Melissa Russell-Plunkett, MS, NCC

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
Albus Dumbledore

Melissa Russell-Plunkett, MS, NCC
Psychotherapist 

Melissa, a Nationally Certified Counselor, brings a diverse set of both personal and professional experiences to her work with clients at Kenosis. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from nearby Franklin College in 2005 and obtained her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. Prior to arriving at Kenosis, she worked as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and aided hundreds of survivors to increase or maintain their safety. She also presented dating violence prevention programs to over a thousand middle and high school students to aid in changing the culture of acceptance of abusive behaviors in young, formative relationships. She brought a personal passion to this work after the lethal effects of domestic violence rippled through her own family.
 
Melissa also has experience working with individuals who struggle with addiction and dependency issues. Her experience as the intake coordinator for a medication-assisted treatment facility for opiate addiction enabled her to compassionately serve people in the throes of addiction withdrawal. She also facilitated evidence-based recovery support groups for incarcerated women. She is a passionate advocate of community drug-free coalition efforts and has volunteered her time and expertise to combat the epidemic of drug abuse.
 
Melissa’s journey has also included life-altering lessons which have given her experiences that no educational program could have provided. As a mother of two children with severe Autism, she understands the struggle of caring for and advocating for special needs individuals. As a bereaved parent, she’s endured unfathomable loss but experienced transformative growth as well. She also is keenly aware of the significant impact that these events and other stresses can have on a marriage. She completed training through the Resolve Through Sharing (RTS) perinatal bereavement program to provide care to parents who have lost a child to miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal demise.
 
Melissa’s sweet, casual and calm demeanor brings an authenticity to counseling which helps clients to see the humor in the hectivity of humanity. She provides an insightful dynamic to those seeking validation, acceptance, and empowerment. She enjoys implementing creative and artistic techniques with clients to help them see their presenting issues in a different light. Her Christian faith has been a source of strength and resilience and she is open to incorporating a Christian perspective if clients indicate an interest in doing so. She works with children, adolescents, and adults in a collaborative manner to create their space, at their pace, and with lots of grace to accomplish their goals.

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