About Me

I've lived most of my life in the DC area and it is an absolute joy to practice in the city I call home, where I realize the fast pace can be both invigorating and intense. My decision to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology stemmed from a belief in the transformative power of relationships along with the meaning I find in supporting clients to understand themselves more deeply, harness their strengths to navigate their stuck points, and enrich their connections with others.

 

I earned my Ph.D. from the APA-Accredited Medical & Clinical Psychology program at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, MD. Prior to graduate school, I completed a two-year research fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health. Over the course of my research, I have authored or co-authored over 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

 

Clinically, I trained as a generalist, meaning that I have experience working with individuals seeking psychotherapy for a wide range of concerns. After graduate school, I pursued specialized postdoctoral training in trauma-focused treatment at the Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School. 

Credentials

Licensed Psychologist PSY1001443

District of Columbia Department of Health

Licensed Psychologist 06404

Maryland Department of Health

 

Licensed Clinical Psychologist 0810006741

Virginia Department of Health Professions

Credentialed Psychologist

National Register of Health Service Psychologists

Education and Training

Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Victims of Violence Program

Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School

Cambridge, MA

Ph.D. in Medical & Clinical Psychology

Uniformed Services University

Bethesda, MD

APA-Accredited Doctoral Internship

American University Counseling Center

Washington, DC

B.A. in Psychology

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Clinical Experience
  • National Institutes of Health

  • Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

  • DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center

  • American University Counseling Center

  • Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School

  • Private Practice

Portrait by: Y Kang Photography

My Treatment Approach

Nexus – a connection, a link. Our connections with ourselves, with others, and with the world around us can give rise to the greatest joy, meaning, and fulfillment in our lives. In parallel, experiences of disconnection and loss can elicit profound pain and anguish. 

 

I believe a crucial step toward finding relief and facilitating enduring change starts with a compassionate, non-judgmental, and affirming connection in the therapeutic relationship. Beyond the reasons that bring you to therapy, I am committed to exploring your concerns in the context of your life story, your background, and the identities you hold. From there, we can draw connections between your experiences, which can reveal opportunities to understand yourself and relate to others in new ways.

 

In therapy, I will work collaboratively with you to generate a treatment plan that balances evidence-based practice with a personalized approach to your individual goals. My work is grounded in contemporary psychodynamic, interpersonal, and relational theories. From this foundation, I integrate third-wave cognitive-behavioral interventions along with intersectional feminist and multicultural perspectives. I welcome creative forms of exploration and self-expression such as the use of metaphor, writing, music, journaling, artwork, and humor.

My approach to trauma-focused treatment is grounded in a stage-based model, which addresses current safety and daily functioning as a foundation for processing trauma memories and integrating these memories into your broader life story. I believe that creating a safe environment is both essential and a continuous work-in-progress, as trust is built over time and feeling safe is influenced by circumstance. This process can be cyclical, meaning that progress in one area may lead us to reinforce earlier work. Ultimately, I am committed to meeting you where you are at each step and engaging in ongoing open conversations about how we can work together to cultivate experiences of ownership and security in your treatment.

 

© 2020 by Jennifer Bakalar, Ph.D.