Women’s Therapy & Counseling in GA and FL
Melissa Lester, LCSW
Welcome. As a therapist and counselor specializing in working with women, I am deeply committed to helping you achieve your mental health goals. I currently work with adult women throughout Georgia and Florida.
If one or more of the following resonates as a place you’d like to get started, it’s likely we will be a good fit for the work you have in mind.
- Women’s Issues
- Trauma Resolution
- Family of Origin Dynamics
- Binge Eating and Emotional Eating Disorders
- LGBTQ Issues
- Coming Out Later in Life
- Relationship Conflict
- Career Challenges
- Anxiety, Depression, and Stress
My therapy approach is a combination of talk therapy and body-focused therapies with a strong focus on body-focused trauma resolution methods. These include:
- Meditation and Mindfulness
- EFT Tapping | Acupressure
- Hypnosis (Hypnotherapy)
- Progressive Counting
- and other neurologically-effective trauma resolution methods
Because my work is deeply meaningful to me, I am committed to providing you with the best therapy experience possible. 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. Perhaps best of all, the skills we use together are skills you can also use on your own.
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, and in order for you to attend any groups or courses I offer. This has to do with legal and ethical restrictions imposed on my state licenses and my professional code of ethics.
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 can be both immediate and long-term. The more we cultivate being grounded, the more grounded we become over time. We reap immediate benefits and, over time, cumulative benefits as well.
My own meditation practice, though off and on over many years, has helped me connect more deeply and meaningfully with my Self, as well as in relationship with others. A simple, uncomplicated meditation practice can change your relationship with Self, and your relationship with the World. The “harder” it is for you to meditate in the beginning, the more likely you are to benefit.
Meditation doesn’t require any special equipment, poses, props or clothes. Meditation requires just you, exactly as you are, willing to just be. We can incorporate meditation into your therapy and counseling sessions, if you like. Over time, you may choose to cultivate your own meditation practice at home.
EFT Tapping Therapy
EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), or “Tapping,” as most people call it, can be 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 can look weird. And also, yup…it works.
“Tapping” is a highly researched (over 100 studies at last count) emotional regulation and trauma resolution tool that is used and recommended by physicians, mental health providers, body workers, coaches, high performance athletes and millions of people across the globe. 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 APA has approved EFT Tapping for the continuing education of Psychologists in the U.S., 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
I offer hypnosis in the context of our therapy and counseling work together and have trained with both The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and the Anxiety and Stress Management Institute. I am an active member of the Georgia Hypnosis Society. Please note that I use hypnosis as an adjunctive therapy and it is not my primary approach to the work that we do together. This means that I often weave hypnosis into talk therapy, trauma therapy and/or grounding work. If you are seeking Hypnotherapy as a primary or solitary approach to your work, I am happy to refer to you some highly skilled hypnotherapists in the metro Atlanta area.
My own diverse cultural, religious, and geographic background have shaped my path and my value system. My personal and family experiences with physical illness, disability, divorce, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, loss, death, dying and grief have all etched themselves on my soul. 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 trainings — allow me to share this with you – healing and wholeness is possible.
I am a Proud Member and Financial Supporter of:
National Eating Disorder Association
National Organization for Women
American Civil Liberties Union
The Feminist Majority Foundation
Global Fund for Women
Higher Heights Leadership Fund
LGBTQ Therapist Resource
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
Georgia Hypnosis Society
ACEP (Energy Psychology)