Freda Smith Vittone, LPC
Freda Smith Vittone is a Board Certified Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (LPC). She has worked at the National Center since its inception in the 1980s. Freda has learned much from the early staff here, and as a result, is considered an expert in the treatment of anxiety.
Freda tailors her treatment of anxiety and mood disorders using a combination of therapy models. While utilizing a strong Cognitive-Behavioral base, she is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). In addition, she also has extensive training in Ego State Therapy. EMDR and Ego State Therapy are very effective in the treatment of trauma, which often manifests in anxiety and mood problems. Freda especially enjoys treating people who suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as well as individuals who have developed phobias including social phobias and agoraphobia. She has devised a combination of solutions-oriented strategies, while often weaving in EMDR and Ego State techniques, which allows people to overcome these problems in a relatively short period of time.
Freda also enjoys working with couples and families, as well. She has found that the same nuts and bolts approaches she uses in the treatment of anxiety and depression are also useful in helping people deal with relationship problems.
Paula D. Atkinson, LICSW
Paula D. Atkinson is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in Washington, D.C. providing psychotherapy to adults and young adults with difficulties in the areas of eating disorders, negative body image, compulsive behaviors, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and self-esteem. Her style integrates principles and practices of psychodynamic theory, self-psychology, mindfulness, transpersonal psychology, cognitive-behavioral techniques, and interpersonal work. She supports her clients in the development of self-compassion, and in releasing what is unnecessary. The feedback from clients is that her style is relatable, warm, compassionate, and authentic.
Paula is also a registered yoga instructor at the highest level, teaching yoga classes and serving private yoga students for over 12 years. She uses yoga practices and meditation tools to treat anxiety, depression, destructive thinking, negative body image, and compulsive behaviors. Paula holds a Master's in Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work in NYC. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Work. She has worked with a diverse spectrum of clients in a variety of clinical settings including an inpatient Eating Disorders clinic, New York City's Department for The Aging, a homeless shelter for teen mothers in the Bronx, an outpatient substance abuse clinic, The Kolmac Clinic, and private practice. Paula also teaches courses at the George Washington University in the Health and Wellness Department in Yoga & Healing and Weight & Society where she was awarded instructor of the year in 2004.
Rebecca Marcus, Psy.D
Rebecca Marcus, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical and school psychologist in Washington, D.C. She received her B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University with concentrations in adolescence and social and personality development. She then received her doctorate in School and Clinical Psychology from Yeshiva University in New York where she conducted research on eating disorders in young adults. Dr. Marcus has experience working in schools and mental health clinics with adults, parents, families, and youth dealing with a range of issues including depression, anxiety disorders, trauma and PTSD, relationship difficulties, mood disorders, adjustment disorders, ADHD, and divorce. While working in schools she conducted comprehensive psychological and psycho-educational assessments with children and adolescents and worked with children dealing with developmental issues, educational difficulties, and social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Her approach to therapy is integrative, combining cognitive behavioral, supportive, family systems, and insight-oriented approaches. Dr. Marcus' collaborative, empathic, and flexible style takes into consideration the needs of each individual.
Stephanie Preller, LICSW
Stephanie Preller is a Licensed
Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in the District of Columbia.
Stephanie is a graduate of New York University’s Social Work program. She has
extensive experience working with culturally diverse clients in a variety of
clinical settings, including inpatient and outpatient mental health clinics, as
well as a partial hospitalization program for individuals suffering from eating
disorders and other co-occurring mental health issues. Stephanie has experience
conducting individual, group, and family therapy with clients struggling with
stress/anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, eating disorders, body image issues,
and relationship and adjustment concerns. She truly believes in the power of
the mind-body connection and she is also a certified yoga instructor.
Therefore, when clients are interested, Stephanie incorporates yoga and
mindfulness/meditation into her therapy sessions.
Stephanie takes a strengths-based and
integrative counseling approach and works collaboratively with each client to
help them identify and work towards their personal goals. She modifies her
therapeutic interventions, incorporating principles from psychodynamic
theory, cognitive-behavioral and dialectic-behavioral therapy, and
mindfulness, to meet each individual’s needs. Stephanie strives to create a calm and non-judgmental environment where clients
can explore and work through clinical issues in a safe place.