Angela Sarafin, LMFT

Angela Sarafin View Specialties

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About My Approach
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.
I often utilize EMDR in order to help clients build strengths and reduce emotional reactions to difficult or traumatic memories and situations. 
 Additional areas of interest:
        Christian 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.
       Entrepreneurship and Leadership coaching for those who are seeking to use more of their strengths, learn to delegate and manage time effectively, and experience greater productivity and less stress in their careers. 
My Experience

I earned my Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Houston-Clear Lake and am currently a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the District of Columbia.
Additional Training:  
     Levels 1 and 2 of the Gottman Method for couples counseling
     Basic Training in EMDR (and seeking certification through EMDRIA)

A Typical Session With Angela

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