Let me help guide you, your child & your family through the difficult challenges that life can bring.
I provide individual therapy/counseling for children of all ages (toddlers to young adults) who are experiencing a variety of emotional or social difficulties due to academic problems, difficulties with peers, self-confidence issues, or recent changes in their lives (e.g., a family move, a school change, transition to college, or a loss such as the death of a parent or sibling, or parental separation and divorce). I specialize in learning disorders, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, self-injurious behavior, eating disorders, behavior intervention, and grief counseling for children, teens and young adults. I tailor intervention strategies to meet the individual needs and the developmental levels of each client. I typically use variations of play therapy when working with younger children (2-10 years).
I offer psychoeducational testing services to students of all ages and for the following purposes: 1) To determine eligibility for testing accommodations on the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, etc. 2) Gifted and Talented Testing (GATE); 3) To determine whether a child may have ADHD, Learning Disabiities, or other developmental disorders and 4) If you feel your child may require remedial assistance, special education services, or a 504 Accommodation plan.
Knowing that a strong and balanced family is a source of healing and security for children of all ages, providing support to help your family develop adaptive and effective ways to be together is an emphasis of my practice. To that end, I provide in-home family therapy and counseling for many different kinds of families: blended, single parent, traditional, foster/adoptive, and families where children are being raised by grandparents or extended family members.
I believe that a strong family begins with the parent(s) and therefore, "parent work" remains the cornerstone of my treatment philosophy. I provide parenting support and education. I can teach you skills that can help you develop a more positive relationship with your child through improving communication and understanding. I also work with separated and divorced parents to help with co-parenting issues. In this role, I assist children and their parents make the adjustment to new schedules and living arrangements. I also help parents develop an action plan to address home and school issues that may arise as the direct result of children living in two different homes.
And finally, as a behavior specialist, I work closely with parents who need guidance in managing their child's tantrums, oppositional, defiant, and attention seeking behaviors. I educate and empower parents about ways to bring about positive change in their parenting skills.
I can meet with you in my Westlake Village office or in the comfort of your own home. Yes, I make "house calls" and provide in-home therapy & counseling services.
Individual Counseling and Therapy for children
- Depression & Anxiety (related to academic, social issues, or recent changes & loss)
- Fears, Phobias, and Panic Attacks
- Self-esteem and Self-confidence
- Separation Anxiety
- School Refusal, School Phobia & Selective Mutism
- Stress management
- Perfectionism & obsessive compulsive behavior
- Self-injurious behavior
- Oppositional or defiant behavior
- Aggression & anger management
- Motivational issues
- X-Box & electronic game addiction
- Social problems (difficulty making and keeping friends)
- Social skills training
- Life Transition & Coaching for young adults & parents
- Divorce and Grief Counseling
- Eating Disorders
- Body Image Issues
- Gender and Sexual Identity Issues
- Sibling rivalry & conflict resolution
Learning Disabilities Testing
Auditory or Visual Processing Disorders
Executive Funtioning Delays (e.g., problems with initiating & completing tasks, planning & organizational skills)
Social, Emotional or Behavioral Issues
Asperger's Syndrome or Autistic Spectrum Disorder
GATE or Gifted and Talented Testing
504 Accommodations for K-12 and college students
- Provide support and guidance in attaining necessary school-based services for your child
In-home Family Counseling and Therapy:
- Parent child relationship conflicts
Reducing tension and negativity within family
- Improving communication
- Establishing appropriate boundaries, structure, and consistency in the home
- Increasing positive family interaction
Behavior Intervention: As a Behavior Specialist, I can help you **...
- Reduce tantrums, aggression, and whining
- Reduce oppositional defiant behaviors in children and teens
- Increase compliant behavior
- Reduce attention getting and demanding behaviors
- Assist with bedtime issues
- Reduce avoidance behaviors
- Reduce homework battles
- Identify underlying issues leading to behavior problems
- Manage sibing rivalry more effectively
- Manage your stress levels
- Bring about lasting changes in behavior
- Improve Parent-to-Parent communication
- Develop strategies to work as a "parent team"
Develop more effective communication skills with your child
- Improve the Parent/Child Relationship
- Develop effective parenting strategies
- Get more enjoyment and reinforcement out of your relationship with your child
- Co-parenting assistance in divorce and separation
- Build skills and confidence as a parent
Please contact me with your questions or to schedule an appointment by clicking on this link contact me.
You can also call me directly at (805) 795-1238 or email me @ info.drmelissagondek.com.
I offer a free initial phone consultation prior to your first visit.
** The benefits and degree of success dervied from therapy including behavior intervention and parent coaching cannot be guaranteed and depend on several factors including but not limited to: a person's motivation to make changes, regular attendance at counseling sessions, consistency, and follow-through.