Sports Psychologist in Washington DC

Sports Psychologist in Washington DC

Sports Psychologist in Washington DC

Searching for a Sports Psychologist in Washington DC? A mental coach can help you take your game – on or off the field – to the next level. Today, sport psychology is a part of every elite athlete’s training regimen. It can help anyone get a mental edge to be more focused, composed, confident, motivated and resilient. At Washington Psychological Wellness, our therapists are passionate about helping you work towards achieving your goals. We aim to guide and facilitate your self-discovery process, sparking your own internal resources, insight, and ability to grow and heal. Whether you seek therapy for a specific concern or are curious about knowing yourself on a deeper level, therapy can help. You and your therapist will collaboratively work to explore and understand your core beliefs, feelings, behaviors, and relationships that are useful to you and those that may contribute to your current problems. Our psychotherapists work with clients to gain greater clarity of, and insight into, their true needs and wants so that they can move forward in life, making choices as the person they want to be.

Our clinicians’ experiences and training encompass a wide array of concerns for adult therapy, including:

Common Psychological Skills in Sport Psychology:

Anxiety or Energy Management

Skill most commonly used to help individuals who experience arousal at a level that is not effective (i.e., too high or too low) for optimal performance. These techniques can be used for anxiety, stress, and anger management. Common treatments include: (a) breathing exercises (e.g., diaphragmatic breathing, rhythmic breathing), (b) progressive relaxation, (c) meditation, (d) imagery or visualization, and (d) cognitive techniques (e.g., thought stopping and cognitive restructuring).

Attention and Concentration Control (focusing)

Being able to focus one’s awareness on relevant cues so they can deal effectively with their current situation. These skills help them maintain their mental intensity within a situation. Common techniques include: (a) attention control training (to avoid distractions) and (b) techniques to expand awareness (e.g., attending to performance cues and bodily sensations).


Skill used to help improve group cohesion and individual interactions in a sport setting (e.g., athlete–athlete, athlete–coach, coach–parent). Techniques used with this skill include: (a) teaching active listening and communicating skills (reflecting, clarifying, encouraging, paraphrasing), (b) helping individuals create a free and open environment, and (c) assertiveness training.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Sports Psychologist in Washington DC

What areas do you specialize in, and what can I expect in treatment?

At Washington Psychological Wellness, you’ll have the opportunity to speak with an objective, unbiased, and compassionate professional. With your therapist serving as your confidant, supporter, and guide, you’ll be free to talk about your experiences without the fear of ridicule, shame, or disclosure. Our therapists offer a confidential and non-judgmental environment where you can begin to open up about troubling issues and explore new ways of thinking and being. Your counselor can help you focus on your strengths so that you no longer have to feel defeated by perceived weaknesses. Ultimately, you can rebuild your self-esteem and take pride in your innate capacity for solving problems. 

Some of the difficulties our counselors and therapists can help you through include:

  • Adult Anxiety
  • Adult Depression
  • Anger Management
  • Adult ADHD
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Perfectionism
  • Stress Management
  • Grief & Loss
  • LGBTQ Counseling
  • Disordered Eating & Body Image
  • Self-Harm Counseling
  • Addiction/Abuse
  • Self-Esteem
  • Difficult Life Transitions
  • Personality Disorders

During individual adult sessions, you’ll discover more about yourself as a person. Besides learning about strengths and weaknesses, your therapist can help you identify your coping style, diminish unhealthy coping, and set goals for replacing unhealthy coping with healing activities that match your interests and temperament. With these important insights in hand, you can get a clearer picture of what you want out of life, explore whether your choices match your life’s ambitions, and devise a game plan for making positive change. At Washington Psychological Wellness, you’ll also be learning concrete strategies for managing emotional turmoil, including conflict resolution, anger management, compassionate communication, mindfulness, and much more.

No matter how scary or uncomfortable your current situation may be, the emotions you’re experiencing can be temporary. Although overcoming your obstacles may seem impossible at first, you do have the power to triumph over your current situation and create the life you want to live. With the help and support of a therapist who will always act in your best interest, it’s possible to accept both the sourness and sweetness of life and make healthy choices that honor your authentic self.  

What is your approach to therapy, and how will I know if there is progress?

At Washington Psychological Wellness, we practice an integrative and holistic approach to healing, considering our clients’ mental, physical, and emotional health and interpersonal and spiritual well-being. We consider each individual as unique and therefore cater treatment to the client. Drawing from various modalities and practices, we can match you with a therapist who will understand your specific issues and tailor your therapy plans according to your needs. Our counselors are trained in the following psychotherapeutic treatment approaches, to name a few: 

Psychodynamic therapy is a form of depth psychology; the primary focus is to reveal the unconscious content of a client’s psyche to alleviate psychic tension.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) refers to a range of techniques that focus on constructing and re-construction of people’s cognitions, emotions, and behaviors. The therapist helps clients assess, recognize, and deal with problematic and dysfunctional ways of thinking, emoting, and behaving.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a time-limited psychotherapy that focuses on the interpersonal context and building interpersonal skills. IPT is based on the belief that interpersonal factors may contribute heavily to psychological disorders.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) combines standard CBT techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindfulness-awareness.

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a therapeutic approach that facilitates and engages the client’s intrinsic motivation to change behavior. MI is a goal-oriented, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence.

