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About Lyzaida


I received my Ph.D. in clinical psychology from The George Washington University, and am a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Virginia. My goal as a therapist is to guide my clients in developing life-changing habits to help them cope with life’s various obstacles. I work with a variety of issues, but specialize in treating anxiety and OCD, and their effects on personal relationships. I use scientifically informed techniques that are modified to each individual's needs and goals, and find it essential to be transparent and open in my approach. I often integrate less conservative methods, recognizing that self-care sometimes means a night of binging Netflix or bad reality tv! I'm a therapist, but, more than that, I am human just like you. I’ve been there- gone through times when I felt lost and insecure, days when I just could not see the light at the end of the tunnel,  lost sleep to anxiety and worry, and, of course, days when I just "can't even." I do not claim to have it all figured, but I understand that we must find our own individual paths and that we can’t always do it alone. I will walk alongside you to help you figure things out together.

My Approach

My priority in therapy is to create a safe, non-judgmental space in which you can feel comfortable sharing the very personal, vulnerable, and deepest parts of yourself. I believe in meeting you were you are; I respect your level of readiness, while also gently challenging you to move outside of your comfort zone. We will work collaboratively to develop goals for therapy and decide how best to meet these goals. I think it is important to be transparent, and do so by explaining  my methods and interventions, and why I might be asking certain questions. I am flexible, welcoming your feedback, and altering my approach based on your needs. 

I integrate various approaches, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, emotion-focused therapy, exposure and response prevention, mindfulness, and interpersonal process. I know these terms may seem like a different language, but, generally, here is an idea of what our work together may look like. My therapy sessions are designed to explore personal issues in the here-and-now, while also making connections with past experiences and developing an understanding of how these difficulties may have developed. We will identify specific patterns that are causing distress and keeping you stuck, and work to change the automatic negative thoughts, interpretations of physiological and emotional responses, and maladaptive behaviors that make-up these patterns. We'll experiment with different coping skills to learn what works for you. We may also explore how these patterns may be coming up in therapy sessions and in our relationship as client-therapist, allowing you to practice more adaptive skills in sessions. You may also be given "homework" to reinforce the work we do in sessions. I strive to provide you with the support and the tools and skills you need in order to seize the day and learn how to tackle even the most traumatic circumstances.

Get to know me

I grew up in Florida and am still a "beach bum" at heart. Grad school brought me to the DC area, and I have stuck around because I appreciate the richness in diversity and general open-mindedness. I have to say, I don't mind the diversity of restaurant options either! (I'm a bit of a foodie!). I live with my husband, my two fur-babies: my cats, Lola and Aston Martin (who often make appearances in virtual therapy sessions), and my son. I enjoy a night in watching a show on Netflix, and am always up for game night (sometimes getting a little too competitive...). But I can't turn down going out to a concert or sports event. Clients have told me that I’m “pretty relatable” and tend to have a “calming" presence. I’d say that I’m down to earth, casual yet professional, a little quirky at times, and maybe even a bit funny. I am curious and open-minded, welcoming people of all backgrounds, viewpoints, and sensibilities. I believe that exploring one's background (cultural, racial, socioeconomic, gender, etc) is essential to understanding who they are and the issues they struggle with. 


Why do I do what I do?

People often ask, "How do you do it?  How do you sit and listen to other people's problems all day?"

I will admit, sometimes its hard to bear witness to the pain people have gone through, but I feel honored to walk with my clients in, not only their darkest moments, but in their joy and achievements as well. I love my job! It is so rewarding to experience my clients' growth and get to see them transform their lives and become their best selves.  What more could I ask for than the privilege of being the one who helps them get there?

My qualifications

I  received my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The George Washington University, and my bachelors degree in psychology from Stetson University. I have experience providing individual and couples therapy to adolescents, young adults and college students, and adults struggling with a range of issues. I have worked at college counseling centers, in community mental health, and within private practice settings. I received specialized training in the treatment of anxiety and OCD through Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention during my time working at The Capital Institute for Cognitive Therapy.  I completed my internship at Temple University's Tuttleman Counseling Services, where I also specialized in working with survivors of sexual assault, both individually and within group therapy. Since completing my Ph.D., I have worked at Yapelli Psychology PLLC, a private practice in Arlington, while also continuing to work with college students at the University of Maryland College Park.

How can I help?

Whether you’re an individual or a couple looking for help, my therapy sessions are designed to strengthen your confidence, help you develop the skills you need, and guide you through the healing process.

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