About Melissa

Melissa Walker, MA, LPC, R-DMT, founder and director for the Embodied Relationships Counseling Center, is a Body-Centered Psychotherapist who specializes in sex and relationship therapy for couples and individuals. A graduate of Naropa University in 2009, Melissa weaves together her Masters level training with additional certification in Somatic Archaeology, and training in Couples Therapy, Sex Therapy,  Psychodrama, and Authentic Movement. In addition, she has studied under the 5Rhythms Rites of Passage work of Melissa Michaels, Ed.D since the summer of 2008, during which she has served on the therapeutic team for her programs. Melissa is currently adjunct faculty at Naropa University.

Through study and work, Melissa has crafted the Concentric Sex Therapy model for working with clients. Concentric Sex Therapy is a confluence of body-centered, contemplative, person-centered, and sexology theories. This model harnesses the client’s actualizing tendency, a tendency towards growth and complexity, toward a fully embodied experience and expression of the sexual self. This model includes Erotic Mindfulness, full-body arousal anatomy with a whole-person approach to the human sexual response, and embodied expressivity toward one’s personal erotic potential and healthy relational sexuality.

Through body-centered and contemplative methods, clients are invited to connect with their present-moment, lived experience to shed the cultural and institutional messages that block healthy eroticism, integrate the experiences that frame the sexual self, and unlock innate wisdom toward growth, self-understanding, and healthy, conscious intimate relationships. Melissa supports relationship diversity and how intersectionality of social identity impacts sexuality and intimate justice.

Curriculum Vitae

Memberships and Affiliations

Board Leadership

Education, Certifications

  • The Rising Field of Sexuality Supervision: Exploring the Fundamentals to the Complex!, AASECT’s 2017 Summer Institute, 23-hour training, St. Louis, MO, August 2017
  • Complex Ethics Cases in Therapy: Risk Management Implications and Interventions, presented by Frederic G. Reamer, PhD., 2-hour training, April 2017
  • Sexuality Attitude Reassessment  Seminar, The Intimacy Institute, January 2017
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), since May 12, 2015
  • Out of Control Sexual Behavior (OCSB): Theory, Assessment and Treatment, Boulder, CO, 10.5 training hours, April 2015
  • Pragmatic-Experiential Couples Therapy: A Neuroscience-Based Relationship Skills Training for Mental Health Professionals with Angie Tsiatsos Phillips, Denver, CO, August 9-10, 2014
  • Is Sex Good for Adolescence?, 2014 AASECT Summer Institute, St. Louis, MO, 30 training hours, July 21-24, 2014
  • Introduction to Spiral Dynamics: Understanding and Using ECLET with Ryan Kennedy, Denver, CO November 2013
  • Full Spectrum Sex Therapy with Stella Resnick, Beverly Hills, CA, November 2012
  • Expanding Your Practice of Sex Therapy Training in Using the ISIS Wheel with Kamara McAndrews-Gallahger, June 2012
  • Completed SARS Weekend (Sexual Attitude Reassessment Seminar) February 2012
  • Attended Mating in Captivity – Unlocking Erotic Intelligence with Ester Perel, 6hr training.
  • Certified in Somatic Archaeology, 100 hour training
  • Psychodrama, 28 hours of training
  • Master of Arts in Somatic Counseling Psychology, with emphasis in Dance Movement Therapy, July 2009, Naropa University, Boulder, CO
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology, University of Utah, August 2003, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Bachelor of Science in Sociology, University of Utah, August 2003, Salt Lake City, UT

