12751 Marblestone Dr, Suite 200, Woodbridge, VA 22192 | info@thecenterforconnection.com | (703) 878-3291

Elayne Smith

Elayne Smith

Elayne Smith, LMFT. Founder and Program Director, Substance Use and Addiction Recovery Services.

Our services were created to offer a comprehensive and integrative approach to recovery. Having worked in the fields of mental health and addiction for the last 15 years, I have come to appreciate the importance of finding recovery solutions that work for each individual client. Many treatment programs stop and start treatment with a curriculum of psychoeducation and an expectation that this will be sufficient for change.  Our experienced staff team have created a program of recovery that treats the whole person, combining evidence-based treatment models with powerful therapy experiences that get to the root of each client’s struggle.

As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have come to appreciate the amazing power of emotional connection and secure family bonds. I know of no greater an antidote to the pain of substance use than the experience of satisfying relationships. As such, we intentionally treat substance use and process addictions within the context of important relationships.

Our warm and dedicated staff team are trained in both the process of recovery and relational therapy. This combination of skills allows us to support couples and families to heal together: restoring communication, repairing fractures in trust or safety, and deepening their connection. We consider it a profound privilege to work with our clients and look forward to being of service to you and your loved ones.

Maureen Flaherty

spiritual-development

Maureen Flaherty, LPC. Clinical Director, Intensive Outpatient Services.

I love working with substance use and addiction issues and being alongside clients while they design lives that are satisfying and meaningful for them. I have worked in this field for over 18 years and appreciate the freedom we have at The Center to create programs that are personal to each client. We work together as a staff team to meet clients where they are at and start the work from there.

I take an integrative approach in my work, wanting to know the whole person rather than just their substance use history. I focus on the strengths, resources, and resiliency that each client has and how they can use this to be successful. I also offer practical support and predictive information on everything clients need to know about the process of physical and emotional recovery so that they can be prepared for the challenges this can hold. Recovery is a process, not a destination, and I am invested in my clients being successful.

Thank you in advance for the opportunity to work with you and your loved ones.

Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith, MA, Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy. Clinical Director, Family Healing Program.

I like working with: Couples; Adolescents and their families; Adjustment issues within the couple or family due to life changes, stressors, separation, or divorce; Addiction and co-occuring mental health disorders; Trauma.

The services I offer are: I enjoy working with couples struggling with communication issues, closeness and emotional intimacy, and the conflict that can arise from the negotiation of roles and responsibilities in their relationship. I am experienced in working with adolescent families dealing with change, stress, trauma, or addiction. I also enjoy working with individuals living with self-esteem and self-worth issues and the struggle with anxiety, depression, and interpersonal relationships that often comes with low-self-worth.

How I work with clients: In my work with families, we work together to identify goals and create lasting change. This includes supporting families to explore the ways in which their communication style and interactions may be contributing to the issues they are experiencing. Families often have well-worn and familiar ways of relating that they aren’t sure how to change, I work towards helping them understand these patterns and ‘catch’ them in the moment so that real change can begin. I take a collaborative and directive approach, trying to help families create change in the therapy room and develop a plan for maintaining it outside of sessions. My focus then becomes working towards helping the family find more satisfying and stable ways of relating to one another, that allow them to feel more understood, connected, and secure with one another. As a therapist, I am warm and present with my clients and believe that clients know best as to what works for them and their relationships.

My training and experience: I hold a Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Appalachian State University, a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Sociology with a concentration in crime and deviance, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Virginia Tech. My clinical experience includes working with individuals, families, and couples struggling with addiction, recovery, and co-occuring mental health disorders. I have experience working with adolescents within the school system struggling with mental health diagnoses, self-worth, self-esteem issues, and attachment/adjustment issues.

Supervisor: Courtney is a Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy, working towards Licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Virginia. She works under the supervision of Ed Hendrickson, LMFT, LSATP, AAMFT Approved Supervisor. In the event that clients have any questions or concerns about Courtney’s work, her supervisor can be contacted by mail at: 5249 Duke St #200, Alexandria, VA 22304, by phone on (703) 994-0034, or by email at edhendrickson@comcast.net.

Candace Fleming

Candace 5

Candace Fleming, M.Ed, Resident in Professional Counseling. Clinical Director, Continuing Care Services.

I like working with: Adults living with low self-worth, anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction, anger, and identity issues relating to gender, sexuality, culture or ethnicity.

