Women’s Therapy & Counseling

Melissa Lester, LCSW

Women’s Therapy & Counseling

Women's Therapy & Counseling for adult women of all ages, shapes, backgrounds, sexual orientations and more.

There's got to be more than 'this'

Maybe you've noticed that the 'go, go, go' and the 'do, do, do' aren't getting you closer to a more meaningful, peaceful life.

Why Therapy For Women Is Different

Being a woman can be synonymous with being 'other focused' and being overwhelmed. Let's make room for you.


Women's Therapy & Counseling

Melissa Lester, LCSW

As a Women’s Therapy & Counseling specialist since 2005, I am deeply committed to helping you achieve your personal and professional goals through the life-changing work of therapy. 

Whether you are new to therapy or ready to embark on a deeper experience than words alone can offer, I look forward to our work together.


Women’s Issues

Emotional Eating

Trauma Resolution

Family of Origin Dynamics

LGBTQ | Coming Out Later in Life

Relationship Conflict

Anxiety, Depression & Stress


Meditation and Mindfulness

EFT Tapping | Acupressure

Hypnosis (Hypnotherapy)

Progressive Counting

Somatic Processing and more

Melissa Lester, LCSW

As a Women’s Therapy & Counseling specialist since 2005, I am deeply committed to helping you achieve your personal and professional goals through the life-changing work of therapy. 

Whether you are new to therapy or ready to embark on a ‘deeper than words’ therapy experience, I look forward to working with you.


Women’s Issues

Emotional Eating

Trauma Resolution

Family of Origin Dynamics

LGBTQ | Coming Out Later in Life

Relationship Conflict

Anxiety, Depression & Stress


Meditation and Mindfulness

EFT Tapping | Acupressure

Hypnosis (Hypnotherapy)

Progressive Counting

Somatic Processing and more

Where to


You’ve likely already begun asking yourself some life-changing questions.  And whether you have some of the answers (or don’t even know what the questions are), reaching out to a qualified therapist you resonate with is a great first step.

To get started, you are welcome to schedule a free phone consultation or send me an email or text.  From there we’ll connect, answer all your questions and determine whether we might  be a good fit.  


Women’s Therapy and Counseling in GA
Monday through Saturday – Telehealth

Therapy for Women in Sandy Springs, GA
Sundays – In Person

Clients Have Said...

"I've been in therapy before, but it's never been anything like this."
Former client
"One session with you is like 3 sessions with my last therapist."
Former client
"I cannot believe how much I've changed and how much better I feel."
Current client
"I want to do the deeper work. I've been in therapy before and just talking didn't help me."
Former client

women's Coming Out Later In Life Group

Time to (re) discover self?


Therapy works differently for different people.  So, regardless of what your practitioner calls themselves, the important takeaways are all the same.  First, the foundation of a ‘therapeutic relationship’ is at the core of all the work in ‘therapy’ or ‘counseling.’  This means that the relationship between you and the practitioner is primary, and should be considered very carefully.  This is arguably the most healing aspect of the work – the relationship.  Without a solid, connected, safe and trusting relationship, there is little possibility for healing or growth.

How therapy works will depend on your personal goals, your practitioner’s approach and skill set, what works best for you, how invested you are in your own process and many other factors.  In general, therapy works by helping us process cognitive, emotional, psychological, spiritual and/or physical sources of distress so that we are able to feel better and do better.

Therapy is a collaborative process of self-discovery and, ideally, distress resolution.  It is possible for one person to experience great benefit from many different kinds of therapy, so trust yourself and start where it feels right to start.  As we learn and grow through our process, we may find that our needs, interests and goals in therapy also shift, and along with this, our desire for a different kind of therapy and therapist may also emerge.  If we are growing, it is only natural that we may ‘outgrow’ certain relationships, and the therapy relationship is no different.

