Your journey is unique. You are unique. We at Synergy Counseling will take the time to get to know you and your story. We offer different services to help you move forward in your life and heal permanently. The most difficult part of counseling is taking the first step. You deserve to live the life you have dreamed. We will 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 get to the root of your challenges and make permanent changes to have the life you have always wanted.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” —MLK, Jr.
We are made to be in relationship, yet relationships are messy. All relationships experience times of discord and upheaval. However, some relationships are fraught with unforgiveness and bitterness over past hurts or unmet expectations which threaten to overtake the relationship and end it. Perhaps infidelity has wreaked havoc in your marriage. You have tried to ignore it but it keeps coming up and now you are ready to face it head on and create long-lasting change in your marriage. Perhaps your challenge is related to your in-laws, parents or estranged children. Regardless of the relationship issues bringing you in for counseling, we can help you. We offer pre-marital counseling so you can prepare for the healthiest possible marriage. We offer marriage tune-up counseling so you can strengthen your marriage when you are not in crisis. We offer couples counseling to address issues such as infidelity, communication, money/debt, in-laws, parenting, and lack of connectedness. Lastly, we offer family counseling to address distress among family members. We use evidenced-based practices to help you most effectively and efficiently move toward the relationship you want. Life is about creating long-lasting, healthy relationships and we can help you do just that.
Child and Adolescent Challenges
Your child is suffering and you do not know why or what to do. Perhaps your child is struggling in school, being bullied, depressed, anxious, unable to be in social situations, has been recently diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, or is paralyzed with the fear of leaving home and going to college. We understand that you, as the parent, must be able to wholeheartedly trust your child’s therapist. We understand the vulnerability of a child and the great responsibility we have to help them move forward towards a healthier life. We do not take this responsibility lightly. We will work collaboratively with children ages 4-18 using evidenced-based practices, including play therapy for the youngest of children, in order to help all of them develop coping skills to resolve their behavioral, emotional or mental health challenges. Your child can be happy again and you can rest assured that your child is in trustworthy hands.
Depression and Anxiety
Life can be overwhelming and so much of life is not in our control — cancer, losing a job, choices our spouse makes, choices our kids make, the stock market and many other examples. This powerless feeling often creates anxiety and depression. Most everyone experiences some level of anxiety and depression, so how do you know when to seek counseling? Some of the common signs of anxiety are: restlessness, feeling keyed up or on edge, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating or your mind going blank, fixation on problems large and small, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restlessness). Some of the common signs of depression are: feeling discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general. When these feelings of depression or anxiety begin to interfere with daily activities such as taking care of family, spending time with friends, or going to work or school, it is time to seek counseling. We offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as an evidence-based, highly successful treatment for anxiety and depression. You can regain your balance and live the life you want.
Have you ever felt like you were overreacting to the simplest things almost as if you knew you were overreacting, but did not have the power to stop yourself? If you have experienced a traumatic event, it is etched in a part of your brain called the amygdala. When we experience sights, sounds, smells, emotions or words that remind us of the trauma, we are “triggered” and the body remembers. It is as if we are thrown back in time to the trauma and we react with raw emotion from the unresolved trauma. Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based, highly effective treatment for trauma. Whether your trauma comes from rape, abortion, parental neglect, war and deployment, losing a child, an abusive relationship, or infidelity of a spouse, EMDR can help you. We will work gently with you as you explore the trauma and seek healing. There really is hope and life beyond trauma.
You do not walk down the aisle on your wedding day saying to yourself, “I think I want be divorced after eight years of marriage”. Or, “I think after 25 years of marriage, when all the kids leave home, I want to divorce and find someone else.” No. On your wedding day, your dreams consisted of seeing you and your spouse walking hand in hand in the park as an old, happily married couple. Divorce happens for many different reasons. Most research suggests that a recovery period of two years is sufficient to move forward, but not to heal completely. Research also suggests that full recovery is not achieved until five years post-divorce, especially if the divorce was contentious or a surprise. Finding a counselor you trust to walk alongside you as you process your situation is of utmost importance. Oddly enough, if you choose, divorce can provide you with the opportunity to recreate your life and grow into the person you have always wanted to become.
Grief and Loss
Grief and loss counseling can help you work through the feelings associated with the loss of someone or something very valuable to you. Grieving may initially be so extreme that you experience physical symptoms such as your heart feeling broken, an inability to eat or sleep, or being tearful all day long with a deep sadness. Or perhaps you are completely numb and have no feelings at all. Regardless of how you are processing your grief, you are likely overwhelmed with daily activities, do not sleep well and isolate yourself. These reactions are normal and common. Grief counseling provides you perspective by giving information about the normal grieving process, helping you to understand that many of the symptoms and changes you are experiencing are a normal, temporary reaction to loss. Grief counseling helps you come to a place where you can accept your great loss and determine how you want to move forward and create your life without the loved person or thing, without forgetting them. We will compassionately walk alongside you as you bravely and courageously take this journey of grief.
Stress, Life Transitions and Resiliency
We live in Northern Virginia where the pressure to perform and achieve is intense for all ages. Normal stress is compounded by the unpredictable government contracting environment, a four-year or eight-year change of the guard, the inevitable PCS and some of the best schools in the nation (with equally high expectations) offering Honors, AP and IB courses. And let’s not forget the traffic! Perhaps your stress is related to being in the throes of a major life transition such as having a new baby, leaving home, graduating from college and starting your first “real” job, retirement, a serious illness or injury, or going back to school and retooling for a new career. Whatever the cause of your stress, you are likely experiencing a range of negative feelings (anger, anxiety, confusion, numbness, and self-doubt), a loss of self-esteem or self-worth, and an inability to let go of the past to move on toward a better future. In resiliency counseling, we work collaboratively with you to help you let go of the past and accept the future, to feel an increase in self-esteem and confidence and to implement a new plan to create the life you want.
You did it… again. Last time you promised yourself that you would never “lose” it again and that you would stop the yelling, cursing or reckless driving. You’ve tried and tried and just can’t stop the negative thoughts, constant irritation, impatience, angry outbursts, and frequent arguments. In anger management counseling, you will learn how to regulate your emotions by first identifying those factors or situations that make you more likely to become angry. You will learn specific skills to use in situations where you are triggered as well as recognize when you’re thinking illogically and correct the negative thought patterns. You will also learn to become mindful and identify your body’s signals that are trying to communicate to you to stop and reset, long before you lose it. Learning how to express yourself will help you avoid impulsive and hurtful words or actions, resolve conflicts, and maintain positive relationships as well as avoid serious health issues such as high blood pressure and heart problems. Your life can be different if you are willing to change and we can help you.
PCS, PFT, ACS, MCCS, OCS, A&FRC, TAD, TDY, AIT, Fit Rep, MOS, PX, NCO, XO, LES, BAH, COLA, TSP… If you are in any way associated with the military lifestyle, you are likely laughing or shaking your head right now. You want to go to counseling and you want to go to a civilian provider off the installation, but you do not want to spend half the session explaining yourself. You want to be easily understood. There are several therapists on our team who are very familiar with the issues and sacrifices of military families and understand the lifestyle they lead. Challenges such as multiple deployments, reintegration, mandatory school and training, numerous moves (often international), marital disconnectedness, retirement, and kids changing schools are common in military homes. We will walk alongside you to support you and work collaboratively to help you create the healthiest military life for you and your family.