My Approach to Helping
People of any age want to feel better. We want to feel less stressed, less depressed, less worried, less angry. We want to be more confident, happier, and more satisfied with our lives, relationships, and schoolwork. Therapy provides a chance to gain a deeper understanding of your thoughts, feelings, patterns, and behaviors and how they interact to shape your sense of self, choices, and how you engage with those around you. I help guide my clients toward building self-awareness and, ultimately, in realizing their own worth and abilities. I believe that the key to effective therapy begins with the quality of the relationship and connection between a therapist and client, as well as an inherent interest in understanding what drives our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. I combine my strong sense of intuition, natural empathy, and unconditional positive regard with an interactive and warm approach as we work together. Therapy should be a place you come to for wisdom, guidance, and connection.
I specialize in providing evidence-based treatment for a range of psychological difficulties and disorders, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor self-image, relationship difficulties, and family stress. I mostly utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and fuse it with an interpersonal process in therapy. I worked at an inpatient hospital for many years treating mood disorders, suicidal ideation, and self-harm, a nonprofit organization specializing in adoption support and education and outpatient therapy. I completed my bachelor's degree at the University of Georgia and my master's degree in Clinical Social Work at the University of Maryland. I am fluent in Russian.
More Info About My Practice
Individual counseling is 1-on-1 and tailored to your goals and needs. Yelena works with clients on a range of issues and concerns and has experience with clients of all ages, backgrounds, and belief systems. Most people meet with Yelena in her Alexandria office or virtually from the comfort of their own home or office. Counseling usually starts off with a 60-minute assessment, which is basically a getting-to-know-you session. From there, we work together to develop a plan specific to you. The foundation of effective therapy is a trusting, unconditional and collaborative relationship. Yelena's treatment style is interactive, supportive, and engaging.
Yelena has extensive training and experience, especially with adolescents and young adults. Yelena has helped individuals through all types of personal challenges, including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, other mood disorders, self-harm, self-esteem concerns, life transitions, and relationship struggles. She uses evidence-based behavioral therapies, primarily Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). CBT has demonstrated efficacy for the treatment of a variety of diagnoses, specifically depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, OCD, and self-harm.
In addition to private practice, she has worked as a clinical therapist at an inpatient psychiatric facility in Virginia for many years providing individual and group therapy to adolescents and adults. She has also worked in community mental health centers and non-profit agencies, working with clients from all sorts of life, particularly clients who have been adopted. She has received the national Training for Adoption Certification (TAC).
How Psychotherapy Can Help
Therapy can provide a chance to gain a deeper understanding of thoughts, feelings, patterns and behaviors and how they interact to shape our sense of self, choices, and how we engage with our world. Cultivating such insight helps us heal from past hurts, become "un-stuck," move toward meaningful change, and become the best version of ourselves. She strongly believes that healing comes through a supportive and accepting relationship with the therapist. Yelena often assigns therapeutic homework to practice both behavioral and cognitive skills outside of session. With adolescents, Yelena often uses art and writing activities along with purposeful dialogue.