Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Executive Director

Kenneth Ellis, Ph.D.

Clinical Director

Susan Minsky, Ph.D, M.P.

Psychiatry

Jing Zhang, M.D, Ph.D.
Larry K. Grubb, M.D.

Aurelio S. Zerla, M.D.
Lauren Elliott, M.D.

Psychologists

William Dean Charmak, Ph.D, M.P.
Melanie Sholtis, Psy.D.
Tanya Quille, Ph. D
Ada Rodriguez, Psy. D
Melinda Goodman, Ph.D.
Roseanne M. Middleton, Ph.D.
Sheryl Stasiowski, Ph.D.
Virginia Zimmerman, Ph.D.
Ida C. Deliberis, Psy.D.
Monique Reynolds, Ph.D.
Ilana Ilkovich Burgh, Psy.D.
Debra L. Davis, Ph.D.
Courtney Compagnone, Psy.D.
Laura E. Ballard, LCSW-C
Tara Acevedo, Psy.D., J.D.

 

Jing Zhang, M.D.,Ph.D.

Dr. Zhang is a Licensed, Board Certified, Psychiatrist with 10 years of experience treating psychiatric disorders for adolescents and adults, mainly psychiatric medication management. Areas of specialty include: patients with depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, ADD/ADHD, adjustment disorder, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders.

Dr. Zhang obtained her MD degree from Henan Medical School and completed her residency training at the University of Chicago. Before joining the Columbia Counseling Center, Dr. Zhang worked for Kaiser Permanente in Fairfax County as a full-time psychiatrist. In addition, Dr. Zhang had 5 years psychiatric research experience at the National Institute of Mental Health, NIH (Bethesda) and obtained a Ph.D. degree in Physiology from the Uniformed Service University of Health Sciences.
Back to top

Larry K. Grubb, M.D.

Dr. Larry Grubb has a vast range of experience as a Psychiatrist with 2 Board Certifications in Adult Psychiatry and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He has 30 years of experience providing Psychiatric Services within a military community. Dr. Grubb received his Medical Degree from the University of Kentucky in 1985. He completed a 4 year Residency in Psychiatry at the Naval Medical Center in California and a 2 year Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC.

In addition to joining the staff at the Columbia Counseling Center, Dr. Grubb currently works at the US Navy, Behavioral Health Directorate, National Naval Medical Center- Outpatient Psychiatrist and Former Head, Traumatic Stress and Brain Injury Service. He has been involved in the evaluation and treatment of inpatients and outpatients who present with psychological disorders secondary to exposure to trauma and who have suffered brain trauma in combat or in civilian environments. In addition to treating Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), he serves as an expert in military Disability Evaluation. Further, Dr. Grubb has provided consultation for Bariatric Surgery Evaluations.

During his military career, Dr. Grubb provided mental heath services and direct patient care to children and adults. In addition, he was employed at the Pentagon and Headquarters of Navy Medicine where he was in charge of accession and disability policies for all the military services.

Dr. Grubb specializes in Medication Management of psychiatric and pharmacologic intervention for a full spectrum of psychiatric disorders. His broad based experiences enable him to effectively treat children, adolescents, and adults who present with mood disorders including depression and bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, attention and impulse-control disorders such as ADHD, and more severe mental illness.

Currently, Dr. Grubb has a specialty interest in treating patients with Eating Disorders and providing Weight Management Intervention. He is the author of the book “Solving the Weight Loss Puzzle,” and the eBook “Get Your Head Out of the Refrigerator.” His CD “Reaching Your Natural Weight” has received much praise from parents and educators. These are exciting endeavors as physicians and psychologists attempt to address the serious increasing childhood obesity problem with comorbid disorders such as diabetes.

Dr. Grubb is available to see patients at CCC on Saturdays including Child, Adolescent, and Adult patients for Medication Evaluation and Management who present with Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Eating Disorders, Sleep Disorders, ADHD, and more complex Disorders who may require a consult for differential diagnoses and pharmacological intervention.

Back to top

Aurelio S. Zerla, M.D.