The services I offer are: I work with adults to help them reclaim their self-worth, strengths and inner resources so they can create a more satisfying life, whatever this means to them. I often work on identity and self-worth with my clients, helping them to feel good about who they are and what they have to offer the world. Having a strong sense of who you are is the cornerstone of healthy boundaries, coping skills, choices, and behaviors. I also enjoy working with anxiety and depression, particularly when the enjoyment of life is inhibited by these issues.

I love supporting clients living with addiction or substance use issues to get to the root of their issues so they can heal them directly as part of their journey to recovery. I can provide Alcohol and Drug Assessments, Intensive Outpatient Therapy, and individual and family therapy to clients living with addiction.

I also work with anger management issues by providing Anger Management Assessments and structured 8-week Anger Management Programs. My approach focuses on getting to the root of the anger issues, and supporting clients to resolve the issues that maintain anger responses. I also help clients to develop more effective tools for managing stress, thoughts, feelings, and interactions with others. If you are experiencing anxiety, depression, PTSD, childhood abuse, and grief, in addition to anger issues, I can help to create a plan that addresses all concerns. I can provide reports and certificates of completion for legal purposes if this is required.

How I work with clients: I work with clients to create lasting change from the inside-out. This can include healing emotional pain, processing distressing experiences, or challenging limiting beliefs, so that you can be freed up from the limits and restrictions that these place on you. I focus on strengths and how to capitalize on the existing skills and resources that you already have available to you, even if you are struggling to feel connected to them at the time of entering therapy. I also focus on solutions in our work together and the development of effective coping skills.

My training and experience: I hold a Master’s degree in Education from George Mason University and am currently working towards Licensure as a Professional Counselor. I have clinical experience providing individual and group counseling to men and women, as well as the treatment of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. I have also completed additional training in Motivational Interviewing.

Supervisor: Candace is a Resident in Counseling, who has completed a masters degree and is working towards Licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia. She works under the supervision of Catherine A. Love, LPC and LMFT Approved Supervisor. In the event that clients have any questions or concerns about Candace’s work, her supervisor can be contacted at: clovelpclmft@yahoo.com, (703) 216-5230, or 7001 Heritage Village Plaza, Suite 125, Gainesville, Virginia, 20155

Jennifer Brown Guiney

Jennifer Brown Guiney

Jennifer Brown Guiney, CEIM, IMH-E® (II), Infant Family Support Specialist

I like working with: Infant-family bonding; baby body language, signals and cues; birth experiences; the joys and challenges of new parenthood.

The services I offer are: I support families to feel bonded to their baby and empowered to meet their needs. I help caregivers get to know their precious little one from the inside out by exploring their strengths and vulnerabilities, and deciphering the uniquely individual ways they communicate delight, discomfort and need for connection. I also offer emotional support to families as they navigate the joys and challenges of caring for a new baby, especially if their infant is fussy or having trouble with eating and sleeping.

How I work with clients: I focus on helping you feel comfortable to share your experiences of parenting, safe in the knowledge that I won’t judge, criticize or tell you what to do. Feeling connected with your child, knowing how to meet their needs, and navigating the emotional demands of parenthood is a process. I’m alongside you every step of the way helping you figure out what feels good for you, your baby, and your family.

My training and experience: I am an Infant Mental Health Specialist, with a Post-Graduate Certificate in Infant-Parent Mental Health from Umass Boston. I was fortunate enough to learn directly from leaders in the field such as Ed Tronick, T. Berry Brazelton, and Bruce Perry. I am currently working on my Masters in Early Childhood Studies. I also have certifications in Newborn Behavioral Observations, Infant Massage, and Baby Signs®

Nichelle Mason

Nichelle Mason

Nichelle Mason, PhD, LPC

I like working with: Couples looking to work on: Relationship Enrichment and Repair, Pre-Marital/Commitment Therapy, Divorce Discernment, Sex Therapy, PTSD, Grief, Addiction, and Illness. I also like working with Parents and Families dealing with: Parenting; Blended Families; Collaborative Divorce; Military life; Grief; and Illness

The services I offer are: Individual, Couple and Family Therapy. I work with couples across the lifespan, including couples considering making a martial commitment and want to explore their relationship strengths and vulnerabilities. This work helps couples to create a plan for relationship success, healthy communication, and emotional intimacy. I work with couples to promote effective communication, trust, and connection and repair any fractures that may have taken place over the course of their relationship.

My Sex Therapy work often focuses on couples in mid-to-later-life, looking to explore their sexual relationship and how this may have changed over time with regard to things like: parenting, physical changes, illness, and relationship challenges.

