Meet Dr. Melissa Risso

Relationships play a large role in our lives and greatly contribute to our overall well-being. Our sex life can be understood as a reflection of our relationships, how we feel about ourselves and others, and how we are functioning in all aspects of our daily lives.

If your sexual health is suffering, it may be a symptom of suffering in other areas of your life as well.   

I believe in a multifaceted approach to resolving sexual challenges and relationship issues, whether they have evolved recently, or have lingered for years.

By integrating education and psychological counseling with medical techniques and therapies, I am confident I can help you achieve clarity in your relationships, a sense of peace, and a full and satisfying sex life. That is the goal. 

As a California-only licensed therapist (LMFT #80126) and certified AASECT Sex Therapist and Sexuality Educator with over 15 years of experience helping individuals infuse passion and joy into their lives and relationships, I've seen it all.

And you know what drives me crazy?

The fact that sex - or lack thereof - is one of the main reasons couples split up and individuals are left feeling stifled, unsatisfied, and frustrated in their relationships with others and themselves!

This is a totally solvable problem, but we must start talking about it and taking action.

When we work together, I will give you the tools you need to get in tune with your libido, enhance your relationships, and have a fulfilling sex life to boot!

contact me today!

My passion for serving people began with my great-grandma teaching me the importance of helping others - no matter what background, race, gender, sexuality, or story a person has to share.

I would often watch her go out of her way for people - packing a lunch for the local garbage man or giving money to an unhoused woman on the corner.

She not only inspired me to take the time to learn about others, but to value the importance that each and every one of us brings to the table. 

How It Began

I am so grateful to have found my passion for sex therapy and honored that my clients trust me with their most intimate truths.

I approach my practice without judgment. I’m not afraid of challenging topics and complicated relationship issues - especially when it comes to exploring sexuality and intimacy.

In fact, I specialize in some of the areas many other therapists are hesitant to tackle including sexual problems, histories of trauma, and alternative sexualities. I am not afraid to approach these topics with a listening ear and a kind, open heart.

If you're ready to take the next step toward a fulfilling, unrestricted, and passionate life, I would love to connect and support you on journey to living your sexiest, most radiant, and empowered life!

The Next Steps

As a counselor and educator, I chose to pursue sex therapy specifically because of the need for proper education about intimacy - without the stigma.

To gain further expertise in the field, I studied at UCLA and Santa Clara University, earning a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with a health emphasis.

 After finding my passion for sex therapy, I decided to further my education at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco for a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality.

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35 years ago, I knew I wanted to be a therapist.

Where I'm At Today


2016 - 2021

California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS)
Ph.D., Human Sexuality

2007 - 2010

2005 - 2007

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Bachelor's, Sociology

Santa Clara University (SCU)
Master's, Counseling Psychology; Health Emphasis