Dr. Zerla is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with more than 25 years of experience in various clinical settings, including inpatient hospital units, outpatient departments and private practice. He received his Medical Degree from the Medical School at the University of Perugia, Italy, his psychiatric training at Sheppard-Pratt Hospital and psychoanalytic training at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute, where he is now a faculty member. He has served as staff psychiatrist at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, medical director of a community mental health center in Baltimore County, chief of psychiatry at Frederick Memorial Hospital, and most recently as staff psychiatrist at Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown.

Dr. Zerla has extensive experience diagnosing and treating depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and panic disorders, phobias, psychoses, post-traumatic stress disorder, stress induced adjustment disorders, grief reactions complicated by depression, and adult ADHD.

Dr. Zerla provides psychiatric evaluations and medication management with special attention to individual needs, including attention to each patient’s personal history, his or her specific context, stressful or traumatic life experiences or circumstances, each patient’s particular concerns about, or fears of medications, all of which he approaches with patience, warmth, understanding and helpful explanations that facilitate treatment and the patient’s sense of comfort and trust.

Back to top

William Dean Charmak, Ph.D., M.P.

Dr. Charmak is a licensed psychologist with 24 years of experience providing individual, family and couples psychotherapy. Services are provided to adults and adolescents over the age of 15. Areas of specialization include depression, bipolar illness, anxiety, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, addictions, geriatric services, oncology, and other chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities, psychopharmacology, executive coaching and organizational consultation.

Dr. Charmak obtained a PhD in Clinical Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology-Fresno and Post Doctoral Master of Science Degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology from Alliant International University/California School of Professional Psychology. He is the recent co-author of Successful Aging: Optimizing Strategies for Primary Care Geriatrics, in Reichel’s Care of the Elderly, Sixth Edition, 2009, Cambridge University Press.
Back to top

Melanie Sholtis, Psy.D.

Dr. Melanie Sholtis is a licensed psychologist, with 6 years of experience providing individual, couples, and family therapy with adolescents and adults. She has worked in a variety of settings, including substance abuse treatment, hospitals, private practice, and forensic settings. In addition to her experience in psychotherapy, Dr. Sholtis has extensive experience providing psychological, forensic, and psychoeducational assessments to a wide variety of patient populations.

Dr. Sholtis received her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the American Professional School of Psychology. Her areas of specialty include: anxiety disorders, depression, mood disorders, PTSD, anger management, family therapy, behavioral techniques, and psychological assessment.
Back to top

Tanya Quille, Ph.D.

Dr. Quille is a Licensed Psychologist who has an extensive background in treatment and treatment research at both the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Division of Mental Health.

Dr. Quille has worked in the field of psychology for more than 20 years. She offers individual, couples, family and group therapies. Dr. Quille specializes in family therapy, couple’s therapy, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, stress management, women’s issues, sexual trauma, grief and loss. Her preferred populations are adolescents and adults.

Dr. Quille has presented seminars and training nationally to state and local Departments of Children and Families, universities, hospitals and outpatient treatment facilities. She has presented therapy training sessions at the National Conference of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and presented at the National Conference of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Quille also provides clinical supervision for doctoral psychology students.

Ada Rodriguez, Psy.D.

Ada Rodriguez, Psy.D. is a Bilingual (Spanish and English) Maryland Licensed Psychologist who received her doctoral degree from George Washington University in 2006.  She completed her internship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center with rotations in Neuropsychology, Assessment, Military Psychology, and Psychiatry Consultation Liason. She was the former Assistant Chief for Psychology Service, Behavioral Health Care at Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center in Fort George Mesage, where she provided psychological assessment and treatment including individual and group pscyhotherapy. She was a staff Psychologist in Iraq providing Anger/Stress Management, relaxation training, psychotherapy and assessment.

Dr. Rodriguez is available to see adults and older adolescents who present with Anxiety, Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, grief and loss, women in transition, Panic, Eating Disorders, Stress Management issues, Separation and Divorce. In addition, she is adept at treating military families and civilians who have recently separated from the military and are experiencing stress due to reintegration. She provides psychological and neuropsychological assessment for adolescents and adults who may present with the following:  ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Academic difficulties, memory impairment, cognitive deficits, need for differential diagnosis.

