Couples Therapy in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you aren't finding the same fulfillment from your relationship as you once did, now is the time for therapy.

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Do you feel like your relationship is in a rut?

Maybe you don’t feel seen, heard, or respected by your partner. Maybe there's been a breach of trust, and you wonder how your relationship will recover. One of the most important aspects of being in a healthy relationship is being with someone who really “gets” you. Equally important is being with someone who helps you feel safe. 

Are you finding yourself fighting about the same issues again and again?

Most people who start couples therapy feel like they are stuck repeating the same painful patterns.  Perhaps you can relate. No matter the subject of the matter at hand, you realize that there are certain arguments that continue to fuel the undercurrent of disconnect between you. Maybe you are frustrated time and time again running up against the same roadblock. No matter what you try, the relationship issues between you are not getting resolved.

Stuck in this endless cycle of negativity and feeling frustrated and hurt, you may feel like life is being wasted on being unhappy. But you don't have to feel this way. You can turn this around for yourself and for your relationship. 

You just need the right guidance. 

All relationships can get stuck and overwhelming at times. Life stressors like your career, the kids, the in-laws, taking care of extended family members, and the nuanced challenges of each of these situations can get in the way of focusing on your relationship as you should. Maybe your stresses stem from being in the “Sandwich Generation” feeling intergenerational pressure from both sides as you take care of the needs of your parent/s and your children.


Getting through these times depends on good communication and respect with your partner. Being unified in your efforts to simplify and manage conflict efficiently helps in the overall functioning of the family and builds a better environment.


Couples therapy can help you get back to where you want to be with your partner.


Do You Feel Angry, Irritated, Frustrated and Hurt?

Do any of the following resonate with you?

  • You fight all the time with your partner.

  • You lost the joyful feelings that you used to have in life.

  • You’ve noticed that the spark in your relationship is gone.


If these statements sound true for you, you might feel embarrassed to open up about what you’re really going through, even to family and friends. Therapy provides a non-judgmental space for you to talk freely about what’s bothering you.

No matter where or how these patterns started for you, couples therapy can help you heal and get back to the fulfilling and rewarding relationship you are looking for and deserve. 

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself and your relationships. This act will help you to a better life now and in the future.

Schedule Your Session Today!

Couples Therapy Can Help You Improve Your Relationships

It’s possible to feel better. Imagine a life where you could…

  • Have the intimacy you want with your partner.

  • Improve your relationship with yourself and those you choose to share yourself with.

  • Create a more meaningful life based on who you are and what you desire.

  • Have the loving relationships you’ve always wanted.


New Leaf Therapy is dedicated to helping couples discover ways to manage whatever life throws at them.

Build The Loving Relationships You’ve Always Wanted

Couples therapy helps you rise above your challenges and start moving towards your ideal life with fewer arguments and more affection.

In therapy, you will benefit from a therapist's nonjudgmental perspective and outside opinion to identify harmful patterns that you couldn’t on your own. You'll also have the opportunity to learn practical and actionable tools to feel safer and more connected in your relationships.

Even if you are not sure if your problem is serious enough, couples therapy may be able to help. Identifying the major themes that fuel your disagreements and carving out a time to discuss them when neither of you is escalated can be incredibly helpful to the success of your relationship.

I’ve helped couples on the brink of divorce rediscover what made them fall in love in the first place, and I've helped couples who were generally happy work out the kinks in just one or two problem areas. Through connecting and communicating, couples have been able to get the spark back and fall in love all over again.

How Couples Therapy Works

Couples Therapy consists of both one-on-one meetings and sessions together to help you work through your concerns. In addition to listening, I will motivate you with ideas and offer tools that have proven to be effective. In your couples therapy, I play an active role.


Here’s how it works step-by-step:

  1. First, I provide a safe, accepting space so that you will feel comfortable sharing your struggles with me.

  2. Through hearing your story, I will start to get a picture of what your challenges are.

  3. We will start with helping you with immediate concerns like managing difficult emotions and challenging life situations

  4. We will also work to discover what your goals are in therapy and in life.

  5. Keeping your unique goals in mind, we’ll figure out what’s needed to help you reach them

  6. Over the course of our sessions, you will start making progress towards the life you desire.

Schedule Your Session Today!

You Deserve to Have a Happier, Healthier Relationship

New Leaf Therapy utilizes the Gottman Method Couples Therapy in our work. The Gottman method was chosen because it is based on decades of research on couples in relationships. 

Research by Dr. John and Julie Gottman shows that there are four traits that show a relationship is in trouble. These are known as “The Four Horseman” and are a metaphor for the end of times.


The Four Horseman are communications styles that can predict serious problems in a relationship, and they are:

  • Criticism – Different than a critique, criticism is an attack on someone and makes them feel attacked and hurt. After years of living together, many couples develop a running list of complaints in their mind about the way their partner moves throughout life. Even when small criticisms are shared, they add up and lead to a common refrain: "I just can't do anything right."

    • To counter criticism, be polite, say “please”, or “Would you do me a favor?” or frame the critique to focus on what could be different in the future.

  • Defensiveness – This is a response to criticism that involves blaming the other person. If the critical spouse does not apologize or back down a bit, defensiveness will escalate the conflict, which blocks healthy communication.

    • A way to lower the defenses is to take responsibility for part of the problem.

