Interview with Melina Tumpkin, LPC
Check out our clinician interview with IDENTITY therapist, Melina Tumpkin, LPC. Melina is a Licensed Professional Counselor practicing at our East office location in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Melina is passionate about working with adults and young adults dealing with a wide range of mental health concerns, offering therapy in specialty areas including grief and loss, LGBTQ+ related concerns, identity issues, and more. Contact us to schedule an intake appointment with Melina.
1. What is your specialty?
I am particularly passionate about working with individuals who identify as part of the LGBTQIAA+ community. As a member of the queer community myself, I can empathize with some of the struggles that come with being a member. More broadly, I enjoy working with anyone who is struggling with any identity-related concern, whether it’s sexuality, gender identity, racial identity, religious identity, the intersection of identities, or so on. Finally, I enjoy working with those who may be attempting to cope with grief and loss related concerns. Loss is a global experience that will affect all of us in our lifetime.
2. What made you want to become a therapist?
I decided to become a therapist because I have always been deeply curious about human nature and psychology. I believe that if folks can feel understood by another, then they may feel more confident to navigate their world. My hope is to create that type of relationship within the therapy room.
3. What can clients expect when they first come to therapy? What is a typical therapy session like with you?
When clients come to therapy they can expect to reflect inwardly on their prior and present experiences as we work together to form connections and hypotheses. I like to utilize our relationship to motivate change, showing clients that if I can view them in a positive and non-judgmental way, then maybe it’s possible others could too. A typical session involves the client coming in with somewhat of an idea of what they’d like to explore. I like to follow the client’s lead and focus on what’s currently causing the most distress.
4. How have you seen therapy be helpful to your clients?
I have seen clients go from being utterly convinced the people in their life hate them, to opening themselves up to the idea that maybe they’re not so bad. I have seen clients that have struggled with some level of suicidal ideation throughout their life reach a point where they can say confidently “I want to live.” Being part of a client’s journey is an experience I cherish and feel honored by.
5. What do you think are the most important considerations when looking for a therapist?
I think the most important consideration when choosing a therapist is the level of comfort. It is important to be comfortable enough to be honest and vulnerable with your therapist, otherwise, progress may be hindered. Another important consideration is style. Like romantic relationships, some therapists won’t be a good fit for you, and that’s okay. It’s not a bad idea to shop around and find one that you feel you can grow with.
6. What do you hope your clients walk away with?
I hope clients walk away with the knowledge that they can show someone the dark parts of themselves and still be accepted. That they can learn to cope with those big, strong, difficult emotions. I hope clients can walk away with more compassion for themselves and others and hope and excitement for their future.
Visit Melina’s profile to learn more about her counseling services, or to schedule an appointment.