What to expect

Whether you’re brand new to therapy or returning for the first time since the pandemic changed the landscape of our lives, you may have questions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

About therapy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and online. Dr. Melissa Valentina is here to help!

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication are crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other once or twice a week for our sessions. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.

I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Does that make me weak?

​Not at all. It is a sign of strength to know when you need help and to reach out for it. Not everyone has the skill of humility required to reach out, but everyone needs help now and then.
Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your inner strengths. Although you may not feel in touch with them, you already have some strengths that you’ve used before.  In our work together, I’ll help you identify those strengths and implement them again in the current struggle.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication for my mental health concerns?

Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior, and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals. However, medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.

How does therapy work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, the process of therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.
The primary thing needed from you in order for therapy to work is for you to “show up” in all manners of the phrase. Beyond being present physically, you must be emotionally and mentally invested in this process as well. It’s essential to the therapeutic process that you speak from a place of honesty as we work through your challenges together. Tapping into a place of vulnerability will likely see the results you’re looking for more quickly.

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

A friend or family member loves you in their own way. A trained mental health counseling professional helps you approach your situation in a new way– teaching you new skills, gaining different perspectives, listening to you without judgment or expectations, and helping you listen to yourself.

Beyond that, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing your business,” or feeling bad for monopolizing the conversation. That’s what I’m here for. ​

Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you might start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.

How long will it take me in therapy to see improvement?

Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time in therapy depends on several things:

  • Your goals
  • Your circumstances
  • Your commitment
  • Your desire for personal development

On average, people meet weekly for 16 weeks.

Therapy Rate

$180 per 50-min Session

Start with a free consultation
Do You Take Insurance?

New Leaf Therapy does not accept insurance.
If you would still like to work with your insurance, your insurance company may provide some reimbursement. To help with that, I can provide a monthly superbill that you may submit to your insurance for reimbursement. This superbill contains the information needed that, when presented to your insurance company, could result in their reimbursing you for a portion of the psychotherapy fees. Please know that:

  • Some clients do not receive reimbursement, others receive full reimbursement.
  • Depending on the coverage plan, clients can expect 40-60% reimbursement of total fee.
What Is Your Cancellation Policy?

To cancel a scheduled session, we require at least 24 hours notice. Otherwise, clients are charged the full session fee.

Payment Info

We accept credit cards, debit cards, and health savings plan cards.

Our initial conversation

The first time we meet will involve a lot of the same steps no matter which format we come together in. 

After our introductions, we will go over some basic information- a bit of past, present and future about what you’ve experienced and to get a glimpse into the hopes you have for our time together. You will spend this time focused on questions: both answering and asking them. I welcome the opportunity to help you feel more comfortable in offering what I can to answer any questions you may have. 

From there, we will establish your immediate goals so we can make sure the emphasis is on the things that matter most to you right now. 

Our initial consultation will not be deep or heavy, unless that’s what you need. We will move at your pace and at the end of our time together, we will determine how often we will meet and schedule a time for the next one. 

Most of my clients need weekly support for a certain period of time. However, I will evaluate that based on what we learned during our session. I like to customize all of my client relationships to meet your needs as precisely as I can.

Take your time to heal. You deserve it.

There is no urgency in deciding how long or how often your therapy appointments will occur. 

We can adjust our goals and timetables as required. 

Don’t feel that you are obligated to get better and on in 3, 6 or 9 months. Although when therapy hits these milestones, it is a sign that we may need to reevaluate what’s working and what’s not.

Our therapy plan will be structured to meet your needs and tailored to the way you grow and change in our work together. While there are no concrete timetables to your healing, there is a concrete need for your commitment to your therapy. 

It can be difficult and painful to dig deep but the more you lean into your vulnerability, the better your rates of success. 

I bring a lot of expertise to the table but the key to your healing will be the effort and honesty you are willing to commit to yourself. You will get the most out of therapy when you are ready to be honest with yourself about what you need and where you’re hurting. 

Identifying the key elements in your discomfort or struggle doesn’t have to be an out-loud process. I understand it may be difficult if it’s unfamiliar. We can work together to find the best ways for you to communicate these things so that you can find the healing you’re looking for. 

It’s okay to feel nervous before starting something new. 

Florida Online Therapy

Whether you’re nervous about meeting online, or you just have a hard time imagining yourself feeling comfortable in a virtual setting, let me put those fears to rest. 

Meeting virtually offers some unique advantages & can make therapy more accessible

Online options will be video or voice-only teleconference calls where we spend a dedicated amount of time, just like you would do in an office, to move through your healing. 

For those who have more limited availability due to your location, responsibilities or schedule, virtual appointments make therapy possible. Additionally, online therapy can be ideal for those who feel anxious in social situations or simply prefer the empowerment of being able to get a bit of space from your vulnerability to lean into it.

In online therapy with me, you can expect

  • To feel heard
  •  A requirement of your commitment
  •  Big feelings
  • Breakthroughs (and setbacks)
  • Honesty - from yourself as well as from me
  • My focused time and energy during your sessions
  • To be supported