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I help people.

About Melissa

I have had over 25 years of professional experience and training to come alongside people as they desire to grow personally, professionally, and in their 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 the vulnerability and growth that change and loss can provide. 

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Whether you are in crisis or just need a coach through your current life stage, I can help. 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.  I am an LCSW with over 25 years of experience helping people navigate relationship issues, grief, loss, and adjustment to other major life transitions such as relationship crisis, divorce, adoption, transition to parenthood, chronic illness and mid-life changes. 

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 and individuals 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 lives, face challenges that get in the way of living our lives authentically, joyfully, and meaningfully.  Sometimes these obstacles are obvious to us such as major life transitions, losses, difficult relationships, or negative thought patterns. And sometimes we need help to identify what those obstacles are so we can begin to address them. Some people come to therapy because they feel depressed, directionless, negative, powerless, anxious, scared, or lonely. Others come to therapy simply to improve their relationships, communication skills, or to make connections with others.

Therapy is a unique relationship where you develop insight into your thoughts and feelings in the context of a caring, confidential relationship with the therapist. 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. It is about the stories we have been told by our families, our society, and the stories we tell ourselves. These stories are at their most basic what lead to our crucial sense of being worthy of love and connection.  Her work is about helping us own our own stories and to “show up, be seen, and live brave” in our lives.

Dr. John Gottman

Melissa Percy's profile on the Gottman Referral Network

Dr. Gottman’s research and methods are built on the story that a couple tells about their relationship.  His prediction about whether a relationship would succeed is based on “perceived marital bond” – the positive or negative qualities of the relationship expressed in the telling of their story.  The more positive their perceptions and attitudes were about their marriage and each other, the more stable the marriage.