Women’s Therapy & Counseling in GA and FL

Melissa Lester, LCSW

Women’s Therapist and Counselor

As a therapist and counselor specializing in working with women since 2005 (licensed in GA since 1998), I am deeply committed to helping you achieve your personal and professional goals through the life-changing work of therapy.  So, whether you are new to therapy or ready to embark on a deeper experience than words alone can offer, I look forward to connecting with you. 

If one or more of the following resonates as a place you’d like to get started, it’s likely we are a good fit for the work you have in mind.

My therapy approach includes a combination of psychodynamic talk therapy and body-focused trauma resolution. These include:

Because my work is deeply meaningful to me, I am committed to providing you with the best therapy experience possible.  Therefore, you will benefit from the most current and effective therapies available.  Our therapy work will incorporate body-focused approaches, as well as use of your subconscious.  Best of all, the skills we use together are skills you can use continue to use on your own for life-long relief.

Telehealth Sessions Available for Georgia and Florida Residents

I am a fully Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Georgia and a Registered Telehealth Provider in Florida.  You must be a resident of one of these states in order for us to work together.  These restrictions are related to professional ethics and state licensure.

Georgia — Licensed Clinical Social Worker #CSW003082
Florida — Telehealth Provider Registration #707

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness are both powerful tools in cultivating presence in the body and presence in the ‘now.’  The benefits of meditation and mindfulness are both immediate and long-term.  The more we cultivate our “right here, right now” awareness, the more grounded and embodied we are.  We reap the immediate benefits of being present in our lives, and, over time, the cumulative benefits as well.

My own meditation practice, off and on for many years, connects me more deeply and more meaningfully with my Self.  As a result of my changed relationship with myself, by extension, my relationships with others are also changed in ways that make my life more rewarding.  A simple, uncomplicated meditation practice can change your relationship with Self, and your relationship with the World.  (And the “harder” it is for you to meditate in the beginning, the more likely you are to benefit significantly from the practice.)

Meditation doesn’t require any special equipment, poses, props or clothes.  Meditation requires just you, exactly as you are, willing to slow down, stop, turn everything off, focus inward and just be present.  Incorporating meditation into your therapy and counseling sessions is always an option.  

EFT Tapping Therapy

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), or “Tapping,” as most people call it, is often a rapid and effective way to regulate our emotions and resolve our distress, whether the cause of our distress is old or new, known or unknown.  Yup, it looks weird.  And also, yup…it works

“Tapping” is a highly researched (over 100 studies at last count) emotional regulation and trauma resolution tool used and recommended by physicians, mental health providers, body workers, coaches, high performance athletes and millions of others.  It is also used by the United States Veterans Administration for incredibly effective treatment of PTSD.

As an EFT Tapping Trainer certified by EFT International, I encourage you to do your own research, experience EFT Tapping for yourself, and make your own determination about whether Tapping brings you relief.

Note – Because the American Psychological Association has approved EFT Tapping for the continuing education of its members, but has not yet approved EFT Tapping as an “evidence-based treatment,” I am ethically obligated to inform you that Tapping is still considered an ‘experimental’ therapy by the American Psychological Association.

Hypnosis in Therapy and Counseling

Hypnosis is the intentional induction of trance for a clearly defined purpose.  As you likely know, we are always in and out of trance, all day, every day.  It’s a perfectly natural state that happens in our brains automatically, or that we can induce on our own intentionally, or that can be induced by someone else intentionally.  Subtle and deeper hypnosis in the context of our therapy and counseling work together is always an option.  I am trained in Hypnosis by both The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and the Anxiety and Stress Management Institute.  I have been an active member of the Georgia Hypnosis Society. 

We can use hypnosis as an adjunctive therapy in our work together.  However, it is not my primary approach to the work that we do.  This means that I often weave hypnosis into talk therapy, trauma therapy and/or grounding work.  If you are seeking Hypnotherapy as the primary or solitary approach to your work, I am happy to refer to you some highly skilled hypnotherapists in the metro Atlanta area.  

Note – All hypnosis is ‘self hypnosis.’  A hypnotic suggestion must resonate with you at the unconscious level or it will not have any effect.  The ethical use of hypnosis / hypnotherapy requires that the practitioner use hypnosis only for the agreed upon purpose, which is dictated by the client.

About Me

My own diverse cultural, religious, and geographic background has shaped my value system, my path and how I practice therapy.  My personal and family experiences with physical illness, disability, divorce, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, loss, death, dying and grief have all etched themselves in my being.  Along the way, I discovered that my deepest connections throughout my lifetime are with women – kindred spirits in a myriad of ways – women of all shapes and sizes, cultures and religions, abilities and disabilities, ages, races, sexual orientations, socioeconomic, and occupational status. You are welcome here. And real change is possible.

My own therapy and counseling journey of the past 30 years — along with my professional training — allows me to share this with you – healing and wholeness is possible

 

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