Melora Braver, Ph.D.
Voice mail: (814) 234-3464 extension 1

Contact info: By 24 hour voicemail

My View of Therapy

As a therapist my aim is to be a trustworthy witness  to your experience, and a reliable guide to a more meaningful and satisfying life. Carefully listening, and helping you to deeply and courageously attend to many layers of the story of your life, is at the center of my approach. I believe that the safety of a respectful and consistent therapy relationship provides the best climate for the hard work of moving beyond tunnel vision and constricted responses, to a freer, more creative and rewarding life with room for humor, love, heartbreak, risk, friendship, loss -- all that makes us human.

Attending to your recent experience is important for understanding the specific difficulties and dilemmas that led you to therapy. Some of these are easily named: for example, recent loss or trauma, a challenging life transition, or crises at work or in your personal life. Others are harder to describe. You may feel sad, anxious or angry and not understand why, you may notice that, despite your best efforts, your personal and business relationships lead to disappointment or discouragement. You may wonder why others treat you the way you do, or vice versa.

Attending to your personal history often helps to create a richer and more compassionate understanding of the challenges you have faced, both internal and external, and the ways you have learned to protect yourself from painful feelings and realities. It may also reveal the ways these strategies have become, for better or worse, part of your approach to life in the present. Often, this process leads to a appreciating the healthy impulses that led you to adopt the strategies you now find are not working so well, as well as to recognizing elements of strength, inventiveness and self-respect that have seen you through hard times in the past.

Attending to your wishes and desires, as expressed consciously and in dreams, provides a window into the more complex, mysterious, creative, and shadowed nature of your vision of your self.

Attending to the present, to your moment by moment experience in our sessions, provides energy and immediacy needed to integrate understanding and emotion, and ultimately to transform the ways you view yourself and others, manage your emotional life, and act in the world.

How I Work

I am a generalist; that is, I see people with a wide variety of issues, including relationship problems, work-related problems, career and personal transitions, anxiety, and depression. I work with and welcome people from diverse religions, races, cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and political beliefs.

Typically, sessions are scheduled once a week, at the same time each week, for 45 minutes. Depending on your needs, we may schedule sessions more often than this, but rarely less often.

If you have insurance for which I am an in-network provider, I will bill the insurance company directly and you will be responsible for your copayment each week. I am an in-network provider for Highmark Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Preferred Healthcare, and UPMC; however, you should always check your with your insurance company in advance of scheduling an initial appointment, since most companies have a number of products and I may not be in-network for all of them. I am not a Medicare provider. I am not an Access provider. I do not maintain a waiting list, so if I am full, I will try to help you locate a practitioner who will be able to help you.

You can reach me at 814-234-3464, x 1 and leave a message on my confidential voice mail.