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Melissa Houlston 
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I have always been passionate about helping children and families through crises. I graduated with a Master’s in Social Work from U.S.C. in 2015 and have over seven years of experience in various mental health and hospital settings. I started my career at CHOC (Children’s Hospital of Orange County) where I became very familiar with crises, trauma and death. My last job was for the County of Orange, where I provided psychological evaluations for suicidal and homicidal minors. I mention these two jobs to display that I am very comfortable dealing with the most uncomfortable of situations. My specialties include anxiety, depression, trauma, crisis resolution, grief, codependency, substance abuse, pregnancy/postpartum, and family/relational issues.


Like anything in life, your passions can shift, or change. After having my children, I knew that I needed a little change in my career and wanted to fine tune my passion. Being a spouse of a first responder can be difficult at times, and I found that finding a therapist to support that role can be even more of a challenge. In my research, I found that there are multiple avenues of support for first responders, but very little for the spouses and families. I can honestly say, I know first hand the demands of the job and how it can take a toll on your relationship, your own mental health, and your children. Therefore, I want to be that avenue of support for spouses and families of first responders. With me, you won’t have to explain why your partner works chaotic shift work and why you feel the burden of everything weighing on you. As your therapist, I will empathize and help you cope with the situations that arise. I will be a safe place for you, free from judgment and provide plenty of support throughout your healing journey.

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