Dr. Rodriguez provided behavioral health services in Spanish to Latino men, women, and children.  She is a member of the Maryland Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association. She received a Meritorious Service Medal and an Army Achievement Medal while serving in the military.

Melinda Goodman, Ph.D.

Dr. Goodman is a Maryland Licensed Psychologist with a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Student Health and Counseling. She has 5 years of experience in treating adolescents and young adults. Her areas of specialty include: adolescent adjustment, adjustment to college life, body image, Eating Disorders, Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Sexual Abuse, PTSD, Gay and Lesbian issues.

Dr. Goodman received her doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida in 2008. She was an adjunct professor and has published research articles on gay and lesbian issues.

Roseanne M. Middleton, Ph.D.

Dr. Roseanne Middleton is a Licensed Psychologist who has been in private practice for over 15 years. She received her doctorate from Texas Tech University and completed a two-year internship at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital with specialized training in the treatment of trauma. Dr. Middleton’s therapeutic style was shaped by a background emphasizing psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral interventions focusing on the development of skills to improve psychosocial well-being and strengthen relationships.

Dr. Middleton provides services for adults as well as older adolescents seeking treatment for a range of mental health concerns including depression and anxiety, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She specializes in treating individuals who have experienced trauma and problems forming or maintaining satisfying interpersonal relationships. In addition, Dr. Middleton focuses on treating couples to enhance communication and intimacy, as well as to negotiate the complexities of separation and divorce.

Geriatric services are another facet of expertise. Dr. Middleton has considerable experience working with elderly patients who face unique challenges related to aging and the impact of physical and cognitive debility on emotional health.

Back to top

Sheryl Stasiowski, Ph.D.

Dr. Sheryl Stasiowski is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with 10 years of experience in the field of psychology, which has occurred in both outpatient and inpatient mental health settings. She performs individual, couples, group, and family psychotherapy primarily with late adolescents, adults, and older adults.

Dr. Stasiowski received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Long Island University, in New York City in 2008. She performed her clinical internship at Gouverneur Health Care Services- Outpatient Psychotherapy Clinic and Bellevue Hospital- Inpatient service. Dr. Stasiowski coordinated services provided by the World Trade Center Fund and performed individual psychotherapy with those affected by 9/11. As part of her work addressing women’s issues, she helped establish an inpatient program for women with prenatal/postpartum mood disorders at Kings County Hospital, New York City. She served as the Testing Coordinator for the Psychological Services Clinic at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, as well as supervisor for clinical psychology doctoral candidates in internships and externships in New York City.

Dr. Stasiowski is adept at helping individuals improve self-worth and self esteem and gain effective strategies to improve their relationships. She has experience providing psychotherapy to people with a variety of symptoms and diagnoses which involve mood fluctuations, depression, low self-esteem, relationship issues, post-traumatic stress, self-harm, and/or difficulties managing anxiety or anger. Dr. Stasiowski is currently obtaining certification in Somatic Experiencing® in order to more effectively assist individuals manage and resolve their trauma-related distress. Her additional areas of specialty and interest include: maintenance of prenatal and postpartum mental health; enrichment of communication and connection within couples and families; healthy management of divorce and stressful life transitions; LGBT issues; and administration and analysis of psychological assessment. In addition, Dr. Stasiowski is fluent in Spanish and welcomes the opportunity to work with hispanic patients, couples and their families.

Dr. Stasiowski is a member of the American Psychological Association and is licensed in Maryland and New York.

Back to top

Virginia Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Dr. Zimmerman is a Maryland Licensed Psychologist with 6 years of experience providing individual and family therapy to adolescents and adults. Her areas of specialty include: depression, anxiety, adjustment issues, relationship issues, eating disorders, and school/behavioral issues. She also has extensive  experience providing psychological and psycho-educational assessment, examining intellectual functioning, academic achievement, executive functioning, Attention Deficit Disorder and social/emotional functioning in children and adolescents. She has previous experience collaborating with public schools to create optimal learning environments based on the students’ individual strengths and needs, working as a Pennsylvania Certified School Psychologist for several years.

