Clarity's Team

Alicia Ayvas, MSSW, LCSW, CEDS-S
Executive Director
Primary Therapist

Certified Supervisor

My mission, now that I am working in both Prince William and Fairfax County and virtually, is to offer evidenced-based treatment to individuals and families impacted by an eating disorder and commit to the prevention, education, and treatment of those living in Northern Virginia. For too long services were limited in this area and I am very excited to have offices in both Gainesville and Reston. I share an office with a family therapist and nutritionist, both of which are specialized in the treatment of eating disorders. I believe it is imperative to work together with my client, their family, and a multidisciplinary team of professionals when treating eating disorders and through that collaboration, I hope to make a difference within the field of mental health.

I am a certified eating disorder specialist and supervisor as well as hold certification in DBT.  have been working in the field of eating disorders since 2008 and I am committed to help client’s understand and fully overcome their eating disorder's so that they have peace within their mind, body, and spirit. I earned her Bachelors of Arts at Rutgers University and Masters of Science at Columbia University.  In 2017 I became a certified eating disorder specialist through the International Academy of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp), in 2018 became a supervisor for providers working toward their certification and as of 2019 hold a co-chair position within iaedp's Alexandria chapter for certification.  I am excited to be a leader in the field and am committed to giving back.  I am licensed in VA/MA/NJ to practice and supervise in VA as well as provide supervision for providers working toward their CEDS. 

I am energetic, passionate, and dedicated to empowering individuals and families who are impacted by eating disorders. My primary methods are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and Family Based Therapy. All in all, I am committed to the prevention, research, and evidence-based interventions for full recovery among individuals and families who are affected by eating disorders.

 _____

*Alicia currently does not have availability, however will have openings in mid/late February for new clients.



Katie (Sharpe) Bowler, LCSW
Primary Therapist

DBT Skills Group Leader

Certified Supervisor


Kaitlin Westerman, MSSW, LCSW
Primary Therapist

 

 


I am currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I have been a Licensed Social Worker in the state of New Jersey since 2014 and transferred my license to the District of Columbia and Virginia in 2016, earning my clinical license in Virginia in 2017. As of 2020 I became licensed in Maryland as an LCSW-C and in Washington D.C as an LICSW.  I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in 2009 from Northeastern University in political science. During that time, I completed multiple internships focused on non-profit management. In 2014, I completed my Masters in Social Work at Rutgers University. For the past seven years, I have worked in the mental health and addictions field as a counselor, case manager and therapist. I am also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. My approach is primarily cognitive behavioral and I provide client-centered therapy. My specialties include addictions, trauma and severe mental illness. I have experience working with adolescents, adults and families in multiple levels of care.

 

_____

 

*Katie is currently accepting new clients in the Gainesville and Reston location and is our 12-Week DBT group leader and 8-Week Teen Skills group leader.  

 

 

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

My goal is to help people create a fulfilling life through working to achieve stability and balance in all areas of their lives.  Using a compassionate, person-centered approach I hope to teach others how to use nonjudgmental, openness, and acceptance of themselves and others for all of our strengths and challenges.  I am a firm believer that we are the authors of our own lives and thus have the right to choose our own path, whatever that may be.  I'm here to help you write your story.

I am currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the Commonwealth of Virginia after transferring my license from Tennessee in 2015.  I have a Bachelor's of Health and Human Sciences and a Masters in Science and Social Work from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.  For the past 8 years, I have focused on non-profit and community behavioral health working with substance use, mental health, and trauma as a therapist/counselor.  I have experience using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,  Seeking Safety, Trauma-Focused CBT, and other evidence-based modalities.  At any level of care, I maintain a client-centered approach to change.

 

_____

 

*Kaitlin is currently not accepting new clients.



Tori Palmer,  LMSW
Primary Therapist

Teen Process Group Leader


Erin O'Brien,  LCSW
Primary Therapist


Katrina Armstrong,  LPC, CFBT
Intake Coordinator

Certified Family Based Therapist


 Rachael Scholl, LCSW
Primary Therapist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Brian Rink, MSW

Supervisee in Social Work, VA
Primary Therapist


Jihaan "Gigi" Hachim, MA

Resident in Counseling, VA
Primary Therapist

 

As a mental health clinician in Northern Virginia, I believe that no one should ever have to walk alone in struggling with life’s obstacles and challenges. In therapy, I aim to work with you in collaboration to address your concerns in a warm, safe, non-judgmental, and supportive environment. My specialty and primary focus is working with clients who struggle with Eating Disorders. However, I have experience working with issues such as complex Trauma, anxiety, depression, and severe mental illness. I have practiced in a variety of settings including inpatient treatment centers, partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient, psychosocial day programs, and community-based settings.

 

 

Although a native to the Northern Virginia area, I attended the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign for both my Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social work with an emphasis in advanced clinical mental health. Additionally, I have received advanced training in several evidence-based therapies including, dialectical behavior therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, wraparound care, and solution-focused therapies. Currently, I am a Licensed Social worker (LSW) in Virginia, working towards my fully independent licensure (LCSW) under the direct supervision of Clarity Counseling’s Executive Director, Alicia Ayvas MSSW, LCSW, CEDS.

 

_____

 

*Tori currently does not have availability, however will have openings in mid/late January for new clients in the Gainesville location. 


My primary focus is working with individuals with eating disorders and their families.  My goal is to deliver client-centered and collaborative care working as a team with you, your family, and appropriate professionals. I have practiced at multiple levels of care, including inpatient, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient specializing in the treatment of eating disorders.  My primary treatment modalities include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy and Family Systems Therapy.  I also have worked in non-profit mental health, where I gained experience working with a wide variety of mental health challenges and at the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services. 

