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NOW in Tysons!!
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Michael Fleg, LGPC

teenstherapist
Individuals & Couples

Relationships. We never were explicitly taught how to “do” this whole relationship thing, at least not in school. Are there rules for relationships? How about guidelines to help guide us? We know about general advice like when your aunt sits you down at the family reunion reminding you to just “be yourself,” but how helpful are these generalities? If you’re baffled, confused, frustrated, or simply wish you had a better relationship, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re part of the majority. And based on neuroscience, attachment theory, and ancient wisdom, you can improve and experience a better relationship. This is good news because many scientific studies have shown that it’s our relationships, not our achievements or how much stuff we have, that most determine our happiness.

As someone who has struggled with relationships myself, I’ve come to appreciate a framework called PACT- Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy. Learning about this approach has empowered me and changed my perspective of how I think about relationships. I feel confident it can do the same for you, whether you’re single and dating, or a couple.

You can always try to solve issues on your own. But having a trained professional guiding you through things can add a powerful new element that can get you where you want to be faster. If you’re ready to give it a shot, send me an email and let’s set up a free 15-minute phone consultation. Easy, right?

My Clinical Approach

It’s simple. With my focus on relationships, my approach is largely based on the PACT model (Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy). This model draws from the latest in neuroscience, psychobiology, attachment theory, experiential therapy, and psychodrama therapy. It’s an eclectic approach that dives underneath the surface to look at core needs that are or aren’t being addressed. For instance, a couple might argue about sex, but there is usually a core attachment need underneath the argument and a difference in what feels safe to each partner. It is important to get to the core needs because that’s when true change gets made. Otherwise, a couple is bound to repeat the same argument on repeat for months, years, or even decades.

When working with individuals who are looking to improve their dating life or current relationship, the same principles apply. The PACT model can help someone who is dating, for instance, clarify what is important to them and what a secure relationship looks like. From there, they can put themselves out into the world in the best way, and they can also make informed decisions about whether a potential partner is a good fit.

Empowering clients

With the PACT model being my primary approach, the focus is on empowering individuals and couples to apply principles of secure functioning relationships to be able to solve relationship issues. In this way, clients are internalizing secure functioning so that eventually it becomes second nature and over time less and less support is needed from the therapist. And then one day, clients “graduate” from therapy, newly empowered to tackle future relationship challenges with the tools and strategies they’ve learned.

About Me

I started my professional life as a filmmaker, and I had strong artistic influences from my family. After owning a small film production company first in D.C. and then in L.A., I switched careers and became a teacher. I really liked working with students and helping them grow holistically, not just in their academic knowledge. I would incorporate life lessons when possible and valued the community and energy of my classroom. Becoming a therapist was a natural progression for me, and allows me to further focus on self-development and healing.

Additionally, I have had the blessing of international experience, traveling extensively in Latin America and living in Colombia and Mexico. Words cannot express the people I’ve met along the way, perspective shifts, cultural enrichment, and lessons learned. I embrace these rich experiences and draw on them to inform my work with clients.

Mike works under the direct supervision of Isabel Kirk, LPC in VA and Amanda Steinhorn, LCPC in MD.

Currently facilitating the relationships workshop online!