Dr. Melanie English, PhD, MSW
Melanie English, PhD, MSW - Professional Experience and Academic Background

Melanie English, PhD, MSW
Professional Experience & Academic Background


PhD - Doctorate of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology - 1999-2007
Department of Clinical Psychology
School of Psychology, Family and Community        
Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA

MSW - Master’s in Social Work - 1997-1999
Walla Walla University
Walla Walla, Washington

BS - 1993-1997
Bachelor’s Degree in Science
Major:  Developmental Psychology
Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Relevant Professional Work History

Parenting Evaluator and Guardian Ad Litem - 2008—present
Child Custody Evaluations and Family Mediation Services. Practice includes parenting evaluations for dissolution, modification, paternity and third party custody cases in King and Snohomish counties, Guardian Ad Litem appointments, case management services, out of county home studies, adoption home studies including pre and post-placement reports, professional consultation, family law mediation and expert testimony.  I have evaluated approximately 900 parenting/family law cases.  Further, I have served as an expert witness and evaluator for several contested adoption cases in Washington and one federal case.  I have additionally provided expert review or evaluation services for cases in Idaho, Oregon, California, Canada, Hawaii, Mexico and Japan. 

Social Worker/Parenting Evaluator - 1998-2008
Family Court Services, King County Superior Court, Seattle Washington.   Responsibilities included conducting and writing comprehensive domestic violence assessments, parenting plan evaluations, family risk assessments, CPS status reports, adoption confirmation and consents, providing family law mediation services and expert testimony regarding family dynamics, divorce, domestic violence, child development and attachment, mental health issues, family law, sexual abuse and substance abuse.

Clinical and Therapeutic Practicum Experience

Research Vertical Team Participant - 2005-2007
Seattle Pacific University.  Participated in weekly consultation regarding psychology research topics, ethics, laws, current literature, professional and academic writing and research/dissertation development.

Clinical Psychology Practicum Supervisor - 2002-2004
Sound Mental Health, Seattle, Washington.  Supervised 2nd and 3rd year doctoral students.  Reviewed psychological evaluations and provided professional and clinical consultation regarding mental health issues, substance abuse and psychological testing to master’s level practicum students.  Completed student evaluations regarding clinical, professional and scholastic competency and performance.

Clinical Psychology Doctoral Intern - 2002-2004
Sound Mental Health, Seattle, Washington.  Interned as a child and adult therapist and clinician.  Responsibilities included psychological testing (including cognitive, achievement, personality, disability, and ADHD assessments), consultation and written diagnostic treatment plans, mental health and suicide/risk assessments and individual therapy.  Trained in paperless billing procedures including use of medical coupons.  Over 2,000 hours completed, including 500 direct contact hours with clients and approximately 150 hours supervised by a licensed clinical psychologist.

Clinical Psychology Doctoral Practicum Student - 2001-2002
Sound Mental Health, Seattle, Washington.  Provided therapy services, psychological testing, mental health intakes, presentations and consultations to staff and other doctoral and master’s level students.  Over 300 hours completed and approximately 150 hours supervised by a licensed clinical psychologist. 

Teaching Experience

Instructor - 2005-2008
King County Department of Judicial Administration, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Instructor.  Responsibilities included teaching attorneys and legal staff about forensic and clinical services from Family Court Operations and an overview of the Family Law Department at King County Superior Court. 

Instructor - 2001-2006
Family Court Services Parenting Seminar, "What About the Kids?"  Topics discussed include legal, social and emotional aspects of divorce and its affects on children, developing a parenting plan, family law procedures and RCW’s, effective communication, conflict resolution and a review of local resources.


Presenter  -  06/09/20
“Coparenting in the Midst of COVID, Chaos and Court.”  King County Superior Court Family Court Services, Seattle, WA.

Keynote Speaker -  05/09/19
Family Law CASA Annual Breakfast, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Seattle.

Presenter - 01/23/19
“Tips from an Expert.”  King County Family Law CASA training for staff and volunteers.

Co-Presenter - 11/09/17
“Role of CASA, GALs, Parenting Evaluators and Family Court Services.”  Seattle Children’s
Hospital staff. 

Presenter - 07/18/17
"Supporting Your Client and Your Case in a GAL or Parenting Evaluation."  Family Law CLE Speakers Series, Seattle, WA.

Presenter-Faculty - 02/15/17
King County Bar Association Title 26 Guardian Ad Litem Training, “Investigations.” Seattle WA.
Presenter - 09/24/15
"Family Court Role and Process for Child Custody Evaluations."  Washington Correctional Center for Women (WCCW), Purdy, WA. 

Presenter - 03/24/15
"Parenting Plans-Complex Parenting Plan Issues." King County Bar Association CLE, Seattle, WA.

Presenter - 02/25/15
King County Bar Association Title 26 Guardian Ad Litem Training, “Investigations.” Seattle WA.

