Luane Oprea, Ph.D., LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
I am a mental health counselor, consultant, educator, and researcher with over 23 years of professional experience. I specialize in children, adolescent, and adult development and also in the mental wellness of individuals, organizations, and cultures. My doctorate is from the University of New Orleans as well as my undergraduate degree in business management.
I have specializations in other areas of mental health such as personal and professional relationship skill development; prevention of risky behavior in children and teenagers; healthy parenting skill development; self-awareness and focusing skills to eliminate stress, anxieties, and anger; prevention of addictive behaviors; healthy interventions for post-traumatic stress symptoms in children and adults; crisis prevention techniques; healthy couple and family relationship skill development; life transitional skills; child abuse and child custody cases; wellness treatment plans (Oprea, 2013) for DSM-V disorders; individual and group counseling on diverse topics and issues; and wellness developmental skills.
I have worked in and with public and private schools and universities, small and corporate businesses, mental health agencies, medical and rehabilitation facilities, homeless shelters, nursing homes, legal and criminal justice systems, Red Cross mental health disaster team, Head Start, SPCA, YWCA, and community organizations as well as diverse cultural environments. Through my work I have discovered a method to achieve wellness for individuals in any environment or organization.
My method includes three basic foundations of wellness. They are a system of physical and emotional safety, the understanding of mattering in any relationship especially with ourselves, and the ability to create the lives we want with others using healthy mental and emotional skills. I believe these three foundations of wellness can be achieved when the right physical and psychological conditions are present (McNeill & Oprea, 2011).
I believe, as in my mental health counseling profession, every individual has the right to be mentally and emotionally well. I have advocated for wellness of individuals in the legal system, state legislation, child protection teams, public and private schools and colleges, domestic violence agencies, homeless shelters, medical and community organizations, and businesses. I continue to focus my clinical work, research, presentations, and community education on mental and emotional wellness for all.
Cynthia L. Zorn-Pettigrew, MSW, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.” - William James
Your decision to seek assistance in dealing with life’s current challenges is to be commended. It is my goal to provide a confidential and supportive therapeutic environment in which you are able to activate the skills needed to enhance the quality of your life.
I have over 30 years of experience in the behavioral health field, and have worked in outpatient mental health, residential treatment, schools, and alcoholism/substance abuse treatment settings. My client population consists of children, adolescents, adults, couples, and groups. Their presenting concerns include issues related to depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, phobias, trauma, stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder, coping, anger management, social skills, problem-solving, and self-exploration.
My style of therapy is to appreciate the uniqueness of each individual and to work together in establishing treatment goals and achieving them. I use a variety of theoretical approaches tailored to meet your specific therapeutic needs.
Tamara Philbin, MA, NCC, Resident In Counseling
We all have amazing minds with built-in positive defenses that are necessary to endure life. Yet, anxiety, anger, depression, relationship issues, and addictions are often the signs of defenses that have led to unhealthy behavior, obscuring life’s truth and ultimately happiness.
Many of us need help before we can handle the truth. I work with clients to increase their strength, desire and self-awareness needed to transform their lives into what they are meant to become.
I have a Masters degree in counseling from Loyola University Maryland and am a Nationally Certified Counselor with over 1000 hours as an intern, and now resident, in pursuit of licensure. I have experience with adults suffering from childhood sexual abuse, relationship problems, life transitions, depression, anxiety, addictions, and self-esteem issues. My ongoing professional development includes the study and additional training in Internal Family Systems, Emotionally Focused Therapy and EMDR.
I also specialize in spiritual integrated counseling. I am acquainted with several faith traditions and have had multicultural training. I look forward to working with you to help you achieve the life you desire.
Kara M. Fluker, MSCP, Resident In Counseling
These days, everyday life means juggling the demands of your family, job, health and social circle. Therapy can help you manage those demands by providing you with tools for solving problems to get a handle on everyday demands. As a Resident in Counseling, I enjoy working with families and individuals to help promote better relationships and understanding within their family and/or community.
I have a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Chaminade University, Honolulu, HI. During my internship as a graduate student I worked as a Clinical Counselor at Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia. During my internship I provided individual counseling for children, adolescents and adults as well as marriage, couple and family therapy. Upon graduation, I began working as a wellness support provider for families in transitional housing in Fairfax County focusing on improving parenting and life skills along with providing financial education to help improve the families’ quality of life. I continue to work in this rewarding field.
