as an educator. I was invited back to Africa in 2014 to work with Catholic clergy on new approaches to addressing sexual issues within the clergy. I look forward to continuing my work educating people and advocating for sexual health and sexual rights.

 Writer & Public Speaker. I am the author of The Conscious Sexual Self Workbook and continue to write the blog, Transformational Pleasure. There is a new book on our relationship to our bodies coming! I also have written for various online media such as Psyched in San Francisco and PBS : This Emotional Life. I am the volume editor for the educational book, The Praeger Handbook of Community Mental Health Practice, Volume Three: The Global Community and a chapter contributor to two more of those volumes. I give inspirational and educational talks to the public and to health professionals.

(Photo by In Her Image Photography)