Counseling of Alexandria is a mental health practice focused on the mind-body connection for healing stress, anxiety, and depression, especially for women and their families. We work with families with very young babies and children as well as women facing transitional 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.
Karen Nesbit Chaudhry, LCSW, began her social work career in child welfare, working as an adoption and foster care case manager. She has more than 15 years experience working with children, adults, and families. Karen very much believes that parents are the experts of their own children and always involves parents in treatment. Her areas of competency include but are not limited to; children with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Diagnoses, anxiety and depression, and social skills training. She has many years of experience working with children who are adopted.
Karen also offers parent coaching sessions virtually for families who reside in Virginia. She is currently working on certification to become a Registered Play Therapist, and has extensive knowledge and experience in play therapy. In her free time, Karen enjoys attending her son's soccer games, listening to podcasts, cooking, and spending time with family.
Julie Pokusa, LCSW, has offered support to women with anxiety, children, adolescents and families as a whole for over ten years. Julie has specific expertise and passion for working with adolescents and women.
Julie practices with a warm, integrated, creative approach to best match the needs of each child. She pulls from her skills in cognitive behavioral therapy, expressive therapies, such as Play Therapy, and has expert training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Julie received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from James Madison University. She has a Master’s degree in Social Work, with a focus in mental health and concentration in school social work, from Washington University in St. Louis. She has provided therapeutic services in multiple settings, including community based services, both in-home and office-based, and in several school settings. Additionally, Julie provides support navigating the school system, including managing individualized education plans and 504 plans.
Michaela De Asis is a second year Graduate Student at George Mason University where she will be completing her Master’s of Social Work with a Clinical Concentration in May 2018.
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 Canfield. Michaela brings both her dedication and compassion to children and families in addition to her already-established counseling skills.
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. She is currently working as one of ten Graduate Research Assistants in the MSW Program at George Mason University.
Michaela is also fluent in Tagalog and can provide therapy services for native speakers.
Cathy Canfield, LCSW, RPT-S, has a background working with the family as a whole. She sees parents as the central role of change and often includes babies, children, and partners as well, specializing in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Play Therapy, anxiety, depression, women in transition and trauma.
In addition to direct play therapy services, Cathy is available to provide supervision for candidates working towards their LCSW as well as supervision in play therapy in person or over video conference.
Since 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.