Mel Gardner


Mel Gardner


Professions: Counselor, Mental Health Counselor, Psychotherapist
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.
Primary Credential: Indiana - LMHC - 39002644A
Secondary Credential: Arizona - LPC - 12615
Billing and Insurance:

I don't currently accept insurance, but I can provide documentation if clients wish to submit to an insurance company for "out of network" benefit coverage


9640 Commerce Drive
Suite 436
Carmel, Indiana 46032

My Approach to Helping

I am a Cognitive-Behavior (CBT) therapist and Dialectical Behavior therapist (DBT) with experience in treatment of anxiety/panic disorders, depression and personality disorders including Borderline Personality. I am also a certified EMDR therapist. I have found that very often an experience from earlier in life that caused significant emotional distress contributes to the present problem. EMDR is a very efficient and effective tool to promote lasting change that helps leave the past in the past where it belongs.

I have a special interest in the role of Attachment in these disorders and use my understanding of Attachment Theory combined with the approaches listed above to help my clients reach their goals.

Currently I am using intensive approaches to therapy, helping my clients reach their goals in a shorter period of time. I schedule 90 min to 3-hr sessions for those seeking trauma relief as well as for couples seeking immediate stabilization in their relationship.

More Info About My Practice

Educational and Professional Background

Melissa Mockensturm Gardner received a bachelor of arts in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, graduating in 1990. She worked as a biologist for nearly two decades prior to deciding to apply her reasoning mind to the realm of the emotional mind, incorporating a wise, more balanced approach to her work.

Before working in mental health, Mel was a research scientist in biochemistry and molecular biology for the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale for five years, as well as various other institutions across the United States. This analytical focus, coupled with her interest in neuroanatomy and brain chemistry, gives her unique insight into mood disorders, phobias, stress, trauma, and anxiety disorders. Mel enjoys helping alleviate the suffering of people who struggle in these arenas.

Mel graduated from Argosy University with a master of arts in professional counseling. Her studies focused on grief therapy and fertility challenges. She completed a year-long internship at the Christian Family Care Agency, working with families and gaining insight into women's issues. Mel's internship was also her first introduction to attachment theory and attachment-based therapies.

Mel's two-year residency a Phoenix Interfaith Counseling's Glendale Office enables her to conduct group and individual therapy sessions. She used cognitive behavioral (CBT) and dialectical behavioral (DBT) approaches to help these clients manage anxiety disorders, PTSD, mood disorders, personality dysfunctions such as borderline personality disorder, and eating disorders. She is trained as an EMDR trauma therapist, and specializes in adult attachment issues.

Mel is a member of the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) and the American Counseling Association (ACA). She is a retired board member of RESOLVE of Arizona, a fertility support organization. While there, she served as the helpline director for four years.

Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With

I feel particularly adept at helping people who have experienced trauma - whether physically, sexually, psychologically or emotionally - at some time in their lies and who continue to struggle with reminders of it today. I am able to help stabilize what can sometimes feel like re-experiiencing of that trauma through teaching and facilitating application of skills to live differently and then helping the person to look back and effectively reprocess that traumatic experience. Sometimes there are multiple traumas that group together. EMDR is the fastest and most effective way I know to recover from these and secure a life worth living.

My Role as a Therapist

The way I see my role as therapist is as a well-informed and caring helper. I do not take an authoritarian approach where the onus is on you to talk and cry throughout the session while I nod and provide tissues. I use a white board and lots of humor to get right to the identified goals of the session and make sure that you walk out of each session with a plan for skills to try and a phone number to call me anytime between 9AM and 9PM, 7 days a week for coaching if necessary to ensure the success of that plan. The calls are not available as a means for more therapy. They are 5 minutes or shorter and are a means to keep the therapy fresh and effective throughout the time that elapses between sessions.

Services I Provide

  • Coaching
  • Consultation
  • Family Therapy
  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
  • Mediation

Ages I Work With

  • Adults
  • Elders


  • English

Groups I Work With

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, EMDR, DBT, Couples, sex and marital, infertility, grief and loss, Adult Attachment, phobias, panic attacks, anxiety, attacks

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Abandonment
  • Abortion / Post Abortion Issues
  • Abuse / Abuse Survivor Issues
  • Addictions and Compulsions
  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Adoption / Reunion Issues
  • Aging and Geriatric Issues
  • Agoraphobia
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment Issues
  • Blended Family Issues
  • Cancer
  • Career Choice
  • Caregiver Issues / Stress
  • Chronic Pain
  • Codependency / Dependency
  • Communication Problems
  • Compulsive Spending / Shopping
  • Control Issues
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Divorce / Divorce Adjustment
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Emotional Overwhelm
  • Emptiness
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Family Problems
  • Fertility Issues
  • Forgiveness
  • Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
  • Habits
  • Health / Illness / Medical Issues
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Identity Issues
  • Inadequacy
  • Inattention, Impulsivity, and Hyperactivity (ADHD)
  • Infidelity / Affair Recovery
  • Irritability
  • Isolation
  • Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance
  • Midlife Crisis / Midlife Transition
  • Mood Swings / Mood Disturbance
  • Obsessions and Compulsions (OCD)
  • Panic
  • Parenting
  • Phobias
  • Physical Abuse
  • Post Partum Depression
  • Posttraumatic Stress / Trauma
  • Pre-Marital Counseling
  • Pregnancy and Birthing
  • Relationships and Marriage
  • Religious Issues
  • Self-Care
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Criticism
  • Self-Doubt
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Harm
  • Self-Love
  • Sensitivity to Criticism
  • Sexual Assault / Abuse
  • Sexuality / Sex Therapy
  • Shame
  • Social Anxiety / Phobia
  • Spirituality
  • Stress
  • Suicidal Ideation and Behavior
  • Suspiciousness / Paranoia
  • Trust Issues
  • Values Clarification
  • Women's Issues
  • Workplace Issues
  • Worry
  • Worthlessness

Types of Therapy

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Body-Mind Psychotherapy
  • Client-Directed Outcome-Informed Therapy (CDOI)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
  • Integration of different therapy models
  • Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB)
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
  • Parent Work
  • Person-Centered Therapy (Rogerian Therapy)
  • Positive Psychotherapy
  • Psychodynamic
  • Self Psychology
  • Self-Relations Therapy
  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
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