My Approach to Helping
Connection, healing and wholeness are all possible. Therapy is an intimate endeavor that begins with connection. Long-term connection coupled with skill and expertise has the very real power to change our lives.
Anxiety, Stress, and Overwhelm
Emotional Eating and Overeating
Family of Origin
LGBTQ and Coming Out Later in Life
Life Cycle Transitions
Grief and Loss
Psychodynamic (Insight-Oriented Therapy)
Somatic and Body-Focused Processing
Meditation and Mindfulness
EFT Tapping (Acupressure)
Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy
Therapy is the opening of the door that leads you from where you are now to where you are choosing to go. Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have.
I look forward to connecting with you.
More Info About My Practice
In-Office Sundays 11-7
Telehealth Tuesday-Saturday 11-7
Evening and weekend hours available
In Network with Medicare
Out of Network for all other insurance
Superbills provided for insurance submission
60 minute therapy session - 240.00
Women's Coming Out Later in Life Group - 25.00
Please reach out to me at Melissa@MelissaLesterLCSW.com to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation.
Importance of the Client-Therapist Alliance
The importance of the client-therapist relationship cannot be overstated. I encourage you to do your research about different types of therapy and therapeutic approaches and to speak with several providers before choosing a therapist or counselor. It is important for you to feel a connection, or the potential for connection, with your chosen therapist.
Your relationship with your therapist should offer you emotional safety, acceptance, nurture, growth, insight and ultimately, long term relief. Your therapist's focus should always be on you and how each interaction in therapy can facilitate your growth and your goals.
There are many unique characteristics of a healthy client-therapist relationship, and it is important that you feel connected to and cared for by your therapist in order to do your best work.
A healthy and healing client-therapist relationship includes:
Human connection and feeling seen, heard, understood
Trust, safety, openness and good will
The therapist's skill, experience and expertise
Confidentiality within legal limits (See Informed Consent and HIPAA Notice for exceptions.)
Clear boundaries within a primary, non-dual relationship (See Informed Consent and HIPAA Notice for details.)
Collaboration, mutual respect and pursuit of the client's goals at all times
Because advocacy compromises the client-therapist relationship, I do not participate in:
Legal proceedings of any kind (divorce, custody, employment, disability, etc.)
Disability proceedings of any kind (private insurance, Social Security, claims issues, paperwork, etc.)
Arbitrations or mediations of any kind
Disclosure of any psychotherapy notes or of any medical records
Depositions, statements of record, or other non-legal proceedings
I am committed to working with all my clients in a respectful, compassionate, kind, accepting, nonjudgmental and supportive manner.
The Duration and Frequency of Therapy
Many people ask how often I recommend they plan to be seen in therapy. And the simple answer is that we will meet at whatever interval works for you. Factors that affect everyone's decision include time, energy and money as well as the urgency and reasons for seeking therapy.
Once every 1-2 weeks usually allows for consistent progress and relief from distress. Once weekly, if affordable, usually offers the most consistent progress on long-standing sources of distress. If your distress level is very high, or if you desire significant change at a faster pace, twice per week is also an option, as are longer sessions.
Frequency of appointments does not need to be determined up front and can be changed on an ongoing basis depending on your needs. At the end of each appointment I will ask you IF you would like to reschedule or if you'd prefer to reach out when the time feels right. I have no expectations about the duration or frequency of your therapy appointments and we can always re-evaluate what feels right for you. Your therapy process should always work for you and your unique circumstances and goals.