Our Team

 

The mission of Synergy Counseling is to walk alongside you in a collaborative, therapeutic relationship built on empathy and trust, to help you create the life you want. Using your strengths and our expertise in compassionate, evidenced-based therapy, we will help you identify the root of your challenges and make the permanent changes you want to your life.

 

Clinical Director

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Marianne S. Coad

Marianne has a Master of Arts Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Marianne has over 20 years of experience working in the mental health field with individuals, couples, and families ranging from ages 16 to 86 years old.

Marianne began her career working at Rapha, an adolescent and adult psychiatric inpatient facility, and enjoyed every moment of helping her clients make permanent, positive changes to their lives. It was at this time that Marianne became an expert in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Couples Counseling and Family Therapy using a variety of evidenced-based practices to equip clients with the necessary tools for change. She is skillful and compassionate in helping couples repair and thrive in their marriages even in the midst of challenges such as infidelity, poor communication and major transitions. Marianne has great respect for her clients and admires their courage to seek help as the first step is often the most difficult.

Throughout the years, Marianne has gained expertise in treating trauma. She had the privilege of working as a Military and Family Life Counselor serving all military branches including Soldiers of the Army Special Forces and Marines of the Presidential Helicopter Squadron One. Marianne has won many awards including Military and Family Life Counselor of the Year. She is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), an evidenced-based treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS). Marianne is also trained in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), another evidenced-based treatment for PTS.

Marianne is a registered Supervisor with the Virginia Board of Counseling and supervises graduate students and post-graduate residents for licensure as Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) and/or Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs). In addition, she is a Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). She is an approved AAMFT Supervisor Mentor and supervises licensed clinicians seeking to become AAMFT Supervisors. She also provides consultation for those wanting to become certified in EMDR.

Marianne has four adult children and has lived and traveled throughout the world. Her extensive travel has sensitized her to all walks of life and all manner of people. Marianne loves to explore new places, spend time outdoors, exercise, kayak, garden, and read.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, the best way to contact Marianne is via email at mariannesynergycounseling@gmail.com or 703-657-9721. Marianne offers therapeutic services for the amounts of $250 for the initial session and $170 for each additional session. You may also like to read her reviews on healthgrades.com and see her profile on psychologytoday.com.


Residents

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Willow R. Smith

Willow is currently working toward dual licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist and as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Willow has five years of experience working in the mental health field, providing care to individuals, couples, and families. She attended The University of the South: Sewanee, in Sewanee, TN for her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and completed her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. While at Rollins, Willow earned her certificate in Family and Relationship Therapy, which reinforced her knowledge and skills-based work with families and couples from a systemic perspective.

Willow also works at Sagebrush Treatment Center, where she provides care in a holistic atmosphere to adults suffering from a wide range of life challenges, including anxiety, stress, depression, self-image, trauma, grief, and major life transitions. In 2018, Willow was awarded the Clinical Excellence Award at Sagebrush. This award is given to the therapist who provides effective counseling, documentation, and ethical practice; represents a sense of positivity and optimism; supports staff and clients; and who serves as a leader in the workplace.

Prior to her employment at Sagebrush, Willow worked as a mental health residential therapist in Fairfax Station, VA providing therapy to adolescents suffering from mental illness, eating disorders, and strained family dynamics. Willow's experience also includes a psychology internship at the Yale Child Study working with adult pregnant and parenting mothers, a pre-practicum working with college-aged women struggling with low self-esteem and body image issues, and a practicum and internship at the Howard Phillips Center for Children and their Families (Arnold Palmer Hospital) in Orlando, FL where she worked with children (ages 3-17) and their families suffering from abuse. 

Willow uses a variety of therapeutic treatment approaches including trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy, person-centered therapy, narrative therapy interventions, mindfulness meditation, and creative arts and play therapy techniques.  She is also certified in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), an image replacement, evidenced-based treatment for trauma and other issues including depression and anxiety. ART is approved by SAMHSA. Willow believes it takes a great deal of courage to attend therapy and she provides empathy and support in all client sessions. Willow is currently under the supervision of Marianne S. Coad, MAMFC, LMFT, LPC-S.

Willow is originally from Northern Wisconsin but moved to Virginia upon completion of her Master’s Degree to be closer to family and pursue her passion for helping individuals and families. In her spare time, Willow enjoys being out in nature, running, playing tennis, reading, watercoloring, and baking gourmet desserts for friends and family.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, the best way to contact Willow is via email at willowsynergycounseling@gmail.com or (571) 339-5889. Willow offers a discounted rate of $130 for the initial session and $100 for each additional session. You may also like to view her profile on psychologytoday.com. Willow is currently accepting new clients.


Interns

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Ashley G. Borck

Ashley is passionate about walking alongside people on their journey toward healing and hope. She believes it is possible to live with joy and peace. Using an eclectic, individualized approach, Ashley seeks to aid clients in discovering new avenues for moving forward with confidence and purpose.

Ashley believes that lasting healing requires a holistic and integrated approach to treatment, examining biological, psychological, spiritual, and physiological issues. She is passionate about helping women of all ages, as well as children and adolescents ages 5 to 18. Her training includes life transitions, career counseling, behavioral addictions, grief, anxiety, depression, boundary setting, and infertility among other issues. 

