As we heal the collective heals.
We will collaborate with you to create an individualized plan using a blend of therapeutical approaches, such as play therapy, expressive arts, nature-informed therapy and more.. Effective psychotherapy is grounded in a strong and empathic therapeutic relationship and involves the ongoing integration of clinical expertise and knowledge with your unique needs and experiences.
One of the most effective ways to work with individuals is in the context of their families. Involving children in family therapy provides a more accurate assessment of dynamics, interactional patterns, roles, and rules. Challenges are viewed within a strengths-based, systemic model. Family play therapy is also offered as a means to blend talk and expressive therapies. Play techniques engage caregivers and children in enhanced communication, understanding, and emotional relatedness.
We provide teletherapy services in an effort to reduce barriers to access for our new and existing clients, especially in the light of the developments related to the coronavirus pandemic. Teletherapy is provided via a secure and private video platform. Our therapists are committed to delivering the same high quality care as they would in-person.
Walk & Talk
We have found that bringing some movement enriches the counseling session and exposure to nature is widely known to correlate with improvements in mood and wellbeing. It is a mindfulness-based therapy that can make it easier for some clients to relax, mitigate ruminating, release physical tension and breathe deeply while processing experiences. For clients who have trouble opening up in a traditional office setting, walk-and-talk therapy can be an extremely useful treatment tool. Walking in parallel with visual distractions rather than sitting face to face may allow for easier engagement.
Play therapy is a treatment administered by a specially trained professional. This approach centralizes the importance of creating a unique relationship in the playroom to establish a safe, accepting, and permissive environment where the child could experience freedom of expression without judgment. Play is seen as the language of the child client and the metaphors are seen as expressions of certain issues such as trauma. The safety of the play therapy setting allows for children’s representational worlds to be outwardly enacted. The externalization offers a safe distance to process and resolve traumatic memories, beliefs, and feelings. Abundant research supports its effectiveness to treat a whole host of child emotional and behavioral issues.
Attachment Based Therapy
Through attachment based treatment modalities the therapist works through negative internalized relational models and trauma symptoms using the therapeutic relationship that is built on a foundation of attunement, coregulation, and empathy. From an attachment perspective, the therapist responds to the underlying needs of the child within the therapeutic environment serving as a secure base and safe haven for the child. Attachment theory and research is a well-established framework for understanding children's normal and atypical social/emotional development. It is used extensively by clinicians to design interventions, understand interactions, and assess clinical progress.
Expressive arts therapy is the purposeful use of movement, music, play, image-making, performance, writing, and imagination integrated into therapy and wellness. Different cultures have used expressive modalities to regulate themselves for thousands of years, using these types of artistic processes to respond directly to things like trauma and loss. Through cultural anthropology and ethnology we witness how humans have always used these types of practices as a way to return to psychological, physical, and social equilibrium. Through expressive modalities we can support our clients in reimagining new narratives. Often when we can get beyond those traumatic memories and life’s challenges to restore self-compassion and mastery by using imagination. The experiential component of expression is an important part of the healing process leading to a restoration of self.
Nature-informed Therapy utilizes nature’s multi-sensory items as intervention tools. There is an innate human desire to connect with nature, yet urbanization and technology often distance people from the natural world. On average people are spending close to 90 percent of their time indoors. This disconnect between humans and our ecological world comes at a cost because nature plays a role in our mental health. Richard Louv coined the term "Nature-Deficit Disorder" that highlights the direct exposure to nature as essential for a child’s healthy physical and emotional development. Research is supporting the healing power of nature more all the time with the connection between the health of people and the health of the Earth as inseparable. Our clinicians use directive and non-directive techniques including play, movement, therapeutic storytelling, mindfulness, sensory awareness of outer and inner landscapes, and expressive modalities such as sand, natural clay, stones, feathers, shells, nature sounds and other earth-based components within therapy sessions.
Trauma-informed therapy recognizes and emphasizes understanding how the traumatic experience impacts a person’s mental, behavioral, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Based on the foundational principles of trauma treatment we focus on safety and stabilization in order to ensure an environment conducive to processing trauma material in an intentional and meaningful way. Through the promotion of skills and strategies aimed at assisting in better understanding, coping with, processing emotions and memories tied to traumatic experiences we work towards the goal of enabling the creation of a healthier and more adaptive meaning of the experience that took place in the client’s life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) & Dialectial Behavior Therapy (DBT)
CBT and DBT aid the client in learning more about the challenges they experience and offering a pragmatic approach in which new tools and skills are taught and practiced. CBT helps clients gain insight into the interactions between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with a focus on challenging and changing cognitive distortions, improving emotional regulation, and developing personal coping strategies. DBT, originally developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, is based on CBT, with greater focus on emotional and social aspects. The term “dialectical” means a synthesis of opposites; it is an idea that two seemingly paradoxical things can be true at the same time. DBT teaches that there is always more than one way to look at a situation, and aims to help us move away from black and white thinking or other extreme positions to find more balance.
SMART - Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment
SMART is an innovative mental health therapy for children and adolescents who have experienced complex trauma. Treatment engages the sensory motor systems, especially the vestibular, proprioceptive, and tactile sensory systems for emotional, psychological, and relational regulation and repair. The blending of movement and relationship to regulate arousal states supports children’s natural ways of regulating their bodies and their emotions to facilitate attachment-building, and to allow for embodied processing of traumatic experiences.
Areas of Specialty
Children & Families
Anxiety & Depression
Trauma & PTSD
Grief & Loss
Children in and Transitioning from Foster Care
Problem Sexual Behaviors in Children
Relationship Issues & Family Conflict
Perinatal and Postpartum Mental Health
We operate on the traditional lands of several indigenous nations —Piscataway and Susquehannock, — the original keepers of the lands we call Maryland. We honor the elders, past and present, and commit to paying a land tax. Make your own contribution here and take the Acknowledgment to Action Pledge.