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Do you need help NOW!!

Lorrie R. Appleton, LCSW

Couples, Family & Individual Therapist

About the Therapist:

“The willingness to show up changes us. It makes us a little braver each time.” (Brené Brown)

If you are reading this, then you likely have identified a need. Simply put, a need is a life gap between where you are and where you want to be.

So, what is your need?


Are you struggling with a problem that keeps you up at night? Can you become easily distracted by upsetting emotions that interfere with your overall contentment and happiness? Are you disappointed in the quality of relationships with your partner, spouse, family, friends, or co-workers? Can your reactions with others cause you to feel out of control or helpless? Needs come in all shapes and sizes however there is one thing we know about needs. If needs are avoided and ignored, they will likely persist and evolve into on-going crises and negative patterns over time.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has courage to lose sight of the shore.” (Andre Gide)

You’ve taken the first step toward doing better and feeling better. If you have read this far, then you are ready for the next decision point. You can either stop reading, close the page, and keep doing the same thing hoping for a different result OR you can venture forward and put your proverbial toe in the water by learning new strategies to change old, scripted behaviors.

Clinical Services

Family Therapy:

Families can be wonderful. Families can also be complicated and emotionally messy. If you are
experiencing misunderstanding and conflict in your family, you are not alone. No family has a perfectly harmonious daily existence. It’s a myth. Now that we’ve removed some of the self- recrimination from family dysfunction, it is equally true that sometimes families careen into life’s barricades. No one family member causes the problem and all family members have some stake in the resolution. The Family Therapist uses a wide-angle lens to help “photoshop” the rough edges and create a unique family portrait that softens the edges with lasting behavioral change. Who is invited to family sessions? Answer: All family members that feel the hurt and want to make things better.


Couples Therapy


If you have opened your heart to another, then you have chosen a level of emotional vulnerability. Like most people, you entered the relationship imagining a positive outcome with potential for bringing you happiness and fulfillment. Did anyone tell you that being in a relationship can take you to your HIGHEST HIGHS and your LOWEST LOWS? Are there moments when you wonder if you can tolerate the on-going turbulence and instability caused by anger, hurt, fear, and sadness?

“We all marry our unfinished business.” (Terrence Real)

Couples Therapy examines why you chose each other, what family dynamics may be causing interference, and how to infuse hope and change in the relationship; individually and collectively.


Individual Therapy:

We all have a trunk filled with life experiences. Individual Therapy provides a safe, non-judgmental space to explore feelings, relationships, events, and trauma which may act as barriers to prevent you from achieving enhanced contentment and stability. Simply put, Individual Therapy can help untangle your thoughts from experiences which may be limiting your ability to breach new, more gratifying possibilities.

“We get together on the basis of our similarities; we grow on the basis of our differences.” 

(Virginia Satir)

Clinical Approach:

Deciding on a psychotherapist is analogous to choosing a contractor to repair a home or apartment.  Therapists work collaboratively with you to create a vision (blueprint) which identifies where the emotional “leaks” are hidden. Then, we discuss realistic, tangible objectives that mitigate the weaknesses and leverage the strengths. With over forty years of clinical work in my “tool belt.” Each client, couple, and family are unique and require a tailored action plan.  My practice is influenced by a variety of clinical models including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Burns), Relational Life Therapy (Real), Strategic Family Therapy (Haley), Structural Family Therapy (Minuchin), and Humanistic Family Therapy (Satir), Attachment Styles Theory and trauma informed. You can see, my premise is that we are all part of system even if you come to therapy as an individual.  Knowing how you are influenced by internal and external dynamics is an effective guide for improving most of the issues we face in life. 

“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives.” 

(Akshay Dubey)


Therapist Background

I started my marriage and family therapy practice when I was four years old. When disagreements ensued in my family, I went straight for the eye of the hurricane. My best distraction was humor. It was no surprise that I dreamed of being a comedian. Luckily, I discovered how social work and humor are perfect partners to advance problem solving an healing. I earned my Bachelor’s in Social Work (BSW) at Southern Connecticut State University and received my Master’s in Social Work (MSW) at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

My post-graduate experiences span over 40 years. I have practiced in a variety of settings
including private practice, non-profit, inpatient psychiatric, military behavioral health, schools,
corporations, and human service agencies.


I have been married for over 35 years and we have two adult children. And, like you, our family is wonderful, loving and complicated at times. Our children are my greatest teachers and marriage has promoted my learning regarding tolerance and perseverance. I look forward to hearing your story.
Let’s do this together!

To make an appointment with Lorrie, please call or text me at 703-231-7991 or email info@dcvacounseling-psychotherapy.com

Lorrie is in network with BCBS insurance and sees clients in person in our Tysons/Vienna office and also offers teletherapy/online sessions.

American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
Approved Clinical Supervisor and Clinical Fellow