The research of the past 30 years tells us that state-of-the-art therapy and counseling involves more than ‘just talking.’  Though talking can have multiple therapeutic benefits, talking can sometimes make us feel worse, while offering no long-term resolution.  Ideally, the whole person is treated in therapy – the body and the Nervous System are engaged along with the mind, the emotional landscape and all aspects of an individual’s experience.  This combination of talk therapy and body-based, somatic therapy is the most effective combination of ‘therapy’ or ‘counseling.’

Ideally, your therapist will have an extensive set of skills and areas of expertise to draw on and to offer you, ensuring that your therapy experience is truly your own best opportunity to grow and heal.  And if not, the key is to not give up on yourself, but to find the right therapist with whom you can continue to grow.

The goal of therapy is to provide you with the greatest relief possible in the shortest amount of time.  You decide how often you’d like to attend, for how long, when you’d like a break and if or when you’d like to return.

If the therapy relationship feels like it has the potential to be a good fit, I recommend that you give yourself a chance to see what is possible for you.  Sometimes, anxiety, frustration, fear, anger or confusion can become part of not knowing whether you are working with the right therapist for you.  I encourage you to speak with your therapist about your concerns and process together what you are experiencing and how or why a different kind of therapy or relationship might feel better.  A good therapist will happily discuss these issues with you.

Depending on an individual’s tolerance for self-reflection and the skill of the therapist, therapy can feel more or less safe.  But this doesn’t mean that one’s tolerance for the process of therapy cannot be increased over time.  It is, however, important to process this with your therapist and explore whether this relationship continues to be the right fit for you personally.

In addition, your therapist should have certain skill sets and therapy modalities that offer you short-term as well as long-term relief.  Ask questions about therapy approaches, modalities or tools that a therapist uses, and how long each generally takes to provide relief.  Ask about specific training and years of experience.  Ask any questions that will be helpful for you to determine whether you are making the progress you’d like to.  You should feel clear and satisfied with the information you receive.

You always get to decide how many sessions, how often, and for how long.  You get to decide when to take a break and when or if to return.  Discussing these issues with your therapist can present a fantastic opportunity for growth and healing as well.  A good therapist will happily discuss all of these issues with you and more.

I have over 15 years of experience specializing in women’s therapy and counseling. My practice grew organically into this specialty shortly after I began practicing in 2005, as I discovered that working with women was my real calling.  I am deeply committed to helping women achieve personal and professional fulfillment through the life-changing work of therapy. My areas of expertise related to women’s issues include:

  • Women’s life transitions
  • Self-esteem and confidence issues
  • Relationship and interpersonal challenges
  • Healing from trauma or abuse
  • Emotional and disordered eating
  • Work/life balance challenges
  • Finding empowerment and voice
  • Reproductive, postpartum and other health issues
  • Sexuality and sexual orientation
  • Grief, loss and aging concerns


I incorporate a variety of body-based, somatic methods into my therapy practice including meditation, EFT tapping, clinical hypnosis, Progressive Counting and more. My work helps women reconnect with themselves, resolve sources of distress, and create an authentic, fulfilling path forward. I look forward to supporting you on your journey with compassion and care.

It is important to remember that while many ‘women’s issues’ are unique to women, many are also universal human issues that are experienced by women in unique ways.

As a therapist specializing in women’s issues for over 15 years, I have extensive experience helping women navigate major life transitions and emerge with clarity, authenticity and a renewed sense of meaning.  These include transitions related to relationships, family, career, identity, health, sexuality, spirituality, and other significant milestones.

My role is to provide a safe, supportive space for you to process these transitions and the challenging emotions that arise along the way. I help women gain clarity, overcome obstacles, tap into their inner truth, and move forward in an empowered way.

Whether you’re going through a divorce, leaving a long-term job, building your business, contemplating having children, caring for aging parents, exploring your sexual identity, grieving a loss, or experiencing multiple sources of overwhelm at the same time, together we will collaborate to find your truest path in a loving, compassionate and healing way.

Along this path to your sense of self and purpose, we have many tools available to us including meditation, clinical hypnosis, tapping, progressive counting and other somatic, body-based approaches.  These are skills you can also use on your own, while we work together and after.

