Perhaps best known for her work as Expert & TV personality on the popular and critically acclaimed A&E's series Hoarders, Dr. Melva Green is a Johns Hokins trained psychiatrist and intuitive healer specializing in heart-centered living. She is the co-author of Breathing Room: Open Your Heart by Decluttering Your Home, a wonderful blend of personal stories interwoven into a clear, practical guide on decluttering - mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Her dynamic approach helps us to demystify the reasons we hold onto things, release the judgments when things start to pile up and honor our sacred messiness as a Path to greater self awareness.
From the outside looking in, my life was perfect. Board-certified psychiatrist, 2 masters degrees and 2 post-doctoral fellowships, I’d been through all of the rigors that are required of Western medical practitioners and then some! I had my own private practice, offered therapy sessions, diagnosed and supported all forms of mental and emotional distress. I was even deemed a medico-legal expert in my field. I had all the accolades and prestige that come from years of devotion to my craft. I had the respect of colleagues and the attention of the media. But inside, I felt like an imposter, living someone else’s dream.
From childhood, I knew things that I didn't know how I knew them. I just did. Born with a persistent inner voice guiding me to see the inner life that dwells within all human beings, I didn't know any other way of being. Yet that voice, powerful as it was, was not what I considered in the call to worldly success. So I dampened it. I pushed it down and proceeded down the career path clearly laid out before me. I felt I would risk everything by letting that voice be heard. What would people think? How would that look to the world that had already neatly defined who I was? Or, maybe more accurately, who I was supposed to be?
At the time, I lived in a beautiful home that I shared with my son. He was perfectly content, but I was anything but. Though I was surrounded by people who loved and respected me, deep down I felt completely alone. One day, I felt I could no longer live in what felt like self betrayal. How could I continue to nurture my son when I could not even nurture myself? And lastly, what good was my career when I felt that I was shrinking inside? So I made a decision that most people would consider crazy: I closed the practice I had worked so hard to build. I left the beautiful home and everything familiar and moved to Costa Rica. There was where I would find the breathing room to rediscover myself and reinvent my life. Oh and to write a book!
I deliberately moved to a home where the electronic connections I had previously valued were hard to find. Phone lines were frequently down. If I wanted to use the internet, I had to trudge through a rainforest to get to the closest town. Once I was away from people constantly having access to me, I finally found what really mattered to me, what really brought me joy. I had space—pure, open space. All I had to do was mother and meditate. With these two practices, I got to the work of finding my truth. I opened every dark space within myself and took honest inventory of what I had been holding inside for years. I even started exploring what my Ancestors had experienced. What knowledge they had for me. What medicine, medicine that could help me heal others in ways they didn't know they too were yearning for. In the process, I went deeper into those internal spaces. More than I had ever gone before. Here is where I could hear that intuitive voice even more.
So imagine my surprise when, in the midst of this life transition, the popular A&E show Hoarders called me. At the time, they were in their fifth season, with traditionally trained therapists. I thought the full disclosure of my spiritual exploration for healing anxiety conditions, hoarding syndrome, and other behavioral disorders would send them running for the hills. But it had just the opposite effect. They loved it! It was, in their words, “refreshing, exciting, and engaging.” They were right—and the viewers chimed in with many of the same affections too!
The rest is still history in the making. I've now had more than two dozen years helping people transform and heal their lives in all of the traditional medical practice methodologies and married that invaluable knowledge and skill set with a Wisdom that only authentic, honest, heart centered living can provide.
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