Dr. Zimmerman received her Ph.D. in Clinical Developmental Psychology from Bryn Mawr College in 2007. She completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Renfrew Center providing individual, group, and family therapy for women struggling with Eating Disorders. Other previous treatment settings include university counseling centers, public school systems, private practice, and court-mandated treatment.

Back to top

Lauren Elliott, M.D.

Dr. Elliott is a board-certified psychiatrist with extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of adults with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders, ADHD, and anxiety disorders including panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. She has a particular interest and expertise in women’s mental health, an area of psychiatry that addresses issues that arise throughout the reproductive life cycle, including the perinatal and postpartum periods.

Dr. Elliott earned her medical degree at New York University School of Medicine and completed her residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. During her final year of residency, she served as Outpatient Chief Resident, participated in the Fellowship Program at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, and received the Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Award. She also holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Wellesley College. Her professional memberships include the American Psychiatric Association and the North American Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Before joining the staff at Columbia Counseling Center, Dr. Elliott worked at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Pennsylvania in a hospital-based practice combining psychotherapy and psychopharmacology and participating in the Women’s Mental Health Program. During that time, she held a faculty appointment as Adjunct Teaching Faculty at Temple University School of Medicine. She also performed psychiatric evaluations and medication management at Lower Merion Counseling Services, a community-based outpatient mental health center.

Dr. Elliott’s approach to patient care is characterized by a warm and compassionate demeanor, flexibility that allows for attention to individual needs, consideration of patient’s backgrounds, personal experiences, and other contextual factors of their illnesses, and collaboration with other health care providers.

Back to top

Ida C. Deliberis, Psy.D.

Dr. DeLiberis is a Maryland Licensed Clinical Psychologist, with 7 years of experience in providing individual, couples, family, and group therapies to adolescents and adults. She has worked in a variety of settings, including public school systems; private practice; mental health clinics; substance abuse treatment centers, and forensic settings. Dr. DeLiberis also has extensive experience providing neuropsychological, psychological, and psychoeducational assessments to psychiatric and medically referred adolescents and adults.

Dr. DeLiberis received her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University. Through her post-doctoral training, she concentrated extensively on group and individual therapy with adolescents and conducting psychoeducational and psychological assessments. Dr. DeLiberis has also worked as a School Psychologist, where she focused on the treatment of adolescents with special education needs, including academic, behavioral, and social-emotional difficulties.

Dr. DeLiberis has a particular interest in working with couples and families in therapy to address conflict, communication, parenting strategies, mental health, and other relationship issues. Dr. DeLiberis also works with adolescents and their families on behavior and school-related issues. Specific areas of clinical expertise and interest include: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, ADHD, PTSD, anger management, trauma, women’s issues, adjustment issues/life transitions, relationship conflicts, school/behavioral problems and high-risk teen behaviors. Dr. DeLiberis is available to see adolescents and adults over the age of 13.

Dr. DeLiberis is also a member of the Maryland Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association.

Back to top

Monique Reynolds, Ph.D.

Dr. Reynolds is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 10 years of experience in the field of mental health including teaching, research, and providing therapy to children, adolescents and adults. Her areas of specialization include: Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Complex Trauma, and Child Behavioral Disorders. She completed a year of specialized training in the VCU Anxiety Clinic and several years of additional training in providing psychological and psycho-educational assessments. Dr. Reynolds has also worked in multiple public school systems engaging with parents and schools to help children and adolescents overcome barriers to success.

Dr. Reynolds obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Yale University and received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009. Prior to this, she completed training with the Multicultural Center for Human Services in Northern Virginia and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. With a strong foundation in cognitive behavioral therapy and an integrative holistic approach, Dr. Reynolds adapts the best evidence-based treatments to suit needs and strengths of each individual client.

Back to top

Ilana Ilkovich Burgh, Psy.D.

