Individual Therapy for Children & Adolescents
Phone: 301-960-1198 ext. 703
MD License #26297
I have a deep appreciation for the human mind and profound respect for an individual’s ability to adapt and grow. As humans, each of our experiences and relationships have the potential to play a significant role in how we may feel about ourselves, others, and our understanding of the world around us. Ultimately, our collection of experiences and relationships can shape us and our perspectives, thoughts, and feelings. Change is often a challenge and sometimes we just need a little extra support. This is where I believe my role begins. Stepping into therapy takes great strength and courage and I respect and honor that. Much of my academic and clinical training has focused on the importance of trauma-informed care with children and adolescents and the belief in approaching every client with empathy, curiosity, a non-judgmental stance and an openness to new ways of feeling, thinking, and experiencing the world.
For me, counseling is a collaborative, team effort where there is an emphasis on the client-therapist relationship. My goal is to establish trust with every client and be open and curious. My clinical experience has taught me to work through a trauma-informed lens, seeking to understand the client’s experience. I believe that each individual is the expert of their own life and story, no matter the age. I am simply here to listen, understand, and support you to grow and reach your full potential.
With children and adolescents, I love working together as a team to find unique and effective ways to explore emotional challenges. At the same time, I recognize and value the importance of working alongside parents to help them understand their child and how to best meet their emotional and developmental needs.
Therapeutic Approach: My therapeutic approach is based in psychodynamic, insight theory while also incorporating many different modalities such as Attachment theory, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Trauma-Informed practices, Mindfulness and mind-body interventions, Internal Family Systems Therapy, and Child-Centered Play Therapy (links to each therapy under Therapeutic Techniques Used). I believe in a holistic, integrated approach to health and wellness with special attention to the mind-body connection.
Overall, my main goal as a therapist is to meet your children where they are in their journey and support and help them over any hurdles that may be affecting their quality of life or social emotional growth and development. We will work in a supportive, engaging environment where your child experiences empathy, trust, and a feeling of being heard and understood. It is a tremendous honor to work with children and I am humbled everyday by their strength, courage, and wisdom.
Alexis has practiced as a clinician in a variety of settings, with clients of diverse backgrounds. She has extensive experience working with children and adolescents in residential programs, hospitals, clinics, and other therapeutic settings.
Alexis supports clients in working through and overcoming difficult struggles including anxiety disorders, depression and mood disorders, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), substance abuse, behavior problems, guilt and shame, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, and other forms of trauma through a range of therapeutic interventions, personalized to each client. Among these interventions are CBT, DBT, ACT, Psychodynamic theory, Attachment theory, Trauma-Informed care, Mindfulness and mind-body interventions, IFS, and Child-Centered Play Therapy.
As a clinician, Alexis understands the importance of group therapy as a complimentary form of treatment to individual therapy. Group therapy can be extremely beneficial as it provides a safe space for children and adolescents to talk through difficulties, learn through the experiences of their peers, and learn therapeutic (e.g. DBT and ACT) skills with their peers. Many youth feel group work is beneficial and validating because it offers them insight and they hear their peers talk about similar challenges. Sometimes children and adolescents feel isolated by their thoughts, feelings, or difficulties. By being in a group with peers, it not only helps normalize certain experiences but also helps clients feel less alone, able understand themselves better, work with others, and build empathy and confidence. It can be extremely helpful to learn and practice healthy coping skills in a group setting that is similar to what they will most likely experience in the real world.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) (https://beckinstitute.org/get-informed/what-is-cognitive-therapy/)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) (https://behavioraltech.org/resources/faqs/dialectical-behavior-therapy-dbt/)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) (https://contextualscience.org/act)
Mindfulness and Mind-Body interventions
Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) (https://ifs-institute.com)
Child-Centered Play Therapy (https://www.childplayworks.co.nz/play-therapy/)
EDUCATION & SPECIAL TRAINING
Alexis has a B.A. in Psychology from Dickinson College and received her Master of Social Work from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. Currently, she is a Licensed Master’s level Social Worker and holds license in the state of Maryland. She is also certified as a Forensic Social Work therapist and has special training in trauma-informed practices.
Alexis has additional training in Animal Assisted Social Work. Her dog, Indiana (Indy), is adorable and loved by all who meet him! He, and Alexis, are working towards Indy becoming a certified Therapy Dog.