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Bella Sterling, MA in Clinical Counseling

Bella Sterling, MA in Clinical Counseling

FallsChurchCounselor

As a Clinical Counselor, this phrase completely summarizes the therapeutic work. According to the South African human rights activist Desmond Tutu, A person is a person through other persons; you can’t be human in isolation; you are human only in relationships”.  In my work I seek to build therapeutic relationships that provide support, empowerment, insight, and compassion at times when life situations are confusing and thoughts turn dark. I work with adults and children, couples and families, and I accompany my clients on their journeys to understand and heal trauma, depression, anxiety, grief, and relationship problems.  Events that can seem overwhelming when we are alone can also be a source of learning and growth when we have a witness and an ally in working through challenges.

Personal Journey and Treatment Modalities:

We help ourselves by helping others. This simple truth has led me through a tumultuous career change to become a therapist. I am grateful every day for the privilege I have now to work with people, hear their stories and share in their struggles. Often when we are in the midst of our personal turmoil, we cannot see that there is a steady thread that guides our existence. I believe it is my job to be a witness and to help clients see a larger picture beyond difficult experiences.

Research shows that the strongest predictor of success in therapy is the quality of the relationship between therapist and client. I explore what shaped my clients’ thinking and behavior, and how our relationship can facilitate the process of healing and change. I accompany my clients on their journeys to understand and heal trauma, depression, anxiety, grief, anger, career difficulties and relationship problems.  I seek to build therapeutic relationships that provide support, empowerment, insight, and compassion at times when life situations are confusing, and thoughts turn dark. Events that can seem overwhelming when we are alone can also be a source of inner growth and discovery when we have a witness and an ally by our side.

In my work I look at how depression, panic attacks, dissociation, insomnia, and anger can be the aftermath of adverse past experiences that have fragmented client’s psyche. I focus on developing coping skills, rebuilding a healthy narrative around life events, increasing body awareness and freeing imagination for my clients to vision a positive future. I work with dreams, images, somatic experience and feelings that arise in session to help my clients discover their potential and their unique path to wellness.

I hold a Master of Science degree from the University of Virginia and a Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling and Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. I am also a mother, a dancer and an immigrant. In my practice I draw on all my lived experiences helping clients move toward a more meaningful, conscious, and aligned life.  My treatment approach is informed by multiple modalities including Attachment, Jungian, Somatic, and Family Systems. My specific areas of interest are trauma and attachment, as well as working with women who were victims of abuse. I focus on developing coping skills, rebuilding a more positive narrative around life events, increasing insight, and helping clients shift unhelpful patterns in order to move toward a more meaningful, conscious, and aligned life. I am bilingual in English/Russian. 

Also as a group facilitator I am currently running the DBT group. More information here!