Melinda Contreras-Byrd is a New Jersey state licensed psychologist and owner of the Generations Center. The Center specializes in meeting the psychological, and spiritual needs of all women, and both men and women of color. Dr. Contreras-Byrd’s general areas of expertise involve issues of class, gender, ethnicity and faith; while her clinical areas of expertise are depression and anxiety.
She has worked as a school psychologist in urban and suburban districts. She has served as a clinical psychologist for juvenile offenders, homeless men, and adult substance abusers. Dr. Contreras-Byrd has directed programs for bilingual preschoolers and the intellectually gifted. She has been a professor of Psychology, Christian and Pastoral Counseling, and Black Studies. For six years she served as the Special Services Advisor to the Office of the Dean of Students at Princeton University. In this capacity she developed, implemented and/or supervised programming directed at meeting the social, cultural, academic and emotional needs of Asian, Black, Latino and Native American undergraduate students.
For the past six years she served as a consultant psychologist and clinical supervisor for LifeTies Inc. of Trenton and Ewing, serving populations with backgrounds of abuse & neglect, and teens who were “medically fragile” or gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or trans-gendered.
Lastly, Dr. Contreras-Byrd has appeared on local radio and television stations, and has served as lecturer, preacher, work-shop facilitator or key note speaker for numerous corporations, community, religious and educational organizations throughout the United States and Latin America. She is founder of “Solidaridad”,
a mental health/clergy wellness partnering initiative between pastors in the U.S.A. and the Dominican Republic.
She is a graduate of Rutgers University, The Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology, and the Princeton Theological Seminary. Her Seminary
thesis involved the development of a spiritual approach to treating clinical depression in Christian women.
She presently serves as adjunct professor in the Doctor of Ministry Program of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary.
She was awarded a grant from the Louisville Institute enabling her to conduct research into the factors that inform the self-care decisions of Black and Latino pastors in the United States.
She is a published writer and poet, an ordained Elder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and joins her husband, Rev. Vernon R Byrd Jr. in pastoral ministry at St. Matthew A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia, PA.