I offer individual, couples, family and group therapies. My primary focus is children, adolescents, and their families. I specialize in helping families’ problem-solve, overcome personal issues, and work toward positive home and school experiences. I also provide individual counseling for adults who are experiencing life transitions, work-related stress, and relationship issues, or who wish to improve their marriages, parenting, and life skills. I can also facilitate support groups for empowering women as well as social skills groups for children and adolescents. I believe that there is hope for change in everyone. It is my desire to offer hope and solutions to individuals, couples and families who are seeking help through strength based and family centered therapies to enable people to lead more fulfilling, balanced and enriched lives.
Emmanuel Roy Smith, Sr., BBA, LLB, MA, Resident In Counseling
To live, is to face the constant challenges drawn from the vicissitudes of life. We can overcome those challenges if our hope is grounded in our own courage, abilities, and desires; to be able to recognize, accept, cope, and meet the associated circumstances. I believe that empowerment and encouragement through the use of counseling strategies can help promote and build positive life skills to help improve interpersonal relationships, reduce stress, and decrease intensity and frequency of angry feelings. My passion for counseling is to help create positive change or adjustments for each individual that I counsel. I apply a variety of counseling strategies and approaches, and believe in their situational application.
I have extensive experience working with adults, children and families, especially those struggling with: depression, social issues, grief, relationships, conflict resolutions, anger management, anxieties, spiritual concerns, post-traumatic stress disorder, parenting concerns, divorce and separation. I strongly believe in serving humanity, and therefore, it is my conviction that everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy life with dignity despite the circumstance.
I am a graduate of Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia with a Masters of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology. I also completed Practicum and Internship programs at the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (PRS), in Alexandria, VA, and the Institute of Behavioral Research and Change (IBRC) in DC,working exclusively with individuals with mental illnesses. I also bring to this profession, my past and present experiences and knowledge of a Lawyer, Academic Administrator, and an ardent Christian, who supports religious co-existence.
I have worked in various organizations and settings providing direct support, service coordination, and therapeutic counseling to individuals with mental illnesses as well as intellectual disabilities for over fifteen years. Currently, I provide therapeutic counseling at the REACH Therapeutic Center as a Counselor, and a Therapist/Clinician providing office and home-based psychotherapy with the Inner City Family Services in DC.I am excited to be part of Benjamin Counseling Center to help “foster a supportive therapeutic environment for children, adolescents and adults to feel empowered and encouraged in life”.
Brianna L. White, BS, Graduate Intern
I am a current graduate student at the University of the Southwest and I received my undergraduate degree from Western Kentucky University in 2012 with a B.S. in Elementary Education. I currently hold a Virginia State Collegiate Profession License in Elementary Education grades Pre K-6. I have completed all of my courses for my M.A. in Professional School Counseling and I am currently completing the required hours for my internship in order to graduate and pursue licensure.
During my undergraduate time at Western Kentucky University, my courses focused primarily on lifespan development of children and adolescence and best practices in teaching. My graduate courses were more focused on academic counseling, career counseling, and personal/ social counseling. These courses included; counseling theory and techniques, crisis intervention, group counseling, and play therapy. In addition to the courses above, I have also take many courses through Fairfax County Public Schools on the emotional-social needs of advanced learners and At-Risk learners.
My previous experience involves working with at-risk students in grades 4-6 both as a teacher and as a support system for their personal and social needs. I work as a teacher to facilitate and build a strong classroom community where all students feel their basic needs are met and set each child up for success socially and academically. Throughout my time as a teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools I have worked with students with Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or learning disabilities. I look forward to working with Benjamin Counseling Center and gaining more experience in the counseling field.
Annetta Benjamin, MA, LPC, NCC, Licensed Professional Counselor/ Clinical Supervisor
Life can be pretty challenging and tough, especially when you’re struggling to overcome a fear, habit, relationship, confusion, or just plain stress. However, there is always hope, particularly when times become difficult. As a Counselor, I truly enjoy my skill in fostering hope in the lives of individuals and families. Below is some information on my background as a Counselor.
I have a Master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling from Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia. During my internship as a graduate student I worked as a Spiritual Care & Bereavement Coordinator at a hospice agency. Upon graduation, I continued to work as Bereavement Counselor for three years. During that time I organized and conducted three successful bereavement camps for youth who had lost a loved one. In addition, I have also worked as a Qualified Mental Health Professional for five years with Virginia Home Based Counseling Services, focusing with children, teens, and parents. All together I have worked in the counseling field for over 11 years helping individuals and families improve their lives.
Now as a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor (NCC), I specialize in counseling children, adolescents, and young adults with behavior, academic, self-esteem, coping, communication, bereavement, and anger issues. I also counsel adults, couples, and the elderly with spiritual, bereavement, communication, family, relationships, and anxiety concerns.
I truly look forward to building an empowering and self-fulfilling relationship with you!