As a therapist specializing in women’s issues for many years, I devote my practice to helping women address challenges specific to their gender, gender identity, gender roles and the intersectionality of gender as part of being human.

Living as a woman in today’s world is complex, with ever-shifting societal pressures and expectations that profoundly shape our experiences. As your therapist, it is my intention to create a safe, judgment-free environment where we can be curious and explore how being a woman impacts your mental health, physical health and overall wellbeing.

Whether you’re struggling with sexism, gender discrimination, racism, homophobia, age discrimination, work-life balance, grief and loss, compulsive caretaking, body image, medical trauma, reproductive concerns, trauma, or other aspects of being human, you are welcome here.

I incorporate a strengths-based, trauma resolution approach that validates your experience, processes any remaining distress, cultivates clarity and enables you to move forward deeply connected to Self.

As your therapist, I bring my professional training and practice of almost 30 years (as well as my own personal lived experiences) that allow me to relate to the profound challenges gender can have on our mental health, physical health and overall wellbeing.

The external stresses women face, whether subtle or overt, accumulate over time.  Continuous exposure to gender bias, discrimination, stereotyping, exclusion, harassment, and institutional barriers erodes our sense of agency and sense of safety. This takes a toll on emotional wellbeing.

Additionally, as women we’ve often internalized problematic societal messaging that can undermine our self-worth and resiliency. Rebuilding a strong sense of self in the face of these layered challenges requires patience, courage, support and skill.

My role is to validate your experiences as a woman navigating systemic oppression, while also helping to foster the self-awareness, coping skills, boundary-setting, and empowerment needed to protect your mental health.  In addition, resolving long-standing sources of chronic distress and patterns that no longer serve you can play a key role in the life-changing work of therapy.

I incorporate education around women’s psychology along with trauma resolution methods that allow you to process frustration and grief while discovering your inner truth.

Together we will process your experiences fully in ways that truly eliminate both your historical and current distress, while cultivating self-awareness, new coping skills, boundary-setting and other strengths that are uniquely yours.

As a therapist specializing in women’s issues, a significant portion of my practice involves supporting women struggling with self-esteem and confidence challenges.

Low self-worth and confidence are incredibly common issues that affect women across all ages and backgrounds. The expectations and pressures we face as women in our relationships, family lives, careers, communities and within our own minds can profoundly undermine how we view ourselves.

In my 15+ years of counseling women, I’ve helped many move from a place of harsh self-criticism, doubt, and diminished self-trust to a stance of unconditional self-acceptance, inner security and empowerment.

My therapeutic approach creates a nurturing atmosphere to explore the roots of your self-esteem challenges as well as societal factors that exacerbate self-judgment. I incorporate techniques like mindfulness, clinical hypnosis, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping that create and support lasting change.

Supporting women in healing from trauma and abuse is an integral part of my therapy practice. The aftermath of traumatic events and unhealthy relationships can be profoundly destabilizing to one’s sense of Self.

Using my expertise in trauma therapy and women’s psychology, I create a safe, gentle space for you to process painful memories and experiences. Our goal is to process your experiences in such a way that your distress is resolved – once and for all.

I am a trauma trained therapist and incorporate multiple somatic, body-based therapy techniques that resolve trauma – once and for all.

I am privileged to travel alongside women embarking on the life-changing work of therapy.  Therapy is work, but it is always worth it.  My own personal therapy work, professional therapy training and experience with clients tells me so.

Supporting women in discovering their true voice is integral to my approach as a therapist specializing in women’s issues.

Reconnecting with your authentic Self and claiming your right to take up space as a woman in this world requires gentleness, courage and trust.  In a judgment-free atmosphere that encourages you to explore your identity apart from limiting roles, expectations or trauma, we can help you build awareness around what empowerment means for you, specifically.

Using techniques like mindfulness, clinical hypnosis and Emotional Freedom Techniques / Tapping, Progressive Counting and more, it is possible to reprocess recurring sources and distress and ‘stuckness’ and remove them from your path once and for all.  As your connection to Self grows stronger and clearer, this organically leads to healthier boundary setting, skill building, and altered relationship dynamics in general.

