IMI Locations: Central
Languages: Language: English
Melissa Shadforth is an Integral Health Advisor at IMI, supporting clients to navigate the various modalities in natural and functional medicine offered at our integrated medical clinic and connect their needs with the appropriate practitioners in line with our Heal. Balance. Evolve. philosophy. Melissa is also the Founder of The Collective Journey, providing nurturing mentorship experiences for children and adolescents centred in the science of outdoor adventure therapy, interpersonal neurobiology, and most importantly, inspired by her three children and the village collective who mentors them. Melissa is completing a Master of Counselling and Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional Certification while providing counselling services at IMI as part of her supervised professional placement, working primarily with children, adolescents, and their families.
“While the therapeutic relationship is core to the counselling process, I integrate theories of modern psychology with scientific mind-body practices to create a safe space for present moment awareness and collaborate to find answers from within as we explore a more integrated way of being across their ecological systems.”
As a person-centered integrative practitioner, Melissa provides counselling in relation to childhood and adolescent trauma, stress, anxiety, self esteem, low mood, motivation, depression, disordered eating, grief, relationships, parenting, communication, and decision making. She actively collaborates with other IMI practitioners to support any physiological manifestation of these challenges and with parents, caregivers, and other mentors to set the individual up for success in familial and educational environments. Melissa also supports Special Education Needs students and their families to embrace their neurodiversity, advocate for the social and emotional aspects of learning, and find peace in the state of flux between chaos and rigidity that can be experienced within and around them.
As a Certified Integral Yoga Teacher RYT300, Melissa teaches children and adolescents in nature, schools, community organisations, and through individual or group therapy. Melissa also shares the teachings with adults in classes with foreign domestic workers, female prisoners, and through the counselling process. Melissa continues her studies in Integral Yoga, mental health, and mindfulness, based on the theory and practice of integrative psychotherapy.
Melissa sits on boards in Hong Kong and the United States and has over 20 years of experience in professional and financial services as a Chartered Accountant in Australia, the United States, and Hong Kong. Melissa is a member of The Psychotherapy Society of Hong Kong and also adheres to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Ethical Framework and the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia’s Code of Ethics.
"Attending counselling with Melissa was the best decision I have ever made. Since our first session, Melissa’s genuine and caring nature has made me feel a total sense of safety and support. Naturally an empathetic listener, she takes as much time as needed, so I can talk through my experience. Her expertise in counselling (and mental health) literature has been a wealth of knowledge to me. It is so rare to find someone who is not only intuitive, radiant with positive energy, but also highly professional and can offer actionable suggestions and functional resources.
Melissa has a way of changing my perspective, in the most gentle and supportive way, so that I can see life’s possibilities and regain the strength and inner peace to keep going. In a few months, she has made a significant impact in many areas of my life, e.g. self-love, parenting a child with special needs, marital challenges, dealing with past traumas.
I find Melissa’s perspective on children especially insightful. Her nonjudgmental view, coupled with her knowledge of neurodevelopmental differences and mental health makes her uniquely valuable to children and parents alike."
"When people meet my eldest child, they often marvel at her maturity, confidence and resilience. Little do they know behind-the-scenes, her fears, insecurities and anxiousness are so overwhelming, she’s prone to extreme emotional outbursts.
Two years ago, I felt alone and afraid. I feared for my daughter’s long-term mental and emotional wellbeing and I berated myself for not knowing how best to support her.
I don’t recall how we met Melissa Shadforth but I vividly recall how she turned our lives around. Through a series of workshops and hiking groups, she gave my daughter and girls her age their ‘tribe’. In the most natural settings, through creativity and fun, the girls naturally released their fears and concerns; they shared their tween secrets; they embraced their unique selves and celebrated the differences in others.
Collectively and with compassion, Melissa equipped my daughter with the tools to tap into her inner strength and self-regulate. The best listener and full of wisdom and insight, she became the village I needed as she gentle guided me to better understand my daughter’s wellbeing needs. As my daughter is now navigating hormonal changes and the intense emotions that come with it, we continue to turn to Melissa for counselling and mentorship.
I will forever be grateful for all that Melissa has done and continues to do for my daughter and our family. In my line of work, I’ve met numerous counsellors, coaches and mentors. Melissa is in a league of her own."
“We love the programs Melissa offers and the work she does with children. Our daughter had the opportunity to be with Melissa for several terms and absolutely loved it. Typically reserved and less willing to participate in group activities, she came home each day happy, confident, energetic and sharing about friendship and health. Melissa has a unique and wonderful way of listening, empowering the kids choices and enabling them to problem solve independently.”