Counseling of Alexandria is a mental health and wellness practice focused on the mind-body connection for healing stress, anxiety, and depression, especially for children and their families. We work with families with very young babies and children as well as women facing an array of challenges.
Our counselors are hand-selected for their warm and kind presence in addition to their expert training. We look forward to helping you select the best counselor for you.
Jenifer Smith has been providing relationship and sex advice to couples and individuals for thirteen years. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Communications in 2007. After college Jenifer wrote a relationship and sex advice column entitled “In Bed with Mahogany” for Jenesis Magazine. She served as the creative director for the Love vs. Sex February Issue. After four years of writing Jenifer decided to turn her passion of giving advice into a career in counseling.
Jenifer graduated with a double Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling in 2014. In 2016, Jenifer became a Board Certified Sex Therapist from the Sex Therapy Training Institute located in Miami. In 2018, Jenifer became a Certified Trauma Professional through PESI.
Since then Jenifer has contributed to books and magazines such as Essence Magazine, “Yngblkpgh” by Brian and The Hitched Bitch by Kacie Thompson. Jenifer relocated to Virginia in 2019 to continue building her therapy career. She is now a Resident in Counseling in Virginia. where she specializes in couples, families, LGBTQ, trauma and Sex Therapy.
Tara Self, LMSW, completed her Master’s in Social Work in May of 2014 from Georgia State University.Tara is currently our Wellness Specialist. She enjoys educating women and parents on ways to manage parenting, depression, anxiety, and trauma related symptoms. She utilizes mind-body techniques, and holds a certificate in Yoga.
Prior to Counseling of Alexandria, Tara provided both mental health and substance use counseling to adults, couples, children, and families in Las Vegas, NV. Additionally, Tara continues expanding her knowledge and clinical skills in trauma-informed therapy techniques that include incorporating a holistic mind body approach.
Michaela De Asis, MSW, Supervisee in Social Work, completed her Master’s of Social Work with a Clinical Concentration in May 2018 from George Mason University and is currently under the close supervision of Cathy Canfield, LCSW.
Michaela is passionate about working with children with anxiety and behavior issues and is expanding her knowledge and clinical skills in Play and Family Therapy under the supervision of Cathy. Michaela brings both her dedication and compassion to children and families in addition to her already-established counseling skills. Michaela has completed a certificate in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), which she uses in her work wtih couples and families.
Prior to Counseling of Alexandria, Michaela has worked with children of incarcerated parents, providing case management services to uninsured adults in Fredericksburg, VA, and the elderly in Washington, D.C.
Additionally, Michaela is passionate about research and has presented on Human Behavior and Water Consumption at the Virginia Association for Psychological Science (VAPS) Convention in Newport News, VA and the 28th annual Association for Psychological Science (APS) Convention in Chicago, IL.
Christina Halstead, LCSW, LICSW, supports the whole family around issues of anxiety, depression, ADHD, life transitions (such as divorce or moving), and resolving trauma. She has expertise in working with children, teens, families, couples, and adults.
Christina is genuinely interested in helping clients and families build on their strengths to alleviate school issues, stress, worry, and depression. She employs effective expressive therapeutic interventions in addition to traditional talk therapy to include art, play, and sand tray therapy. Christina utilizes energy therapy, body movement and mindfulness to address symptoms of anxiety, depression, ADHD, trauma, and life transitions. She has received extensive training in trauma-informed cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy, motivational interviewing, solution-focused interventions, Reiki 2 and mindfulness techniques.
Christina is licensed at the highest level a clinical social worker in both Virginia (LCSW), and in the District of Columbia (LICSW). She provides psychotherapy to children, adolescents, families, couples and individuals in outpatient settings, foster care programs, hospitals, and schools across Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. In addition, Christina has over ten years of experience advocating for the mental health needs of youth affected by trauma nationally and internationally.
Stephanie Pomales, MSW, Supervisee in Social Work, completed her Master’s of Social Work with a Magna Cum Laude in May 2017 from the University of South Carolina at Columbia and is currently under the close supervision of Cathy Canfield, LCSW.
Stephanie is especially passionate in her work with teens and young adults and a range of issues from life transitions to anxiety and depression. Stephanie is well-versed in the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as well as mindfulness techniques. She brings skill, positivity, and warmth to her sessions with clients.
Prior to Counseling of Alexandria, Stephanie has worked with children and teens in inpatient psychiatric settings as well as the schools.
Additionally, Stephanie has completed a certificate in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Golden Key International Honors Society and the Black Social Work Student Association.
Cathy Canfield, LCSW, RPT-S, RTTP, is passionate about empowering the whole family and sees parents as essential change agents for themselves and their children. She often includes babies, children, and partners as well, specializing in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), RTT (Rapid Transformational Therapy), PCIT (Parent Child Interaction Therapy) Play Therapy, anxiety, depression and women.
ISince graduating from the University of Southern Indiana, Cathy has provided treatment for individuals and families in diverse settings to include home-based services, an inpatient psychiatric hospital, treating sex offenders and their family members as well as working as an outpatient psychotherapist. Cathy has completed a certificate in Child-Centered Play Therapy through the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement, the Association for Play Therapy Leadership Academy and is a member of the Association for Play Therapy as well as a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor.
Cathy enjoys providing workshops on how to bring more play into your lives and has provided staff trainings to SOME (So Others May Eat) and for the Northern Virginia Association for Play Therapists. Cathy has presented at the Expressive Therapies Summit in New York City. For more information, check out the Expressive Therapies website. In March 2015, Cathy presented the power of play to an audience of international educators in Zurich, Switzerland at the ECIS Early Childhood Conference. She has also been featured on blis.fm radio. Cathy is the author of Cubby Goes to the Playroom, a book introducing children to the concept of visiting a play therapist.