Presentations

  • Ethics Panel for the Sexual & Gender Health Collaborative of the Front Range, April 2017, Boulder, CO
  • Safe, Sane, & Consensual: A Wellness Practitioners Guide to BDSM, Boulder CO, November 2016, April 2017
  • Dance/Movement Sex Therapy: A Body-Centered Sex Therapy Training for Professionals, Boulder CO, October 2016
  • Mindful Sex Talk: A Mini-Training on a Mindfulness-Based Approach to Talking with clients About Sexual Issues, Denver Therapists Network meeting, September 2016 & Noeticus Counseling Center, May 2016
  • Let’s Talk About Sex, Student Union Discussion Group, April 2016
  • Working with Erotic Countertransference, Naropa University, April 2016
  • Sexual Schemas in Motion, Naropa University, April 2015
  • Wellness Professionals Panel, Naropa University, April 2015
  • Body-Centered BDSM: Tips for Hot and Safe Bedroom Encounters, Fascinations presentation series, April 18th 2013, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Body-Centered Sexuality, Naropa University, Graduate Therapy Skills Class visiting instructor, Annually March 2013-present, Boulder, CO
  • Reviving Eros: A Skill-building Sexuality and Intimacy Weekend Retreat for Couples, Annually February 2013-present, Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, CO
  • A Dance/Movement Sex Therapy Model: Cultivating the Erotic Journey Toward Full Sensual Self-Expression, American Dance Therapy Association Annual Conference, October 2012, Albuquerque, NM
  • Dancing Toward Erotic Fullness: A Dance Movement Sex Therapy Group for Couples, Beyond the Bedroom Conference, October 2012, Northglenn, CO
  • Dancing Toward Erotic Fullness: A Women’s Dance Movement Sex Therapy Group, Soul Tree Studio, June 2012 & September 2012, Lafayette, CO
  • From Traditional to Body Centered Sex Therapy, Naropa University, Somatic Counseling Psychology Department, November 2011, Boulder, CO
  • Explorations in Sexuality: Sacred Sexuality and BDSM, Naropa University, Somatic Counseling Psychology Department, November 2011-present (annual), Boulder, CO
  • Beyond EMDR: Body Centered Approaches to Working with Trauma, COVA: Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance Annual Conference, October 2011, Keystone, CO
  • What is Healthy Sexuality?, Women’s Studies course, Colorado University, September 2011, Boulder, CO
  • Giving Voice to Your Dog’s Non-Verbal Wisdom, K9 c.a.r.e.s. Members Training Weekend, October 2011/February 2012, Westminster Police Department, Westminster, CO, November 2011, University of Colorado Hospital, Denver, CO
  • Facilitate monthly guided meditations in cooperation with Left-Hand Acupuncture, July 2011-present, Lafayette, CO
  • Presented Getting to Pleasure in the Face of Pain, discussion and guided meditation for support with chronic pain, May 2011, Westminster, CO
  • Presented Embodied DreamQuesting, seminar on working with dreams from a somatic psychology perspective, April 2011, Westminster, CO
  • Presented Diversity Awareness and Appreciation from a Body-Centered Perspective, K9Cares Members Training Weekend, April 2011, Westminster, CO Police Department
  • Presented When Conflict Wears the Crown, couples seminar on resolving conflict and deepening relationship, March 2011, Westminster, CO
  • Co-presented An Overview of Body-Centered Therapies, Westminster Police Department Victim Advocate Meeting, February 2011, Westminster, CO
  • Presented Empowerment Through Dance, Red Tent Girls High School Club, March 2011, Monarch High School
  • Presented masters thesis titled A Dance Movement Therapy Perspective Toward the Redefinition and Therapeutic Treatment of Female Sexuality and Female Sexual Dysfunction, American Dance Therapy Association Annual Conference, October 2009, Portland, OR

Publications

  • A Dance Movement Therapy Perspective Toward the Redefinition and Therapeutic Treatment of Female Sexuality and Female Sexual Dysfunction, Research Poster Session, (2009) American Journal of Dance Therapy, 32(1), 33-40.

Work Experience

  • Adjunct Faculty, Naropa University Graduate School of Psychology, Somatic Counseling Psychology June 2016 – present
  • Co-Facilitator, Bi-Annual Couples Intimacy Retreat, February 2013 & November 2013
  • Facilitator, Dance Movement Sex Therapy Group, Lafayette, CO, Bi-anually, June 2012-present
  • Instructor, Prescott College, June 2011 – June 2012
  • Facilitator, Taste of Truthtelling workshop, co-facilitated with Jennie Gershator, MA, LMT, June 2011 – July 2011
  • Private practice, 2009 – present, Westminster, CO
  • Therapeutic Support, Shakti Sisterhood weekend journey, March 4-6 2011 & March 2013
  • Facilitator, Taste of Truthtelling workshop, co-facilitated with Jennie Gershator, MA, LMT, May 2009 – June 2009
  • Facilitator, Authentic Sexuality 6-week workshop, co-facilitated with Sajit Greene, MA, LPC, February 2009 – May 2009
  • Colorado AIDS Project, counselor for individual, couples, and groups, August 2008 – August 2009
  • Therapeutic Support, Surfing the Creative Adult Rite of Passage 2-Week Camp, July – August 2008
  • Movement Therapist and Activity Specialist, CareLink Adult Day Program, Frasier Meadows July 2007 – August 2008
  • Dance facilitator, 2002 – present

Volunteer Sites

  • Volunteer Counselor, Love, Sex, Lies: An Intimacy Checkup, Auraria Campus, Denver, CO, October 2011 & October 2012
  • Women’s Foundation of Colorado, administrative support
  • K9Cares: Canine Reduction of Eventful Stress Non-Profit, therapeutic support, presenter, body-centered therapy consultant
  • Courage is Change, board member, curriculum facilitator

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