Melissa  Kester

Melissa Kester

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, LMFT

Accepting new clients for afternoon, evening, & daytime appointments in Murray Hill practice (updated February 27, 2020)

Offers Online Sessions

Specialties & Expertise

  • Couples counseling
  • Anger management
  • Relationships
  • Mood disorders
  • Life transitions
  • Male trauma
  • Early childhood wounds
  • Life-cycle events
  • Healing from narcissistic abuse

Professional statement

Melissa Kester is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Midtown Manhattan specializing in couples therapy, anger management, infidelity, mood disorders, life transitions, and trauma. As an expert in couples counseling, she helps partners disarm reactive defenses, improve communication, and rekindle intimacy and trust. She is passionate about helping partners explore their unique relationship dynamics and develop new skills to deepen bonds. Among couples, she especially enjoys working with expecting and new parents dealing with perinatal and peripartum mood disorders.

Melissa also works with individuals navigating trauma recovery, and especially enjoys supporting male survivors of sexual abuse. She utilizes an integrative approach, to help clients develop coping skills to tackle immediate challenges, while also gaining greater insight into their inner world.

Thoughtful and receptive, Melissa is committed to creating a safe environment for clients to productively work through obstacles and develop a greater sense of emotional well-being. Her office is conveniently located a short walk from Grand Central.

Message to clients

The therapy room is seen as your safe space where you can come and release the weight you have been holding. Melissa seeks to be a receptive and unbiased resource. She is committed to working collaboratively with you towards healing in a thoughtful, present and emotionally focused manner. By paying attention to the patterns that may prevent you from creating the life story you desire, she looks to co-create with you a new map towards healing.


Couples counseling - Addressing relationship challenges and life transitions; strengthening communication and feelings of security, desire, connection, and love

Anger management - Addressing sudden outbursts of anger or sustained resentment; developing healthy anger expression and outlets

Relationships - Understanding one’s wants and needs in relationships; exploring patterns of interaction, addressing concerns, and strengthening satisfaction in relationships and dating

Mood disorders - Depression, dysthymia (mild depression), bipolar disorder, hormone-related mood issues, i.e. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and postpartum depression, adjustment disorder with depression

Life transitions - Coping with difficult or impactful life changes, such as moving to a new area, relationship transitions, child rearing, or career changes; learning self-care to better manage resulting stress

Male trauma - Coping and healing after threatening or scary events, such as witnessing accidents or experiencing sexual, verbal, emotional, or physical abuse

Early childhood wounds - Coping and healing after long-term abuse, attachment wounds, or repeated traumatizing events such as witnessing domestic violence or experiencing sexual, verbal, emotional, or physical abuse

Life-cycle events - Coping with life stage transitions, such as entering or graduating college, getting married, having children, empty nesting, retirement

Healing from narcissistic abuse - Healing from narcissistic abuse

General expertise


Melissa Kester is not in-network with any insurances.

Read about the benefits of seeing an out-of-network provider here.

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Ongoing sessions: $225 (50min)
  • Sliding scale: $80 - $225
  • Initial session: $225 (50min)

Therapist's note

Melissa can assist with billing to receive reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network sessions.

Madison MFT is also a training practice and offers discounted rates to see their interns.


Remote video therapy sessions offered? Yes

Murray Hill practice

271 Madison Avenue

Suite 1400

New York, NY 10016

  • Mon 10:00am-8:00pm
  • Tue 10:00am-3:00pm
  • Wed 10:00am-8:00pm
  • Thu 9:00am-2:00pm
  • Fri Closed
  • Sat Closed
  • Sun Closed

Work and Education

Madison MFT, 2009 - Present

Midtown MFT, 2006 - 2009

Hofstra University, MA in MFT, 2005

SUNY New Paltz, BA, 2002


  • English