Melissa Johari, Owner and operator of The Couple Wellness Expert, B.A., M.S.W., R.S.W.
Melissa is a Registered Social Worker based in Toronto who has worked with families of all ages and of various racial, cultural and religious backgrounds since 2004, and has been happily married for 14 years. She founded The Couple Wellness Expert, as a therapist who specializes in couples counselling, in early 2012. She is Canadian and is of mixed racial background.
Melissa has her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario, and a Master of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. In her studies and in further post-graduate training, she has developed skills in and practices PREP-Enrich premarital therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Resilience in Marriage therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Brief Solution Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Internal Systems Theory, Strengths Perspective, Mindfulness Theory, Psychodynamic Therapy, Anti-Oppressive Practice, Relational Life Therapy, Hypnotherapy and Fundamentals of Supervision.
Melissa believes that each person is unique and does not try to fit the individual or couple to a theory but rather uses an integrative approach in applying her training, based on your own needs. You are the expert on your own lives, and Melissa helps you to navigate through inevitable challenges along life’s journey. Melissa takes a holistic (systemic) perspective, taking into account all areas of your lives: financial, spiritual, physical, emotional, social, vocational, sexual, and environmental. She developed the Relational Wellness Wheel in 2011, to demonstrate how each of these areas of wellness interacts with your relationship. See Melissa’s “Relational Wellness Wheel” for more information.
Melissa primarily offers video counselling, and has an office location with limited office hours in Mississauga, Ontario. Melissa often has her small friendly cockapoo therapy dog, Gilli with her.
Melissa is a Member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) and is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). Social Work is covered under many extended health benefit plans. It is also a tax deduction when claimed as a medical expense. Melissa is also an Allied Mental Health Professional Member with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and is Interim President of the Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
Melissa provides supervision services for other practitioners who are further developing their skills and who are continuing to grow along their professional journey. Whether you are a professional who has just graduated or an experienced therapist, Melissa is happy to offer consulting services to you in your private practice. Coming from a predominantly Emotionally Focused Therapy and Prep-Enrich background, this is demonstrated in her work with supervisees in terms of helping you to facilitate insight and change in your work with your clients and recognizing your own personal strengths and areas of growth. In addition, using a Strengths-based, Mindfulness, Holistic (Systemic), Culturally sensitive approach, she likes to work together with her supervisees in a collaborative, sensitive, challenging and supportive manner.
As a Registered Social Worker with a Master in Social Work and a Supervisor Candidate with AAMFT, Melissa is qualified to offer Supervision to Social Workers, Registered Psychotherapists and Qualifying Registered Psychotherapists with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.
Mission and Vision
The mission of The Couple Wellness Expert is to improve personal wellness one couple at a time by leading the client on a journey of healing, growth and/or learning.
The vision of The Couple Wellness Expert is to see a greater awareness in the community, the city, and the province of the need to foster healthy relationships from the start. This means parents modelling positive relational skills at home, children learning these skills in school and premarital couples taking workshops and/or doing premarital counselling.
Areas of Specialty
Our main focus is on couples, although our practice also involves work with individuals, families, children and youth. Sometimes there is a combination thereof. For example, if through the therapeutic process, it is discovered that part of the source of conflict for a couple is the relationship between the wife and her parents, some family work may take place. Likewise, if it comes out in our work that the teen son of the couple is causing distress for the couple, then there may be some individual work with the son and family work with all three family members.
That being said, these are the areas of work that we specialize in:
- Premarital counselling
- Couple enrichment and couple retreats
- Couples facing issues of fertility
- Foster parents and adoptive parents
- Abuse in childhood
- Adult children of divorce
- Parenting problems
- Issues of intimacy
- Lack of self esteem or couple esteem
- Stress management
- Improving mind-body connection
- Emotional abuse
- Depression and anxiety
- Holistic health and well-being