Counselor for Mental Health and Wellness
About the Counselor:
Valeria D’amato is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Mental Health Psychotherapist. She obtained a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Politica Science from a Universita’ Statale degli Studi di in Milano, Italy. However, she discovered that her passion was mostly in helping people and a deeper and more personal level. Therefore, she pursued a Masters of Arts Degree in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness at New York University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Virginia and a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC).
Valeria has worked in various clinical settings. She has extensive experience providing counseling to individual, couples and families in mental health hospitals and private practice settings.
My specialty includes issues related to depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, adjustment disorders, postpartum, parenting, relationship problems, self-esteem, and acculturation. My approach is warm, non-judgmental, supportive and focus so you can get where you want in life.
“We are never so vulnerable as when we love.” Freud
As we move through life, we all have times when things don’t seem to be working. Maybe you feel overwhelmed by pain–from recent events or events long ago. You might feel lost. Through a personalized and collaborative process, I can help you heal and propel your life and relationships to a better place.
I take a holistic approach to therapy, believing that mind, body, spirit, and relationships equally impact our lives. And, I will draw on your strengths and resources while helping you examine patterns, both individually and interpersonally, that may cause you to feel stuck. I believe that therapy can by a joyful process which brings us greater connection and peace.
However, taking the step to come to individual therapy can be a scary one.
Having been there myself, I will provide you with an empathetic and safe environment for you to explore and learn while therapy is all about while respecting your pace and needs.
I believe everybody has the capacity to live fulfilling lives. However, trauma sometimes gets in the way. Therapy offers you the chance for lasting and meaningful change, to transform your experience in such a way to live a richer and more rewarding life. In therapy, the overall outcome includes feeling happier and more effective in your life. These changes happen in the context of a respectful working relationship between client and therapist. I am specialized in working with individuals who desire a healthy lifestyle, as well as individuals who face difficulties such as loss and traumas.
My Counselor Style and Approach:
I believe strongly in continuing education and training to keep current with new advances in the field. My practice is enriched by the ongoing reading, research, and training that I continually pursue. I have been particularly an interested in trauma and Complex PTSD(relational attachment trauma). Moreover, I have completed advanced coursework in a variety of innovative, evidence-based approaches. Some of those include Shapiro’s Training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and Emotionally Focus Therapy (EFT).
By overcoming some of the difficult situations in my own life, and finding new ways of healing and thriving. I bring a sense of real connection and clear guidance to my clients. As a result of my own personal work, I know that not one therapy fits it all. Therefore, I have an eclectic therapy style. I draw from a range of techniques and concepts. These are include combining Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), mindfulness, attachment, somatic, psychodynamic and experiential models. I am always learning, and I tailor my approach to the needs and interests of each individual.
Change can be challenging and anxiety-producing.
I am trained to work with individuals who experience depression, anxiety, self-criticism, boundaries and healthy relationships, self-esteem, family stress and conflict, life transitions, trauma and old wounds, disconnection from self, sadness, grief, and difficulties adjusting to new circumstances (particularly transition to motherhood (Post-partum depression and Attachment) and acculturation. Having lived in different countries, along with experiencing different languages and cultures, I am extremely familiar with the struggles associated with the transition.
My Counseling Work with Couples:
As a relational therapist, one of my biggest passions is to help people find fulfillment and joy in personal relationships.
Regardless of your status, single, married, divorced, or in a relationship, I can help you with whatever you are looking for. You might be single and not able to connect and find a good partner or a healthy relationship. You might be divorced and have gone through the grief and loss of marriage already so don’t want to repeat the pattern.
If you are in a relationship or married, couples therapy is recommended when partners feel unhappy or “stuck,” and have not been able to resolve your conflicts. Some couples or individuals in couples may have become angry and argumentative, while others may have emotionally shut down and disengaged. You might be on the verge of separation, or primarily looking to improve communication and rekindle the passion in your relationship. Whatever your situation, I will provide a safe environment in which you and your partner can be heard. I practice effective ways of communicating and dealing with repetitive difficulties.
The biggest underlying issue to many couple’s dilemmas is attachment trauma.
Therefore, my work focuses primarily on your own attachment style and how it influences your relationships dynamics. When we dig deeper, we can increase our compassion towards ourselves and our partners; therefore, we facilitate change, increasing intimacy and decrease conflict. You will also develop new skills for problem-solving as well as enhancing your relationship, even when it is not in trouble.
I can help you both work your differences and problems in emotional communication, sex, parenting, money matters, problem-solving, division of labor, in-law relationships and more. We then use this information to guide our treatment plan. We are focusing on mutual change pertaining to reconcilable differences, and acceptance when change is not possible. My therapeutic approach is integrative, and combines Attachment Therapy (Imago and Emotionally Focus Therapy-EFT), Gottman Principles and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.
On a Personal Note:
I am originally from Italy but have lived in the United States for the past 18 years. And, I moved from New York 6 years ago with my family. I am fluent in English and Italian. I also feel comfortable with conversational in Spanish. So, I enjoy working with people from different backgrounds as well as issues of acculturation, grief and loss that come with immigration.
While not at work, I enjoy spending time with my daughter and husband, taking walks in nature and reading. Per my Italian background, experimenting with food is also a hobby. Traveling and learning new things when possible are a big part of my life.
I work under the supervision of Isabel Kirk, LPC