Meet Our Team: Dr. Melissa Spann


What is your name and what are your credentials?
Melissa Orshan Spann, PhD

Please give us a brief description of your background.
When I decided to go to graduate school to obtain a Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling it was no shock to my friends and family. Growing up as the oldest of four kids, involved in community service and social action organizations in Miami and with a mother who was a family therapist, it seemed like a natural path for me. During my practicum training, I was introduced to a program called Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!, a proactive approach for building healthy self-esteem in adolescent girls. Through my work facilitating girl-only groups, I reaffirmed my dedication to working with girls and women. I decided an essential part of my training would need to include integrating a systemic perspective and holistic approach to my work. Through this, I moved to Philadelphia and attended a Ph.D. program in Couples and Family Therapy. While I was in Philadelphia, I continued my work with the Rosh Hodesh program and was introduced to The Renfrew Center in Philadelphia. There, I began my training in the field of eating disorders. I developed a specialization for working with couples and families who were struggling to cope with an eating disorder in their families. I also worked at Life Counseling Services and in a private practice to experience all levels of care in the field. I returned to home to Miami and was introduced to Oliver-Pyatt Centers. From the moment I walked into the building, I knew OPC was the type of environment I had always hoped could exist; a place where women and their families could be provided a multi-systemic integrated approach to health and healing.

What does a typical day look like for you at Oliver-Pyatt Centers?
What I love about my job is that there isn’t really a “typical” day. I have recently moved into the position of Director of Admissions. Through this role, I have the unique opportunity to interface with many people on a daily basis. I feel fortunate that I often have the chance to answer the first time someone is placing what is often the most difficult phone call to make – the call to decide if they should seek treatment. I have the opportunity to talk with people, listen to their challenges, and provide support through this process. Our goal is to provide support, consultation, and a therapeutic hand during every interaction we have. My days are filled with these interactions, in person visits from individuals and families, and working with the clinical teams to provide additional support in in any way I can.

In your own words, please describe the philosophy of Oliver-Pyatt Centers.
To me, the OPC philosophy is about balancing acceptance and change, integrating mindfulness in all aspects of life, and focusing on a highly interpersonal model to promote health and healing. One of my favorite things about OPC is that we believe recovery is possible. We work not only with the individual in treatment, but their home personal and professional teams to delve into all aspects of ensuring a recovery-oriented life.

How does the admissions team work together? How do your roles overlap and differ? 
The admissions team is a highly skilled group of women that do whatever we can to facilitate the smoothest possible transition to treatment. As the newest addition to the team, I’ve had the chance to step in to see how everyone’s unique personalities blend together to ensure quality care. The admissions team interacts beautifully will the other departments and teams up through our constant flow of communication and desire to do whatever can be done to help individuals and families.

What is your favorite thing about Oliver-Pyatt Centers?
Through my different roles at OPC – a primary therapist, director of a clinical program, and now in admissions, my favorite thing is always the same – the amazing group of people that I work with. Everyone shares a common vision and goal, respect one another, and share a life both professionally and personally with each other. Through our outstanding staff, we are able to model what it means to share in strong female relationships that provide support and care – something that is translated to the women we work with.

What are three facts about you that people do not know?
Oh boy, here it goes: I have played the guitar since I was five and love to rock out at home AND at OPC, my two children (Violet age three and Archer age five) teach me more on a daily basis than any book I’ve ever read, and I am a third generation Miami native.

Is there any additional information you want to share with our readers?
I’m always ready to talk – call me and we’ll figure it out together!

To contact our Admissions department and speak to Dr. Melissa Spann or another member of our admissions team, please e-mail us here or call {866.511.4325} at any time.