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The Counseling Center Group

The Counseling Center of
Washington, DC

Call Today: (888) 604-6776

Evidence-Based Therapy

We are The Counseling Center of Washington, DC®. We specialize in providing evidence-based therapy to help improve your quality of life and mental health! Whether you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or grief; our team will provide new insights that enable change at all levels.

Our Washington, DC Therapy Specialties and Services:

The Counseling Center of Washington, DC® is a practice dedicated to providing professional counseling therapy services. Our skilled therapists bring many years of experience from a wide variety of specialty areas. 

It is our philosophy that many clients can benefit from specific tools and then use those tools in their everyday life. Therefore, we do our best to empower you to live your life without the need for prolonged therapy.

Individual therapy is a safe space for you to explore issues that impact your daily functioning or sense of wellbeing. With the guidance of an experienced therapists, you can develop insight into yourself and learn new strategies for handling difficult situations or emotions.  

Couples therapy, also known as marriage counseling or relationship therapy, is a type of Marriage counseling  that helps couples improve their relationships. It is a form of psychotherapy that is designed to address the specific issues and challenges that couples face in their relationships.

Group therapy provides a supportive environment for individuals who are struggling with similar issues or challenges to share their experiences and support one another. Group sessions provide an opportunity for members to develop insight, learn new skills, and gain perspective from others.

The process is shorter than traditional therapy and is very effective in resolving trauma. The therapist guides the client through a series of eye movements that help to release the emotional impact of the trauma. The therapist also helps the client to reframe the event so that it no longer has the same emotional charge.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that was developed by Marsha M. Linehan to help people with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It is a highly structured, skills-based therapy that focuses on helping people learn new coping mechanisms to manage their emotions and behaviors.

CBT is a form of therapy that deals with present-day challenges rather than delving into past history or childhood experiences. It is a structured approach that identifies specific goals and proposes techniques to help clients meet those goals in a short time frame.
DBT-C is specifically designed for pre-adolescents who have trouble regulating intense emotions and therefore tend to act impulsively, overreact to situations, resist change, think in absolutes, and lash out verbally or physically when they are emotionally overwhelmed.
EMDR therapy helps individuals recover from distressing life experiences that show up repetitively, as well as trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression and panic disorders. It is a successful, evidence-based treatment that helps to diminish the effects of these experiences.

In DBT-PE, clients initially work with the therapist to establish safety and gain the skills needed to cope with addressing trauma. While continuing in all modes of standard DBT, DBT-PE then addresses memories and beliefs related to the client’s trauma history.


The ultimate goal of PCIT is to enhance the parent-child relationship by helping caregivers learn ways to relate to their children warmly while also having a predictable and consistent output. PCIT also teaches caregivers how to structure and follow through with effective limits.
PEERS has been expanded to develop other social skills geared toward  career advancement, dating, friendship, educational classes, and other life experiences. We offer individual and group sessions that are designed to help you gain the skills needed to live a more independent and successful life.

The Gottman Method is a form of couples therapy that was developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman based on over 40 years of research on what makes relationships work.  It focuses on emotionally supportive communication and understanding each partner’s needs in order to foster a healthy relationship.


IRT, or Imago relationship therapy, is a form of couples therapy that evaluates points of conflict in a relationship and reframes them as opportunities to understand, learn, heal, and grow. It is based on the idea that the conflict between two people can be a source of healing, and that resolving those conflicts can lead to deeper connection.
Mindfulness and mindfulness stress reduction is designed to help individuals live their lives to the fullest, and to do so by actually living in this moment. What this means is that instead of getting stuck in the past, worrying about the future, or ruminating over thoughts and emotions, mindfulness encourages individuals to stay grounded in what’s happening now.
With a combination of psychotherapy and DBT skills work, the Emotion Fitness Program (EFP) is considered a lower-intensity alternative to DBT without the full commitment of the DBT program. EFP gives clients the space to explore current and past relationships, stresses, coping skills, and life satisfaction.

Our Family Therapy services aim to strengthen familial bonds and enhance communication within the family unit. Our experienced therapists provide a supportive and collaborative environment, guiding families through challenges to promote understanding, resilience, and overall well-being.

EFT operates on the idea that the human body is like an electrical circuit with a constant flow of energy that can be disrupted by stressors. These disruptions lead to negative emotions and pain. EFT uses finger tapping on specific acupressure points while focusing on the problem to restore the body’s energy balance. The tapping is meant to release negative emotions and provide relief.

We Can Help.

If you or a loved one can benefit from Therapy in greater Washington, DC Area
we are here to help.

Our Therapists in Washington, DC



To book an appointment with

Gender Identity Therapy, LGBTQ Counseling, Relationship Therapy

For the last ten years, Emily has worked with teenagers, adults, and families as a counselor/therapist. During her career, Emily has worked with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, people of color, and helped clients with depression, anxiety, self-motivation, trauma, self-harm, grief, familial relations, gender identity, sexual identity, sexual/relationship needs, communication in relationships, understanding their identity, and self-integration.

