Women’s Therapy & Counseling

Melissa Lester, LCSW

Why is Women’s Therapy and Counseling different?

The U.S. gender pay gap remains unchanged in the last 20 years.  Women still bear the brunt of child-rearing and housekeeping.  Women are still pressured into compulsory heterosexuality, and other ‘non-options.’  And the tyranny of body shaming reminds us all to never allow our bodies to age naturally.

Women are still socialized to accept these disparities, limitations and life restrictions.  And in some cases, we are expected to embrace and celebrate them, long after it’s clear that we are not living an authentic life.

In a world that does not make room for women, it is up to each individual woman to create her own path.  It is up to each woman to reconnect with Self.

Because when you live your life in alignment, you also make it possible for those around you to do the same.

Unlearn what has not been helpful.  Relearn what you once knew.  And do the work that will move you forward.

Women’s Therapy and Counseling became my true calling shortly after I began my therapy practice in 2005.

It was a clear and natural development that I both trusted and pursued.  It was working with women that made my work fulfilling and that offered me the best use of my Self and my skills.

From that trust, my practice grew organically to include working with women coming out later in life. 

And along the way, my practice incorporated several body-based methods that allow women to become more connected to their bodies as part of the therapy process.

In combination with my own personal therapy work of many years, my therapy practice specializing in Women’s Issues has been a labor of love and a deeply rewarding journey.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness are powerful tools to increase awareness of the ‘right here, right now.’  And for women, I often find these approaches to be a perfect way to begin reconnecting with Self in the therapy process.  The benefits of meditation and mindfulness are both immediate and long-term. 

Often, as I introduce the practice of Meditation and Mindfulness in the context of women’s therapy and counseling, it is instantly grounding, calming and regulating.  Other times I find that even clients who struggle with these approaches eventually do benefit just as much as those who get it ‘on the first try.’ 

The more we cultivate our ‘right here, right now,’ the more grounded, solid and powerful we become in our own lives.  

My own meditation practice, off and on for many years, connects me more deeply with my Self.  It eliminates anxiety, increases clarity and reminds me that there is a greater wisdom for us all to access.

‘Sitting with Self’ can be a radical act of self-care.

EFT Tapping

EFT Tapping (“Emotional Freedom Techniques”), or just “Tapping,” is a rapid and effective way to regulate our emotions and resolve our distress.  It calms our body, clears our mind and helps us to function at our best.

Tapping is a highly researched (100+ studies) method to slow the body’s Nervous System and regulate our own emotional state.

Tapping reduces:

  • Anxiety 47%
  • PTSD 86%
  • Cortisol 49%
  • Pain 37%
  • Blood Pressure 8%
  • and more

It is used for emotional wellbeing, physical health and performance enhancement.  It is used by wellness professionals, medical professionals, athletes and more.

And because Tapping grounds us in our bodies, it is ideal for anyone needing to reconnect with their true Self.
Read the research

Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis is the intentional use of trance for a clearly defined purpose.  And it was one of the first non-talk approaches I sought training in after deciding to specialize in Women’s Therapy and Counseling.

Believe it or not, the human mind is in and out of trance all day, every day.  It’s a natural state that occurs automatically, and that we can also use intentionally.  

All hypnosis is, in fact, ‘self-hypnosis.’  You must be voluntarily engaged in the process, and open to a hypnotic suggestion at the unconscious level, or it will have no effect on you at all.  

I am trained in Hypnosis by both The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and the Anxiety and Stress Management Institute.  

And we have the option to incorporate hypnosis into our work together to deepen and reinforce your goals. 

On A Personal Note

My own diverse cultural, religious, and geographic background has shaped my values, my path and how I practice therapy.  My personal encounters with physical illness, disability, divorce, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, loss, dying, death and grief shape who I am and inform my work.  I am deeply invested in the well-being of women – 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 I want you to know that change is possible.

© melissalesterlcsw.com 2024