People having a difficult time in their lives may find solutions and relief by consulting a licensed psychologist.
Viewpoint Psychology & Wellness can be that understand- ing therapeutic partner. The practice, based in Commerce Township and West Bloomfield, offers individual, group, family and couple’s therapy.
“We work with all ages and all mental health concerns,” said Melanie Schwartz, a Psy.D. psychologist. She co-owns Viewpoint with her husband, Glen Schwartz, who handles the business and marketing duties.
Psychological help might be especially needed during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Melanie. “COVID has taken us to a whole new level. It’s a scary time, and people are understandably having a hard time coping with the circumstances.”
Since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order for Michiganders to “shelter in place,” Melanie and a rotating roster of 20 associated clinicians are working from home. They are seeing their clients online via professional teletherapy, using a secure, HIPPA- compliant platform. Those who aren’t comfortable with the technology may still talk with a therapist on the phone. Service hours are 8 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. weekends.
“Some of the insurance companies will pay the deductible and co-pay if the sessions are related to COVID-19,” Melanie said, “and very rarely are we not talking about COVID-19 and their difficulty with the situation.”
Raised in Farmington Hills, Melanie is the only child of Marilyn and Melvyn Gvazda. She and Glen have sons Avery, 81⁄2, and Ari, 6, students at Hillel Day School in Farmington Hills.
Melanie graduated from North Farmington High School, Michigan State University, and the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago with her master’s degree in clinical psychology and doctorate in psychology.
Melanie’s areas of expertise include anxiety disorders, depression and mood disorders; perfectionism and OCD; trauma, grief, and loss; and self-esteem, family, and relationship issues. She works mainly with pre-teens/adolescents and adults.
Parent training is another specialty, in which she teaches moms and dads effective skills for parenting.
“I believe our problems develop, and continue, as a result of self-defeating thoughts and behaviors,” Melanie said. “I work with clients to identify unhealthy thinking and behavior patterns that could contribute to their problems. I then teach effective strategies to develop healthy thinking and behavior patterns.”
Melanie offered tips to cope with staying home during this crisis.
“Give yourself time to be sad, angry, or anxious,” she said. “Be kind to yourself. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect. Getting some fresh air is important when you are stuck inside all day, every day. Stay in close communication with others as much as you can. Try to develop some kind of structure or routine, even if you have nothing to do that day.
“These strategies will help manage your mood during this difficult time.”