Dr. Burgh is a Virginia and Maryland licensed psychologist with 10 years of experience treating Adults and Adolescents 16+. Using Cognitive Behavioral and Integrative Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Life Coaching, Brief Solution Focused Therapy for individuals and couples presenting with Mood Disorders, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Trauma/PTSD and combat stress, Sleep Disorders, Psychotic/Schizophrenic Disorders, Adjustment Disorders, Stress & Life Transitions, Care Taker of Elderly Parents, Grief/Bereavement, Military/Veterans, VA Mental Health Disability Examinations, Postpartum Depression, Women’s Issues, Peer Relationships, Parenting Stress, Stress Management, Anger Management, Relationship Issues and Stress, Medical Issues, Substance & Alcohol Abuse, Co-Occurring Disorders (Dual Diagnosis), Self-Esteem Issues, Personality Disorders, Crisis Intervention, and Domestic Violence.

Dr. Burgh obtained a Psy.D. in 2007 at the American School of Professional Psychology/Washington DC Campus located in Arlington Virginia. She completed her APA Approved Internship at Hudson River Psychiatric Center (HRPC) in Poughkeepsie, NY and her Postdoctoral Fellowship at Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville, MD with focus on Serious Mental Illness, forensic evaluations and court-mandated therapy, as well as trauma work. In addition, she worked in a variety of settings, including inpatient psychiatric facilities, hospital emergency rooms, community mental health centers, Veterans Affairs contracted sites, and community primary care clinics.

Dr. Burgh is a member of the American Psychological Association, Maryland Psychological Association, Virginia Psychological Association and is licensed to practice Clinical Psychology in Maryland and Virginia.

Debra L. Davis, Ph.D.

Dr. Debra L. Davis is a licensed psychologist with over 35 years of experience providing individual, couples and group psychotherapy. She has worked in a variety of settings, including college counseling centers, community based mental health clinics, the National Institute of Mental Health, and private individual and group practice settings.

In addition to her experience providing psychotherapy, Dr. Davis has extensive experience providing training and supervision to psychology doctoral students and mental health consultations and educational seminars to University students, staff and administrators.

Dr. Davis received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Maryland. Her areas of specialty include: Relationship Issues, anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, career and work related concerns, grief and loss, women’s issues, separation and divorce, Family issues, Sexual and Physical Abuse, PTSD, Personality Disorders, African-American Issues cultural adjustment issues, Lesbian and Gay Issues, Stress and Life transitions.
Back to top

Courtney Compagnone, Psy.D.

Dr. Compagnone is a Maryland Licensed Psychologist who earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Florida, a Master of Arts Degree in Professional Psychology and a Doctor of Psychology from Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. She received formal training at McLean Hospital Women’s Treatment Program and Klarman Eating Disorders Center, both Harvard teaching facilities. Dr. Compagnone was affiliated with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children providing services for children, adolescents, and their families. In addition, she has clinical experience in a variety of settings including residential treatment programs, hospital emergency departments, and inpatient units. Dr. Compagnone completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Sheppard Pratt Health System in the Trauma Disorders Program offering individual and group therapy, psychological assessment, and consultation services for inpatient and outpatient settings, with specialty training in adults with complex trauma.

Dr. Compagnone has expertise in treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Acute Stress Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Eating Disorders, women’s issues, and LGBT. She provides psychological services for children 10 years and older, adolescents, and adults who present with Learning Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD), Behavioral Disorders, and Adjustment Disorders.

Dr. Compagnone is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy utilizing an eclectic and integrative approach with regards to treatment planning for each unique individual. Dr. Compagnone offers psychological services for couples and families with relationship and marital problems utilizing strategic family therapy and structural family therapy approaches.
Back to top

Laura E. Ballard, LCSW-C

Laura Ballard is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 15 years of experience as an outpatient psychotherapist. She performs individual and couples psychotherapy primarily with adults, late adolescents, and older adults.

Laura received her BA in Philosophy, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, at Yale University. She then earned her JD at Yale Law School and her Master’s in Social Work in 1999 at the University of Michigan School of Social Work in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She completed her clinical internship at the McAuley Mental Health Clinic affiliated with St. Joseph’s Hospital in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Laura then provided psychotherapy to residents of rural and semi-rural Western Wisconsin through Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, where she also taught teens about healthy relationships and taught social work at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. While at LSS, she helped develop a partnership with a residential program for women in early recovery from addictions to treat the residents’ past traumas.

