Melissa Guarino – Marriage and Family Therapist
I was born to Italian American parents in New Jersey and came to sunny Florida at a young age to embrace the warmth and diverse cultures experienced in Orlando and Miami. I loved it so much that I couldn’t help but marry an amazing Hispanic man myself!
Marriage has changed my life. It made me look back at my family and reflect on the ways in which I wanted to emulate my parents and those in which I wanted to be different. My parents worked hard and loved harder, but there is one thing that we missed throughout my childhood: having Jesus in the center of our lives. They have always been incredibly good people, particularly devoted to philanthropy, but as a family we were lacking in our spiritual life, involvement in weekly Mass, and an intimate relationship with the Man Upstairs.
My heart yearned for something greater.
While in College at The University of Tampa, the curious young adult in me found herself searching… for happiness, answers, knowledge, and connections. It was then that my tireless search lead me to learn more about God, with Whom I started cultivating a very special relationship. As is the case with many of us in other areas of our lives, I didn’t initially realize I was supposed to act differently and accordingly if I was to call myself a practicing Catholic.
When I started changing my ways, I came across the deep longing to help people find something greater for themselves as well.
Psychology would give me the opportunity to combine my parents’ legacy of being devoted to service with my fervent desire to help others become a better version of themselves. During my six years in the field, I’ve learned that Psychology is most powerful when you believe and have hope. These two come with faith, which I cannot wait to help you nurture.
During my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy at Nova Southeastern University, I acquired invaluable experience at the Brief Therapy Institute and Broward Outreach Center. I helped children, adults, couples, and families process different life stressors, including relationships issues, grief, depression, anxiety, abuse, addictions, and mental illness. After graduating, I further enhanced my psychotherapy and speaking skills as a school counselor and workshop facilitator for couples through the Archdiocese of Miami and Family and Co-Parenting Enrichment Services. Since 2017, I have been in private practice, where I provide counseling and group programs for couples and teens.
Being exposed to such a wide array of clients and experiences helped me define my vocation as a woman of service. I am especially passionate about my work with young adults that are searching for their purpose and couples who are searching for their way back to each other. Having found the man that God had for me and being exposed to hundreds of couples throughout my professional endeavors, has taught me that being in a relationship can be powerfully strengthening or detrimental for our lives. It’s a choice.
A choice that I want to help you make.
I combine my professional knowledge with spirituality to provide my clients with a complete and transformational psychotherapy experience. I show them how to find joy amidst their pain and I teach couples how to fall back in love while they cope with their struggles at hand. We all have a cross to bear, but we do not need to carry them alone.
Let me accompany you as you use your pain to grow and become a better version of yourself.