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I help people.

About Melissa

I have had over 26 years of professional experience and training to come alongside people as they desire to grow personally, professionally, and in their relationships. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a specialization in relationship counseling using the Gottman Method, a science based therapeutic approach that is proven to help heal and strengthen marriages and romantic relationships. In addition to my formal training, I have had many personal experiences that forced me to gather up the courage to enter into the unknown and embrace vulnerability and growth that change and loss can provide. 

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Whether your relationship is in crisis or you just need an assist through a difficult time in your lives, I can help you find a road map to a healthy and happy relationship. I know the pain of a failing relationship, I know the joy of a thriving one. I know the feeling of hitting mid-life and wondering, “What now?”. I know grief and I know loss. I know divorce, I know marriage. I know parenting and step-parenting. I know challenge and fear, but I also know joy and success - and I can help guide you through the challenges to the growth and promise that lie ahead.

I have a Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree from San Diego State University and obtained my Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) professional certification in 1999. I am currently employed as a clinical social worker at St Joseph Hospital, in addition to my private practice. I am a Gottman Method Couples Therapist (level 2) and a Dr. Brene’ Brown Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator, located in Santa Ana, CA.  

My style integrates a variety of approaches, such as Gottman Method Couples Therapy, client-centered, and cognitive-behavior therapy. I am strongly psycho-educational, which means I teach my clients and equip them with tools to help themselves. And I am very action oriented, as I work with couples to identify unhealthy relational and thought patterns, so that they can create meaningful and satisfying relationships and progress towards life goals. I believe that we must have some understanding of how our past experiences have shaped us and their influence on our current lives, so I help people integrate this crucial understanding to sustain healthy relationships that will give the connection, joy, and belonging that we all need to thrive.

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How i work

How I do therapy

All of us, at some point in our romantic relationships, will develop unhealthy patterns, or experience “emotional injuries” with our partners, or perhaps life challenges that cause us to become disconnected from our partners, and and lose sight of the joy and passion that we used to feel in our relationships. The Gottman Method offers practical tools to strengthen relationships, develop insight into ourselves and our partners, and to re-kindle the friendship and passion that we long to feel again. As a relationship therapist I function as a coach who teaches skills, creates opportunity for healing, and facilitates insight and understanding. It is important that my clients feel comfortable with me and my style and have a sense that we can work together to gain insight and develop tools to create the life you want.

Dr. Brene´ Brown

Dr. Brown writes, “What if stories are just data with a soul?”. In her work she tells stories about her research, and explains how the data can help us to lead better lives. I integrate Dr. Brown’s work in helping couples see and re-write their stories, and the story of their relationship, because these stories are what lead to our crucial sense of being worthy of love and connection.

Dr. John Gottman

Melissa Percy's profile on the Gottman Referral Network

Dr. Gottman’s research and methods are built on hard science and proven data. Using the framework of the “Sound Relationship House” the Gottman Method helps couples strengthen their relationships in three primary areas: Friendship, Conflict Management, and the creation of “Shared Meaning”. Through specific tools and teaching skills, couples are guided in strengthening intimacy, respect, and affection. They are given opportunities to heal emotional wounds, learn to communicate effectively, and focus on shared goals. Over time, couples often lose sight of the positive story and become focused on the negative. Using tailored interventions, I help couples recognize and understand the story of their relationship, and work together to rewrite a happy ending.