 

I earned my Bachelor's in Arts in American Studies with minors in Women's and Gender Studies and Spanish from Georgetown University and I earned my Master's in Social Work from Catholic University. I have completed additional training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. I am currently working toward my CEDS under the supervision of Alicia Ayvas, MSSW, LCSW, CEDS.

 

I am a member of the National Social Work Association as well as the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals. 

 

_____

 

*Erin currently does not have any availability but will be taking on new clients in 2021.


My central goal as a practitioner is to help clients foster self-compassion and self-acceptance. With a warm and non-judgmental presence, I collaborate with clients as they increase self-awareness and develop new skills in order to find peace and lead balanced, fulfilling lives. I recognize the value of self-determination and uniqueness of each client and enjoy facilitating the recovery process. Experienced in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and other evidence based modalities, I maintain a client-centered approach while working with individuals, groups, or families at any level of care. 

 

I am a certified Family Based Treatment (FBT) provider. FBT, also known as The Maudsley Method, is an evidenced based treatment approach for adolescents with anorexia nervosa. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a National Certified Counselor (NCC), hold an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University, as well as a B.S. in Psychology from University of Mary Washington.

 

_____

 

*Katrina is currently not accepting new clients at this time, however, she is Clarity's first point of contact when calling to set up an intake or to learn more about the practice. 

 

 

 


In my practice, I work with clients to explore past experiences and how they might be influencing current thoughts, feelings, and behaviors — nurturing insight and awareness to elicit growth and desired change. I view therapy as a collaborative process that can assist in identifying and working through challenges so that life can be lived with greater balance and self-compassion. I strive to create a safe space for individuals to freely express their authentic selves, while working together to set and progress toward therapeutic goals.

 

I am experienced in treating individuals with depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, life transitions, and women’s issues. I specialize in treating individuals recovering from eating disorders, and individuals who feel dissatisfaction with their bodies and relationships with food. As an eating disorder specialist, I am passionate about the link between mind and body  recognizing the importance of simultaneous healing. I am grounded in evidence-based practice, utilizing an integrated and trauma-informed approach influenced by cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, exposure response and prevention therapy, mindfulness practice, and family systems therapy; while employing strengths-based and person-centered frameworks. I hold the belief that connection serves as a powerful aid to the recovery process and encourage the involvement of a support system, as well as other treatment professionals.

 

I received my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Mary Washington, and my Master of Social Work in Clinical Practice from Virginia Commonwealth University. I have been working in the field of mental health since 2014 in various roles and settings, including inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient levels-of-care. I am currently under the supervision of Alicia Ayvas, MSSW, LCSW, CEDS, as I work toward my CEDS.

 ______

 

*Rachael is currently accepting new clients in the Richmond location as well as over our virtual platform.

 


I was trained in psychotherapy at Fordham University, Graduate School of Social Service, Bronx, NY.  I believe that therapy is a pathway to wholeness and wellness.  Therapy is a process.  First and foremost, therapy is about the relationship the client and therapist develop mutually. This relationship must be built on trust and respect.  Next, the two must look at the identified problem and how the client is managing and reacting to the problem.  A problem list is then developed and prioritized.  Once developed, I work with the client, using all of their resources and strengths to problem solve.  

 

 

There are many therapeutic orientations I have been trained in.  My development orientation is attachment/psychodynamic based.  For targeted treatments I have been formally trained in CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Strengths Based Therapy, Crisis Interventions and Solution Focused Therapy.  I have also completed the UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress course: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Children and Adolescents.  

 

I draw on a wealth of life experiences as well as my clinical training, to fid what works best for my clients and families.  I am particularly experienced in working with males of any age, adolescents, eating disorders and trauma survivors.  I am under the direct supervision of Alicia Ayvas, LCSW, CEDS-S as I work toward my LCSW and CEDS.

 

 

I am married, have two adult daughters (the loves of my life), and a rescued mutt named Katydid.  I enjoy Colonial period history, government and constitutional history and working in my garden.  I am an avid reader, with a pile of books on my nightstand, NPR listener and podcast follower.  I am currently working on obtaining a therapy dog for my practice.

 

_____

 

* Brian is has availability and flexibility. He is taking on new clients/families and will be working virtually on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays. Once returning to the office, Brian will be working in the Gainesville and Reston location.

 

 

 


Since 2013, I have had the privilege to provide mental health services to children/adolescents and their families. I have specifically supported those struggling in their eating disorder recovery journey along with co-occurring anxiety, depression and traumas for the last five years. The focus of my work with my clients have been to help them find self-compassion and acceptance through a person-centered therapeutic approach. My experience in residential and outpatient levels of care has taught me to work with a multidisciplinary professional team along with clients’ loved ones to reach the fullest level of success in treatment. Using evidence-based techniques and practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectal Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness, I am able to help my clients overcome challenges and struggles of having an eating disorder. Additionally, I believe healing the mind, body and soul from a holistic approach can help my clients fully understand their mental health struggles and learn healthy coping skills.

 

I am a warm, compassionate, energetic and encouraging therapist who understands the importance of creating a non-judgmental, safe and supportive environment for my clients.  As a minority myself and someone who can identify with the BIPOC community, I understand the additional layer of efforts to work through healing traumas and struggles surrounding culture and race.  I have a strong vision and recognize that my personal experiences can help empower voice.  I am privileged to have the opportunity to work through the unique circumstances surrounding eating disorders within the BIPOC community. 

 

I earned my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Mary Washington and my Masters of Art in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University.  I am currently working towards obtaining my license as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) under the supervision of Alicia Ayvas, LCSW, CEDS-S.

 

 

_____

  

 

* Gigi is currently accepting new clients starting January 11th and will be working virtually on Monday and Thursday as she starts here at Clarity with the intention to be a full-time therapist. Once returning to the office, Gigi will be working in the Gainesville and Reston location.