Mount Vernon Counseling Center Team of Professionals
Ehsan Habibpour, MD
Child and Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist
Dr. Habibpour is a professional psychiatrist with training in Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatry. He began working with the prestigious George Washington Psychiatry Department in 2014 as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and then started teaching a course in Child Psychiatry.
He has a strong educational background in his field. After attending a top medical school in Iran Dr. Habibpour was able to complete his Adult Psychiatry Residency at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA. He then continued his training by pursuing a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. The Fellowship taught Dr. Habibpour about the normal development of children and how childhood experiences can affect us in the future.
While practicing psychotherapy, Dr. Habibpour has mastered treatment with psychiatric medications. Witnessing the many areas of exciting progress in the field of psychiatry over the last decade has given him the chance to familiarize himself with the most up-to-date medications. Dr. Habibpour’s approach to helping his patients involves the integration of both medications and psychotherapy for the most efficient and effective results. Often times the emotional and behavioral styles people use to protect themselves during childhood carry over into their adulthood. These behaviors may be helpful during childhood, but they are no longer needed in adulthood. To achieve an effective change, one must first explore those feelings and behavioral styles.
Dr. Habibpour has also developed an interest in helping those with anxiety and mood disorders, and gained experience in treating eating disorders. A major area of interest for him is the role of culture and ethnicity in emotional disturbances. He had a chance to study this overlap and learn about it because of the cultural diversity to which he was exposed over the course of his life. His passion was reflected in the paper he 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.). He is pursuing that passion through his involvement with The Global Mental Health Project at George Washington Psychiatry Department.
Over the years of his practice, Dr. Habibpour has experienced and appreciated the importance of therapeutic relationships. Self-determination, resilience and the power of meaningful relationships are the key factors that nourish human growth.
Amanda Roberts Ph,D, 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
Monique Deely, LCSW
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.
Steffanie Kelshaw, LPC, CSAC
Individual and Marital Counselor; Substance Abuse Counselor
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor with several years of clinical experience. I have worked with adolescents and adults in a university mental health facility, outpatient substance abuse clinics, and a residential substance abuse facility. As a Nationally Certified Counselor, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and member of the American Counseling Association, I am dedicated to delivering ethical and cutting-edge treatment to my clients.
I believe that everyone is capable of change. I have counseled clients experiencing substance abuse, grief and loss, family and marital discord, stress, anger, depression, mood disorders, trauma, and anxiety. My approach has been to work together with my clients to develop treatment plans that improve healing, self-efficacy, motivation, and success. I truly enjoy empowering others to discover their inner potential and strengths. Throughout my diverse work experiences, I have taken pride in my ability to form connections with others, to anticipate their needs, and to help my clients change in order to attain healthier and more productive lives.
My education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Vermont and a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from George Washington University. I use a variety of therapeutic treatment approaches, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing techniques, and Mindfulness based therapy, to encourage clients to elicit change within themselves. I have focused training and experience with helping clients navigate struggles around grief and loss and major life transitions. Through a variety of settings, I have had the chance to work with treating health care professionals and military personnel. My experience with this particular demographic includes processing their emotional difficulties and burnouts, including PTSD, and how substance abuse has become a self-destructive coping strategy.
I stand with my clients in the midst of their pain as they gain insight and awareness into life experiences past and present. I am dedicated to creating non-judgmental and sacred spaces where true transformations can occur. My personalized, collaborative, and integrative therapeutic approach allows for gentle healing in a safe and supportive environment that focuses on healing the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.