Psychotherapist for Individuals and Marriage/Couples
Office Location: Dupont Circle
Call Heather directly at 202-629-1949 ext. 3
MY BACKGROUND AND BELIEFS
I am a child of the sixties, shaped by the social change, civil rights and anti-war movements of the time. After attending Oberlin College I became a community organizer for the United Farmworkers and subsequently developed jobs for county ex-offenders in San Francisco. This fueled my interest in social work and psychology.
I enrolled in the California State University MSW Program, Sacramento, concentrating on Mental Health. Upon graduation I received the Mary Jane Dougherty Award for outstanding contribution to the community, based on my original research regarding attitude toward rape.
After acquiring my Masters in Social Work and clinical license I was a Family Therapist and School Social Worker at the Parsons Child and Family Center in Albany, New York. I have subsequently worked for three Washington area school systems – Montgomery County, Fairfax County, and The District – counseling students and their families, and advising teachers.
In 2007 I entered private practice.
I’ve been formerly trained in many treatment approaches over a 35- plus year career. Some of them are: Trans generational (Bowenian) Family Therapy. Imago Couples Therapy. Gottman Couples Therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Solution-Focused Therapy.
To this psychotherapy education, I have added many mindbody, alternative and somatic trainings: including EMDR, yoga, meditation and stress management techniques. I deliberately took anatomy and physiology – not normally included in Psychotherapists’ training -in order to understand the workings of the nervous system and body as a whole.
I believe that all of us have ability and coping history. My job is to help you identify your abilities, apply those strengths and teach you new skills, as you face the constant challenges of a fast-changing world. I myself have faced and learned from many personal challenges over the years.
What I am most sure of, at this point, is the fundamental need all of us have to be thoughtfully, kindly, listened to and understood. We have to know through someone’s face, words, out loud response, that our struggle is not crazy, our effort not unheard. Then we can get the courage to do, gradually, whatever we can do to feel better.
AREAS OF FOCUS
Individual Adult Mental Health
- Healing mood disorders (depression, bipolar, anxiety, OCD, chronic stress, anger) and reclaim delight, joy, motivation, and spontaneity from fear and worry.
- Trauma – process reactions to simple, complex, and childhood trauma including emotional, sexual, and physical abuse, vicarious secondary trauma (witnessing abuse or violence for example), and combat trauma
- Grief counseling – find forgiveness and stability as you grow from tragedy or loss.
- Aging and illness – find your healthiest self, restore a healthy balance and rhythm and find new meaning in your life.
- Substance abuse – receive personal support in your recovery to identify and heal the pain that keeps triggering your drinking, smoking, or other drug use.
- Reclaim your sexuality from stress or trauma (parenting or childbirth stress included!) – learn to listen to your body, and find boundaries that work for your system without shutting you down.
- Improve communication – create safety to talk about vulnerable subjects with respect and care.
- Create a healthy sexual relationship and release constraints in your communication or habits that are holding back erotic connection with your partner.
- Transform relationship conflict into connection – deal constructively with negativity and gain healthier, more balanced expectations for your relationship.
- Infidelity – find out what created the opportunity for an affair, whether you can really work it out and stay together and discover ways to repair your relationship.
- Pre-marital and pre-parental counseling – discuss some common issues that arise for couples as they are preparing for marriage or expanding their family.
- Intentional Parenting – become a parent your child respects and listens to without coercion or punishment.
Schedule Your Consultation
Or call Heather directly at 202-629-1949 ext. 3