People should not have to struggle with pain, whether physical or emotional, without the right kind of guidance and support. It’s heartbreaking to see how many people live in silence with their symptoms, feeling overwhelmed or out of control in one way or another.
Even for those dealing with “normal” stressors, it can become exhausting when you don’t have the tools to stay balanced and focused on what matters most to you. That is why this website was created; to help people learn what works so they are empowered to make the changes that will give them a better life.
Hello! I’m Dr. Melissa Carris
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
I have a passion for helping people change how they deal with persistent pain and life stressors. I am uniquely positioned to help you because I have been there! My own experiences with chronic pain – and the stress that comes with it – helped me find my niche. After multiple injuries and persistent pain, I realized I needed to do a better job of using the skills I was teaching others to manage my own situation. Through my own hard work – using the same skills I will teach you – I changed my perspective on pain and let go of the messages from people who told me I would “just have to live with it”.
I also learned the hard way that staying caught in a cycle of stress didn’t help my pain OR my ability to direct my life the way I wanted it to go. So, I trusted the science of what works. I learned techniques to better regulate my nervous system, and increase my sense of power over my current situation and anything I might face in the future. I stopped comparing and contrasting everything to the past. And I got excited about trying things that allowed me to feel in charge of whether or not I got hooked by “suffering”. Two big game changers for me? Mindfulness meditation and a focus on healing my nervous system… it changed my life.
My Approach & Values
I was formally trained at the University of Cincinnati, but have spent many years engaged in additional education and training to have the most up-to-date information available on what works.
My private practice is focused on helping people with occupational injuries, which involves pain, stress, and sometimes trauma. Before the pandemic, I taught in-person mindfulness and meditation classes, but have chosen to transition everything online. I am excited to be adding pain management classes too.
In my practice and on this website, I simplify the complex brain and body processes involved with pain and distress to help people retrain their nervous systems and disrupt the cycle that is keeping them stuck in suffering. I would love to teach you too!
When you take one of my courses, please know this: I will always encourage you to stay connected with your physician, psychologist, and other treatment providers to have thorough, well-rounded care. Hopefully they are up-to-date on the neurophysiology of pain and stress too, and support your work with me! Adding in this critical component – self-directed practices that are based in science – can help to finally get you unstuck.
- Trained in multiple treatment modalities including pain reprocessing, mindfulness-based, cognitive-behavioral, and EMDR, with a focus on nervous system regulation
- A Certified Pain Reprocessing Therapist
- A Certified Empowered Relief™ Instructor (a single-session, evidence-based pain management intervention developed at Stanford University by Beth Darnall, Ph.D.)
- A Certified Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness Practitioner
- An Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Certified Therapist
- A long-time practitioner and teacher of mindfulness meditation
- Deeply connected to a weekly online meditation group (sangha) to nourish my own practice
- An across-state telehealth provider
- I have an active “E-Passport”, the Authority to Practice Interjurisdictional Telepsychology (APIT) from the Association for State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). This E-Passport allows me to practice telehealth from Colorado with anyone who resides in one of the states that accepts APIT. Please click here for the qualifying states.
- A member of:
- the American Psychological Association (APA)
- the International Association of the Study of Pain (IASP)
- the American Association of Pain Psychology (AAPP)
- the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA)
NOTE: For current and new patients who are uninsured or choose not to use their insurance, please see the “No Surprises Act” form HERE.
"After my first class I slept better than I ever remember doing so before! …guidance was spot on and immediately useful."
"As a public school teacher (during a pandemic), I have used tools learned in Dr. Carris' mindfulness class to help manage my life."
“Practicing meditation and mindfulness has transformed and continues to transform my life…now I can't imagine my life without these practices…highly recommend”
Rachel Philliou, public school teacher
“…opened my eyes to a variety of ways to manage stress through meditation, mindfulness and movement…I would take it again in a heartbeat.”
Carrie Bollinger, Principal
“easy to tell right away the amount of time and energy Missy puts into her own mindfulness as well as the classes she teaches… it has truly transformed my perspective on life and how I approach it.”
Cassidy P. Klements, Teacher
Ready for Relief?
No-one should have to go through life believing they have no control over their pain or stress.
It’s time to get unstuck and find relief.