Treating issues for adolescents, adults and couples, such as:

Anger Management

I help clients develop strategies and techniques for managing intense anger or aggressive episodes. These techniques involve learning ways to “cool off” and validate underlying feelings so that they may be communicated more effectively.


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Anxiety

Anxiety includes a strong sense of

  • Feeling tense,
  • Dread,
  • Agitation,
  • Feeling “keyed up”, and/or
  • Having repetitive worried thoughts about the past, present and future.

Individuals with anxiety have difficulty enjoying their experiences because they are consumed by worry and apprehension over future or past happenings.
Episodes of intense fear are called panic attacks and can often result from a chronic overload of anxiety. Panic attacks are terrifying for the individual and involve a series of physiological symptoms, including rapid heart beat, sweating, increased pulse, as well as thoughts of dying or of not being safe in one’s surroundings.

Therapy can help you both manage and resolve issues that may be causing anxiety.


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Attentional Difficulties

Some clients report difficulty with their attention span and trouble concentrating. I help these individuals develop strategies (sometimes with the addition of medication as prescribed by a psychiatrist) to increase executive functioning, planning and follow through skills.


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Cutting

Cutting is a self-harm behavior where a person feels some sense of emotional relief from cutting oneself with a knife or a blade. Cutting, like other self-harm behaviors, is often used to relieve such emotions as emptiness, loneliness, sadness and anger. Many individuals who cut report a momentary feeling of relief followed by shame and negative feelings about the self. Cutting is a behavior often associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Self-harm—also known as self-injury or self-aggression, is typically performed to regulate one’s emotional world, to blunt an overwhelming emotional reaction, or to literally “feel something,” so as to not be numbed out from one’s emotions. This behavior is seen in both men and women, though women are more likely to cut than men.

There are a host of other types of self-harm behaviors that individuals may use compulsively in order to regulate their emotional experiences, including:

  • alcohol,
  • drugs,
  • gambling,
  • head banging,
  • impulsive spending,
  • pornography addiction,
  • sex, and
  • suicidal gestures

Like cutting, these behaviors also tend to be used as ways to help a person to feel better emotionally, although in the long term they often leave the person feeling worse and more depleted.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) can be highly successful in reducing self-harm behaviors. In this therapeutic approach, concrete strategies are given to reduce self-injury behaviors, and to develop alternative ways for managing negative emotions.


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Depression

Depression is an emotional issue where a person feels down in mood for two or more weeks. Down mood includes:

  • feelings of worthlessness,
  • guilt,
  • irritability,
  • tearfulness,
  • lack of interest, and
  • lack of pleasure from usually enjoyable activities.

Depression often involves repetitive negative thoughts about the self and may also include the loss of or increase in appetite as well as either excessive sleep or difficulty falling and staying asleep.

Therapy can help you both manage and resolve issues that may be causing depression.


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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a therapeutic approach developed by Marsha Linehan to help individuals cope with:

  • impulsive behavior,
  • self-harm behavior, and
  • intense emotional instability.

This highly structured approach gives clients concrete skills around mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance. It involves a considerable amount of both validation as well as active problem solving. DBT is a well-researched, highly effective approach for treating both emotional dysregulation and also Borderline Personality Disorder.

DBT can help.


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Emotional Regulation

Individuals who have difficulty with emotional regulation report that they are constantly intruded upon by their feelings or find that they are unable to feel the normal range of human emotion.

Emotional Regulation is achieving a balanced emotional life where you are neither numbed out from your emotional experiences nor emotionally overwhelmed by them. Achieving emotional balance is done through both talk therapy as well as learning specific concrete strategies for managing your emotional experiences.  Therapy helps individuals to feel more in control of their emotional reactions and to become more effective in communicating their emotions to others.

Research shows that Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), a structured approach originally designed to treat Borderline Personality Disorder, is effective for emotional regulation. DBT gives individuals concrete techniques to help lessen the emotional intensity they feel and to develop better ways to communicate their feelings to others.

I have advanced training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).


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General Medical Conditions

Individuals who manage serious medical diagnoses (including diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, hyper/hypo thryroidism, alopecia, scoliosis, and a host of others) often report mood changes and changes in their sense of self, resulting from the diagnosis. Serious medical issues can drastically impact a person’s life and functioning. I help these individuals to process their diagnoses and to go on to have fulfilling lives while managing possible medical limitations.


