Melissa Ferrari is a couples’ therapist based out of Sydney, Australia. She runs a busy practice, holds weekend intensive therapy sessions, hosts a radio show, and keeps up a popular Facebook page. In this interview, Melissa discusses how she became a psychotherapist, her approaches to marketing and social media, and how she balances her working life with her personal life.
[3:11] Melissa says she became a therapist after going through therapy herself and realizing she could do the therapist’s job. This was about 20 years ago. She went to school to study psychology and then started a practice.
[4:04] Melissa has worked with couples for close to 20 years, though her degree is in psychotherapy and transactional analysis. 4 years ago she began to study the psychobiological approach to couples therapy with Dr. Stan Tatkin. She’s trained in Australia, Canada, and the US in this modality.
[6:14] Melissa also runs intensive weekend workshops with couples, usually one couple at a time. She sees some individual clients—about 40% of her base—for deep trauma, personality issues, and anxiety.
[7:55] Working with couples requires a good block of time. For this reason, Melissa often sees couples every other week for several hours instead of weekly hourly sessions. She says clients appreciate this structure.
[9:40] Melissa co-hosts a weekly 2 hour-long radio show called Talking Relationships. She interviews therapists, doctors, and wellness professionals. Some of her clients come from her listening audience.
[15:32] Melissa explains that she enjoys marketing as it relates to building relationships and presenting your true self. She says if you reach out with a good intention, you can’t go wrong.
[18:18] Melissa stayed off Facebook and all social media for many years because she knew she’d get “addicted’ to it. Then she realized it could be a forum for her to release good information about relationship therapy. She started a Facebook page (Love, Life and Relationships—a Transformational Journey) about 5 years ago and it’s grown fast. She did become “addicted” to posting, at first, but pulled back. By that time, the page had 5,000 followers and was bringing in clients due to her page.
[21:50] Melissa posts tips, articles, and quotes on her Facebook page, and people respond. She also maintains a blog, but doesn’t write as much now as she has in the past.
[23:40] Melissa has a full-time assistant. He handles her schedule, social media, appointment changes, files, and other tasks. Hiring an assistant helped her so she could work at home and spend more time with her family.
[25:45] Melissa spends 20-30 hours a week with clients. The weekend intensives are outside that time frame, but she cuts down the weekly hours if needed, to accommodate the weekend couples.
[28:50] Melissa explains that finding a work-life balance was the hardest part of building her business. a few years ago she found herself overwhelmed and stressed out, so decided to hire an assistant. Things balanced out quickly.
[32:19] Melissa’s advice for new therapists starting a practice: Do your own therapy and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Marketing needs to be a part of your practice.
Melissa Ferrari – Relationship Therapist, Sydney, Australia
Melissa Ferrari is a Relational Psychotherapist, Couple/Relationship Therapist and Dating Coach in Sydney, Australia.
A specialist in the field for 20 years, she has worked with many people to help them live more fulfilling, passionate and happy lives.
She helps transform people by working with them individually in private practice and in one or two-day workshops. Melissa has a great passion for working with people who are looking for love with authenticity and mindfulness.
You can learn more about Melissa by visiting www.melissaferrari.com.au or listening to the Sydney radio show she co-hosts called Talking Relationships – https://www.talkinglifestyle.com.au/Show/relationships/ on 2UE Talking Lifestyle.
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Replays of past episodes can be found here.
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