Looking for a Psychotherapist can be a daunting task.  I wish to share with you those characteristics that make my Practice different from others.  I hope you can initially experience a snapshot of who I am as an insightful and perceptive individual and as a  supportive and non-judgmental Psychotherapist.

My background and perspective as a Psychotherapist lend themselves to belief in positive behavioral change. Yet changing ourselves can be a dramatic and generally difficult process.  To accomplish this we must listen to one another carefully with our hearts.  We should speak our truths to achieve understanding and acceptance.  This type of therapy can only be done in a safe atmosphere where complete trust exists and vulnerability can lead to change.  It is truly a heart to heart communication style.

The word psychotherapy is derived from the Greek word for healing of the soul or spirit.  My role as a Psychotherapist is to help my clients define those areas that are causing them emotional pain and then determine together ways to address their issues and maximize healing. The client directs this process and I keep the atmosphere safe to accomplish this. We work together as a team, taking the journey towards wellness together, always with a sense of hope. Therapy is like looking into Pandora’s Box…we do not always like what we see there but in the end, hope remains.

Pandoras Box

My clients have taught me many things over the 33 years I have been a practicing Social Worker/Psychotherapist.  I honor their strengths first and foremost. The humbling reality for me is to admit that they often know themselves better than I do. My role is to provide a safe place for them to look in the mirror of their life and share that vision in a way that allows personal reflection. Together we deal with everything as the window of opportunity presents itself. This must be done in a non- judgmental way that allows for all feelings to be exposed.  Individual comfort level differs for everyone. Each client plays an integral role in his/her own healing as we walk the journey to health together. In this way behaviors or habits that no longer serve the client well come to light. Every effort is made to re-establish a  pattern of behavior that eliminates former trends in the client’s history that were not working well. As the client searches for an authentic self he/she advances from “thinking” about a situation to experiencing it on a “feeling” level.  Emotions are revealed rather than feared or avoided, leading to a more fulfilled life. Mental, social,  physical, and spiritual dimensions of the human Psyche are explored. Together we develop unique principals of healing for each individual client.


Call 703-865-4004 or email joanmnelsonLCSW@gmail.com