I’m Abi Mello, I’m 27, and I was raised in rural Minnesota. I served in the United States Air Force for almost five years and was blessed to live in Texas and Alaska (where I met Kevan Walker MA, LMFT). At 23 years old I was diagnosed with a substantial medical issue and was medically retired out of active duty service. Since then, I have been diagnosed with several subsequent medical problems and have found a calling in being able to connect with other military and veterans on the topics not just of mental health alone, but also the comorbidity of medical and mental health issues. I am now a full-time undergraduate student at BYU-Idaho with a major in Marriage and Family Studies. I will graduate in December 2020, and after I plan to improve the mental health programs for, and work one on one with, active duty military and veterans and their families. This internship is intended to give me hands on experience of clinical psychology and psychotherapy in effort to experience what can be expected on a day to day basis in this field.
Because I have personally experienced the powerful, effective, and redeeming influence of counseling throughout my own life, I entered into my undergraduate studies with the hope that I might one day be used as a similar lifeline to other individuals, couples, and families. I have since received a B.S. in Psychology from Liberty University (with emphasis on Christian Counseling) and have been continuing on in this integrative environment towards my M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy. While I am more than willing to draw (at the client’s request) from the biblical aspect of the education I have received, my priority is not to treat based from my perspective or to suit my experiences. Rather, I aim to place myself in the shoes of each individual to best meet them where they are at and to head where they desire to be. I am humbly and sincerely honored to support, encourage, learn, and grow from every exceptional story entrusted to me!
I am both excited and grateful for the opportunity to intern alongside Kevan this Fall and look forward to gleaning from his wealth of real-world knowledge and professional experiences. Following one more semester of interning in the Spring of 2021, I will officially reach “grown-up” status (finally obtaining my graduate degree) and can begin the next chapter of my journey towards licensure for private practice!
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, then whisked away by a handsome Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, then whisked away by a handsome Marine whose career took our family on a myriad of adventures (complete with a diverse cast of personal and relational experiences), I have undoubtedly become a unique breed of human. The stories of grace and redemption within my own family, and which I have personally experienced, have lent themselves to my very open love for Jesus, my equally open style of communication and (sometimes junior-high level) sense of humor, as well as a genuine love and empathy for people from all backgrounds and walks of life.
After transferring to a Marriage & Family Therapy master's program in New England I became associated for the first time with Narrative Therapy. Narrative therapy is a non~usual type of family therapy that increases the agency of families & individuals by veering sharply from traditional problem~saturated conversations, choosing as its compass (coined by Narrative Therapy co~author Michael White) "People are not problems, problems are problems". As I have trained in this very respectful & appreciative type of family therapy, I've learned to put credit where credit is due, by relying on the expertise of the folks I meet with, rather than insert any professional advice.
Of late I've taken on the title of "Relentless Collector of Magical Moments", which I've stolen from photographer Stephen Wilkes. As you meet with me, you'll note that any expertise I hold is that of your personal "Therapeutic Biographer" or our relationship together being that of "Investigative Co~reporters" through appreciative inquiry. You'll notice that I want to know about your relationship with the problem in various contexts, particularly when you are able to provide evidence of gaining power over the problem or when the problem isn't a problem. Like a biographer take LOTS of notes, which I consider sacred, & your property, which you at anytime can ask me to "hand it over"- often I'll copy these after our conversation for your review, as well as writing (or co~writing) other therapeutic documents. Be ready also to invite those who are most supportive (ex: father, mother, ecclesiastical leader, teacher, coach, that neighbor you can always count on, the bagger at the grocery, ect), as our time together is brief, & these persons have more currency in your life & will be with you long after I'm gone.
Here you'll find a talk I presented at the TEDx Fairbanks event in April 2017.
Peruse my Curriculum Vitae at www.visualcv.com/kwalker for more information on my experience.