A Third Therapy Office and a New Psychotherapist
We are pleased to announce the opening of our third office and our newest therapist, Julie Elwell, LICSW.

Our new office is in the same building as the other two offices, at 3000 Connecticut Avenue, in Woodley Park. It is in suite 438 (North Entrance).

With the addition of Ms. Elwell, our ninth therapist, DC Talk Therapy has significantly increased the number of evening hours it offers. Ms. Elwell will work three evenings a week, plus Saturdays, and later add daytime hours.

Ms. Elwell provides individual counseling for a variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, grief and loss, and issues related to trauma.

She has 13 years of experience, having worked in a variety of settings throughout Washington, D.C., and Virginia, including community mental health clinics, hospitals and private practice.

To schedule an appointment with Ms. Elwell for individual therapy, please call 202.588.1288 or email us at  info@dctalktherapy.com .
Listen Up

Want a quick way to improve communication between you and your partner?

Try something called the reflective listening exercise.

Here’s how it works: One person (the sender) speaks for 30 seconds to the other (the receiver) about any topic he or she wants. Start with something small, like a problem at work, then build to something with more emotional intensity like an argument you had a few days ago.

While the sender is talking, the receiver looks at the sender and simply listens and tries to understand, neither interrupting nor asking questions. (There can be no distractions at the time, like looking at a computer or TV.)

During this time it’s important to put our own thoughts and feelings aside, which is not always easy because the receiver may be triggered by what they hear.

When the time is up, the receiver will paraphrase what they just heard. (“What I heard you say is…” is a good opener.) The sender then has the opportunity to confirm that the receiver heard them accurately or try to correct them if they didn’t quite get it. Refrain from defensiveness and reaction if your partner corrects you; this is not an attack, simply a correction.

Then the sender and receiver switch roles. Practice it a few times, then stop for the day. The next time you do the exercise, increase the time to 60 seconds per person, using the exact same approach.

The goal of the exercise is twofold:

  • to practice being more precise in our communication

  • and to learn a new way of listening so that the sender feels heard, understood and empathized, which is at the heart of any healthy relationship. In these ways, we are “in the moment” with one another.

The mistake that we tend to make with our partners is that when we listen we are mostly preparing our defense or our attack, so much so that we aren’t really hearing or acknowledging what is being said; parallel conversations do nothing for connection. This exercise can represent a dramatic shift in how you communicate to your partner.

David Sternberg, LICSW, is the founder and director of DC Talk Therapy.
What's New in Podcasting?

This two-year old self-help podcast by Gregg Clunis already has more than two million downloads. He outlines simple strategies and habits you can develop to get the most out of life. A few recent podcasts focused on develoing patience and the importance of a morning routine. Available on iTunes and Spotify.
Quote of the Month

“ Remember, our enemy is not lack of preparation; it’s not the difficulty
of the project or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account.
The enemy is resistance. The enemy is our chattering brain, which,
if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications, and a million reasons why
we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.”

-- Stephen Pressfield, author of ‘Do The Work’

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