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Michelle Mertens Sum, LMFT


Virtual Therapy in California - specializing in Sex and Relationship Therapy, Trauma, Anxiety, and Depression - Safe Space Counseling
Michelle Mertens Sum, LMFT

A Little About Myself

Hi All! I wanted to offer some personal info about myself to help you feel more comfortable about working with me - so here goes: 

Above all else, I value time spent with my family, friends, and fur babies.

As the wife of a first responder and mother to a young toddler, I understand the stresses that come from being a full-time, working parent while trying to take care of a child, house, pets, and clients. All while worrying whether you’re doing things the “right” way.

I’m a loyal Sacramento Kings and San Fransisco 49ers fan – and I’m still recovering from the Superbowl loss this past season.

Finding balance in everyday life can be hard and I’m slowly learning to practice what I preach by listening to myself and what I need weekly, even if that means doing nothing on Sunday but watching football with my family.

Me, As Your Therapist

Credentials: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT #109820)

I’ve worked in mental health for almost 10 years specializing in adolescents who have experienced trauma and are struggling with unsafe behaviors. I also work with couples and individuals who are struggling with intimacy in their relationship.

We as individuals are constantly changing and evolving so it makes sense that our relationships would as well. But when this happens it can be a stressful and confusing for couples who feel disconnected emotionally and physically.

Taboo topics, like sex, can make any relationship especially strenuous yet we ALL battle similar issues every day. Struggling in your relationship at times can be very lonely and cause friction between you and your partner.

I’m here to tell you that you and your partner don’t have to deal with this alone. Seeking help when it’s needed is often what separates healthy relationships from unhealthy ones.

As a therapist my role is to create a safe and supportive, space to allow my clients to process and work through their discomfort and disconnection. I bring my authentic, and sometimes awkward, self to every session, which includes eliminating stigma and pushing my clients enough to get out of their comfort zone so healing can occur.

Because I have learned the importance of being authentic, I tend not to shy away from being direct in session which can be valuable in moving my clients closer to their ultimate goal

Client Focus: Teenagers (13+), Couples, & Individuals

Types of Therapy: Sex Therapy, Trauma-Focused Therapy, EFT

Issues: Sex Therapy, Teen Issues, Trauma

Specialties: Sex Therapy and Teen Issues


Sex Therapy:

  • Sex Made Simple: Navigating Intimacy Issues

  • Speaking of Sex: Integrating Couples and Sex Therapy

  • Sex, Desire, and Relationship Issues

  • Reviving Desire in Low Sex and No Sex Couples

  • New Take on Erectile Dysfunction (Institute for Sex Positive Therapy

Couples/Marriage Therapy:

  • Intensive Training Emotionally Focused Therapy by Sue Johnson, EdD

  • Gottman Level 1

  • Gottman Level 2

  • Gottman Treating Affairs and Trauma


  • M.A Marriage and Family Therapy, Sacramento State University

  • B.A. Psychology, San Diego State University

Virtual Therapy in California - specializing in Sex and Relationship Therapy, Trauma, Anxiety, and Depression - Safe Space Counseling

"In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” — Abraham Maslow

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