Melinda White, MFT
Featured Therapist Interview
According to Ms White, she uses a number of CBT techniques in dealing with clients with ADHD. In one, she helps adults with ADHD deal with task completion: “In session, we list the tasks the client wishes to complete that week. The client then chooses the task she will work on first. We break the task into small component parts to make it less overwhelming. I next ask her to estimate how long she expect the task to take. Since adults with ADHD are notorious for underestimating the time needed for a task, I then ask my client to add an additional thirty to sixty minutes to the time allotted…..” Later, they will discuss obstacles, noting that “examining obstacles helps someone with attention deficits preplan ways to deal with what might come up rather than impulsively allowing the obstacles to draw her away from her task.”
Melinda White is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has worked extensively with adults, teens and children with ADHD, anxiety, depression, social phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, trichotillomania, tics and panic disorder. She is a certified cognitive-behavioral therapist, certified trainer/consultant, and founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. She has been an affiliate of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy. Melinda is also a professional member of the Anxiety Disorders Association, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation. She served for two years as the Educational Coordinator for the U.C. Berkeley site of the National Institute of Mental Health's multi-modal treatment study of ADHD. She was a special education teacher for 15 years, and has a life credential as a learning disability specialist.
She is currently in private practice in Berkeley, California. In addition to attending yearly trainings and conferences throughout the United States to keep her skills up to date, Melinda has been a member of a consult group with Jacqueline Persons since the 1990's. Jackie Persons is a highly skilled mentor, writer of numerous well-regarded books on CBT, and internationally known lecturer. Melinda is the co-treasurer and event registration and membership co-coordinator for the Northern CA CBT Network, an education, training, and networking group of over 280 members in the Bay Area.
Melinda also greatly enjoys training MFT interns/associates and helping them become skilled practitioners of CBT and ERP, working with a wide range of age groups and diagnoses.
Two websites, berkeleytherapist.net and adhdtreatment.com, give additional information on Melinda and her approach to treatment.
First, we would like to know a little about your practice.
What "tips" can you offer to colleagues just opening a practice?
Take lots of trainings from the most well-respected people in the field. Continue in a good consultation group to keep up your skills and get good professional support.
How do you remind your patients of their strengths during the therapy process?
I ask clients each session what went well during their week and what did they do to help make that happen. In addition, I ask them what skills they now know that they are able to use more often.
We would like to know your opinions about ABCT.
How long have you been a member of ABCT?
I've been a member of ABCT since 2000.
How has ABCT helped you professionally?
Attending over a dozen ABCT conferences over the years has kept me up to date with the most current research and the best evidence-based clinical practices in the field.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions!