Services Provided

Couples and Marital Therapy (Spanish Bilingual Therapist available)

Have you been feeling DISCONNECTED from your loved one? Are you ARGUING more often? Are you LESS CONTENTED with your relationship? Marital or couples counseling may be helpful for you.

Couples Counseling can help you to better UNDERSTAND the issues, develop BETTER COMMUNICATION patterns, create more POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP interactions, EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS and RE-ENERGIZE your significant relationships. Couples therapy involves both partners in developing an open dialogue and an atmosphere of trust and caring where issues can be brought to light, discussed, understood and resolved in a manner that respects both partners' needs and wants.

Marie Choppin specializes in work with couples using an approach which is focused on helping couples create a secure, loving, and trusting bond with each other so they are able to get the responsiveness and connection they long for and need. The approach called Emotionally Focused Couple's Therapy (http://www.iceeft.com/) was developed by Dr. Sue Johnson. It is based on the science and research of adult attachment, was recently endorsed by the APA, and is considered to be one of the most effective approaches with the highest success rates. EFT is a model of psychotherapy that is based on a "theory of love" derived from volumes of research by John Bowlby who pioneered parent-child attachment.  Over the last fifteen years that research has been applied to adults to create a theory on adult attachment.  Using this framework, the highly reactive emotional states that people sometimes experience in relationships begin to make perfect sense. The approach focuses on the pattern and negative cycle that distressed couples develop over time and helps them to de-escalate, creating a safe environment in which to explore and express their underlying feelings and needs. The approach is based on our current understanding that no matter what age we are, it is secure, loving relationships which give us our greatest sense of safety, connection, comfort, and strength in dealing with the challenges, stresses, and opportunities of life.

In November 2013, Sue Johnson shared the results of a groundbreaking collaboration between herself and University of Virginia neuroscientist Dr. James Coan. They showed for the first time that Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) changes how the brain perceives and responds to threat.

The research findings have important implications for all of us. We all know that EFT can deepen love and create a more secure emotional bond, but we haven't always understood how this happens. It seems that science is giving us a deeper understanding of how love (and adult attachment security) works at the level of brain function. Here is the link to the full study: EFT RESEARCH STUDY

For those of you that may not have the time to read it, Sue has summarized the findings like this:

The study dramatically illustrates how couples therapy that teaches people to bond securely, builds the pathway for loving contact that soothes the brain and calms our perception of danger. It is strong evidence of how our mammalian brain is wired to use another intelligence — loving contact — to manage the fears and pains of daily life. Teaching people how to build these connections can save countless marriages and families.

Providing results with implications that can benefit couples, children, families, and the fields of medicine and education, the research reveals that the brain infused with a sense of connection and love is more serene and less overwhelmed by peril, not just when we are two or three years old and our mother holds us, but also as adults.

Reflecting years of collaborative effort, this fascinating study speaks to:

  • The power of loving contact to give us safety and comfort
  • The power of EFT couple interventions to create and shape a powerful antidote to fear
  • How our brains are wired to use connection with others to help us cope with threat and uncertainty

AN EXAMPLE of the typical participants in this study might be Jane and Carl, an unhappy couple who have sought out Emotionally Focused Therapy:

Before their first EFT therapy session, Jane lies in an MRI machine for a brain scan. She is signaled that a shock will be coming. Alone in the machine, her brain lights up in alarm and when it comes, she says the shock is very unpleasant. When a stranger holds her hand, the results are the same. Unpleasant! When Carl holds Jane's hand, her brain activity again indicates alarm and she says the shock is painful. Contact with her husband does not soothe or calm her.

After Jane and Carl's last EFT therapy session and bonding conversations, Jane is again alone for the MRI and her brain lights up when she sees the "X" indicating a shock is coming, and the shock is very unpleasant.When a stranger holds her hand, her alarm response and pain are lessened. Then, when Carl holds Jane's hand and she sees the "X," there is a powerful difference — relatively little brain activity indicating anxiety or threat can be seen. The loving comfort she now perceives from her husband's touch persuasively changes how her brain encodes this "threat" and she reports that the shock is only "uncomfortable."

Definition of Love: We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection. Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them–we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed, and rare. - Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly

Call 301-625-9102 or E-MAIL Marie C. Choppin, LCSW-C


Individual Therapy

Do you often feel STRESSED and OVERWHELMED by the many responsibilities of work and/or parenting? Do you feel you NEVER HAVE TIME for yourself? Are you struggling in your personal and professional relationships? Are you feeling DEPRESSED, ANXIOUS and IRRITABLE? You may benefit greatly from personal, individual counseling.

Individual therapy (counseling) can help you to RE-EVALUATE, RE-BALANCE, REJUVENATE and REVIVE your life, your relationships and yourself. You can learn to IDENTIFY the areas of stress, worry or depression, PRIORITIZE what is important to you, DEVELOP healthy communication skills, relaxation techniques, and self-care skills, and EMBRACE your strengths so you can enjoy your life more fully.

Call 301-625-9102 or E-MAIL Marie C. Choppin, LCSW-C

Parent Coaching

This is a coaching relationship in which parents receive EDUCATION, GUIDANCE, ADVICE and SUPPORT about parenting. This process allows parents to develop POSITIVE PARENTING TECHNIQUES, better UNDERSTAND THEIR OWN HISTORY and its impact on their parenting style and create a family environment of love, mutual respect, realistic expectations for family members and a healthy , supportive connection among family members. COACHING is an ideal way to begin your journey towards self-discovery and contentment in your parenting.

Call 301-625-9102 or E-MAIL Marie C. Choppin, LCSW-C

Parent Consultation

Sometimes people are CONCERNED about their child but aren't sure if there is truly a need for counseling or whether there are other techniques and advice that might help the situation. A PARENT CONSULTATION is the PERFECT choice because it gives you direct access to a mental health professional who is knowledgeable about families and children, parenting and mental health disorders and who can HELP YOU SORT OUT what are the areas of concerns, what can be done, who can help and what strengths can you build upon.

Call 301-625-9102 or E-MAIL Marie C. Choppin, LCSW-C

Family Therapy

Do you feel competent and successful in your career but DEPLETED AND OVERWHELMED by your parenting skills, your children's behavior or academic performance or the LEVEL OF TENSION in your home? Are you struggling to feel CONNECTED to your children and often feel at a LOSS?

Family therapy can help you to RE-CONNECT to your children, FEEL EMPOWERED as a parent to your children while also being LOVING AND NURTURING. Counseling can help you be a better parent and a better partner by learning about yourself, developing positive parenting techniques, being clear about expectations and consequences and feeling more balanced in your various roles in life. It also can help your children feel nurtured, heard and feel the energy of your support, care and love.

Call 301-625-9102 or E-MAIL Marie C. Choppin, LCSW-C

Child and Adolescent Services

Are you WORRIED about your child or adolescent's behavior or mood? Have you noticed a CHANGE in your child or adolescent which concerns you?

Individual therapy for your child or adolescent can be very helpful and rewarding. It can provide a place for him or her to EXPLORE their FEELINGS, be heard and UNDERSTOOD, and develop TOOLS and SKILLS to combat depression and/or anxiety, deal with social situations or better handle homework and academic pressures. He or she can also learn to UNDERSTAND AND COMMUNICATE their feelings and needs to YOU, AS THEIR PARENTS and to other significant people in their lives.

THERAPEUTIC techniques for children and adolescents include traditional "talk" therapy as well as expressive therapies such as art therapy, play therapy and sandtray therapy. Relaxation and stress-reduction skills can also be taught which are extremely useful in reducing many of the symptoms of anxiety and depression. CALL NOW TO GET YOUR CHILD AN EVALUATION.

Call 301-625-9102 or E-MAIL Marie C. Choppin, LCSW-C

Early Childhood Psychotherapy Services

Early Childhood Psychotherapy Services are geared towards families with young children (birth - age 6) who are encountering emotional, behavioral, or developmental difficulties. Through Family Therapy,Parent-Child Therapy, Individual Play Therapy or Group Play Therapy, we will address the individualized needs of children with emotional and behavioral problems that may be interfering with success in a regular preschool or day care setting. By intervening with children at a young age, we hope to be able to prevent further social, educational and emotional difficulty.

Issues addressed include the following:

  • Attachment and Separation Problems
  • Frequent Tantrums
  • Reactions to parental divorce
  • Grief and loss
  • Impulsivity
  • Withdrawal
  • Hyperactivity
  • Frequent aggression or disruptive behavior
  • Short Attention Span
  • Oppositional Behavior
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Early childhood trauma, including abuse and/or neglect
  • Difficulties in peer relationships
  • Excessive shyness or fearfulness
  • Difficulty with transitions from one activity to another
  • Trouble with eating or sleeping
  • Depression and other mood regulation problems
  • Emotional regression or other reactions to life stresses

If you have concerns about your child, please call for an initial evaluation.

Call 301-625-9102 or E-MAIL Marie C. Choppin, LCSW-C

CALL NOW to begin your journey of healing, growth and change.

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Services and Fees

COUNSELING FOR CONTENTMENT, LLC is commited to providing services within the financial needs of all clients. Therefore, it is important to CALL (301-625-9102) or e-mail to discuss the fees for the services which you might want. Some insurances are accepted, including Medicare and APS Healthcare.

School / Consultation / Meetings

I am available for school meetings or observations and charge based on time.

Contact

For a phone consultation or information, call 301-625-9102 and begin your journey towards contentment, healing and change. Now serving Bethesda, Maryland and North West Washington D.C.

Accept the gift you have given to so many. Let people love you back.
-Jeanette Osias