In a career spanning three decades, Misti M. Rel is a renowned licensed marriage and family therapist who has worked with clients dealing with challenges in the areas of relationships, marriage, anxiety, depression, suicide prevention, serious mental illness, substance abuse and addiction. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in substance abuse studies from Texas Tech University in 1992, followed by a master’s degree in psychology, specializing in marriage and family therapy, from Our Lady of the Lake University in 2009. She is currently pursuing a neurofeedback certificate.
Ms. Rel’s professional dreams have always surrounded working in health care. After graduating from high school, she began working at a hospital within the mental health unit and remained in the role through her college years. Among other early professional roles, she gained valuable expertise with a counseling agency and a mental health crisis facility. While working with other therapists, Ms. Rel became inspired by their methods of approaching different situations, which led her to fully delve into the field and study as much as possible to best serve each client.
Since 2010, Ms. Rel has excelled as a licensed marriage and family therapist out of her private practice, Misti M. Rel, Therapy for Individuals, Couples & Families. Working with clients of all ages, from children to the elderly and families, she helps guide them through challenges of depression, suicide prevention, serious mental illnesses, substance abuse and addiction. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she focused her practice on working with patients who were depressed and anxious due to isolation from their families and friends. Providing a compassionate level of understanding, Ms. Rel has completed level two training in Gottman method couples therapy and uses the Gottman method in her work with couples.
Ms. Rel states on her business website, “As a therapist, I focus on solutions that work for you in your life. My goal is to help you uncover your true potential and lead a life that is worth celebrating. While we can’t change difficult situations of the past, we can work together to better understand and resolve challenges in your life. By applying complementary therapy approaches and techniques, we will unearth long-standing behavior patterns or negative perceptions that may be holding you back from experiencing a more fulfilling and meaningful life.” To commemorate her professional achievements, Ms. Rel received Small Business Awards in 2016 and 2017. She attributes her success to her positive attitude and her motivation.
In a career filled with highlights, Ms. Rel is most proud of helping individuals who are at high risk for suicide attempts. She intends to get them to a place where they can feel excited about living life, and she feels honored to have successfully achieved those goals. To have a former client say, “Thank you for not giving up on me,” is the most significant accolade she could receive.
In conjunction with her primary work, Ms. Rel has volunteered with a local radio station, as well as various organizations that provide books to elementary schools in the United States and Mexico. Additionally, she lent her time and energy to the Kids Kingdom, through which she helped build a playground. To remain aware of developments affecting her field, Ms. Rel aligns herself with the Texas Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Likewise, she is able to further her work through her 15-year-old dog, Beau, who is trained to the tone of voice, pupil dilation, cortisol, and adrenaline scents for stress.
Looking toward the future, Ms. Rel hopes to finish her trauma research as she completes her neurofeedback certification. She is considering retirement but would like to remain involved in the field by mentoring and teaching others. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, traveling, relaxing on her hammock and doing yard work.