  • Contempt – Treating another with disrespect, mocking them, scoffing, eye-rolling, and calling them names is contemptuous. The person on the receiving end of contempt feels worthless and despised. 

    • To respond to the contemptuous statement, use “I” statements to express how you feel about the situation.

  • Stonewalling – This threat to healthy communication is where attempts to provide feedback feel like talking to a stone wall. Stonewalling is when the listener shuts down and stops responding to their partner. 

    • When stonewalling is present, take a break. A 20-minute walk or something else to calm and soothe yourself before you meet again to constructively yourself. 


The first step in reducing these traits is to notice and become aware of them as they are happening. We will work on this immediately, then move on to learning about healthier ways to interact with each other and working towards conflict resolution.


Reducing the occurrence of the Four Horsemen and expressing mutual respect and fondness for each other is possible with the right tools. Then you can start enjoying each other’s company again.

Other Skills You'll Learn In Couples Therapy


Do you miss the fun you used to have together? Are you craving some healthy connection with the person you chose to spend your life with? A good, reliable friendship is one of the hallmarks of a healthy relationship. We have some tools that can help with this.

Take a Break, Calm Yourself

New Leaf Therapy offers several ways to help calm and soothe yourself. Relaxation methods and hypnotherapy can be incorporated into your sessions and into the rest of life. These allow you to realize what you need and want in a relationship and can help you work through hurdles along the way from a starting point of calm. 

Hypnosis, exercise, and a pleasant approach to conflicts in your relationship can be just what you need to turn things around for you and your partner. 

Research shows that Couples Therapy can positively change your thinking, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. It can help you let go of what’s holding you back.


Connect with Intention and Attention

A sense of connection is important in an intimate relationship. 

Good listening skills are a part of a good, rewarding connection. Focus on the other person for a while to let them know that they are heard and acknowledged. Be present. 


Strengthen Your Friendship

Getting to know each other better, feeling mutual respect, and feeling like the other person “gets” you is how to foster a beautiful friendship that underlies your romantic relationship. 

Spend time together without electronics such as cell phones or television; just talking or dancing or telling stories to each other. Reminisce, and also get to know each other's current internal reality.  

Respond Better to Each Other’s Needs

You said it so many times and it just wasn't heard. What is missing in this communication? What do you have to do to be heard? 

Learn how to identify your needs and communicate them in a way that you feel heard and acknowledged. 

With the right tools, it is possible to recognize when your partner needs something and you can help with fulfilling the need or want. 

Increase Fondness and Appreciation

Loving thoughts are not enough. Relationships require action and expression.


Showing your appreciation in a way lets your companion know that what they are doing and who they are is how to maintain a loving relationship. Telling your partner what you appreciate about them, putting a love note where they will find it later, and saying thank you when they do something to please you are ways to show what you love about them.

Questions or Concerns about Couples Therapy?
What if my partner won’t agree to Couples Therapy?

This happens now and then. Of course, it is best if both partners are involved in the growth process that therapy provides. When this is not possible, we are available to work with individuals and focus on their role in the relationship. 

I am afraid you will tell us that it’s hopeless and we should end our relationship. 

At New Leaf Therapy, we are here for you, to support you in your goals, whatever they may be so that you can achieve your heart’s desire. If you want to stay together, you're both committed to making it work, or want to end things gracefully, we can help you make it a reality. We will discuss your goals in your first session. If you change your goal, we will support you in that too. 

How long will therapy take?

Every couple has different strengths, goals, and levels of motivation. All of these things play a part in discerning how long it takes to get things back on track and moving forward in a positive direction that honors you and your life goals.

We are very busy people. How do you meet with both of us?

It is understandable that meeting is difficult with busy schedules. To work with your schedule, I have a flexible schedule: seven days a week, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm.

Dr. Valentina has been invaluable in my ability to navigate life's challenges. As there are very few guarantees in life, one of those guarantees being that there will be challenges. Having the support of someone I can speak to about this and to have the support I need to get the most out of my life is something I cannot put a price on.

- JO

Dr. Melissa has been such a big help with my goals to better myself. She takes time to get to know you and your situation and gives you great advice and coping skills with things that you are going through!


Thank you, Dr. Melissa :) I don't think you know how much I've progressed with you being here!

- A

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Transform Your Relationship Today!


Ready to start feeling better? If you feel stuck repeating the same painful patterns, couples therapy could help.

You may think that therapy is too expensive, but therapy costs less than a divorce, both emotionally and monetarily. By investing the time and money in your relationship now, you can build a solid foundation with your partner and create your heart’s desire in your home life. The challenges inherent in combining two people's personalities, habits, expectations, and dreams for the future won't go away on their own. The problems and resentment fester and become worse with time. With a neutral therapist involved, you can learn new tools about healing the past and moving forward in a better, more conscious manner.

We all need some help at times, but you can start feeling better today!

Because you deserve a good love in your life, you owe it to yourself to get the help you need. Start now and discover ways to manage the conflicts.


Call 888-666-9059 to start your healing and improve your sense of well-being. Evening and weekend appointments are available.

Dr. Melissa Valentina is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist is certified in Hypnosis Therapy and has been practicing meditation for over 30 years. She is the founder of New Leaf Therapy, LLC.

You can learn more about her philosophy in her blog in the New Leaf Therapy web site.

Begin Today to Improve Your Relationship