Melissa Layer, MA

Melissa is an integrative psychotherapist and interfaith spiritual director in Olympia, WA. She honors our unfolding journeys through life’s challenges and transitions as compelling invitations for meaning-making in BodyMindSpirit.
Her journey with breast cancer, as well as midwifing her parents, husband, and others through end-of-life, has potently informed her about how a broken heart may become an open heart.

Melissa’s connection with Harmony Hill began years ago when she began volunteering as a house parent at cancer retreats. She fondly remembers Gretchen Schodde (extraordinary HH founder) giving her a pair of garden clippers and empty jam jars, and sending her into the lush gardens to make tiny bouquets for the guest rooms. Melissa now gratefully serves as a group facilitator at the Hill’s cancer retreats and cancer wellness circles at several hospitals. Additionally, she serves as a hospice grief counselor; maintains a psychospiritual private practice; and enjoys presenting and teaching in the community and online, often utilizing expressive arts. Listening with the ear of her heart, she generously offers her compassionate presence.

Melissa’s personal delights include Trillium sightings in the spring; walking the oyster shell labyrinth on the Hill; camping and hiking; a daily practice of journaling and collage-making; belly laughs; cleansing cries; cultivating curiosity; and discovering the extraordinary in the everyday ordinary.

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