I think of people as geodes, beautiful jewels hidden under layers of pain, anxiety, misunderstanding and injustices.  I view my job as a therapist is to help clients discover the jewel within and to scrub off the hardened layers that surround them, so that they reach their goals and optimal functioning.

Over the years, I have developed several specialities, including

  • Working with individuals with ADHD or executive functioning issues.  I have several  years of working under the supervision of Dr. Abigail Levrini, one of the leading experts on ADHD, as an ADHD/Executive Functioning Coach.
  • Helping college-bound students and college students with ADHD in transitioning from home to college. These clients need help with study skills, avoiding procrastination, seeking support in their new environment.  I am able to offer concrete guidance about how to navigate college, especially for individuals who have ADHD or other exceptionalities.
  • Helping individuals with ADHD and other executive functions to learn how to develop emotional resilience, so that they can self-regulate their own emotions.
  • Working with anyone seeking to grow and self-actualize.

Many of my clients are bright and sensitive.  They may be described as “gifted” or as “highly sensitive,” using Dr. Elaine Aron‘s theory of highly sensitive individuals. They may be especially spiritual, sensitive to others’ moods, responsive, loyal, and conscientious.  As much as a gift as these traits can be, however, they may lead people to feel misunderstood and out of place in society, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. With such individuals, therapy often resolves around embracing the gifts that frequently accompany giftedness and high sensitivity and helping individuals find ways to be true to themselves while still navigating mainstream society.

Individuals who are gifted or twice-exceptional (meaning gifted and some other exceptionality, like ADHD or bipolar disorder) often face different challenges than other clients.  They are likely to be dealing with existential issues, identity issues, and struggles to choose one path knowing that any one choice might close other doors.

My approach to therapy is integrative and draws from a variety of traditions, including those of narrative therapy, coaching, rational-emotive behavioral therapy, insight-oriented therapy, attachment therapy, and solutions-focused therapy.  I have been trained  in neurotherapy and in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing); although originally developed as a means for treating trauma, I have found EMDR helpful for clients suffering from ADHD (which often includes a trauma component), anxiety, and depression.  I encourage clients to explore all of the different domains of his or her life (cognitive, physical, emotional, and spiritual) and all of the different systems in which he or she has interacted (from the brain level to the societal level) over time.  I will help you identify and “own” your strengths and think about how these can be used to develop compensatory techniques for any limitations.

I see clients for individual, couples, and family therapy, life coaching, and consultation at two locations:

If you would like to speak with me directly, feel free to contact me directly at 703-713-2442 or by email at .

Copyright©2015-2017.  Marcia J. McKinley.

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