Doctor Profiles, McLean Counseling Center
Ehsan Habibpour, MD
Child and Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist
I founded McLean Counseling Center with the vision of providing outstanding mental health care as well as promoting mental health awareness in the community. I’m a Psychiatrist with dual training in Child and Adolescent as well as Adult Psychiatry. I also have been fortunate enough to work with George Washington Psychiatry Department. My involvement with George Washington University began in 2014 when I accepted the position of Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and started teaching a course in Child Psychiatry.
I attended one of the well-known medical schools in Iran and completed Adult Psychiatry Residency at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. After completing my Adult Psychiatry Residency, I advanced my training by pursuing a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. Learning about the normal development of children and how experiences during childhood later affect us in our daily lives was a unique gift of this Fellowship.
Over the past few years, in addition to practicing psychotherapy, I’ve mastered the judicious use of psychiatric medications. Witnessing the many areas of exciting progress in the field of psychiatry over the last decade gave me the chance to familiarize myself with the most up-to-date medications. My approach in helping my patients is to integrate the use of medications with psychotherapy in order to optimize results and increase chances for healing. We often choose certain emotional and behavioral styles to protect ourselves in childhood that continue well into our adulthood. While those behaviors may have been useful in our childhood years, they are no longer needed. Exploring those feelings and behavioral styles is the first step for effective change.
I also developed an interest in treating anxiety and mood disorders, and gained experience in treating eating disorders. I am keenly interested in the role of culture and ethnicity in emotional disturbances. I had a chance to study this overlap and learn about it because of the cultural diversity to which I was exposed over the course of my life. My passion was reflected in the paper I co-wrote: “The Treatment of Depression in Culturally Diverse Children and Adolescents.” (Sunita M. Stewart, Alex Simmons, and Ehsan Habibpour. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. February 2012, 22(1): 72-79. doi:10.1089/cap.2011.0051.)
I am pursuing that passion through my involvement with The Global Mental Health Project at George Washington Psychiatry Department.
Through my years of practice, I have experienced and appreciated the value of therapeutic relationships. Self-determination, resilience and the power of meaningful relationships are the key factors that nourish human growth.
Samuel C. Schiavone, D.O.
Dr. Schiavone practices general adult psychiatry with a focus on anxiety and mood disorders. With experience in both complex psychopharmacology and psychotherapy, Dr. Schiavone offers an eclectic approach in tailoring a treatment plan toward the individual’s needs.
I am a psychiatrist with training in general psychiatry. I focus on treating adolescents and adults. My style of practice uses psychotherapy as the cornerstone of treatment while utilizing adjunctive medication to augment and maximize the benefit from psychotherapy. I found this practice of dual treatment to be the most effective in reducing symptoms while simultaneously reinforcing personal strengths and attributes to achieve healthy psychological growth and prevention of future relapses. I have experience in treating depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar, ADHD, and eating disorders as well working with various life stressors such as role transitions, relationship issues, interpersonal conflicts, occupational or schooling stress, and difficulties with adjustment.
I have found treating mood and anxiety disorders to be my passion and primary interest. In my work I use a team-based approach where my clients and I work together to address symptoms and issues collaboratively. Psychodynamic psychotherapy will be utilized primarily where as other forms of psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy will be used as needed and in conjunction. When necessary medications can be used to treat the underlying condition in a more effective way. Overall I use a holistic approach to diagnose and treat emotional and behavioral difficulties.
I am a native of Northern Virginia and grew up the suburbs of Washington D.C. in Alexandria, Virginia. I attended James Madison University in the Shenandoah region of Virginia with dual majors in psychology and biology. My focus of interest was in clinical psychology and neurobiology. I felt having the neuroscience background helped scaffold the psychological theories used to treat clinical matters. From there, I wanted to expand my clinical expertise by pursuing a career in medicine. With a degree in medicine and psychology, I felt I could offer the best treatment possible to my patients with both understanding the inner workings of our mind and body and the benefits of medication management. Additionally, a background in medicine enables me to not miss the other systemic health issues that can give rise to psychiatric symptoms. I attended Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania. I sought osteopathic medicine for its holistic and humanitarian-driven style over its allopathic counterparts. The holistic nature of osteopathic medicine resonated well with me and my views toward medical practice. I do not want to limit my scope to solely the disease process as many other factors attributing to the disease could be overlooked. Following medical school, I decided to attend Georgetown University’s Psychiatry residency program for the very same reasons mentioned above. Georgetown University Medical Center’s motto is “Curas Personalis”; a latin phrase meaning “care for the entire person” and their medical training expanded my holistic nature of practicing medicine. During my time at Georgetown, I was able to teach a core course on patient-centered interviewing to the first- and second-year medical students.
My goal as a psychiatrist is to serve my clients in the best way possible, working together in a patient-centered practice to pursue healing and growth. Mental health is a multifactorial process and as such should be addressed from various angles. Using this holistic approach, we will want to address the many contributing factors of emotional problems including relationships, coping styles, family, physical health, occupational stress, personal values, and upbringing to create a well-rounded understanding of the development of the ailment and to devise appropriate treatment strategies to begin recovery.
