Melissa Fritchle, LMFT

Holistic Psychotherapy in Santa Cruz


Therapy Approach

 Empowerment. I believe completely in people’s capacity for creative expression and mindful engagement in their unique life. There will always be things we are not in control of – empowerment often resides in seeing clearly and taking responsibility for the choices we can make. I feel my role as a therapist is to ask questions, be curious, expand perspectives, and draw out the power of each person’s own authority over their own lives.

 There are many reasons we may have lost sight of our own vision for our life, with the world so loud and demanding around us. You may have been limited vision by others in your life, encouraged to doubt your own desires or quiet your excitement. In relationship, you may have past hurts that are still present or issues that are blocking you from trusting each other. You may have been playing it safe, scared to lose each other but unable to really connect. In your sexuality, you may have been having sex that is difficult, uncomfortable or disappointing or you may feel ashamed of your sexual feelings or frightened by their intensity. You may have a body that is changing, perspectives that are changing, foundations shifting, a new version of you demanding change – often without our permission! I can help you navigate through and reclaim your passion in creating a life that fulfils you.  

 Holistic. As a Holistic Psychotherapist I work with the interconnectedness of all aspects of your life. I have been trained in classic techniques and theories foundational to psychotherapy, but also have specialized training in techniques addressing your body, physical symptoms and sensations. I utilize focusing and Mindfulness practices in sessions and offer eco-therapy work to connect to the natural world as a source of healing. I will do a Holistic Health Assessment with you to get an overview of the factors such as nutrition, stress, and habits that may be impacting your mood and progress. Sessions with me can include very practical solution-focused suggestions, working with communication skills and the connection between thoughts and behaviors, or possibly movement or visualization interventions. Together we will decide what works best for you.

 Sex Therapy. Many great therapists are simply not comfortable talking about sex. I am. I have hundreds of hours of professional training in diverse aspects of human sexuality. But perhaps more importantly, I believe that happy, vital, evolving sexuality is key to health. In sex therapy we will give your sexuality the attention and honor that it deserves, while you become more aware and able to express your unique sexual self. Sex therapy is deep talk therapy. It does not involve touch or nudity, just a safe affirming space to wonder, question, celebrate and be a whole person, sexuality and all.


Specialties & issues I commonly work with:

*Relationship changes

*Improving communication

*Self esteem/body image struggles

*Low libido/decreased desire

*Sexual satisfaction/performance concerns



*Trauma and abuse recovery

*GLBTQ questioning or concerns

*Kink or Poly concerns

*Spiritual questioning or longing

*Personal growth and self awareness

 My practice and experience are not limited to these issues. Feel free to contact me to discuss your therapy goals and we can see if I am the right therapist to work with you.


Fees And Location:

What is your rate? My standard fee is $200 per 55 minute session. I offer a complimentary 30 minute initial Teletherapy consultation.

I offer sliding scale slots, although they fill quickly so I cannot guarantee one will be available to you. Please ask if this is an option you would like to explore.

Do you accept insurance? I don’t directly bill insurance, so my clients are responsible for their fees at time of treatment. Your insurance may reimburse you for some or all of the cost. Check with yours to see if they will reimburse individual psychotherapy with an out of network Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I can provide you with monthly statements for you to submit to your insurance company. One reason I only provide superbills for reimbursement is that this allows me to maintain clear psychotherapist-client confidentiality for your psychotherapy information (see note below)

(A note about using insurance coverage for your psychotherapy: It is such an important step for mental health to be validated and included in healthcare coverage, but it is crucial that clients understand that therapy that is directly billed through your insurance company fundamentally changes your rights to confidentiality. In those cases, your insurance company can make decisions about when and how to share your confidential information, including your psychotherapy information, and your therapist must turn over information to the insurance company as requested. This can impact your health record or any claims you may make against your insurance company.)


I see clients online with tele therapy, residents of CA only. 

Outdoor EcoTherapy sessions available in Santa Cruz.