Ashley is currently pursuing her MA in Professional Counseling from Liberty University and earned a BA in Early Childhood Education from Cedarville University. She is a student member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Ashley is under the supervision of Marianne S. Coad, MAMFC, LMFT, LPC-S. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time in Washington D.C., entertaining family and friends, and reading books with a hot cup of tea.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, the best way to contact Ashley is via email at ashleysynergycounseling@gmail.com or 703-591-2551 ext. 222. Ashley offers therapeutic services at a discounted rate of $90 for the initial session and $60 for each additional session. You may also like to view her profile on psychologytoday.com. Ashley is currently accepting new clients.


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Nicky Verster

Nicky views therapy sessions as an opportunity for you to reflect on your thoughts and feelings and how they relate to significant others in your life: your partner, your family, and your friends. She believes it is a time to have someone sit with you in your pain, to challenge your beliefs, and to help you find new ways of addressing the problems you face. She considers the overarching purpose of therapy to be helping you work toward living a life you love; a life you live with a sense of personal power. Nicky’s areas of concentration are adolescent issues, parenting issues, couples’ issues, family conflict, life transitions, self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. 

Born in England and raised in South Africa, Nicky has lived on three continents. She had a lengthy career as an IT technical manager, and was co-owner of a family business. Nicky is married and has two adult children. She likes to travel and enjoys rowing, walking, yoga, knitting and doing puzzles. 

Nicky is in the process of completing a Master of Science Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Virginia Tech in Falls Church, Virginia. Her goal is to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She works under the supervision of Marianne S. Coad, MAMFC, LMFT, LPC-S.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, the best way to contact Nicky is via email at nickysynergycounseling@gmail.com or 571-290-8820. Nicky offers therapeutic services at a discounted rate of $90 for the initial session and $60 for each additional session. You may also like to view her profile on psychologytoday.com. Nicky is currently accepting new clients.


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Paul W. Sarigianis

Paul is completing his second year of graduate work in Dallas Theological Seminary’s counseling program (D.C. campus). He is also a former Naval Officer, consultant, civil servant, and graduate of the C.S. Lewis Institute’s Fellows program for discipleship, where he felt led to pursue professional counseling. His goal is to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He works under the supervision of Marianne S. Coad, MAMFC, LMFT, LPC-S.

Paul believes that healing occurs within relationships built on trust, empathy, and commitment to a shared goal. Since college, he has helped those in his sphere of influence, both adolescents and adults, during times of trial and transition. Currently, he offers counseling at a reduced rate to men, women, and adolescents. The following are some of his areas of concentration: men’s issues, parenting issues, anxiety, depression, marital issues, codependency issues, life transitions, relationship issues, emotional healing, military issues, spiritual issues.

Paul will apply an eclectic therapeutic approach, using techniques that are based on the specific needs of the client. In order to address issues at their root, Paul will work to help his clients identify and attend to these issues in an environment of safety and privacy. He holds a Christian worldview, though he respects the worldview of any client, and will work to help them heal within a framework specifically tailored to their needs.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, the best way to contact Paul is via email at paulsynergycounseling@gmail.com or 703-591-2551 ext. 222. Paul offers therapeutic services at a discounted rate of $90 for the initial session and $60 for each additional session. Paul is currently accepting new clients.


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Susannah J. Volkers

Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Susannah is in her final year of obtaining a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling at Dallas Theological Seminary (DC Campus). Susannah is actively pursuing a professional counseling license (LPC) in Virginia and DC, and is under the supervision of Marianne S. Coad, MAMFC, LMFT, LPC. Her specialty and passion is integrated, faith-based approach to counseling that emphasizes gospel truths.

Susannah’s background in a wide variety of contexts allow her to empathetically approach various life challenges, stressors, and suffering. She has lived overseas in Shanghai and Beijing, China, providing her with a unique, cultural sensitivity. She also possesses firsthand experience with teenage-international adoption. Susannah is proficient in speaking Mandarin Chinese. Furthermore, her prior career in corporate sales allow her to understand balancing professional and personal development, managing multiple stressors, meeting deadlines, and time management.

When it comes to an approach to counseling, Susannah utilizes Christian convictions to guide her clients to forward and sustainable change. She has past experience in working alongside clients with adoption, grief and loss, identity issues, life transitions, eating disorders, chronic illness, depression, and trauma. She is a certified and trained facilitator in Relate Strong Marital Therapy, a marital counseling program designed to improve marriage and relationship skills. She is available to counsel individuals,12 years and up, as well as couples and families. She is a member of Northern Virginia Licensed Professional Counseling (NVLPC), and Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS). She hopes to partner with you in a way that provides joyful, effective, and holistic care and counseling.

In her spare time, Susannah loves spending quality time with her husband Cody, especially outdoors. They are actively involved in their church, as well as enjoy entertaining, hiking, and traveling.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, the best way to contact Susannah is via email at susannahsynergycounseling@gmail.com or 703-591-2551 ext. 222. Susannah offers therapeutic services at a discounted rate of $90 for the initial session and $60 for each additional session. You may also like to view her profile on psychologytoday.com. Susannah is currently accepting new clients.