Since moving to the Metro DC region in 2002, Laura has worked in Charles County, Southern Maryland; Arlington, Virginia; and the District of Columbia. Most recently with Washington Hospital Center’s Outpatient Psychiatry Department, Laura has worked extensively with clients experiencing simple and complex trauma; mood disorders including depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder; anger management problems; severe and chronic physical illness or pain and terminal illness; women’s issues, men’s issues, and LGBT issues; and relationship challenges. Laura focuses particularly on the importance of positive self-regard and sense of self-worth in working to help clients increase their resilience in the face of hardship and challenges, both internal and external. She is currently in the process of earning certification in Imago Therapy for couples, finding the modality effective in promoting emotional safety within relationships and thereby helping individuals and couples heal and grow together towards greater health, intimacy, and trust.

Laura enjoys membership in several social work organizations: the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Workers (GWSCSW), and the Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA). She is also a member of two specialty practice organizations, the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) and the Mid-Atlantic Imago Therapists (MAIT). She is a past member of the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) and the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA). She is licensed in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia.
Back to top

Tara Acevedo, Psy.D., J.D.

Dr. Acevedo is a Psychology Associate registered in the state of Maryland. She has eight years of experience treating many different clients in a variety of settings including private practice, hospitals, counseling centers, forensic facilities, and community behavioral health centers. Dr. Acevedo provides individual psychotherapy for adolescents and adults seeking treatment for a wide range of mental health concerns. She is experienced in working with individuals, families, and couples. Her areas of specialty include Depression, Anxiety, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Adjustment Issues, and Relationship Distress. Dr. Acevedo is also experienced in psychological evaluation and assessment.

Dr. Acevedo obtained her undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College and earned her Master’s Degree in Human Development from the University of Pennsylvania. She then received both her Psy.D. and her J.D. from Widener University. She completed her clinical internships at Widener University Counseling Center and the Delaware Psychiatric Center. Dr. Acevedo’s therapeutic style emphasizes both psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral interventions to improve relationships, develop skills, and increase psychological well-being. She is flexible and integrative in her approach in order to meet the needs and desired outcomes of each individual.
Back to top

Previous Articles

The Most Powerful Treatment for Depression

The title of this 2008 study says it all: “Faster remission of chronic depression with combined psychotherapy and medication than with each therapy alone”. The study of over 650 patients with depression compared medication treatment alone to medication treatment plus psychotherapy. The results were clear: patients on medication and therapy recovered from chronic (meaning repeated episodes of) depression faster than patients on either treatment alone.

Many studies over the years have identified both cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy as being just as effective as medication in reducing symptoms of moderate depression. Other studies have shown that the improvements gained in therapy alone can last longer than the improvements gained from medication alone.

In my opinion, it’s the minority of cases that improve on just medication. The job of antidepressant medicine is to reduce the most immediate and troubling symptoms that interfere with your ability to function at home, at work, and socially: low energy, loss of interests, poor concentration, crying spells, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts. The job of therapy is to identify the life issues that have led to depression and make changes in how you deal with those issues so they stop depressing you.

Therefore, we have two powerful and effective tools to treat depression. Use them together and you are likely to get the fastest and most enduring relief from your symptoms. At Columbia Counseling Center, the psychiatrists and therapists are all under one roof and we work with each other to ensure that your treatment is coordinated and efficient.

Written by: Dennis Glick, M.D. Board Certified Psychiatrist at The Columbia Counseling Center

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a common and recurring condition. Typical symptoms include near-daily worry, anxiety, tension, feeling on edge, irritability, and sleep disturbance. Features of panic attacks and/or social anxiety may also be present. Your primary care doctor may have already ruled out medical causes such as thyroid, electrolyte, cardiac, or nutritional abnormalities.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a very effective form of treatment, typically requiring 6 to 12 weekly sessions that may include the use of workbooks and homework. The SSRI and SNRI antidepressant medications (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, Cymbalta, and Pristiq) are highly effective and should be continued for a period of 6 to 12 months following symptom reduction. Benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin are best used on a temporary basis due to the risks of addiction, memory impairment, physical incoordination, and potentially endangering combinations with alcohol and pain killers. Other medicines such as Buspar, Vistaril, Gabapentin, and Seroquel are occasionally used but are not specifically approved for treatment of GAD.

