Washington DC Therapy Adults Children, Couples Families

Therapy Services for Children, Adolescents, Adults and Families

What to Expect

If this is your first time in therapy, you may be wondering what to expect. The first session will give you a chance to see if I’m the right therapist for you. The most important part of any therapy is the relationship we create, where you feel safe, listened to, and understood, all from a non-judgmental and unconditionally accepting place. I’ll start by asking you to tell me why you have sought therapy, and you will be invited to talk about any problems that you want to bring up. I will tell you about my approach and may give you a first taste of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy by taking one of your problems and working with you to explore how your thoughts - - some of which you may not even have been aware of - - were causing you to experience mental distress. In the beginning, a typical “homework” assignment might be to become aware of your thoughts and feelings that arise when you are experiencing mental negative emotions stemming from the problems we have targeted to work on. Depending on your issues and goals, in addition to restructuring your way of thinking and feeling, we may start to analyze and pinpoint one or two small behavioral steps you could take to reach the goals we developed. The sessions are typically  50minutes.

Payment and/or Insurance Coverage

It is the client’s responsibility to apply for reimbursement to his/her insurance company.  Virtually all insurance companies will cover the services of a Licensed Professional Counselor although the benefit varies by company. My fees range from $175 to $250.

 

Specialized Counseling Techniques

Therapy with children and young adolescents

When I work with children, I use a mix of play therapy, gestalt, and cognitive behavioral therapy – always mindful of the developmental needs and unique personality of each child. Therapy can be fun: we play games, and use music and art to help explore, identify, and express feelings. Children and adolescents learn to develop skills in managing and coping with their experiences in healthy, positive ways; to focus on their unique strengths and personal resources; and to connect to and get help from the resources in their family and community. From the death of a loved one, to the many losses surrounding divorce, to anxiety and depression, they experience hope and optimism through developing self efficacy when they are given the skills to successfully manage their emotions and regulate their behavior.

Grief and Loss

In addition to the therapeutic approaches described above, I address the loss of a loved one as a result of death, divorce or separation by giving your children and family members many enjoyable opportunities to remember their loved ones, including making collages, creating and decorating a memory box to store pictures or special articles to help stay connected, and decorating a picture frame with stickers, paint and magazine cut-outs. We use journals to color and write in, scrapbooks and photo albums, and other uniquely created expressive outlets to tell your story and to commemorate and celebrate the life and the relationship you shared.

Trauma

If you have experienced a traumatic event, I will use Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Many times a traumatic experience will need to be addressed by using a form of “exposure” to images, thoughts, and feelings associated with the event. This is done is a safe therapeutic relationship, in small doses, with adequate preparation and skill building in relaxation and emotion management. We will then move on to do the other healing work described above.

Couples Therapy

When working with couples, I like to use Enhanced Cognitive-Behavioral Couple Therapy and Integrative Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. We work collaboratively to pinpoint specific behaviors that each partner would like to change, look for central themes in a couple’s struggle, and identify each partner’s vulnerabilities and defenses. We will explore, identify, and then practice ways to foster emotional acceptance, empathy, and tolerance while working on traditional behavior change, communication training, and problem-solving strategies.

 

Please contact me for more information, a telephone consultation or to schedule an initial appointment. If I am unable to take your call, please leave a message in my confidential voice mail box. You may also email me at

debbieschechter(_AT_)gmail.com