Ehsan Habibpour, MD
Child and Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
George Washington University School of Medicine and Behavioral Sciences
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.
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.
Melanie Yousefi, D.N.P, P.M.H.N.P.
Board Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry
Individual, Couples, and Family Therapy
I’m a board-certified, doctorly prepared psychiatric nurse practitioner with several years of experience working in healthcare. My interests include the combined approach of psychotherapy and medications in treating depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, and other mood disorders. I value the importance of health and wellness as an integral part of mental health treatment and utilize cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation as a means to achieve this. Through the therapeutic relationships, I’ve been privileged to share over the years, I’m constantly reminded of the resilience of the human spirit and believe recovery is possible through strength-building, meaningful connections, and honoring one’s own potential for growth. I believe there are multiple pathways to healing and strives to meet you where you are on your journey to recovery and wellness.
I began my journey at the hospital bedside working as a nurse in the field of women’s health, including the high-risk perinatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum units. I was humbled in sharing with hundreds of families the joyous experiences of welcoming life, as well as the painful experience of grief and loss. Supporting families through these momentous transitions in life is what sparked me to pursue a career path in mental health, and later continued to work as a psychiatric nurse in a free-standing psychiatric facility treating children, adolescents, and adults with serious mental health problems. I later earned my degree as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), specializing in advanced psychiatric-mental health nursing from George Mason University. During my doctoral preparation, I was privileged to train in an array of clinical settings under leading experts within the community, including areas such as child/adolescent partial hospitalization program and outpatient services, consult-liaison psychiatric service in a level I trauma facility, adult inpatient psychiatry, and psychiatric urgent care services.
As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, I have experience working with individuals from a diverse variety of backgrounds, ages, medical conditions, and mental health ailments.
Most recently, I’ve worked in telehealth services providing psychiatric care to underserved individuals in a remote area in northern Minnesota. In addition to clinical practice, I’m also an assistant professor and program coordinator for the graduate Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program at my alma mater, George Mason University. I’m currently working on a collaborative publication with other faculty in in the college of health and human service disciplines focusing on factors that predict the successful use of antidepressant therapy. For leisure, I enjoy spending time outdoors, including hiking in the Shenandoah mountains.
Monique Deely, L.C.S.W.
Child and Adolescent and Adult Therapist
Monique Deely is a licensed clinical social worker and has 18 years of experience in the field of psychiatry and psychology. She has worked with children, adolescents and their families in outpatient behavioral health, residential treatment and hospice care. She has also provided help for adults who need couples therapy and hospice care. Monique is honored to have patients trust her. To be able to help patients in difficult points in their lives is a privilege that has shaped her and her practice.
Monique earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology and graduate degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia. She started her clinical work during the last year of her Master’s program in her practicum working in a residential treatment center with children and adolescents. Monique was able to get valuable experience working at this treatment center. It was during this time working with children, adolescents, and families that she honed diagnostic and therapeutic skills.
Working in a hospice and in a hematology/oncology practice were some of the most rewarding years for Monique. She was able to work with many people addressing end of life issues, chronic illness, chronic pain, and grief. This taught her the special value of resilience and how to stay strong when dealing with life challenges. Monique has worked with military families in the Washington, D.C. area for the last 10 years. All of her experience has made her comfortable and highly skilled in working with patients of all ages and backgrounds.
Recently, Monique has been working with children and adolescents dealing with ADHD, anxiety, mood disorders, autism spectrum and trauma through embedded behavioral health services in schools. She has supported children and families by addressing the challenges of military life and service such as deployment, injury, multiple moves, separation, and divorce. Monique also has experience working with adults on their relationships and marriage, life transitions and difficulties with anxiety/depression.
From Monique’s vast amount of experience, she strongly believes in the value of a collaborative approach with patients and planning treatment goals. She utilizes multiple evidenced-based treatments, with a strengths-based approach, to include CBT, TF-CBT, DBT, behavior modification, Prolonged Exposure (PE), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), treatment for insomnia (CBT-I), and psychodynamic therapy. Recently, she has begun to integrate Mindfulness and meditation into her work with patients. Monique wants to help patients find an awareness of their inner state of being and how to connect with the stillness.
Monique’s goal is to build a meaningful relationship with clients in the therapeutic process and journey. We all have strengths and naturally seek or strive for wellness and Monique is here to walk that path with you.
Karen Hahn, LCSW-C, MSW
I practice psychotherapy from a strengths-based perspective, which I believe is critical to helping clients maintain a sense of hope, resilience, and empowerment.
I am a licensed clinical social worker with a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from The Catholic University of America. In addition to my MSW, I have completed specialized training in Trauma Focused Therapy, Attachment-based Therapy, Child Centered Play Therapy, and Sand Tray Therapy. I work with adults, as well as with children ages 3 to 12 and their families.
My practice philosophy is eclectic. I understand that blending elements of psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness meditation, and other evidence-based research can help the client discover what is just right for them. We are all multidimensional. As such, I practice from a holistic, biopsychosocial–spiritual perspective. I provide a safe space for our work, filled with kindness, humor, and empathy.
Sometimes talk therapy alone is not enough to bring healing or insight the client seeks. I understand that expressing your feelings and story simply using words may feel inadequate. In my practice, when appropriate, I integrate expressive, right brain experiences. This may include work in the sand tray or incorporating writing, painting, drawing, imagery, symbols, and even music into our work.
My work with adults includes those with a trauma history, depression, anxiety, grief, relational issues, somatic symptoms with no medical explanation, feeling stuck or sensing that something is just “not right”, as well as healthcare providers and other first responders who have experienced increased stress during the COVID crisis.
For children, play is their language, and toys are their words. Play is how children express themselves and gain mastery over situations and feelings. I have a depth of experience integrating Child Centered (Non-directive) Play Therapy, Theraplay, Sand Tray, Bibliotherapy, and other evidence-based expressive therapies into my work.
From my work with children and families, I know it takes courage to seek help for your child, to sharpen your parenting skills, or to improve your family dynamics; it absolutely takes a village to raise a child, and I would be honored to be a part of yours.
My experience with children includes those with a trauma history, adoption, depression, anxiety, divorce, school refusal, low self-esteem, difficult peer and family relationships, immigration, and cross-cultural adjustments.
I’ve lived in Washington, DC since 1999, but was born and raised in Kentucky, and lived in Sendai, Japan for 2 years in my 20’s. I enjoy reading, hiking in Rock Creek Park, playing the piano, baking, and watching college basketball. I have two children and a well-intentioned Wheaten Terrier.
McLean Counseling Center 6862 Elm St #205, McLean, VA 22101
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