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Managing Difficult Life Transitions

Some individuals enter psychotherapy without serious mental health symptoms but are managing a difficult life transition like a divorce, family changes, death/bereavement, moving, processing identity changes, adoption, job changes and medical issues. These individuals are often looking for a place to process this transition and to gain support for the life change.


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Panic

Panic attacks are episodes of intense fear and can often result from a chronic overload of anxiety. Panic attacks are terrifying for the individual and involve a series of physiological symptoms (including rapid heart beat, sweating, chest pain, shaking, shortness of breath, nausea, feeling dizzy, increased pulse), as well as thoughts of dying or of not being safe in one’s surroundings. Panic is often associated with an overwhelming urge to flee a situation. I help individuals to understand the underlying beliefs involved in the panic and to develop alternate ways to cope and manage panic symptoms.


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Parent/Adolescent Communication

Parents and teenagers must navigate a difficult process as the teenager begins to separate from the parents and form his or her separate identity. I work with both parents and teenagers to help in this process in terms of developing strategies for communication, conflict resolution and ways to begin connecting more effectively. I help both the teenager and the parent find ways to better understand and to develop greater tolerance for one another.


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Relationship Concerns

Many individuals report difficulty managing interpersonal distress. Sometimes a mental health diagnosis can make managing relationships more difficult. In addition, some clients present with difficultly expressing their feelings or managing conflicts in relationships. Others report difficulty keeping or finding the types of relationships that they want.


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Self-Esteem

Most people face some sort of struggle with their self-esteem at some point in their life. These struggles are a natural part of the human experience. Long-term feelings of inadequacy, ongoing self-criticism, and constant feelings of “not good enough” can be helped by therapy.

Therapy can help you learn ways to manage the issues that may be affecting your self-esteem.


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Social Anxiety and Shyness

Some clients report that, although they want to have relationships and connections with others, they are bombarded by chronic and acute anxiety when faced with new social situations or people. I work with social anxiety by helping individuals to understand their underlying beliefs and fears about these situations, and to develop increased confidence in social situations.


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Stress Management

I help clients to develop strategies and techniques for managing feeling chronically overloaded by work and personal stress. These techniques include talk therapy, mindfulness, and limit setting.


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Trauma

Trauma is exposure to a stressor that involves actual or perceived threat, danger, serious injury, or emotional injury to the self or another person.

The response to the event may involve fear, helplessness, and can manifest in persistent avoidance of triggers associated with the trauma, and/or hyper vigilance to events surrounding the trauma.

Some traumatic experiences can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder where the event is relived in various ways and causes intense emotional distress and physiological arousal. Clients who have trauma in their backgrounds often have both trouble relaxing as well as trouble connecting to their immediate ‘here and now’ experience.


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I am a licensed clinical Washington DC psychologist and licensed Virginia psychologist practicing in Tysons Corner, VA and the Friendship Heights area of Northwest Washington, DC. I offer expertise in psychotherapy for adults, teenagers and couples. I tailor treatment to individual history and problem areas. Treatment occurs in a safe, supportive and healing environment.

Having Sex, Wanting Intimacy

'Having Sex, Wanting Intimacy'

My book, Having Sex, Wanting Intimacy—Why Women Settle for One-Sided Relationships, is for all women who wish to better understand the delicate constellation of factors that produce emotional intimacy with a romantic partner and for those who struggle with relationships, the hook-up culture or promiscuity. It is also for parents/educators who want to help girls with cultural messages that encourage being pleasing at the expense of developing a solid self-identity. Available in paperback in August 2014.

Media, Consulting and Public Speaking

I have a long-term interest in the impact of gender and culture on identity, self-esteem and relationship development. I am available for media inquiries, consulting and public speaking on how culture affects female identity, empowering girls for reciprocal relationships, developing healthy self-esteem, and how adult women can develop emotionally intimate, romantic, relationships. I also speak to groups of parents, educators, teens and singles who want to learn more about developing an ‘emotional toolkit’ that fosters the strengths necessary for building mutually, healthy friendship and romantic partnership.

Ambivalent Men and Over Attentive Women

Dr. Weber's blog entries originally appeared on Psychology Today.

The non-committal, emotionally unavailable man pairing with an overly attentive female who is willing to hang in there–no matter what–is a surprisingly common relationship. Always eager to sew wild oats, the male in this dynamic is frequently described as “a player.” Whether you are an ambivalent man or a woman who loves one, there is a way out of this trap.

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