Improving your own relationship health – with Self and others – allows others to interact with you in healthier ways as well.  In this way, we role model healthier dynamics, offer those around us an opportunity to grow and change, and ultimately, we attract healthier ‘others’ into relationships with us.

As a therapist who has focused my practice on women’s wellbeing for over 15 years, I understand intimately the monumental challenge of striving for a healthy work/life balance. This struggle depletes us and erodes the very core of who we are and who we can be.  It erodes our sense of Self, our trust in Self and our dreams for Self.  Many women have never been asked who they are or what they truly wish their lives to be – until they enter therapy.

Together, we will work to help you define your goals, identify your values, your priorities, your boundaries and your hopes.  For some women, this is a radical step in a world and culture that has never asked the questions.  For other women, this is a brave moment of pivoting from what they used to want to what they want now.

Over time, you may re-evaluate priorities, establish empowered boundaries, increase your self-compassion, and discover you prefer simplicity to overwhelm.  This might include learning mindfulness techniques, working through guilt and perfectionism, strengthening communication skills, or making difficult but liberating choices to let go of non-essentials.

I incorporate a strengths-based approach to help you define your personal version of success that allows you to show up in all areas of life without sacrificing your health and wellbeing. Our work together focuses on processing trauma, alleviating overwhelm and deepening your connection to Self.

You deserve to thrive, not just survive. I’m committed to accompanying you on the journey toward sustainable balance and peace.

As a therapist who has focused exclusively on women’s wellbeing for many years, I recognize that all of us face a range of difficult emotions unique to the female experience.  And those parts of life that are not ‘unique to women’ are often perceived and experienced very differently by women than they are by others.

If you feel shame about any aspect of your struggle, you should know that all aspects of the human experience are shared.  You are not alone – in your thoughts, your feelings, your distress.  It’s time to talk about it, process it, resolve it and move forward.

Contrary to popular belief, therapy and counseling can be much more than talking, listening, validating and supporting.  Of course, these are the essentials of basic communication.  But processing, re-processing and resolving distress once and for all is the real hallmark of state-of-the-art, life-changing therapy.

In a nutshell, what we now know about all forms of unresolved distress is this.  It gets stuck in the body as well as the mind.  It gets locked in your Nervous System as well as your memory.  Sometimes, it only gets locked in to your Nervous System and your mind doesn’t recall anything about it at all.  Why is this important?  Because good therapy is about resolving distress so that it leaves the body and the Nervous System once and for all.

And that’s important because my goal is to help you truly grow beyond the sources of your distress.  Once and for all.

As a therapist focused exclusively on women’s wellness for many years, I understand and am trained to help you resolve the emotional toll various female health issues can take. From reproductive concerns to menstrual disorders, PCOS, IC, cancer care, early menopause, pain conditions, autoimmune illness and more – these issues profoundly impact our self-image, relationships, identity and overall well being.

My role is to provide a compassionate, safe atmosphere for you to process the complicated feelings that arise amid health challenges unique to womanhood – and ‘personhood.’ Whether you are struggling to adjust to a new normal, grieving a loss of function, coping with body changes, or dealing with anxiety about the future, we will forge your path to meaning and purpose and peace.

Redefining resilience on your own terms, identifying healthy coping mechanisms that work for you, improving your communication and advocacy with medical providers, and experiencing true emotional growth and change is possible. I’m committed to nurturing your growth, healing, and hope through integrated care.

Times of change – whether chosen or not – can challenge us in complex ways and trigger our long-standing blocks and limitations.  Change often comes with unwelcome grief and loss, uncertainty, anxiety and confusion.  Finding – and trusting – a new path can be overwhelming.

My comprehensive background includes supporting women through transitions related to ‘adulting,’ divorce, pregnancy, new motherhood, empty nesting, career shifts, relocation, retirement, death of a loved one, developing health issues, and more.  Life is change – and change can be challenging in unwelcome ways.  The ‘good news’ is that change presents an opportunity for us to grow, learn and discover new aspects of Self.  It also presents us with an opportunity to resolve long-standing emotional obstacles to this growth.