Many patients will benefit from the combination of CBT and medication. The Columbia Counseling Center is uniquely able to provide coordinated treatment as our staff includes both psychiatrists and psychologists specifically trained to diagnose and treat GAD and other anxiety and mood disorders. Your clinicians work together to ensure you are receiving the most effective treatments for your condition.

Conflict Resolution vs Separation

By Dr. Susan Minsky

Couples often believe the easiest solution to frequent arguments that appear unresolvable is to threaten separation and divorce. Divorce is the last choice to resolve what initially may appear as unreconcilable differences. Marriages require the willingness on both parties to rebalance needs, expectations, hopes, on a consistent basis at various stress points and change which occur throughout a long term relationship. Clear, direct communication, hearing each other in an accurate manner is necessary to produce effective changes for both parties. Couples often require refresher courses and new skills to promote a growth oriented exchange during stressful times, in particular.

Come join the Columbia Counseling Center team who provide an integrated approach to promoting and strengthening the bonds between partners in relationships. Individual and couples therapy are offered simultaneously to promote more rapid and productive identification of issues that require resolution to enhance the lost intimacy and positive communication and interaction between partners.

 

 

Overweight and Mental Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control more than a third of American adults—over 72 million people—were obese in 2005 and 2006 and they predicted that, unless we change our eating and exercise habits, 86 percent of the American population will be overweight or obese by the year 2030. People who are obese are more susceptible to serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, orthopedic problems and stroke. But being overweight or obese doesn’t just affect your physical health. You may also have feelings of guilt, embarrassment, low energy, isolate yourself socially, and feel depressed. These feelings can definitely impact your physical health and even shorten your lifespan.

The Social Consequences of Being Overweight

While being fat was once seen as a sign of wealth and comfort, most people almost automatically assume that someone is overweight or obese because they overeat on pizza, cheeseburgers and ice cream. But it’s not that simple. We live in a society in which you can get great tasting, high-calorie, high fat foods at any time of the day or night. They actually have a name for this: “the obesogenic society.” Some obese people may have jobs that require them to work seated for long hours and just don’t have the time or energy to exercise. And, food is ALWAYS THERE. This results in eating many more calories than their level of activity can burn off and leads to constant gain weight.

Overweight and obese people may feel strongly stigmatized and experience discrimination because of their weight. Discrimination usually begins during early school years, when overweight persons are not chosen for school teams, and this discrimination extends into adult life. In schools and colleges, obese students face harassment, rejection from peers, and biased attitudes from teachers. At work, obese people commonly report they have experienced humiliation and discrimination related to their weight – such as not getting promotions. Obese employees are often viewed as less competent, sloppy, and lacking in self-discipline by co-workers and supervisors.

What can be done to reduce the stigma of obesity?

You have a voice at work and at home. You don’t have to accept discrimination in school or in your workplace. It’s okay to share with your co-workers that YOU ARE NOT YOUR WEIGHT.  Also, if you are trying to lose weight you should be sure to surround yourself with supportive, caring friends and family members. Be open about your weight loss goals and ask explicitly for a helping and motivating hand. Supportive friends and family are a vital part of your weight loss program

Finally, take the word “diet” out of your dictionary and vocabulary. Diets don’t work. Lifestyle change does. Eat healthier foods…eat smaller portions…exercise at least 30 minutes a day. And think happy thoughts.

Columbia Counseling is here to help you on your journey to a natural, healthy weight. Our caring therapists and medical staff can help you to look at your lifestyle and help you understand what you might do to successfully achieve your weight loss goals. Call us  at 410- 992 – 9149 for an initial appointment to begin a rational, sustainable and effective weight loss program.