Dr. Melanie Chinchilla

Psychologist, Consultant, and Supervisor
Licensed Clinical Psychologist in California & Illinois​

As Featured In

I'm Dr. Melanie Chinchilla and I'm a Clinical Psychologist, business owner, mother, partner, and second-generation immigrant.

I'm also someone who knows what it's like to have things go according to plan and still feel crappy.

Dr. Melanie Chinchilla of Approach Therapy in San Francisco, California.

Are you going through the motions of your daily life? Do you feel like you just trying to get through the day? Do you feel lost and uncertain about what you should do next?

You may be excellent at putting your head down and doing what needs to get done. Yet, after spending years stressing, working hard, and doing the “right thing,” you aren’t happy. You bought into the idea that suffering was required to achieve the type of success that eventually pays off. However, when you arrived at the place you thought you wanted to be, you weren’t fulfilled. Life according to “the plan” just wasn’t what you hoped it would be.

When life doesn’t turn out the way you think it should, you may find yourself wondering what went wrong. You may have a hard time pinpointing exactly what’s bothering you.

Sometimes you feel like you have no right to complain. You may feel guilty because you enjoy many privileges other people don’t have. Perhaps you feel like a burden on your friends and family members or recently noticed your relationships feel more strained. You realize something needs to change but you aren’t sure what to do or how to get started.

As a psychologist, I help people sift through the noise and understand what really matters to them.

Yet, despite your uncertainty, you recognize you want to feel good in your personal AND professional life. You know you want your life to include things you want to do, not just what you “should” or “have to” do. In addition, you want to feel better about yourself and the direction you are headed. You want to feel like you are actually living your life instead of simply trying to drag yourself through it.

You can absolutely be in the driver’s seat when it comes to your life.

There is more to life than working hard and suffering. Change is possible. Living the life you want is attainable. If we decide to work together, my goal is to help you sift through the noise to understand:

  • What you want for your future,
  • What you need to do to get where you want to go, and
  • How to accomplish your goals.
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Individual therapy is as unique as you are.

There is no one-size-fits all therapy.  That being said, my work with each client starts with an intake assessment process that allows us to get to know each other. During this time we will talk about your background, unique situation, stressors, quirks, concerns, and ways you learn best. You will also have time to ask me questions. This is a good time for us to figure out whether we will work well together and for you to determine what you would like to accomplish in therapy.

 I tailor therapy for each person with whom I work. The strategies I use are supported by research and have been very successful for many people. In addition to the work we do in therapy, I often recommend and/or provide clients with podcast or book recommendations, suggestions for activities, and exercises they can complete outside of therapy to help increase insight, understanding, and foster skill development. Recommended activities are based on your issues, goals, and current state in treatment. Ultimately, my goal is to help my clients go beyond “getting by” and move into a space where they can grow, thrive, and enjoy their personal and professional lives. To learn more about the various issues I work with, please select one of the types of issues below.

Services We Offer

Interested in working with Dr. Chinchilla ?

Please complete the Client Interest Form to help us learn more about you.

Please note Dr. Chinchilla has limited appointment availability which is subject to change.

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