Relationship and Couples Therapy experts in Northern VA

Meet our team

 

We’re experienced therapists, not stiff professionals. We’re proud of our experience and training—not many therapists are certified as both an EFT Supervisor and Therapist by the International Center for Excellence in EFT. Beyond certifications and training, we are most proud of our authenticity and tenacity. We work hard and have big hearts. We don’t know how to do therapy without being transparent and real. Our couples know we’ll fight for them. We are pro-relationship, and we want you to succeed.

Therapy is personal. We don’t put up barriers between ourselves and clients—formal titles and impersonal communication limit our ability to help and they just aren’t our style. We’ll help you feel at ease in our space and with us personally. We believe it’s our most important job.

So, if you're looking for a therapist with experience and training, who also happens to be a person just like you, we might be the practice for you. You can read our individual bio’s, by scrolling down or clicking on the links below. We’re also happy to speak with you and answer any question you might have about practice, providers, or availability. Just fill out our contact form, and we’ll get back in touch, in the manner most convenient to you. Our free phone consultation is a great way to get started. We’d love to hear from you!

our Providers

C81A8163_PRINT.jpg
C81A8118_PRINT.jpg
C81A8153_WEB_V2.jpg
 

Melissa Peters, LCSW

Co-founder and Certified EFT Therapist & Supervisor


How I work

I get to sit with extremely capable, hard-working, good folks who also happen to be in a lot of pain together. We live in a high-achieving, fast-paced area, and face tremendous pressure to be the perfect couple, family, and partner. The simple act of sharing our real relationship struggles, hopes, fears, and pain with one another is powerful, but so few of us actually do - so many of us bear the weight on our own.  Every time a couple shares with me the hard and scary parts in their relationship, I’m honored.

My office can be a safe space for you and your partner to talk about what’s really happening between you. I am a gentle but very active guide who will help you work through the tough stuff without getting caught in the same old fight of who is right and who is wrong. When we have been stuck in conflict, we feel so unseen - instead of trying to change either of you, my first job is to really "get" each of you and then slowly help you to feel seen and gotten by one another again.

I will be transparent and authentic with both of you. I will let you know what we are doing and why; you will know where we are in the process and where we are headed. I will be in this with the two of you. We will work together on behalf of your relationship, maybe even laughing and crying a bit together along the way. 

I want to know your unique story, strengths, and stressors. But I also hope you will feel relieved to discover that you aren’t alone. Most of us have similar fear and struggles, and there is something quite beautiful in knowing that. 

 


About me

I love finding a binge worthy tv show for my husband and I to watch. I wish I loved to travel more, but I kinda love being at home. I am known for constantly moving plants around my yard, as well as the furniture in my house. If I wasn't a therapist, I probably would do some type of work with my hands, but I never get very far in figuring that one out because I will always be a therapist. I think dark chocolate and mint were made for one another, and I drink decaf coffee constantly. I find my opinions quickly, and change them rapidly, too.I'm a mom to two teenage girls who constantly humble me. They are a true reminder of how little I actually know. I really thought I would be so much wiser by now, but these days, that realization is starting to feel quite comforting. I love couples therapy because it keeps me on my toes, and I hit the professional jackpot when I met my business partner, Jill, 20 years ago. . 


Professional experience and training

  • BA 1997

  • MSW, Catholic University of America, 1999

  • LCSW, Virginia, 2001-present

  • Years of experience working in community mental health, psychiatric hospitals, and outpatient private practice

  • Adjunct Professor, University of Phoenix, 1998-2012

  • Advanced training in EFFT (Emotionally Focused Family Therapy)

  • ICEEFT Certified EFT Therapist, 2014

  • ICEEFT Certified EFT Supervisor, 2016

  • Assistant Director of The Washington Baltimore Center for EFT (ICEEFT's training center in the DC Metro area), 2016-2018

C81A8126_PRINT.jpg
 

Jill Soyka, LCSW

Co-founder and Certified EFT Therapist & Supervisor

 

How I work

After decades in the field of mental health, I am honored to say that I have encountered folks at their very best and during their most painful times. We all face different challenges…but each of us has struggles. I emphatically believe that no one should face their struggle alone. By specializing in relationships, I have the skills to help both individuals and couples to change what can be changed, and to endure together—not separately-- the things that can’t be changed.

I excel at creating safety and comfort in my office. These are critical elements to our ability to take risks, learn about ourselves and our loved ones, and grow. Because I work with my close, trusted colleague and friend, our entire office environment is warm and inviting. My clients get the benefit of my whole being-- my years of training, laser focus on the issues, as well as my deep empathy and understanding. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am committed to providing excellent, research-based care to you and your loved ones. It is important for you to know the quality of your provider, given the importance of our relationship.

My genuine interest in you is borne from my life experience as a Mom to 3 kids and 2 dogs, a wife of (gulp!) 20 years, a daughter, sister and friend. The importance of these relationships in my life constantly drives me to understand how to navigate the ups and downs that are natural to all bonds. I’m a lifelong learner, fascinated by how our heads, hearts, and behaviors contribute to our quality of life.

I am always happy to answer any questions about myself or the process of therapy or EFT, so please don’t hesitate to contact me. 


About me

I am an endlessly curious person who loves irony, humor, and poignancy—especially when they co-occur. I love my family- my husband of 20 years, 3 kids ages 17, 13 and 11, and two dogs. My biggest challenge as a parent is negotiating life-threatening health issues-- type 1 diabetes and food allergies. I know what it’s like to be part of a blended family, as my parents divorced when I was 10. My relationship with my sister is close and protective. When I need to recharge, I read fiction, watch Netflix, or go on long walks and listen to podcasts. I have varied musical tastes from classic rock to rap to classical, depending on my mood and the situation. I sing loudly and with abandon, but never well! I love what I do for a living, and love that I get to practice with Melissa- one of my favorite humans of all time. Like many of you, my life is complicated, messy and endlessly rich. I am always humbled and respectful to be invited into my client’s lives and enjoy hearing from former clients as they reach important milestones.


Professional training and experience

  • BA in psychology, UVA, 1992
  • Masters in Social Work, Child and Family Specialization, VCU, 1994
  • License to practice as a Clinical Social Worker in VA (LCSW), 1997
  • Years of experience working with families in inpatient/residential, intensive outpatient, and outpatient services
  • Clinical Supervisor since 1997
  • Advanced training in EFT began 2013
  •  Certification as an Emotionally Focused Therapist (EFT), 2016
  •  Certification as an EFT Supervisor, 2017