Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Melissa Dumaz relied on more than 15 years of psychotherapy experience to create her new practice, U Helping You. “I named it that because I really believe that we as individuals have the capacity and the tools we need within us to heal or to get from point A to point B,” Dumaz tells Reel Urban News.
“Sometimes we need someone to show us how to use the tools we already have.”
After taking time off to start a family Dumaz, a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, answered her calling to assist others along life’s journey. “It has been five years and three kids later since I’ve practiced. The two older kids are now in school. I thought this would be a great time to slowly return to my practice.
Dumaz, whose practice began in Beverly Hills, says, “My new office is in the South Bay community of Torrance, a suburb of Los Angeles. The same quality of work, just a new location.”
U Helping You‘s primary focus is individuals therapy, children and teens, couples and families. “My practice has always focused on working with individuals that have dealt with some sort of physical or emotional trauma,” Dumaz explains. “I’ve helped individuals over time manage their grief or personal loss. Sometimes we realize this is beyond what I can do. ‘I need someone to walk alongside me during this journey for a little while – and walk with me through it.’”
The mother of three is uniquely qualified to counsel working and stay-at-home moms. “I’m focusing on working with moms, helping them navigate motherhood – with a newborn, a new child or even with multi-children. As a mother I truly understand.
“As mothers we can never have enough support. No matter how many hands are on deck, more hands are always needed.”
On the UHelpYou.com website Dumaz invites her colleagues in the therapist community to participate in a 50-minute counseling session. “I support and encourage therapy for all therapists. This is a personal time for therapists to reflect on the support they need to maintain personal and professional well-being in order to support their client base effectively.”
With an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of La Verne and a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University Long Beach, Dumaz explodes the myth of maintaining balance. “It’s not about balance, it’s about integration.
“The biggest catch-phrase that I hear is ‘balance.’ How can I balance it all? It’s not about how I balance giving some of myself over here and some of myself over there. When we think about balance we think of little pieces of ourselves all over the place, when truly what’s happening is we’re giving 100% of ourselves in all places. It’s us trying to integrate this new way of living and finding our new normal.”
While a stay-at-home mom, Dumaz found that social media was often her only interaction with the real world. “When you’re home alone with the kids all day, social media is your only connection with another adult. I’ve met some outstanding moms on social media. Social media in the mommy community is huge!”
Like many modern parents, Dumaz and her family are very active on social media platforms. Dumaz, however, warns it can be overused. “I love social media in moderation. I believe there is a time and place for it. It’s also important to set boundaries and limitations.”
As an established Marriage and Family Therapist with nearly two decades of professional experience that include the YMCA Counseling Center, Penny Lane Centers, Counseling 4 Kids, and Foothill Health & Rehab Hospital Center, Dumaz hopes to have an indelible impact in the Greater Los Angeles community.
“I’m really hoping that U Help You will be a place of healing. I’m hoping people will come into my office and feel the compassion, empathy and the warmth. I want them to feel this is a no judgment zone. You can be who you really are. I’m here to accept you for who you are and to make you feel better. To walk alongside of you through this journey. My company slogan is ‘A Healthy You Starts with You.’”