Along with individual therapy, Emily provides couples and family therapy and has experience working with families who have been through the foster care system, adoption, and with parents of teens in a wilderness/partial hospitalization/intensive out-patient program. Emily has been co-leading a DBT skills group at The Counseling Center Group with Nicole Fayard since 2017. Emily began her journey in extensively learning DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and incorporates this skill-work into her sessions. Emily has also completed training in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART). 

A certified yoga teacher from Skyhouse Yoga Studio in Silver Spring, Emily believes in incorporating healing movement and breath work into sessions. Emily is a proud member of Maker’s Lab DC (founded by Lee Livingston Perine) which builds and supports queer communities by creating spaces that celebrate life, art, and queer culture.

Counseling is helpful during a hard time and can be something we come back to when we need support or a tune-up. Self-care is a daily act and Emily’s belief is that counseling can help jump start our self-care routine. We all deserve to be heard, to understand our feelings, and to speak our truth.

NICOLE FAYARD The Counseling center of Maryland



To book an appointment with


Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy

Nicole is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and board approved supervisor with a post master’s in Clinical Community Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. Nicole is also a National Certified Counselor (NCC), voluntarily meeting national standards for the general practice of counseling. She is fully licensed to work with clients in Washington, DC, Maryland Virginia, and North Carolina.

Nicole has nearly 20 years of experience working with a variety of clients in treatment of mental illnesses in inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization program settings. She has extensive experience working with a wide range of diagnoses including mood disorder, major depression, bipolar, anxiety/panic disorders, schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), suicidal thoughts and/or recent suicide attempts, as well as skills in crisis intervention. Nicole has completed Dialectical Behavior Therapy Intensive Training (The Linehan Institute) and currently sits on a comprehensive DBT team. She also has training in the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART). She incorporates these methods into most of her sessions.

Prior to joining CCM, Nicole directed an adult partial-hospitalization program ensuring evidence-based treatment for her patients, as well as the patients of the multitude of therapists she supervised. She provided clinical treatment services such as clinical assessments, treatment planning, and individual/family/group counseling to patients stepping down from an inpatient stay or those in need of more intense treatment.

Nicole takes an eclectic approach to counseling, however, she follows her basic foundation of meeting the client wherever he/she is emotionally. While working with clients, Nicole weaves in various treatments, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT,) and mindfulness to support clients as they move toward a sense of control in their lives. In addition to individual therapy, Nicole has been co-leading a DBT skills group with Emily Rizzo since 2017. Nicole’s passion is helping clients incorporate their goals in therapy into their everyday living as they continue their journey toward wholeness. She believes the choice to enter into therapy exhibits bravery and self-compassion. 

Nicole received her BS in Psychology from Towson University and her MS in Clinical Community Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a member of the American Counseling Association. Nicole has also completed a multitude of continuing education courses to support her skills in CBT, DBT, and working with mood disorders. She currently resides in Montgomery County, MD, where she enjoys being close to family and raising her two children.

Jeanily Cruz.therapist.the counseling center of Maryland



To book an appointment with

Individual Therapy, Couples Therapy

Jeanily is a trauma-informed therapist who is deeply passionate about working with communities of color, those in the LGBTQ community and other marginalized individuals. She regularly helps clients who are struggling with anxiety, relational issues, self esteem,  boundaries, or mental health stigmas in various cultures. If you find yourself stuck, shrinking, or sometimes unable to use your voice- she is here to help gently guide you back to your authentic self by creating a safe space to process and make meaning of your experiences. Healing is a birth right. No matter what you’ve experienced and gone through-you deserve joy!

Jeanily takes a strengths-based approach to empower her clients to use the skills they already hold to heal and support their overall mental wellness. Jeanily uses a trauma-informed lens along with modalities such as CBT, DBT and mindfulness to help clients explore the root of their experiences, shift negative thinking and empower them to embrace a fuller life.

Brooke Shafer.therapist.the counseling center Group



To book an appointment with

Individual Therapy

Brooke Shafer joins the Counseling Center Group bringing with her experience working in Washington, DC and Boston, MA. She has spent time in her career working in Elementary and Middle Schools and in mental health crisis situations, specializing in working with children, families, and young adults. Her clients have come from diverse backgrounds and have presented with difficulties managing anxiety, depression, trauma, self-harm, suicidal ideation, gender identity, sexual identity, and social difficulties. She also has experience working with children and adolescents on the Autism Spectrum or who have been diagnosed with other developmental and educational disabilities. 

Brooke’s primary counseling philosophy is the understanding that meeting the client where they are at is the best way to heal or progress. What works for one client one day may not be helpful for the next client, or even the next day for the same person. Allowing clients the space to both experience their feelings and problem solve in a given situation ensures that their personal therapeutic goals are within reach. 

