Melanie Drane is a licensed marriage and family therapist who holds a strong interest in multicultural conversations — having lived overseas for nearly two decades in Europe and Asia. She enlists her graduate studies in psychology, poetry, and political science as different languages for exploring the essential human dramas and archetypes.
Melanie completed her clinical hours working with families, couples, children, and adults at the Southern California Counseling Center. During her three years at the SCCC, she received training in family systems, and studied trauma treatment that integrates somatic awareness and mindfulness, through individual supervision with Virgil Day, LMFT.
Melanie also trained for two years at the Jung Institute of Los Angeles, where she earned her Certificate in Jungian Studies, and provided psychotherapy to patients at the Kiefer Frantz Clinic. Her practice moves beyond talk therapy alone to incorporate diverse modalities that include poetry, visual imagery, music, dream interpretation, and sandplay. She welcomes clients to bring their creative material into sessions, and her approach is tailored to engage the interests of each individual.
Melanie's own poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals over the past two decades. She has been awarded poetry prizes, including the Rona Jaffe Writers Award, first prize in the (UK) Poetry Society's National Poetry Competition, and a NC Arts Council Fellowship in Writing. She holds a USM Stonecoast MFA in creative writing, and served as Writer-in-Residence and instructor at her alma mater, Interlochen Arts Academy, the arts boarding school in northern Michigan.
Melanie's training as therapist was inspired in part by her work with students in creative writing workshops. She serves as a consultant therapist to independent schools, facilitating faculty discussions and training on boundaries and deep listening in community. In this capacity, Melanie works with children and adolescents, and is a faculty member at the Stanley King Institute. Her private practice provides a hospitable space for clients to explore gender and sexual identity, and she presents on this subject to teachers.
In addition to her private practice, she serves as Residency Wellness Clinician at LAC + USC Medical Center and USC Keck School of Medicine's Graduate Medical Education Wellness Program. Melanie is deeply engaged in exploring the doctor-patient relationship, and how it impacts quality of life for both physicians and for individuals navigating health challenges.
Melanie graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University, and is also an alumna of UC Berkeley, and The London School of Economics. She subsequently earned her MA in Counseling Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute with a Depth Psychology emphasis. Perhaps it should be mentioned too that she loves dogs, and a pack of three shelter rescues shares their home with her.