Psychotherapy Services

Therapy Works

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Struggling with depression, anxiety, recurrent relationship or behavioral issues can be so demoralizing that giving up may feel like the only option. It becomes easy to think that we are born a certain way and that like height and eye color there’s nothing we can do about it.

The reality is changes in self-perception, along with learning new skills, have a significant impact on improving psychological wellbeing and getting out of those repeated ruts of self-doubt, low mood, burnout, anxiety, lack of meaning and relationship distress.

Psychotherapy introduces a new experience that impacts how you think about yourself, your setbacks, and your relationships. When you repeat new ways of thinking and coping enough, the new approach takes hold and becomes easier and easier to implement. Just as in the case of beginning a new physical exercise program, with time the routine becomes easier and easier. You will notice progress, begin to feel better, have more positive interactions with others. These rewards will reinforce and day-by-day you will grow.

What does therapy help with?

I see a range of people with various goals. Some struggle with one area of their life but otherwise are functioning well, while others are looking for a deeper understanding of themselves and sustained improvement with multiple difficulties they are experiencing. Here are some common reasons people seek therapy:

Processing grief and loss

Understanding and managing anger

Depression and low mood

Anxiety and Stress

Burnout

Self-harm and self-defeating behavior

Professional/career goals

Emotional control and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Relationship issues

Improving self-esteem

Improving your relationship with yourself

Managing emotional aspects of medical conditions.

Who do I see?

The people I see seek out psychotherapy because they sense that an area or areas of their life could improve and that there is another more relieving and enriching way to manage life’s hardships, relationships, work, or life’s general ups and downs. They are looking for:

Greater peace of mind

Increased joy and satisfaction

Improved psychological and physical wellbeing

Greater quality of life and meaning

Increased emotional awareness/control

More satisfying relationships with others

Better self-understanding

Increased self-acceptance

What will therapy feel like and how will it help?

Each person has a different story, different goals and can often benefit from slightly different treatment approaches. I approach each client as an individual and will tailor your treatment to meet your needs so that you may reach your goals.

I have a wide range of clinical experiences and exposures to multiple treatment approaches that inform my work with clients, including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, acceptance commitment and interpersonal therapy.

We will work together to understand what brings you to therapy and develop goals and an approach that matches your needs. I am a collaborative, flexible therapist and take an open and nonjudgmental approach to my work. I am curious and engaged with my clients.

I am here to understand you and help you to:

  • Understand and process the sources of your distress
  • Develop coping styles and behaviors to better manage that distress

Some issues benefit not only from talk therapy but also medication. I may recommend this combined approach of both psychotherapy and medication to help lessen distress. I have working relationships with area psychiatrists making this combined approach easier to implement.

Teenagers "Acting Out"

I have a clinical specialty in helping teens deal with emotional issues and acting out behaviors—including promiscuity, drug/alcohol abuse, self-injuring behavior and ‘rebellion’ or not respecting parental rules and limits.

Couples

Like all psychotherapy, couples therapy is a process, but one in which I endeavor to help both members of a partnership to feel heard while also working for measurable change that couples can notice and know when they are making progress.

I use attachment models to inform my work with couples — helping them to develop a safer, more fulfilling and secure partnership. I focus on both present circumstances and understanding how problems develop and providing ways to prevent their reoccurrence.

Some of the issues that couples often seek treatment for include the following:

Communication

Managing Difficult Life Transitions

Separation/Divorce

Loss/Grief

Parenting

Saving your Marriage

Pre-Marital Counseling

Managing Conflict

Issues Treated

I offer psychotherapy for a range of life issues and psychological concerns for adults, adolescents and couples beyond the most common ones listed above, including:
I help clients develop strategies and techniques for managing intense anger or aggressive episodes. These techniques involve learning ways to “cool off” and validate underlying feelings so that they may be communicated more effectively. Generally speaking, difficulty with anger is typically the result of a person having difficulty regulating their emotions.
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Anxiety can take on a variety of different forms depending on the individual. Oftentimes people who come into therapy for anxiety because they experience excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation) over a number of events in their life (work, children, relationships, finances, activities) and the source of the worry can change from day-to-day.
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Some clients report difficulty with their attention span and trouble concentrating. I help these individuals develop strategies (sometimes with the addition of medication as prescribed by a psychiatrist) to increase executive functioning, planning and follow through skills.
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Like all psychotherapy, couples therapy is a process, but one in which I work to help both members of a partnership to feel heard while also working for measurable change that couples can notice and know when they are making progress.
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Cutting is a self-harm behavior where a person feels some sense of emotional relief from cutting oneself with a knife or a blade. Cutting, like other self-harm behaviors, is often used to relieve such emotions as emptiness, loneliness, sadness and anger.
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Depression often involves repetitive negative thoughts about the self and may also include the loss of or increase in appetite as well as either excessive sleep or difficulty falling and staying asleep.