I also support couples, through Divorce Discernment Counseling, to carve out a six-month period of time for a focused effort in couples counseling and then decide whether to separate/divorce, or stay the course and decide later. Where divorce is agreed upon, and children are shared, I work with the parents to divorce well and with the important priority of their children’s wellbeing at the forefront of every session.

In my work with families, I support parents to address the many joys and challenges of bringing up children in today’s fast-paced, media-focused world. I often work with blended families to help them navigate the new roles, rules, and ways of relating that often come with merging family lives.

How I work with clients: In all my work, I focus on existing strengths, the creation of satisfying interactions, and relationship harmony. As I know that people often reach out for the support of a therapist during times of relationship distress, my initial focus is on creating hope, safety, and openness. I believe relationships are the cornerstone of satisfaction and fulfillment in our lives. This often means creating new ways of interacting that allow for each family member to feel appreciated, connected, and at peace, whatever this means for them.

My training and experience: I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, and hold a Masters and PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. I am trained in Marriage and Family Therapy and traditional counseling treatment methodologies. My experience includes working with couples and families (with children 3+) to aging adults. I have additional training and experience working with the Juvenile Drug Court System and aging adult outpatient group counseling services. I predominantly utilize the following counseling/family therapy treatment models with clients: Emotionally Focused Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, and Collaborative Therapy. Overall, I help clients find resolution to life’s issues in ways that benefit the individual, family, community, and workplace.

Gina Park

Gina Park, LCSW

I like working with: Adolescents and their families experiencing substance abuse, mood disorders, depression, anxiety, and trauma.

The services I offer are: I work with adolescents and their families as they struggle with a wide range of issues. Because I know the power of connection and attachment with family members, I work with adolescents in the context of their family relationships. I am mindful of the developmental issues that adolescents face such as building their own identity, beginning to separate out from family, still needing guidance and support, and developing the skills to regulate their emotions. This technology-focused world is a tough place to grow up in and I’m invested in helping adolescents to navigate their way through in a way that nurtures their identity and unique strengths.

How I work with clients: I love working with teens because they demand a high level of authenticity, transparency and honesty in their relationships, especially in therapy. Because I focus on relationships and the validity of each person’s experience, I find that my adolescent clients appreciate the support I can offer to both them and their parents in deciphering the disconnection or conflict that might have developed between them.

My training and experience: I am a Licensed Clinical Social Work and hold a Master’s degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. My clinical experience has primarily been in community and social service settings providing individual, family and group therapy to at-risk families and youth. I have extensive knowledge of the child welfare and foster care systems.

Collie Crisman

Collie Crisman

Collie Crisman, M.Ed. Intake Coordinator & Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy

I like working with: Families with young children, parenting challenges, behavioral issues, positive parenting, families facing separation/divorce, co-parenting, and adoption.

The services I offer are: I enjoy working with families with children aged 3-12, who might be struggling with parenting challenges, difficulties with communication, challenging behavior, anger and anxiety management, attachment, issues with self-esteem or other relationship difficulties.

How I work with clients: Parenting children of any age is a huge task, and one that can sometimes leave us feeling at a loss as to how to move forward. As a parent, it can be incredibly difficult to know where to turn when things get tough, and which steps to take next.

I prioritize the use of positive, respectful and solution-focused interventions that are tailored to each child’s specific needs, age and developmental stage, so that clients can create meaningful and lasting change within their family life. I often use attachment as a way of helping parents and children to better their understand behavior and communication patterns.

I believe that there are four key elements of parenting; nurture (how well parents are able to nurture and attend to their child’s needs, strengths and vulnerabilities), engagement (how connected, present and ‘plugged-in’ parents are able to be with their child), structure (how well parents are able to set boundaries, and provide an environment and relationship that is predictable, safe and secure) and challenge (how well they can support their child to try new things, and increase independence and competence). Every parent comes to the table with strengths in each area, and some that they might find more challenging. I believe in taking the broad range of skills parents already have in their toolbox, and figuring out further tools that can make day-to-day life easier. I also value supporting parents in strengthening their connection with their children.

I believe strongly in the importance of the therapeutic relationship, so invest in getting to know my clients, their strengths and goals. I tailor my work to fit the needs of the client. I strive to be authentic, compassionate and open with my clients as we work together.

My training and experience: I hold an M.Ed in Family and Couples Counseling from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. My clinical experience includes working with couples and young people at Relate, the largest provider of relationship-focused support services in the UK. I also have experience working with couples, children, adolescents and their families in community-based settings in the U.S.

