Melody Maldonado
Associate Marriage & Family Therapist #127051

Melody Maldonado

I believe that my personal experiences growing up as a queer, Iranian-American woman and daughter of immigrants, coupled with a decade of experience in the mental health field, have shaped me to be the therapist I am today. Integrating restorative justice and awareness into therapy, I believe it is vital to understand how our unique experiences and identities impact how we perceive and have been perceived in society.

I’ve found that my natural inclination is to be authentic, collaborative, and creative. I join the humans I work with – owning the fact that I am not some all-knowing expert who can “fix” whoever I sit with. I show up to sessions as a human first, not just ‘your therapist,’ and I approach every one of my clients in the same way.

In my work, you are welcomed into a therapeutic space where your voice, thoughts, and feeling of safety are my first priority. Through that intention, we will explore all your layers, from surface to deep, and what therapy can mean for you. I like to hold elements of authenticity, mindfulness, and even humor in sessions as we encounter the process of reconnecting to our emotions and core selves. I have strength in a variety of evidence-supported practices, with a psychodynamic and client-centered approach. 

When I’m not in session, you can find me getting a new tattoo, at home playing the ukulele for my two cats, going for a drive and listening to Tame Impala on repeat, or running around a dog park with my partner and our two dogs.

Education & Association

I received two master’s degrees, an M.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology, at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles. After graduating, I went on to do my clinical training at respected inpatient hospitals, crisis centers, and intensive outpatient and residential treatment programs. I am an Associate Marriage & Family Therapist (AMFT) trained in EMDR, DBT, CBT, MBSR, and EFT.


California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)

Institute for Creative Mindfulness (ICM)

Therapy Specialty

My educational background and professional expertise have led me to specialize in working with SWANA (Southwest Asian & North Afrikan) and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) LGBTQIA+ folks, as well as those who struggle with addiction, anxiety disorders, complex trauma, depression, and personality disorders.

Services Offered:
– EMDR therapy
– Individual therapy
– Couples therapy
– Gender-affirming letters for affirming medical procedures
– Guided meditations
– Ecotherapy: Having individual sessions in person in nature local to Oakland, CA – Redwood Regional Park or Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland
– Accountability text check-ins
– Sobriety/safety buddy: Meet and go to a recovery meeting together, do step work together, or talk about sobriety/recovery/harm reduction
– Group Therapy

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