Therapy can help you both manage and resolve issues that may be causing depression or Dysthymia.

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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a therapeutic approach developed by Marsha Linehan. DBT blends behavioral problem solving with acceptance-based strategies, and an emphasis on dialectical processes.
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Individuals who have difficulty with emotional regulation report that they are constantly intruded upon by their feelings or find that they are unable to feel the normal range of human emotion. Their emotional reactions are highly reactive, and they experience emotional lability.
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People who are grappling with medical issues also have to navigate the, sometimes, stressful world of healthcare and become their own best advocate in what can feel like a very confusing and contradictory sphere. I help clients to process this extremely important part of living with a serious medical issue and provide strategies for being your own best advocate.
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Psychotherapy is not only for a psychiatric diagnosis, like depression or anxiety, some enter therapy to process transitions so that they may better manage their life and achieve their goals. Some people dread the life transition they are facing or fear change; therapy helps these people to feel enriched by the life event and/or develop an enhanced sense of meaning or purpose as a result.
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Panic attacks are episodes of intense fear and can often result from a chronic overload of anxiety. I help individuals to understand the underlying beliefs involved in the panic and to develop alternate ways to cope and manage panic symptoms.
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Parents and teenagers must navigate a difficult process as the teenager begins to separate from the parents and form his or her separate identity. I work with both parents and teenagers to help in this process in terms of developing strategies for communication, conflict resolution and ways to begin connecting more effectively.
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One of my specialties is helping people work through their negative relationship dynamics, including romantic, family, professional and social. I am the author of the Relationship Formula Workbook Series, which is a series of 4 brief workbooks that highlight key areas of growth to improve your relationship tool kit—Building Self-Esteem, Breaking Up & Divorce, Toxic Love, and Getting Close to Others.
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Most people face some sort of struggle with their self-esteem at some point in their life. These struggles are a natural part of the human experience. Long-term feelings of inadequacy, ongoing self-criticism, and constant feelings of “not good enough” can be helped by therapy. Chronic self-esteem issues can effect every aspect of a person’s life, including friendships, romantic connections, professional goals and overall contentment.
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Some clients report that, although they want to have relationships and connections with others, they are bombarded by chronic and acute anxiety when faced with new social situations or people. I work with social anxiety by helping individuals to understand their underlying beliefs and fears about these situations, and to develop increased confidence in social situations.
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I help clients to develop strategies and techniques for managing feeling chronically overloaded by work and personal stress. These techniques include talk therapy, mindfulness, and limit setting. Stress is a result of feeling like your capacity is far smaller than what life is throwing at you and feeling that you cannot possibly work on growing your capacity because life keeps throwing more and more turmoil your way.
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Trauma is exposure to a stressor that involves actual or perceived threat, danger, serious injury, or emotional injury to the self or another person.

The response to the event may involve fear, helplessness, and can manifest in persistent avoidance of triggers associated with the trauma, and/or hyper-vigilance to events surrounding the trauma.

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Barriers to Therapy

It is easy to feel that if you need help it means you’re inadequate in some way: “I should work harder on getting better on my own,” “Why am I complaining so much?” “If I get therapy it means I have REAL issues.” Participating in therapy is not a sign of weakness. Taking your emotions, symptoms, and areas of growth seriously is a strength. Pushing away and avoiding only brings on more and more distress.

Actively engaging a process that research shows improves wellbeing, psychological symptoms, relationship and life satisfaction is a choice for a healthier path for you and your future. Telling yourself you don’t need therapy, should work harder on your own, or that therapy means you are not good enough and flawed only prolongs the struggle.

Psychotherapy is a mini laboratory where you can open up and try out new skills with another human in real time. It works because unlike your “real” life, the therapeutic life is safe and confidential, as I have no connection with your broader life outside of therapy.

Grief and loss have a significant impact on the persistence of anxiety and depression symptoms. Therapy can help you work through past trauma and loss and ultimately give you sustained relief from anxiety or low mood.

I am a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Washington DC and McLean/Tyson’s Corner VA. I offer expertise in psychotherapy for adults, teenagers and couples. I tailor treatment to individual history and problem areas. I have worked with people for more than 15 years., I help people reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and anger, as well as to work through difficult life events, including grief and loss, and to improve their relationships. I am committed to implementing treatment approaches that reflect the latest psychology research.