Supervisor: Collie is a Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy, who has completed a masters degree and is working towards Licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Virginia. She works under the supervision of Charles McAdams, LMFT and AAMFT Approved Supervisor. In the event that clients have any questions or concerns about Collie’s work, her supervisor can be contacted at: The College of William and Mary, School of Education, P.O. Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795, (757) 221-2338 or crmcad@wm.edu

Jessica Escobar

Jessica Escobar

Jessica Escobar, MS. Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy

I like working with: Couples; emotional intimacy; sexual issues; military families; children; multicultural issues; trauma.

The services I offer are: I support couples to feel closer, resolve recurring arguments, heal past hurts, and communicate more openly. I often use Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy in this work. I also work with couples to explore their sexual life and the ways their relationships as a whole inform this aspect of their life together. I enjoy working with military couples and families and appreciate the unique strengths and challenges that these families possess. I also love working with children using Play Therapy, a therapy technique that supports children to express their thoughts and feelings when they may not have the verbal language to share them.

How I work with clients: I value the importance of satisfying relationships for the wellbeing of my clients. I want clients to feel that they are moving closer to their goals when they work with me, and to better understand the challenges and conflicts they face in their lives.

My training and experience: I hold a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and am currently working towards Licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I have completed internships at Ft. Belvoir’s Family Life Center and at the Center for Family Services in Falls Church, VA. I have also completed additional training in Play Therapy and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.

Supervisor: Jessica is a Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy, who has completed a masters degree and is working towards Licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Virginia. She works under the supervision of Ellie Cunanan, LMFT and AAMFT Approved Supervisor. In the event that clients have any questions or concerns about Jessica’s work, her supervisor can be contacted at: ellie.lmft@gmail.com, (703) 627-9272, or 207 Park Avenue Suite B3, Falls Church, VA, 22046.

Melissa Callahan

Melissa Callahan, MS. Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy

I like working with: Families, particularly with adolescents, divorced families and blended families. I also work with couples having difficulties with trust and communication, families and individuals impacted by trauma, and individual adult clients living with anxiety, depression, and relational struggles.

The services I offer are: I enjoy working with adolescents and their families who may be dealing with attachment difficulties or trauma. I love to support blended families and parents with children going through separation. I also enjoy working with couples and parents to strengthen their relationships. My main goal is to support families and couples to identify struggles within their relationships and capitalize on their existing strengths to overcome these issues. This often includes identifying obstacles to effective communication and an exploration as to how this may have impacted their relationships with each other. I also focus on facilitating deeper emotional connections and greater responsiveness to one another. I utilize Emotionally Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy and trauma-informed therapy techniques with the families and couples I serve.

How I work with clients: Clients describe me as transparent, warm, and invested in their struggles. I use my authentic self in order to establish a connection with all of my clients so that we can be honest and open with each other in our work together. After gaining an understanding of your challenges, we will develop goals together that focus on the creation of lasting change.

My training and experience: I am a Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy. I received my Master’s Degree in Family Therapy from the COAMFTE accredited program at University of Massachusetts – Boston. My clinical experience has been serving individuals, families and couples with emotional, mental and behavioral needs in at-risk communities. ​

Supervisor: Melissa is a Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy, who has completed a master’s degree and is working towards Licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Virginia. She works under the supervision of Dr. John Walker, Ph.D., LMFT and AAMFT Approved Supervisor. In the event that clients have any questions or concerns about Melissa’s work, her supervisor can be contacted at: drjpwalker@hotmail.com, (302) 354-1078, or 714 Pine St, Herndon, VA 20170.

Sarah June Carroll

Sarah June Carroll, MS. Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy

I like working with: Couples who are ready for change in their relationship, whether to prepare for a lifetime of connection, to repair a connection lost or to enhance the depth of your connection.

The services I offer are: Couple’s counseling across all life stages. I primarily use Emotionally Focused Couple’s Therapy methods, as well as the techniques of Gottman Couple’s therapy. I offer pre-marital, marital and couple’s therapy.

How I work with clients: I see myself as a consultant for the journey of your relationship. Ultimately you as the client are the expert in your own life, and I will walk with you through the journey of improving your relationship. I frequently recommend quality books to clients, as a supplement to your healing journey. You, your partner and I will worth together in learning and practicing skills for empathetic listening and attuning your heart to be a secure base for one another. I will guide you as a couple to witness and support each other in your healing.

My training and experience: I hold a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Bachelor’s degree in Family Life from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. I’m certified as a Family Life Educator, and have been working with couples in a counseling setting since 2010. I also have clinical experience working with teenagers, children, families and adults struggling with attachment issues, depression, anxiety, acculturation, self-esteem, trauma, family of origin concerns, behavioral addictions (such as pornography, or compulsive eating), and work-life balance. I also have extensive experience with incorporating spirituality into psychotherapy.

