Paula D. Atkinson


Paula D. Atkinson


Professions: Clinical Social Worker, Counsellor, Psychotherapist
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.
Primary Credential: LICSW - LC50079961


2440 M St., NW
Suite 314
Washington, District of Columbia 20037

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My Approach to Helping

I believe we are all able and meant to be free from suffering and fear and destructive behavior. I believe that freedom comes from releasing the need try to "fix" ourselves but instead letting go of perfectionistic, critical and old ways of regarding ourselves. Investigating and relinquishing the stories we have about ourselves makes for lasting change. It is only as we learn to love and accept and perhaps parent ourselves that we are able to gently create shifts that free us.

More Info About My Practice

Please visit my website for more information.

How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist

I struggled a great deal with eating disorders and body hatred for most of my life. These compulsions, the obsessions, and the culture's obsession with thinness and body shape create a complicated storm, and can feel completely hopeless. I love knowing what it is really like for my clients that suffer. I think it helps the therapeutic relationship and my clients report that it helps them to feel understood and fundamentally accepted.

Services I Provide

  • Clinical Supervision
  • Group Therapy
  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling

Ages I Work With

  • Teens
  • Adults
  • Elders


  • English

Groups I Work With

    I have over 15 years of experience working with clients who suffer from shame, food & body issues and other compulsive behaviors. These are extremely complicated issues that may seem like no one truly understands to the person who suffers. I do. My goal for my clients is peace, freedom and sanity around food, exercise, and body shape. I am a Health At Every Size certified practitioner, and I am dedicated to non-diet, no judgment, compassionate and relational approaches to sometimes life long struggles. I work from a feminist, all inclusive, social justice standpoint and my approach is casual, relational, warm, and accepting.
    I have a long history of experience, both personally and professionally, with members of the LGBTQIA community. I am proud of my work with this population and am very comfortable discussing queer issues.

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Abandonment
  • Addictions and Compulsions
  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Aging and Geriatric Issues
  • Attachment Issues
  • Body Image
  • Codependency / Dependency
  • Communication Problems
  • Compulsive Spending / Shopping
  • Creative Blocks
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Drug and Alcohol Addiction
  • Eating and Food Issues
  • Fear
  • Gambling Addiction
  • Habits
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Identity Issues
  • Inadequacy
  • Internet Addiction
  • LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Issues
  • Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance
  • Midlife Crisis / Midlife Transition
  • Obsessions and Compulsions (OCD)
  • Perfectionism
  • Post Partum Depression
  • Power
  • Relationships and Marriage
  • Self-Actualization
  • Self-Care
  • Self-Compassion
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Criticism
  • Self-Doubt
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Harm
  • Self-Love
  • Sensitivity to Criticism
  • Shame
  • Somatization
  • Spirituality
  • Stress
  • Women's Issues
  • Worthlessness

Types of Therapy

  • Body-Mind Psychotherapy
  • Breathwork
  • Client-Directed Outcome-Informed Therapy (CDOI)
  • Dance / Movement Therapy (DMT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Holistic Psychotherapy
  • Humanistic Psychology (humanism)
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)
  • Other - Not Listed Here
  • Positive Psychotherapy
  • Relational Psychotherapy
  • Self Psychology
  • Self-Acceptance Training
  • Self-Relations Therapy
  • Transpersonal Psychotherapy
  • Yoga Therapy

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