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Licensed Psychologist

District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and New York

Health Service Psychologist

National Register of Health Service Psychologists

Authority to Practice Interjurisdictional Telepsychology

PSYPACT Commission

Registered Florida Telehealth Provider

Florida Department of Health

Education and Training

Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Psychology

Victims of Violence Program

Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School

PhD in Medical & Clinical Psychology

F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Doctoral Internship in Professional Psychology

American University Counseling Center

MS in Medical & Clinical Psychology

F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Intramural Research Training Award Fellow

National Institute of Mental Health

BA in Psychology, French minor

Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences

Meet Dr. Bakalar

Though I've had a lifelong interest in the human experience, I decided to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology in college. During a course on Trauma Psychology, I was especially compelled by Dr. Judith Herman's work as a pioneer in the field who redefined our understanding of trauma through a social justice lens. I was also captivated by the many dualities of trauma and loss, such as connection and isolation, speaking out and silence, or control and powerlessness.


After college, I completed a research fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health. From there, I earned my Ph.D. in Medical & Clinical Psychology at the Uniformed Services University, which provided the unique opportunity to learn the intricacies of the mind-body connection and the links between psychological and physical health. After graduate school, I pursued postdoctoral training specializing in the comprehensive treatment of traumatic stress and loss at the Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School.

My continued commitment to clinical practice is fueled by the meaning I find in partnering with clients to understand themselves more deeply, harness their strengths to navigate hardship, and (re)discover solace and fulfillment in close relationships. In addition to private practice, I serve as a Psychosocial Educator for medical students at George Washington UniversityOver time, I've found that the most impactful work -- in therapy, teaching, and beyond -- embraces the full spectrum of human experience, from pain to joy to absurdity. 

Professional Service and Affiliations

Clinical Assistant Professor

George Washington University

School of Medicine and Health Sciences


  • American Psychological Association

    • Division 56: Trauma Psychology

  • DC Psychological Association

  • International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation

  • International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

  • Maryland Psychological Association

    • MPA Ethics Committee​

  • Psychotherapy Action Network

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

Treatment Philosophy

Our connections with ourselves, others, and the world can give rise to the greatest joy, meaning, and fulfillment in our lives. In parallel, disconnection and loss can elicit profound pain and anguish. 


A crucial step toward finding relief and enduring growth in psychotherapy starts with an affirming connection in the therapeutic relationship. Beyond the reasons that bring you in, I am committed to listening to your life story and learning about you as a whole, imperfect person who deserves unconditional care and respect. From there, we can identify new ways to relate to yourself and the important people in your life.


Therapy will be tailored to you, not the other way around. I am experienced in multiple treatment modalities, including contemporary relational, psychodynamic, interpersonal, and cognitive behavioral therapies. Beyond addressing symptoms, we will collaborate on a treatment plan that centers your understanding of yourself, your unique needs, and how you envision a meaningful, fulfilling life. Additionally, I prioritize incorporating a multicultural lens that considers how your intersecting identities shape your vision of health and well-being. 


Sometimes it's difficult to capture the intricacy of our experiences in words. Therefore, I invite and encourage creative self-expression such as writing, drawing, metaphor, humor, and movement.

Safety is a bedrock of psychotherapy. That said, I do not assume safety or broadly label therapy as a safe space. You ultimately determine how safe you feel. I believe that creating a safe environment in therapy is a continuous, collaborative endeavor because trust is built with experience and feeling safe can change moment to moment. Therefore, open, ongoing, and honest communication will be essential.

For individuals seeking treatment for trauma, I work from a stage-based approach, which starts with addressing current safety and daily functioning. From this foundation, we can decide together how to address the impact of the trauma, integrate this understanding into your broader life story, and cultivate new experiences. This process can be cyclical, meaning that progress in one area commonly leads to revisiting and reinforcing earlier work.

My Approach
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