Denise U. Tordella, M.A., LPC, LLC
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About Me

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For more than 15 years, I have provided trauma-informed therapy for individuals who struggle with the reverberating effects of trauma (emotional, physical or sexual abuse), addiction, survivors of suicide, and trauma related issues, including: dissociation; depression; anxiety; and self-harming behaviors. I provide supportive counseling to individuals who are in relationships with people who are abusing alcohol and other drugs, or engaging in other compulsive behaviors including sexual addiction. I provide counseling for individuals who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Additionally, one of my areas of interest and specialization is in working with individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer.

I integrate different treatment approaches based on each individual's strengths and needs, including: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); Structural Dissociation; Ego State Therapy; and Internal Family Systems. I also incorporate expressive and body-oriented therapies into treatment.

In the Washington, DC metropolitan area, I provide case consultation to individual therapists related to trauma, dissociation, self-harming behaviors and substance abuse. I also provide program consultation and in-service training for the staff at substance abuse treatment programs, domestic violence shelters and transitional housing programs for individuals with histories of substance abuse and trauma. I offer workshops for helpers on managing secondary/vicarious trauma.

I have taught substance abuse counseling in the graduate counseling program at Johns Hopkins University and I have also taught at Northern Virginia Community College. Earlier in my career, I was the director of the co-occurring disorders program at a residential substance abuse treatment facility and I worked for a county mental health program where I specialized in working with individuals with histories of trauma and co-occurring substance abuse disorders.

My master's degree is in counseling from the George Washington University and University of Maryland School of Social Work with a specialization in trauma treatment. I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two young adult children. In my spare time, I travel, take classes in yoga, enjoy Italian cooking and listen to jazz.

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