EP. 12 The 5 Love Languages w/ Melissa Risso, MA, LMFT, CST

The 5 Love Languages is the name of a book by Dr. Gary Chapman and it was published in 1992. Ever since then, it has remained firmly on the NY Times Best Sellers List and we’ve all been captivated. To stay it has changed lives and relationships would definitely be an understatement!

In Dr. Chapman’s sessions with couples he discovered that every person ‘speaks’ one of 5 love languages. Which basically means that when he/she is spoken to in this way, he or she feels emotionally connected.

Melissa Risso "The 5 Love Languages" episode title

In episode 12 I am joined by therapist Melissa Risso, MA, LMFT, CST, who regularly uses the 5 Love Languages to better understand her couples, and to help couples better understand themselves and each other. Melissa thinks it is TRANSFORMATIVE and basically requires all her couples to buy the book! Melissa breaks down each of the 5 love languages and gives us tons of examples of how each of the languages might express themselves in a relationship. Then she gives us tips and tricks for implementing the 5 Love Languages into our own lives (relationships, friendships, work relationships, parenting, and for ourselves).

Next, I am joined by Jen and Denton Sturdivan. Jen is a personal friend of mine and she and her husband were first exposed to the 5 Love Languages 13+ years ago, as they went through premarital counseling. They found it to be such a helpful tool that they went on to lead and teach it to groups at their church. Jen and Denton are kind enough to share their respective love languages, and give us some fantastic insight into how their love languages have changed over time (and how they’ve met each other’s changing needs), how they show up well for their marriage, and they share some words to live by which they’ve received through the marriage mentors they’ve been guided by over the years.



To take the 5 Love Languages Quiz and learn more about your own visit 5lovelanguages.com



The 5 Love Languages are: (from 5lovelanguages.com)

l. Words of affirmation – using words to build up the other person. “Thanks for taking out the garbage.” Not – “It’s about time you took the garbage out. The flies were going to carry it out for you.”

2. Gifts – a gift says, “He was thinking about me. Look what he got for me.”

3. Acts of Service – Doing something for your spouse that you know they would like. Cooking a meal, washing dishes, vacuuming floors, are all acts of service.

4. Quality time – by which I mean, giving your spouse your undivided attention. Taking a walk together or sitting on the couch with the TV off – talking and listening.

5. Physical touch – holding hands, hugging, kissing, sexual intercourse, are all expressions of love.

Out of these five, each of you has a primary love language which speaks more deeply to you than all the others. Discovering each other’s language and speaking it regularly is the best way to keep love alive in a marriage.



About Melissa Risso, MA, LMFT, CST:

A prominent voice in the effort to reverse the stigma of how we learn about mental and sexual health, Melissa Risso has worked extensively as a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and AASECT (pronounced A-sect) Certified Sex Therapist throughout California. Versed in tending to the needs of a wide demographic range, Melissa currently offers her expertise in multiple settings, including offering individual and couples therapy in her private practice located in San Mateo, CA. She also currently teaches graduate coursework for counseling psychology students at several San Francisco Bay Area college campuses and is currently studying intimacy, pleasure, desire, and relationships as a researcher for her Ph.D. dissertation in Human Sexuality from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) located in San Francisco, CA.

Featured in publications including The Hudsucker, Womanista, EXaholics, and the Pillow app, Melissa’s podcast “Let’s Do It with Melissa Risso” promotes positive conversations around both mental and sexual health. Valuing proper education about sex and mental health without stigma, Melissa has dedicated her career to the positive growth of her clients and the general public.

She has also been voted as the San Francisco Bay Area Leader by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) eight years in a row, is Certified in Gottman Therapy Levels 1 & 2, a UCLA Leadership Award Winner, a Certified California Domestic Violence Counselor, a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and a 2018 scholarship award winner for the California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists’ (CAMFT) Clinton E. Phillips Award.


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