Carolyn Heier, Psy.D.
Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychotherapy
Individual, Couples, and Family Therapy
I have been a clinical psychologist for more than a decade. My journey began as an undergraduate at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where I majored in Psychology. After several years gaining experience in the mental health field, I went on to obtain a doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Denver. In the years since, I have gained extensive experience working with all ages, with a primary focus on issues facing children, teens and families.
The culmination of my graduate program took me to Los Angeles to accept an internship at an agency that specialized in working with children with autism, severe emotional disturbance, trauma, and other significant issues. Additional specialized training prepared me for my work with very young children ages 2-5. After graduation, I was selected to manage the day treatment program for 2-5 year olds at the agency where I interned. The program’s focus was working with young children with severe emotional and behavioral problems and it was here that I advanced my level of expertise with this population.
My integrative approach to treatment combines psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral elements, as well as behavioral approaches in working with some children. In addition, I have been trained in, and use, a number of evidence-based practices with individuals of all ages.
My client work has included helping children and adults who have experienced trauma; child and adult victims of human trafficking; those with mood disorders and anxiety; and families with children who have behavioral problems, ADHD, and selective mutism. Although the
treatment for selective mutism is very specific and directive, with all other clients, adults and children alike, I often take a non-directive approach, allowing the client to lead the therapy. I believe that children and adults are all striving toward health, and when provided with a caring, accepting, and nurturing environment that allows the individual to freely express who they are, healing will occur.
One of the things I love about working with children is the opportunity to use play therapy. Children are not just “mini-adults.” Their communication skills and styles, as well as their level of development, are completely different than those of adults. Children often do not have the capacity to voice what is bothering them, whether due to being overwhelmed, or simply not having the language skills. Play is the natural mode of communication in children. By engaging a child in play in a manner that encourages them to freely express themselves, issues can emerge and be treated in ways that are most meaningful to the child.
In addition to working with younger children using play, I engage in talk therapy with older children and teens, and regularly include families in treatment. This is because issues affecting a child may be affecting the entire family, and because it may be that issues affecting the family are affecting the child. I also help parents with parenting skills, addressing the challenges of parenting a child with emotional and behavioral problems.
I also enjoy working with adults and couples, and value working with diverse populations. Fluent in Spanish, I conduct therapy with children and adults from a wide array of Latin- and South American countries. I also have experience working with many other cultural groups, and my work with diverse groups includes the LGBT community, including LGBT couples. One of the main aspects of engaging in the therapeutic process with clients is gaining a deep understanding of the individual’s (or family’s) experience. I value learning about clients’ personal histories and culture, and recognize the importance of understanding these influences in order to improve outcomes in therapy.
I consider working with a broad range of issues and clients of all ages an opportunity for me to be of assistance to the populations with which I have become involved throughout my career. I never take my clients for granted and I understand and am grateful for the privilege of being allowed to enter their worlds. I appreciate the trust that my clients, of all backgrounds, put in me, and I strive every day to cultivate and be worthy of that trust.
Every client is important to me. Every session is one in which my goal is to provide the highest level of service to address the issues a client presents, and to move the client forward to their full potential.
Amanda Roberts PhD, MA
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy
Dr. Amanda Roberts has 34 years of experience in the mental health field and 20 years of deep immersion and expertise in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy, EMDR.
EMDR is a robust evidence-based psychotherapy approach that is cost effective, culturally portable and endorsed by the World Health Organization. The approach is used to treat many conditions ranging from trauma with all of its complexities, to addictions, chronic pain, migraines, phobias, problematic behaviors, mood disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety. Dr. Roberts is also trained in hypnosis and a variety of mind-body modalities. She has a growing interest in the neurobiological basis of effective psychotherapies and, in particular, neuroplasticity.
Dr. Roberts’ approach is one of warmth, compassion and respect for the strengths within the person with the firm conviction that effective therapy involves a collaborative partnership informed by the patient’s innate wisdom and resilience. It is the quality of the therapeutic relationship based on a foundation of trust, safety and a caring connection that provides the most curative element in treatment. She is known for her creativity, passion, fearlessness, easy humor and deep commitment to the welfare of her patients. Your work with her will be solution focused, equip you with tools for living your life more joyfully and freely and will involve a practical problem-solving approach.
She studied Psychology at Harvard University, earned a Bachelors in Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations from the University of California Berkeley, has a Master’s degree in Marriage Family Therapy from the University of San Francisco and earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CIIS. At CIIS the curriculum marries eastern philosophy and religion with traditional western empirical psychological training. Her dissertation was a quality of life study on the use of laughter and humor in the treatment of cancer survivors.
Her specialty is working with the psychological ramifications of medical issues, a branch of psychology known as Behavioral Medicine or Health Psychology. She has successfully worked with treatment resistant medically unexplained symptoms as well as chronic migraines, pain, cardiac, auto-immune, eating disorders and cancer. An additional specialty is in the treatment of recent traumatic/adverse events with ongoing traumatic stress. Dr. Roberts also provides clinical consultation to other EMDR clinicians individually and in groups.