Treatment progress is dependent on each individual’s unique circumstances and needs. You and your therapist will actively check-in to ensure that progress is being maintained and that your treatment goals, values, and hopes are being accomplished. We will also actively work with and consult with outside providers, teachers, clergy, family members, etc., to coordinate care.

What do you mean by integrative and holistic mental health treatment?

Washington Psychological Wellness is proud to provide an integrative and holistic approach to treatment. Integrative mental health is the combination of practices and methods of alternative healing with conventional therapy approaches. It emphasizes treating the whole person, focusing on wellness and health rather than treating disease and on the patient-therapist relationship. Holistic health is a diverse field that uses many techniques and therapies. It reaffirms the importance of the relationship between clinician and patient, is informed by scientific evidence, and uses all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals, and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing. At Washington Psychological Wellness, the emphasis is on the entire person (bio-psycho-socio-spiritual model) and not just on their symptoms or presenting problems (e.g., addiction, depression, anxiety, etc.).

What is the difference between counseling/therapy and talking to a friend?

The therapy relationship is unique. Unlike other relationships in your life, your therapist is an unbiased, clinically trained objective supporter who will help you gain new perspectives in a way that those who are intricately woven into your life cannot. When you come to therapy, you are taking care of yourself by dedicating time to the task of taking care of you and only you. No need to fear you said too much or worry about your privacy.

What are the benefits of counseling or therapy?

There are many benefits to engaging in therapy! Benefits include gaining a better understanding and insight of yourself, identifying your values and what’s important to you, improving your relationships, friendships, and work. Therapy will help you identify and develop coping skills, enhance problem-solving abilities, make positive changes to problem behaviors, and boost self-esteem. Your therapist will have an unbiased and objective perspective on situations, relationships, and events in your life.  Your counselor will work with you throughout this process and offer new insights into the challenges with which you have been struggling. The benefit you obtain will ultimately depend on how committed you are to work together both in and outside of sessions. At Washington Psychological Wellness, we work to ensure that you meet all of your mental wellness goals. 

How should I prepare for my first counseling/therapy session?

Whether you have been to counseling or therapy before or if this is your first session, it is common for clients to feel nervous about meeting with their therapist for the first time. We recommend you carefully complete and submit your electronic paperwork before your first session. If you are using health insurance, we recommend you verify and understand your health insurance benefits. We encourage you to be detailed and honest. If there are questions that you are unsure about or that make you uncomfortable, it is okay to leave them blank and discuss them with your therapist. We encourage you to arrive 10 minutes early for your session so you can relax in our waiting area. We have coffee and tea for you to enjoy while you wait for your appointment. We recommend you carefully read the “Getting Started with Telehealth” packet that is emailed to you before your initial visit for telehealth services. Our client care coordinator will be happy to assist you should you have any questions or concerns.

What can I expect during my first counseling/therapy session?

Understandably, your first counseling or therapy session may be scarier than the problem causing you to seek it. The first session starts with you and your therapist getting familiar with each other and building a comfortable and trusting space together. Your therapist will explain confidentiality and how most everything discussed in counseling is confidential. You are protected by strict rules that prohibit discussing anything that goes on in session or that you are coming to counseling. There are some very specific exceptions to this rule, which the therapist will discuss in the first session. Your therapist will want to get to know you and what brought you to therapy so you can identify where you are and what are some goals or things you’d like to work on together. Your therapist will gently ask you some open-ended questions and give you some reflections, observations, feedback, and a summary of what you said. You may be encouraged to look at things from a different perspective. The intention is for you to feel heard, understood, and the work in session is done collaboratively with your therapist.

How frequently will we meet?

Because each person has different issues and goals for Therapy, Therapy is tailored to each client’s specific needs.  At Washington Psychological Wellness, we believe that you are the leading expert in your life, and so we listen attentively to your goals and help you structure a plan to meet them.  You can expect to spend the first session helping your therapist understand why you have come to therapy and what you want to achieve.  Ultimately, you will have some ideas about where you want to go and how you and your therapist will get there together.

Will I also need medication while going to counseling or therapy?

Our clinicians promote a holistic and collaborative approach to treatment. While we do not prescribe medication, our team works closely with several great prescribing doctors in the Montgomery County area that we would be happy to refer you to. If you already have a prescribing doctor, your therapist or counselor will gladly reach out to them for mental health consultation and care coordination. At Washington Psychological Wellness, we believe that medication can be helpful; however, research indicates that medication combined with therapy yields the best results for many symptom presentations. Our team members are here to help you achieve ultimate mental wellness and care every step of the way.

How long will I need to be in counseling or therapy?

There is no specific time frame when working on personal development and growth. The time you will need in counseling/therapy depends on the type of changes you are looking to make and the variety of issues you are attempting to work on.   Some find therapy extremely beneficial and choose to make it a long-term process — part of their overall self-care. Some people start feeling better right away after just a few sessions. The number of sessions depends on your goals, history, type of problem, quality of the client-therapist relationship, and your ability to engage during the session. Most clients schedule weekly appointments and some, if they are in the midst of a crisis, come in two times a week. We recommend committing to weekly meetings for two months to establish a trusting relationship with your therapist, build the rapport that facilitates the change process, and begin to notice shifts in your life.  We will regularly review your goals and treatment to assess the frequency of sessions and progress towards your therapeutic goals.

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