In an affirming, non-judgmental environment we will help you embrace what this chapter means to you, resolving distress, and rediscovering (or discovering) your inner truth and purpose. We can utilize various therapy techniques such as clinical hypnosis, mindfulness practices, meditation, tapping and other somatic therapies to facilitate lasting growth and a renewed sense of peace.

As a therapist focused on women’s wellbeing, I’m thrilled to be able to share and teach you different self-care tools that can help you regulate distress, resolve long-standing issues, increase mindfulness and ease anxiety. True self-care is deeper and more effective than quick ‘treats’ that may provide a momentary ‘boost’ and then leave you right back where you started.  True self-care involves true change – internally and externally – in our relationship with our Self and in our relationships with the rest of the world.

As your therapist, my role is to collaborate in your unique process of healing and wholeness, offering you the very best tools along the way.  If I have any agenda at all, it is to help you connect deeply and lastingly with your unique Self so that your inner knowing continues to guide your path to your personal purpose and your peace.  Therapy is about long-term distress resolution, not simply ‘coping.’

When we are deeply and clearly connected with Self, it becomes possible to deeply and clearly connect with Others and with Life.

With over 15 years specializing in women’s issues, I have extensive experience supporting mothers struggling to balance the demands of parenting, working, family of origin, partner and romantic relationships and more.

I welcome women of all sexual orientations, in ethical, consensual polyamorous and unconventional relationships, and in non-mainstream professions.

Together, we will evaluate your unique priorities, grieve unrealized expectations and losses, gain clarity on your individual definition of a meaningful life, establish peaceful boundaries, and fundamentally shift the way you move through all spheres of your life.  It is possible.

From a psychodynamic therapy foundation, we can incorporate many different approaches, including those that fundamentally change your Nervous System and your reactivity and distress.  Some of these include Somatic body work, EFT Tapping, Hypnosis, Progressive Counting, Meditation and Mindfulness and more.  These approaches work – and will become part of your personal toolkit during and after therapy.

Like many women, I also personally experience the guilt, exhaustion and ‘never good enough’ feelings in many areas of my life.  To resist this ‘more, more, more’ culture often feels like a radical act of defiance.  Working together, we can alleviate your overwhelm.  I encourage women to define daily success on their own regenerative terms. You deserve to feel peaceful and purposeful.  We all do.

Often, my clients report feeling lighter, more grounded, more clear, and more connected rather quickly.  The depth and length of our work together is completely up to you.  Immediate relief and long-term family of origin issues can all be achieved with good therapy.  Our only agenda in therapy is your agenda.

We will meet at any interval that works for you, and for as long as it works for you.  We will use tools and approaches that work best for you, and we will start wherever it feels right to start for you.

Many women experience confusion and anxiety as they begin to question and explore their sexual orientation and identity at different stages of life.  Questioning core aspects of Self can be an emotionally turbulent process.  It can be terrifying and exciting all at the same time. Coming out later in life as ‘not-so-straight,’ curious, questioning, queer, bisexual, asexual, lesbian, gay, or any sexual orientation other than ‘straight’ raises a myriad of issues for adult women. With long-established lives, identities, relationships and careers, we often fear the changes that will come.  Will others accept me?  What about my marriage or boyfriend?  Will I be rejected, abandoned, alone?  How can I be sure?  What about my kids?  My friends?  My career?  My place of worship?  What about my own religious beliefs?  And so much more. In my support group specifically for women coming out later in life, my priority is holding a compassionate, safe space for exploring, sharing, connection and community.  Many women find significant relief in simply being part of a community where they can make connections as they explore their own process and their own path. My commitment is ensuring you are seen, heard, supported, validated and equipped with tools to gain clarity as you explore without pressure, fear of rejection, or sacrifice to your mental health.  Support is available as you walk this sensitive path of transformation.

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