Angela Sarafin, LMFT

Angela Sarafin View Specialties

Therapy Coupon.  Counseling Discount.
Save $50 Off Your Initial Consultation

About My Approach
My approach varies depending on the issue and the client situation.  For example, I generally use the Gottman Method when working with couples, but sometimes I use some of the same concepts with parents and children.
When working with families I usually explore the family communication patterns, the strengths and weaknesses, and the multi-generational patterns of the family.  Sometimes we recreate certain patterns from previous generations with little thought of whether it is helpful for our current family situation, so I help families assess which patterns are helpful and which can be discarded.
When working with individuals I often use a cognitive-behavioral approach to explore how their thoughts and beliefs inform their behaviors.  It is common to struggle with one particular aspect of life or one particular relationship, so I help clients see their strengths and how they may utilize those strengths more effectively in the problem areas.  People often come to counseling as a place to process feelings of confusion, so there are many times when the counseling process is simply talking things through and helping you sort out various feelings about a topic so that you can decide whether a change is needed or whether you need to think differently about the current situation to make it feel more tolerable.
In addition to these approaches, I also provide Christian Biblical counseling to those who identify as Christians and those who have questions or want help healing from hurts or abuse related to past church experiences and anger toward God related to disappointments and unanswered prayers.
I also have a special interest in working with family role-reversals and later life issues such as when an adult child must engage in decision-making for aging parents.  This type of counseling can include de-escalating power struggles, assisting in cooperative problem solving, building empathy between generations, creating positive legacies, assisting families through the grief and loss (which sometimes begin years before a death), and helping families create a "new normal" after the loss of a primary family figure. 
My Experience
I currently hold three licenses:
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the District of Columbia.
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Texas
and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Texas.
I am also a board-approved supervisor in Texas for LPC interns and LMFT associate therapists.

I earned my Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Prior to starting private practice, I spent several years at Family Service Center of Galveston County where I served as a counselor and director of the STAR Program (Services To At-Risk Youth).  This experience provided me with the opportunity to work with children, teens, and families and in particular to work with parent/child dynamics.   I also worked in two different private practice settings before deciding to start my own practice in 2011.  Sarafin Family Therapy, PLLC now operates in Texas and in DC (dba DC Family Therapy). I practice primarily in Washington, DC in the office and via video and offer in-office sessions in the Houston office several times per year.   

A Typical Session With Angela
Again, this differs depending on the type of issue and whether it is a couples, family, or individual session.  
In general, we start with what has happened in the most current week (or since the last session) with a focus on what happened a little differently than usual.  If there was a fight, disagreement, or disappointment, we will discuss that event and explore what thoughts or beliefs were involved in the reactions, whether there were judgments or interpretations that may have been incorrect, and where there were opportunities to respond instead of reacting.  If there are no  negative interactions to process, then we will focus on exploring other topics of concern (based on the therapy goals discussed early in the counseling process) and discuss or practice new skills that may be helpful alternatives to current patterns of behavior. 
Benefits of Counseling with Angela
Most of my clients are at a crossroads in life.   My belief is that transitions provide a higher level of motivation, causing people to focus inward seeking new direction and creating a very powerful opportunity for personal growth and change.  The challenge is in developing new skills and direction while managing the anxiety that arises when the old life no longer fits but the new life is yet undefined.   I provide a safe space to review what was, to process the challenges and frustrations of being "in between" and start imagining a new normal.  I believe that counseling is most helpful if it combines both a safe space to talk but also tools and activities to practice new ways of thinking and behaving.
Testimonials/What People Report After Counseling with Me
Many people have told me that it has really helped to talk to someone who is not emotionally invested in their situation and that they feel calmer when they are in my office.  
Most clients who have come for Christian counseling have stated that it has been helpful to learn how to apply spiritual disciplines (prayer, Bible study, worship) into daily life and to be encouraged to view problems and issues from the perspective of serving God.

Angela Sarafin Reaches

Washington DC