Dr. Roberts has expertise in treating many difficulties and situations that you may be experiencing and together helping you to find resolution and lasting relief. These may include but are not limited to:
- Stress reduction methods
- Medical illness of any kind: cancer, cardiac, diabetes, auto-immune illness, pain, migraines
- Family addiction/codependency
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Recent and long-term traumatic experiences
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD
- Relationship difficulties
- Work stress and career challenges
- Organizational challenges
- Dealing with difficult people
- Life transitions
- Life crisis
- Women’s issues
- Fertility, pregnancy and post-partum difficulties
- Sexual trauma, assault and harassment
- Domestic violence
- Military personnel and their families
- War trauma
- Difficulty with important life decisions
- Problematic behaviors
- Spiritual counseling
- Government workers with access to sensitive information
- Performance anxiety or procrastination
For government workers with access to sensitive information or with security clearance there are newer EMDR protocols that do not require disclosure or articulation of material in order for you to receive benefits. This preserves privacy, affords an extra layer of protection and can diminish your fears about receiving psychotherapy.
Our work will focus on building your strengths and resiliency and giving you the tools to make the necessary changes so that you are the author of your own life. Together we will take a problem solving and solution focused approach building upon the resources and strengths you already have. Some of the work will focus on self-regulation strategies and a variety of ways to contain and manage strong emotions. A good amount of time may be spent on psych-education and empowerment. Our goal will be to transform problems into assets and liabilities into strengths. In many instances you already carry the solutions, but merely need guidance to realize this and implement targeted strategies.
The work can be short-term or longer-term according to your needs, motivation and availability.
Dr Roberts is an EMDR International Association and Trauma Recovery Humanitarian Assistance Programs approved consultant, an EMDR trainer in early intervention and former leader of the Western Massachusetts Trauma Recovery Network, a community disaster response program. She has conducted trainings around the US for trauma clinicians and has been instrumental in setting up the Trauma Response Network in Britain, a government sanctioned organization, formed in 2017 in response to terrorism and mass casualty events. She advises them on logistical and clinical issues. Dr. Roberts has an enduring and lifelong passion for global and international humanitarian issues.
She completed three pre-doctoral internships (At Stanford’s Drug and Alcohol Clinic, Stanford’s Counseling and Psychological Services and San Mateo County Mental Health Services) and two post-doctoral internships.(One in a national employee assistance program and another at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Center Medical school, ranked among the top ten medical schools in the United States) She worked in the Behavioral Medicine Clinic at the University of Massachusetts with rotations throughout cardiac and oncology, pain and bariatric surgery services. She has served on a mobile psychiatric crisis unit, in a full-service hospital emergency room, community mental health clinics and outreach, inpatient, general outpatient and two pain clinics.
She has provided trainings/workshops nationally and internationally on a variety of mental health topics and was on the United Nations working team of EMDR therapists acting to introduce EMDR Therapy as a modality to be used in humanitarian programs around the world. More recently, as an EMDR ambassador, she facilitated, an engagement with the World Bank in the Philippines and has been involved in various capacities with the Global Initiative for Stress and Trauma Treatment, GIST-T, based in Geneva Switzerland.
She is a consummate researcher and launched the world’s first EMDR clinical trial looking at the efficacy of the EMDR Group Traumatic Episode Protocol, GTEP with an oncology population. This protocol also has applicability to other populations.
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, Volume 12, Number 3, 2018 © 2018 EMDR International Association http:// dx. doi. org/ 10. 1891/ 1933- 3196. 12. 3. 105
EMDRIA Magazine September 2018. Vol. 23 issue 3
EMDR Early Intervention: A primer for clinicians
I am a board certified behavioral analyst and therapist with nearly a decade of experience working with and treating children and adults with behavioral and psychological challenges. I started my training as an undergraduate in nursing. After working several years as a nurse, I became fascinated with human behavior and relationship. I decided to study human behavior and obtained a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Northern Arizona University as well as an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) certificate from George Mason University.
I am also leading New Wave Program at McLean Counseling Center. In the New Wave Program we will identify behaviors that cause problems and set forth a behavioral plan to target and treat those behaviors. Our team will closely monitor your progress and readjust our treatment approach. As a program I closely work with the team of Psychiatrists and Psychologists at Mclean Counseling Center to optimize each individuals progress.
Together, In our program we will also help carry over and apply the newly learned skills at home, work or school – in a way that fits your unique needs. With my positive client centered approach to counseling, I will focus on identifying your strengths, use analytics to measure gaps and progress, and utilize them to help you change the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors to improve your quality of life.
I have a range of specialties and experiences to draw from, having worked in homes, and in a specialized clinical setting for children with Autism. I have been able to help many families whom their kids are struggling with ADHD, academic challenges and range of limitations that Autism can impose. I am especially passionate about early-intervention, academic readiness, skill building and adolescent social skills acquisition.
My area of focus includes assessing the social and emotional education of young children and youth, increasing the language capacity of bilingual students and building academic skills utilizing behavior analytic techniques. I work closely with our team of professionals at McLean Counseling Center experienced in treating executive function limitations and it’s related disorders in youth including ADHD, Anxiety disorders, learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dysgraphia.