Founder & Director

Founder & Director, Melissa Fritchle, LMFT 

Melissa Fritchle is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (CA BBS Lic#48627). She sought out a specialty Masters program in Holistic Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University, following a ten year career as a Massage Therapist. Melissa completed her psychotherapy internship at Process Therapy Institute, working at a placement at Women's Crisis Support/Defensa Des Mujeres. She has remained committed to holistic models of therapy, completing training as a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional & also as a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher. Her private practice is based in Santa Cruz, CA. 

Melissa Fritchle began focusing on sexual health in her undergraduate years at University of CA, Irvine working as a Health Educator. She built her private practice as a Holistic Sex Therapist in Santa Cruz CA and published her first book, frequently used for Sex Ed courses around the Bay Area, the Conscious Sexual Self Workbook in 2014. She has been an active member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors & Therapists and Kink Aware Professionals and is a frequent contributor for online media such as Sexual Health Magazine and Psyched in SF. 

An award-winning educator, Melissa Fritchle considers teaching and speaking an important aspect of working in the sexual health field & passionate about advancing the professional dialogue. She worked as core & adjunct faculty for the John F. Kennedy University graduate program in Holistic Counseling Psychology from 2008-2018. During that time she directed the first-of-its-kind Certificate Program in Queer Consciousness for Psychotherapists. She has also been adjunct faculty for programs at Sofia University & regular professional development instructor for Shine a Light Counseling Center. In 2010, Melissa traveled to Uganda to teach 2 ground-breaking programs in human sexuality for counselor training programs there. She was awarded a Sexual Intelligence Award for her work there. In 2014, she went to Kenya to facilitate an intensive training for Catholic clergy from throughout Africa on new creating new, more sex-positive approaches to sexual issues within the clergy. An engaging speaker, Melissa Fritchle was proud to be one of the first featured RAWW Talks speakers and continues as a featured guest for podcasts, conferences, and inspirational events. 

In 2018 Melissa Fritchle founded the Trauma-informed Sex Positive Therapy Certification Program based on her years of experience working with clients & to address the deficits she had found in professional trainings. She is the lead teacher & director for the program.  

You may contact her for interviews, speaking engagements or information about the program at :

831 419-6156

(photo credit In Her Image Photography)