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Barbara Adika, LCPC, LPC
Principal, Adika Counseling
I specialize in working with clients through immigrant and cultural/ethnic identity issues; life after sexual trauma as a child or adult. While using evidence based clinical frameworks, my practice also incorporates Christian values, belief and ideologies.
I'll give you more context around my specializations.
I work with people who are immigrants/come from immigrant families, identify as expats, “third culture kid”, feel or have been told you're not enough of an identity/culture or just don’t quite fit into any one box (because you don't want to). How does one maintain individuality in the face of being shamed or rejected? If you moved from one country or continent to another what was engrained in you about relationships and the loss of them (or the ease of recreating new ones)? How did the shift from being surrounded by poverty or abundance to something different inform your current relationship with food or money? How did coming from a family of people who survived a war shape you in terms of having an "I can survive anything" mentality?
My trauma focused work is geared toward those who've previously received therapy to decrease the impact of trauma and are now looking to gain skills to live "with" the history of trauma. Healing doesn't mean complete freedom. Rather sometimes, it's about developing emotional resilience and having awareness of how trauma continues to show up and managing the anger, frustration or sadness that comes with that.
I work from ethnic, racial and cultural identity development theories, and Attachment Theory, existentialism, acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behavior, cognitive behavioral interventions and Christian and Bible based ideologies. I really am big on helping clients be realistic--you'll be the fat one, the less pretty one--accept it and also learn to see and be yourself beyond those things.
Overall my clients learn: to set and maintain personal and family boundaries, safely break patterns of triangulation, self-regulate and gain a sense of greater control over emotions related to cultural adaptation; identify and address not being "from" or belonging "to" anywhere; new behavioral responses to the grief/loss that comes with transitions; to navigate different expectations for autonomy between parents and adult children; resolve or heal emotional abuse, neglect and domestic violence. In working with people with family of origin and first- and second generation immigrant experiences, we work to heal--through radical acceptance, acceptance of limitations and more--the psychological wound of what did not happen and the needs that went unmet.
Together we explore, identify and implement more adaptive patterns by enhancing emotion regulation, increasing the ability to identify triggers, enhancing the ability to manage and tolerate distressing thought, behaviors, sensations and emotions, increasing the ability to engage in safe social connection and increasing adaptive (fear/fight/flight/freeze) response.
My warm, engaging and energetic personality, authentic and insightful questioning, and reflective listening provide a conducive environment for introspective conversation, mutual listening and resolution.
A graduate of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology's Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I'm credentialed by the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and the The Board of Professional Counseling of Washington, DC as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) to apply counseling principles and methods in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and management of psychological, emotional and mental disorders and patterns that cause distress and adversely affect functioning..
Email email@example.com to with any all questions you have. I'll respond within 24-hours.