About Us

1327121990“I never thought I would ever be calling a therapist!”

That’s the first thing Lisa* said when we started our phone consultation session. Like Lisa, you probably never thought you’d be seeking psychological support.

For some people, seeking help for “their feelings” is a sign of weakness. There’s a part of themselves telling them they should be able to “figure it out” on their own… or “just try a little harder.”

It’s also common for high-achieving, mission-driven professionals to feel their problems are insignificant compared to the suffering they’ve encountered through their work.

We are familiar with those dismissive, critical inner voices that have kept you from the freedom, peaceful relationships, and joy you deserve in your personal and professional life.

Therapy is for everyone.

When you were little, you probably heard it was for “crazy” people: “¡Susanita está de psiquiatra!” I heard that a lot from my mom’s friends growing up, alluding to someone they knew going through a hard time.

Insurance companies even reimburse diagnosable conditions. That means what you’re currently experiencing is recognized by the scientific community as an issue faced by many in the same way.

So, when you come to us, know you’re not alone!

2046375407Therapy is a significant commitment in energy, time, and money.

Therapy is not a place to get advice (although you may sometimes get direct advice or counsel). Therapy is where you go to address anything causing psychological suffering. And, for the record, there’s no competition for which conditions are “more deserving” of treatment. They’re all worth healing!

You’ll be challenged, supported, and restored through the therapeutic relationship. You’ll feel frustrated but grateful for the struggle on the journey.

Therapy is where you can finally be seen for who you really are – where you don’t have to be alone with scary or intense emotions.

If you don’t embrace the possibility of change…

…you can’t do therapy. And to do therapy successfully, you have to keep this in mind:

Our brain doesn’t like change. Evolutionarily speaking, it’s built to keep you safe, so it thrives on what it can predict based on past experiences.

Unfortunately, not all our survival strategies promote good mental health and well-being.

In therapy, you can face your fears, embrace uncertainty, and feel your feelings. All these things can make you uncomfortable. In fact, I bet you’re tensing up just reading this!

But experiencing that discomfort is vital to your progress. We’ll be there every step of the way, helping you shed the layers of unhelpful strategies covering your authentic self.

252234355We treat you, the whole person.

We help you get close and personal with all aspects of who you are, including those that have brought you pain in the past and present.

We offer you therapy that works for you:

Therapy that respects your cultural beliefs and the burdens you carry from generational trauma and oppression…

Therapy that treats all aspects of you – not just your symptoms as assessed by some statistical tool…

Therapy that sees all of you – not just your “disorder”…

We want you to have the best treatment possible – even if it’s not with us. If we’re not right for you, we’ll refer you to another therapist in your community.

We know that reaching out can be scary…

That’s why we honor all the logistical and emotional work you’ve already done to be reading this page. We applaud your determination as we prepare to embark on this journey together.

When you’re here, you’re in control. You are the expert on your life, so we’ll follow your lead with humanity, curiosity, compassion, competence, and clarity to help you on your way.

We want you to feel completely at ease, so please keep reading for details on what you can expect when you call. And when you’re ready to get started, we can’t wait to hear from you: (202) 556-0953.

Before starting therapy…

When you first reach out, our wonderful Client Care Coordination Team will promptly respond by email or phone.

Our Intake Coordinator will ask you a few questions about why you’re seeking help, your schedule availability, and other important details that will help us pair you up with one of our therapists for the best possible fit.

During that phone call, you will receive basic information about our policies and fees. We’ll also assist you in understanding your insurance benefits so that paying for out-of-network mental health services becomes less daunting. In addition, we’ll set you up in our system so that you can fill out important documents before your first meeting with your provider.

Once all your questions and concerns have been addressed, you’ll be scheduled for an initial consultation session (“Intake”).

2231000135Here’s what happens during Intake…

This is your first visit with your therapist and lasts 90 minutes. During the session, you and your therapist further discuss what brings you to therapy, talk about your goals, outline how you’ll work together, and conduct any assessments that might be appropriate.

Not all intake sessions lead to a therapy process. At the end of the 90 minutes, you and your therapist will know whether therapy (and what kind) would be appropriate for you.

If therapy is recommended, we’ll set a consistent date and time to meet with your therapist. We start most clients with weekly sessions until they have reached their goals.

The three phases of therapy…

Early Phase

After your initial consultation (Intake), you will fill out some questionnaires to inform the course of your treatment. We’re a feedback-informed therapy practice, so we want to know where you began, how the journey is going, and how it will end.

During this phase (within 8-12 weeks), most people start experiencing some relief from the suffering that brought them to therapy. This varies depending on the intensity and duration of your symptoms, your family and trauma history, and the work you put in between sessions.

Middle Phase (“Working Through”)

During this “working through” phase, you’ll typically continue symptom relief, and the therapeutic team will have identified the deep roots, patterns, or habits that are creating or perpetuating suffering.

You’ll start trying new ways of responding to situations causing you distress. A sense of hope and possibility often starts to get consolidated here.

Final Phase (Termination)

Once symptoms have subsided and you’re recouping the time and energy formerly taken up by suffering, you will enter the final therapy phase. This is where you and your therapist will start monitoring for maintenance and addressing any possible “relapses” or “regressions.”

Sessions can be spaced up in preparation for the termination phase. Some clients continue with an exploratory, long-term therapy journey to address attachment-related wounds that may have surfaced throughout the therapy process.

Meet the team!

Center for Effective Psychological Services (CEPS) is a group of bilingual therapists with lived experience living and working internationally.

Our therapists have unique skills, strengths, and specialties that make it possible for us to provide the best fit possible for our clients’ individual needs and therapeutic goals.