Supervisor: Sarah June is a Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy, who has completed a masters degree and is working towards Licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Virginia. She works under the supervision of Ellie Cunanan, LMFT and AAMFT Approved Supervisor. In the event that clients have any questions or concerns about Jessica’s work, her supervisor can be contacted at: ellie.lmft@gmail.com, (703) 627-9272, or 207 Park Avenue Suite B3, Falls Church, VA, 22046.

Kimberly Artley

Kimberly Artley

Kimberly Artley, BS. CHHC, ALOAP

I like working with: People. From all walks of life, with all stories, from all backgrounds. Some key words I often use to describe my focus are: prevention, reconnection, growth and empowerment, balance, healing and reconnection.

The services I offer are: Guidance and mentoring in the areas of: developing a healthier, more loving self-concept and perspective, personal empowerment, nutrition, fitness, relationships, spirituality, purpose, career, and working through personal challenges such as weight loss and work-life balance.

Developing a deeper love and genuine acceptance of and for ourselves is one of the most worthy investments we can make. When we love ourselves, we take loving care of ourselves. Every choice we make is an extension of this (e.g. who we choose to surround ourselves with, the types of food we choose to put into our bodies, & how we choose to spend our time).

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” ~ English Proverb

How I work with clients: Creating a space that is open, receptive, patient, empathic, comfortable, and completely judgment-free is of utmost importance to me. Like flowers in bloom, each person unfolds and releases at their own, individual pace and in their own time. This isn’t about the destination or getting answers within a 60 minute time period; it’s about the journey. When we spend less time focused on “results” and who we think we’re supposed to be, we become more in tune and in sync with whom we truly are. This is exactly what “Life” is about. Un-becoming who we’ve been conditioned and told to be, so we can become and unleash the extraordinary person we already are.

My training and experience: I have my B.S. in Health Promotion from Marymount University, am a proud graduate of the world-renowned Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a certified Holistic Health Coach, an Advanced Law of Attraction practitioner, personal fitness instructor (focusing on, what I refer to as, the 5 Pillars of Fitness: Strength, Cardio, Core, Flexibility & Ball-and-Socket), and I also happen to be a Dog Trainer and Behaviorist, having trained with Cesar Millan (“The Dog Whisperer”) and other notable trainers and behaviorists in the industry. There is a tremendous amount of parallels between human and canine behavior, health and psychology.

Teresa Suder

Teresa Suder

Teresa Suder, M.Div. Meditation Instructor, Certified by Deepak Chopra, MD

I like working with: Physical, mental emotional and spiritual health; spiritual growth and direction; healing from within; life balance.

The services I offer are: I offer Mantra Meditation Instruction to clients looking to incorporate the practice of meditation, and its benefits, into their daily life. I work with individuals, families and groups and offer regular workshops and retreats that focus on meditation practice, spiritual growth, inner healing and life balance. I also offer Spiritual Development services, supporting clients to explore their spiritual life, needs and strengths as a way of bringing greater calm, self-expression and purpose into their world.

How I work with clients: Clients share with me that I am warm, loving, a woman of integrity, have a great sense of humor and live what I teach.

My training and experience: I am teacher trained and certified in Mantra Meditation, or Primordial Sound Meditation, by Deepak Chopra, M.D. He revived this powerful meditation technique and made it available in a format that’s easy to learn and incorporate into daily life. I also hold a Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary. I consider personal and spiritual growth in myself and others to be my life’s work.

Alicia Collier

Alicia Collier

Alicia Collier, RYT 200

I like working with: The mind-body connection; eastern healing modalities; movement; truth, wisdom and inner peace.

The services I offer are: I embrace the notion that yogic practice is unique for each individual and is best expressed through authenticity. Students are empowered to carry benefits of yoga from their mat into their world, and explore what the mind-body connection means to them. I draw on experience of radical-acceptance psychology and eastern healing modalities to create a sacred space for my students to move and heal.

How I work with clients: Clients tell me that they experience me as accepting, warm, and authentic. I try to model radical self-acceptance in my yoga practice, accepting the strengths and limitations of my body and allowing this acceptance to radiate into the rest of my life. I offer this to clients throughout my classes, it is more important to notice and appreciate your body throughout each yoga posture, than it is to be perfect at the posture.

My training and experience: I am a certified Yoga Instructor (RYT 200) and hold a BS in Psychology from George Mason University. This training helps me to integrate an understanding of emotional and mental functioning with eastern healing modalities to support clients to create inner calm, physical well-being and a deep mind-body connection.