Presenter - 10/14/14
"FCS and Beyond: The role of child custody evaluators outside of the court."  King County Superior Court Family Court Services workshop, Seattle, WA.

Presenter - 09/04/14
"Making the Most of Your Client's Parenting Evaluation."  Family Law CLE Speakers Series, Seattle, WA.

Presenter - 12/16/13
"Handling Divorce for Clients Over 50" CLE workshop, the National Business Institute (NBI),  Seattle, WA.

Presenter - 07/30/13
"Family Law From A to Z" CLE workshop, the National Business Institute (NBI), Seattle, WA.

Presenter - 05/03/13
"Preparing Clients for Parenting Plan Evaluations." King County Bar Association CLE, Seattle, WA.

Presenter - 04/16/13
Washington Chapter of Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), Third Annual Conference.  “Best Practice Standards for GALs" workshop, Seattle, WA.

Presenter - 12/18/12
“Practical Aspects of Parenting Evaluations” Washington State Bar Association CLE, Seattle WA.

Presenter  - 12/15/11
"Parenting Plans and Evaluations." Washington State Bar Association CLE, Seattle, WA.

Presenter - 09/15/11
"Effective Use of Parenting Evaluations in Divorce" CLE workshop, the National Business Institute (NBI), Seattle, WA.

Presenter - 08/30/04
King County Council.  Invited to speak about the variety and importance of children’s services in the court and the emotional and litigious stress resulting from divorce and the need of continued support and resources for parents. Seattle, WA.

Presenter - 2001-2004
Sound Mental Health.  Various presentations to staff and intern students on psychological testing procedures, cases, mental health and forensic topics.  Seattle, WA.

Publication contributions

Claire Gillespie (November 4, 2020). “Everyone Is Feeling Election Stress Right Now in Different Ways—Here's Why, and How to Dial It Back.” Health.com https://www.health.com/condition/stress/election-stress-how-to-dial-back

Claire Gillespie (October 27, 2020). “What is Generational Trauma? Here’s How Experts Explain It.” Health.com https://www.health.com/condition/ptsd/generational-trauma

Bulger, Adam (August 25, 2020). “School Reopening Is a Mess. Here Are 13 Ways to Deal with the Uncertainty.” Fatherly. https://www.fatherly.com/love-money/deal-with-uncertainty-parents-school-reopening/

Gillespie, Claire (July 12, 2020).  “Are my kids enjoying lockdown a little too much?”  The Week. https://theweek.com/articles/923313/are-kids-enjoying-lockdown-little-much

Gillespie, Claire (May 25, 2020).  “Why is my kid such a liar?  The Week.  https://theweek.com/articles/910884/why-kid-such-liar

Gillespie, Claire (May 11, 2020).  “My tween, the big baby.”  The Week.  https://theweek.com/articles/910883/tween-big-baby

Gillespie, Claire (May 4, 2020).  “Siblings fighting more during lockdown?  Here’s what parents can do.”  The Week.  https://theweek.com/articles/909374/siblings-fighting-more-during-lockdown-heres-what-parents

Gillespie, Claire (April 2020).  “Can parents still share custody during the pandemic?”  The Week.  https://theweek.com/articles/908637/parents-still-share-custody-during-pandemic

Gillespie, Claire (January 2020).  “Anxiety is different for kids.” 

Bennett, Taylor (March 2018).  “Tips for Moving Forward and Thriving After a Breakup.”  Thriveworkshttp://thriveworks.com/blog/tips-moving-forward-thriving-after-breakup/

Gillespie, Claire (February 2018).  “What is a ‘good parent’ anyway?  Therapists share their top 10 tips.”   http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/1137916/definition-of-good-parent

Gillespie, Claire (January 2018).  “My Stepkids Love Me, But Their Mom Hates Me.” 
Levine, Erin (November 2017).  “4 Reasons to Be Thankful for Your Divorce.” https://hellodivorce.com/4-reasons-thankful/

Ancheta, Alexa (January 2017).  “Co-Parenting After Divorce: How To Communicate Harmoniously For Children's Sake.”  Parent Herald. 

Gillespie, Claire (January 2017).  “The 7 Commandments of Parenting Post-Divorce.”   http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/1129098/parenting-post-divorce

Collins, Lois (2014, March 17).  "How raising kids within routines boosts social and emotional health."  Deseret News National Edition, p. 2 and 3.

Collins, Lois (2014, April 2).  "Preventing broken marriages from breaking kids."  Deseret News National Edition, p. 3.

Professional Training - 1998-present

King County Title 26 Guardian Ad Litem training
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) training
Washington State Department of Health Psychologist License, #PY 00003910, active.
Ongoing professional training and professional memberships in the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Dr. Melanie English is a member of the Washington State Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (WA-AFCC), serving on the Board of Directors as secretary since 2018 as well as incoming president for the year 2020. Dr. English also serves on the Board of Directors for Family Law CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of King County.


Contact Information

Melanie English, PhD, MSW
815 1st Ave #92
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206.465.6112

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