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Lorrie R. Appleton, LCSW

Couples, Family & Individual Therapist
Parenting Coach & Clinical Supervisor

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.

Next Step
You’ve identified a need and considered taking a risk. The next step is determining a direction. There are many therapists with varied approaches. Look at the descriptions below and see if any of the services may address your issues.

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? What did we miss when we first linked with our special someone? Terrence Real, (renowned couples and family therapist) proports a possible

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

What is meant by “unfinished business?” If I have piqued your curiosity and you want to create
a more intimate, loving, intentional relationship with your chosen partner, then Couples Therapy
may be a process worth considering. Exploring your relational strengths and potholes are key to
building a more lasting and meaningful union.

Individual Therapy:

Every individual who comes to therapy has a duffle bag filled with life experiences. Individual
therapy provides a safe, non-judgmental space to explore feelings, relationships, events, and
trauma which may be acting as barriers to preventing you from achieving enhanced
contentment and stability. Simply put, Individual Therapy can help you untangle your thoughts
from experiences which may be limiting your openness to new, more satisfying possibilities.

Parent Coaching:

Today’s educational system has done a stellar job of utilizing data to identify and determine academic and behavioral deficiencies. Schools employ specialists who come together to discuss student strengths and concerns starting from preschool up through post graduate vocational training. Despite good intentions, school staff and parents may have a common goal of serving students however they likely are speaking two distinct languages thereby causing unneeded adversity and contention. School teams often use jargon and policies to help identify the child’s educational needs while parents use language designed to describe the child’s behavior and how they see the behavior impacts their child’s educationally experience. The Parent Coach will help parents learn to navigate the Local Screening Committee (LSC) team process by reviewing the child’s school files and testing, talking with parent(s) about desired objectives for school meetings, and develop an action plan using school language and policy thereby allowing the parent and school staff to work together on a level playing field.

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), Internal Family Systems (Schwartz), Relational Life Therapy (Real), Strategic Family Therapy (Haley), Structural Family Therapy (Minuchin), and Humanistic Family Therapy (Satir). 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. 

Clinical Supervision for Therapists:
Woven in the fabric of professional standards and ethics, therapists are required to have hands- on clinical therapy experience and supervision. The Clinical Supervisor acts as a “co-pilot” who leverages the therapist’s academic knowledge, introduces new skills and techniques, and encourages professional self-confidence and clinical competence. Clinical Supervisors support the belief that self-reflection and feedback are paramount and should be encouraged throughout our professional tenure.
My Supervision credentials include:

  • LCSW Approved Supervision, State of VA
  • Approved Supervisor for American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Post graduate certificate, Organization Development and Executive Coaching,
    Georgetown University.

    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.

    I have practiced social work professionally for over 40 years. I have practiced in a variety ofsettings including private practice, marriage and family therapy agencies, non-profit, inpatient psychiatric hospital, military behavioral health, organizational consulting, and executive coaching.

    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 out of network with insurance. She will guide you and provide you with necessary information to submit to your insurance for reimbursement.

Lorrie sees clients in person in Falls Church and also offers teletherapy/online sessions.

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