Brooke offers each client unconditional positive regard and acceptance. Therapy will be individualized to each person, couple, or family to move towards their specific therapeutic goals, including the option to utilize teletherapy or in-person therapy. Clients can expect to be treated with respect and dignity throughout the therapeutic process. 

Brooke has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies from Indiana University and a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine from Boston University and holds clinical licenses in both DC and Maryland. She is a DMV native and lives with her partner and one cat.




To book an appointment with

Individual Therapy | Couples Therapy | Family Therapy

Sapna (she/her) is a trauma-informed therapist and licensed social worker in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. Before graduating with her MSW from Columbia University in 2023, Sapna was a special education elementary school teacher for 5 years. Sapna is especially passionate about working with children and adolescents with special learning needs (ADD/ADHD, Autism, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Emotional Disturbance, & learning, developmental, or intellectual disabilities). Sapna is also interested in working with young adults, couples, and families dealing with grief, anxiety, depression, life transitions, and relationship challenges. Sapna believes in meeting clients and families where they are at with empathy, compassion, and a strengths-based approach.
As a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), Sapna utilizes a wholistic health approach geared towards creating a healthy mind, body, & spirit through meditation and movement. 

In addition to her MSW, Sapna has two Bachelor’s degrees (Political Science and Philosophy) from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, and an additional Master’s degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University. She holds clinical licenses in both DC and Maryland.

By leaning on your strengths & providing guidance, accountability, and support, Sapna will work along with you towards a healthier and happier tomorrow.




To book an appointment with

Individual Therapy  | Family Therapy

Melissa is a licensed social worker in Maryland and Washington, DC. Melissa is passionate
about providing individual and family therapy to children, adolescents, and young adults
experiencing trauma, anxiety, and depressive disorders. Melissa has experience working with
clients struggling with grieving, suicidal ideations, self-esteem, social skills, boundaries, and
relationship issues.

Melissa is a trauma-informed therapist who prioritizes providing clients with a collaborative,
empathetic, and non-judgmental space to meet their therapeutic goals. Melissa specializes in
providing a variety of interventions, including psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
(CBT), play therapy, sand tray therapy, and mindfulness.

As a bilingual therapist (English & Spanish), Melissa strives to provide culturally competent
therapy to clients from diverse backgrounds experiencing issues impacting their emotional well-
being. Melissa believes providing psychotherapy and preventative services to clients from
diverse backgrounds who may be unaware of potential warning signs and risk factors
associated with mental health disorders is crucial.
Melissa received her Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social
Work and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Penn State. Melissa is a Licensed Master
Social Worker (LMSW) in Maryland and a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) in
Washington, DC.




To book an appointment with

Individual Therapy, Couples Therapy,  Group Therapy

Allie Neuman is a clinical graduate intern counselor under the supervision of Brooke Shafer,
LCPC, LPC. She believes that everyone deserves to feel safe, heard, and valued in the therapy

Allie’s clinical interests include working with emerging adults and adults experiencing anxiety,
depression, ADHD, shame, body image concerns, trauma, life transitions, relational issues, and
general life stressors. She brings with her experience working in the inpatient psychiatric setting
and crisis counseling with people of all backgrounds, including marginalized communities.
Allie’s warmth, compassion, humor, and authenticity allows her to connect with others in their
most vulnerable states. 
Allie believes in an integrative, person-centered approach to counseling that allows her to
individualize therapy to meet each client’s unique needs and personal style. She also enjoys
working from a psychodynamic and humanistic lens while incorporating evidence-based
practices into her work, such as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral
therapy (CBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). 
Allie is currently pursuing her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from The
Chicago School in Washington, DC and holds a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences
and disorders from Penn State University. She is a New Jersey native and misses its bagels on a
daily basis.




To book an appointment with

Individual Therapy

Allison Hewett is a clinical graduate intern counselor earning her Masters in Clinical Mental
Health Counseling. She is working under the supervision of Brooke Shafer, LCPC, LPC. She
believes that everyone deserves to be heard and understood and holds a safe space for her clients to process their emotions and to learn healthy strategies for a fulfilling life.

She received her B.A. in Psychology at Southwestern University, where she conducted research
in an Evolutionary Psychology lab, studying the evolution of anxiety, depression, relationship
dynamics, and coping methods over time.

She has experience working with a diverse set of clients, where she has worked at a residential
eating disorder center, an integrative psychiatry clinic, and a University Counseling Center. In all
of these settings, she worked with clients of various ages, ethnicities, and sexual orientations.

Her clinical interests include working with clients who struggle with anxiety, depression, OCD,
eating disorders, trauma, PTSD, relational issues, self-esteem and other mental health struggles.
Allison works from a person-centered approach, integrating theory-based practices depending on
the individual needs of each client. She likes to incorporate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
into her work as well as Mindfulness-based and Somatic practices.

Allison is currently finishing her Masters and lives in Bethesda, MD. One of her favorite things
to do is to walk on the Capitol Crescent Trails, meditating and collecting rocks to paint.

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