Nancy Sharpe, LCSW-C, LICSW

Associate
Washington D.C. License #LC50080484
Maryland License #LC23135
Phone: 301-960-1198 ext. 702

I started my career in the DC metro area as a bilingual (Spanish) legal assistant for immigration law.  That job showed me the resilience of people who go through incredibly difficult circumstances to improve their own lives and the lives of their children.  People seek out therapy for similar reasons; they want to better their life or the lives of their children and are not afraid to ask for help in doing so.  It would be my honor to work with you.

I am a firm believer in a holistic, integrated approach to health and wellness that incorporates both the mind and body.  I desire to help children, adolescents, individuals, and families establish stability, develop healthy relationships, manage difficult emotions, develop a positive self-image, feel contented and accepting of themselves and their life.

I approach my work with a collaborative spirit knowing that you are the expert on your life experience no matter what your age.  The goal of therapy is to approach a problem together so that you feel more capable and energized to handle the challenge that life has sent your way.  Together we will acknowledge and celebrate the ways you are already coping with the stressful situation that brought you into therapy and develop strategies and life habits to manage difficult situations.

Education

Master of Arts in Spanish 2008, Messiah College

Masters of Social Worker 2012, The Catholic University of America

Nancy continues to learn and grow professionally by attending workshops, trainings, and conferences. She continues to stay up to date with the latest theories and research and obtains supervision as well as consults with other clinicians in the field.

Experience 

Nancy has worked for the past 8 years bilingually (Spanish) with adults, young professionals, couples, families, adolescents, and children.

However, one of her current passions is working with kids ages 3-12 and their families utilizing play therapyYoung children use play as a form of communication and as a way to process stressful and scary events.  Nancy helps parents decode their child’s needs and offer them strategies to better respond to those needs.

Nancy has worked with kids who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depressionautism spectrum disorders (ASD), aggression and bullying-like behaviors, learning disabilities, and poor social interaction skills.   Nancy has also offered play therapy to kids impacted by complex custody conflicts, separation, and divorce.  She is happy to collaborate with other professionals in the client’s life such as teachers, doctors, guardian ad lidems, and psychiatrists as requested, to create a cohesive experience.

In her prior job, Nancy provided family therapy to individuals and couples adopting from the DC child welfare system and gave many parent and professional trainings and workshops on adoption, attachment, trauma, grief and loss, fetal alcohol syndrome disorders, and suicide assessment.

Nancy is also passionate about working with adolescents (ages 13-18) and young professionals (ages 18 – 35) who are seeking greater work-life balance.   Nancy recognizes how easy it is to become over-programmed and overwhelmed by the fast-paced demands of living in this career-driven area.  Being constantly connected via a smart phone or other device leaves little room for the mind to quiet and the body to find peace.  Nancy would be honored to work with you to create a plan to help you feel more connected to the things and people that are most important to you.

Yoga, mindfulness, and nutrition have all played big roles in Nancy’s own health and wellness. Nancy is excited to work at a place that values and offers these healing modalities in addition to therapy.

Worries, fears, stress, and doubts live in the body in the form of tension and pain.  Yoga and mindfulness are the perfect companions to talk or play therapy as they engage the body in addition to the mind.  So many people live and get stuck in their thoughts, their endless to-do lists, and their criticism of themselves or others.  Yoga and mindfulness help people to get out of their heads and into their bodies where real change can occur by learning to breath into tense muscles and observe the patterns of the mind.  These practices calm racing thoughts, relieve tension and stress, ground people in the present moment, and allow people to approach life’s challenge with renewed strength and peace.

Therapeutic Approach

As a white, straight, cisgendered female clinician, Nancy is a proponent of social justice and realizes that her (often) privileged experience of the world can be different from that of her clients. She works hard to create an environment where her clients can feel understood, supported and not judged regardless of their experience of the world.

For younger clients (ages 3-10), Nancy predominantly utilizes play therapy.  For tweens, adolescents, and adults Nancy pairs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with mindfulness.  Nancy also loves to incorporate art therapy and sand tray whenever the client is interested in doing so no matter the age.  However, because each client has their own unique needs, Nancy takes the time to identify what will work best for each client.

Nancy’s prior work as a clinical social worker in the DC schools system allowed her to be trained in a number of evidence based therapies for elementary to high school aged kids.  These include Child-Centered Play Therapy, Bounce Back (a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) intervention for grief and trauma), Zones of Regulation, and Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding To Chronic Stress (SPARCS).

Nancy approaches her work from a trauma-informed lens looking at the mind-body connection and incorporating mindfulness when appropriate.  Nancy would describe her clinical orientation as psychodynamic, attachment-informed, solutions-focused, strengths based, and family systems (and internal family systems) oriented.