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Kira Mantell, LCSW

Kira Mantell, LCSW

Everyone experiences life challenges and changes that can create stress, confusion, discomfort and pain. Because life isn’t perfect, some or many of them cause wounding. Therapy can help. We’ll laugh. We’ll cry. I invite you to take a journey to a safe and unique space for healing. I will share new perspectives and coping mechanisms that assist you in the healing necessary to make lifelong changes. There are people that go through traumatic experiences and do not get traumatized and others that do. The difference, their inner and relational strength. This is where therapy comes into play.

Therapy Specialties:

I work with most ages (age 16+ across the lifespan). No matter what the situation is, my passion is to help people achieve their goals around physical, emotional and spiritual wellness to promote an improved quality of life. Please see below for ages and issues I work with via telehealth:

Teens & Adults Therapy:

Young Adults

If you (ages 16+ via telehealth) suffer from depression, anxiety, trauma, self-harming behaviors, social anxiety, relationships problems, body image, gender or sexual identification…you are in the right place.
As adolescents and people grow, they continue to develop in so many very important ways.

Life is not static so there is constant change and adjustment. There are predictable ranges of cognitive, emotional, and social growth according to the age of a child and kids will experience shifts in their thinking, mood and behavioral patterns as they mature. Providing them with the necessary emotional support and process is crucial for future healthy adults. If people get stuck or struggle with any these stages, they will develop problems and struggles that we would need to address during therapy as adults later on.

I help depressed and withdrawn individuals learn to creatively express themselves so they can navigate difficult emotions and find themselves and their voices in the process. I help teens and adults grow out of self-criticism and perfectionism to be able to fully learn to accept themselves for who they are to cope healthily.

Postpartum Depression (PPD):

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Postpartum Depression (PPD) is relatively common among childbearing women as approximately 13% of recently delivered women experiencing symptoms severe enough to warrant a clinical diagnosis. However, women tend not to be treated for PPD. If treated, the intervention does not typically address the marital or environmental context in which PPD occurs. The recommended treatments are generic individual therapies or group therapy with other PPD women. Research indicates that, among other factors, PPD is linked to women’s negative perceptions of themselves as much as to negative or lack of close relationships. At DC VA, we approach PPD from a holistic perspective offering treatment and support for the individual as well as for the family involved with the welcoming of the new baby.

Especially for women whom have symptoms which persist much longer than the first year, addressing the environment aspect is crucial for recovery and fostering a long-term healthy family environment
for the child or children.

Substance Use Disorders/Dual Diagnosis:

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The term Dual Diagnosis refers to the condition in which an individual has a co-existing mental illness and substance use disorder. While commonly used to refer to the combination of substance use and mental disorders, the term also refers to other combinations of disorders, such as a mental health disorder and an intellectual disability.

When a substance use disorder and a psychiatric disorder co-occur, they may differ in severity, and the severity of each can change over time. Compared to individuals who have a single disorder, those with a combination of disorders may experience more severe medical and mental
health challenges and may also require longer periods of treatment. I specialize in treating both diagnoses at the same time, since research has shown that treating only the substance doesn’t provide long-term recovery. You have to treat the underlying condition, meaning mental disorders/trauma.

For reference, please check the ACE study to learn more about the correlation of childhood trauma and future mental disorders:
https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/acestudy/index.html

With Covid-19 as well as with any other time of crisis, people go into survival mode and therefore, substance abuse and co occurrence disorders, such as depression and anxiety, tend to increase. Increased risk of alcohol use disorder, for example, is associated with conditions including bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and antisocial personality disorder, and alcohol use disorder may also be related to certain anxiety and depressive disorders. Other substance-related disorders also commonly co-occur with distinct psychiatric conditions. As in the case of opioid use disorder and depressive disorders, it is possible that a substance use problem leads to the
development of other mental health challenges or that it worsens a preexisting disorder.

Integrated treatment often involves forms of behavioral treatment, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy, that can help improve coping skills and alleviate maladaptive behaviors. These may be used in combination with medication and, therefore will entail a collaboration between clinicians to assure the best support and treatment. Modalities to include processing of the underlying trauma will be used as well.

My Education & Psychotherapy Experience:

As a graduate of New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, I began my experience working in New York County Family Court providing expert testimony to judges about children in foster care to facilitate permanency. While obtaining my clinical license I provided psychotherapy in community mental health centers with the goal of providing excellent service
to consumers regardless of ability to pay.

I have experience with persons affected by eating disorders (Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Eating Disorder NOS). I am educated at New York University in Eating Disorder Etiology and Treatment, among other clinical sequelae.  I also work with chronic pain, depression and anxiety, grief/loss, LGBTQ, trauma informed care to veterans, traumatic brain injury and traumatic stress.

I obtained a certificate to treat dual diagnosis from Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry in 2012. Once licensed, I traveled around the country providing mental health care and crisis intervention in various settings including private practice, Indian Health Services in South Dakota, urban inpatient behavioral health units and emergency rooms, rural community health care/medication assisted treatment clinics in West Virginia, and suburban long-term care facilities. These opportunities have given me a wealth of knowledge about mental health care, substance use disorder treatment, geriatric issues and helping people across class, gender, sex and color lines to create a safe environment to explore emotions and behaviors.

Special Treatment Modalities:

Art Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Interventions, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Family Therapy, Feminist Theory, Forensic Psychology, Interpersonal Therapy, Mindfulness Based, Motivational Therapy, Play Therapy, Psychological Testing & Evaluation, Solution Focused
Brief Treatment.

To contact Kira for an initial consultation or to schedule an appointment, please call or text (703) 2317991 or email to info@dcvacounseling-psychotherapy.com