Now hiring rockstar licensed therapists!
Our Leonardtown location is looking for sparkly, awesome clinicians! Flexible schedules, excellent pay, admin support, and free mentoring are just some of the perks of being part of the EC team.
Interested? We’d love to connect with you!
Send your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch!
EMPOWERED CONNECTIONS – LEONARDTOWN COUNSELORS
Seeing behaviorally challenged girls & teen girls from age 3 to 18 years old, or girls/teen girls struggling with anxiety and/or depression. Also providing Parenting Coaching for new parents & parents stressed and worried about their child who is acting out in negative ways. Seeing residents of Maryland both in person and virtually.
Board Certified Behavioral Analyst
Though originally from Michigan, Nichole has spent most of her adult life moving – thanks to a combination of schooling and the Marine Corps – and has lived in 8 states. Thankfully, she has put down roots here in Southern Maryland – where she’s lived for the past 8 years.
Nichole brings a unique and highly specialized perspective to her therapeutic practice. She is passionate about helping those she works with while also providing education to develop skills that clients can use well into the future.
Nichole received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Central Michigan University and spent the following year and a half working in the nonprofit sector in Washington, D.C. where she developed a passion for policy and systems change – specifically in education. She returned to CMU to complete a Master’s degree in Experimental Psychology with a concentration in Behavioral Neuroscience where she worked on developing and intervening on a rodent model of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. It was during this time that she realized she was more interested in the applied side of psychology (humans are much better conversationalists than rats and pigeons), and Nichole headed south to The University of Southern Mississippi. While at USM, Nichole completed her Ph.D. in School Psychology – a program that utilized a behavior analytic approach to assessment and intervention. She completed her pre and post-doc work at The May Institute in Boston, MA and sought out an additional post-doc specialization in Child Law and Education Policy. Nichole is a Doctoral Level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and an LBA in the state of Maryland.
Nichole has experience working with a wide variety of diagnoses and mental health concerns, though much of her recent work has been concentrated in developmental and educational needs. She is passionate about working with children and families to develop meaningful supports with lasting effects. As a scientist-practitioner, Nichole takes a person-centered, wholistic approach to working with her clients – understanding that it is important to marry evidence-based practice and data-based decision making with the individualized, targeted, needs and aspirations of the client.
Nichole lives on a small nature reserve with her husband where she homeschools her 4 children. They also have a small menagerie including alpaca, chickens, peacocks, rabbits, cats, and a Great Pyrenees named Matilda. Most days you can find her outside gardening or wrangling animals (and sometimes children).
Listen to the must’nts child, listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves then listen close to me. Anything can happen, child. Anything can be. – Shel Silverstein
Seeing girls starting at age 8 – 18, adult women & LGBTQ+ members in person and virtually to residents of Maryland
Originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, Arie was raised in Front Royal, Virginia. She is a citizen of both the United States and Canada. Arie earned a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Psychology at Virginia Tech. She enjoyed being a Hokie so much, she also earned her Master’s in Counseling from VT. Arie has experience working with young girls & teens in the realms of research and public school counseling, as well as working with adult women in different capacities. Additionally, she was a part of the student counseling team at Radford University.
Arie has experience working with a wide variety of diagnoses and mental health concerns. She is passionate about working with those who have experienced trauma. Arie uses her unique background to facilitate an understanding of the intersection of psychology and neuroscience in mental health.
Arie takes an eclectic approach to therapy while maintaining a person-centered philosophy. She believes no one size fits all and therapy should reflect that! She achieves individualized treatment through collaboration with her clients. She emphasizes empathy, authenticity, and unconditional positive regard in her practices. Arie knows that research supports the client-counselor relationship as the number one predictor of positive client outcomes in therapy. Arie consistently pours into her relationships with clients to create a safe and supportive environment for therapy.
Arie also works with Harper, our heartwarming therapy dog in training every other Monday and each Wednesday! At the sweet age of 3, Harper is a bundle of pure joy and kindness. Her gentle and friendly nature will melt your heart, and her hypoallergenic, non-shedding fur means you can enjoy her cuddles without worry. Get ready to be charmed by her pawsitive vibes and endless cuddles!
Arie enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors with her boyfriend. Wherever she is, you can almost guarantee you’ll find her with her two dogs, Harper and Murphy. Throughout the pandemic, Arie adopted mushroom hunting as a major hobby. She is also enthusiastic about all plant life and prides herself on her green thumb. When she’s not outside exploring, you’ll find her reading or thrifting. And – of course – she is an avid lover of coffee!
Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it and make it the life you want to live. – Mae Jemison, first African American woman astronaut in space
Seeing adult women & LGBTQ+ members ages 18 and up in person & virtually to residents of Maryland
Pet Loss Grief Specialist
Certified Licensed Addictions Counselor
Amanda has lived in Southern MD for the past 14 years, and enjoys being a resident in St. Mary’s County. She is presently a licensed therapist and the Operations Manager at Empowered Connections.
She received her master’s degree from Bowie State University specializing in School Counseling, and has experience working in the school systems as well as extensive experience working in the field of addictions. Amanda is licensed in the state of Maryland as a Licensed Clinical Drug and Alcohol Counselor, as well as a Professional Licensed Counselor, and has over 9 years of experience working with a diverse population. She also received her certificate for Pet Loss Grief Counseling and is able to offer pet loss grief services to clients who are struggling with grief. Amanda has worked with clients to help them work through a variety of struggles including addictions and addiction in the family, infertility and postpartum struggles, domestic violence, PTSD, life transitions, grief, anxiety and depression. Amanda works with moms struggling with identity issues and parenting stressors, and women seeking to find balance in their lives. She also works with women and members of the LGBTQ+ community struggling with pet loss grief and unresolved feelings or traumatic experiences that may come up as a result to the loss of a beloved pet.
Amanda’s genuine and positive therapeutic style helps her clients to feel heard during their counseling journey, which leads them to feel empowered and to trust and feel more confident in themselves. Amanda believes counseling is an individualized process and that learning to gain more self-awareness is the key to moving forward. She takes a Person-Centered and Cognitive-Behavioral therapeutic approach, and she focuses on inner child work and empowering her clients to help regain control over their lives. Her specialized training in counseling with women has prepared her to work with adult women struggling with anxiety, depression, addictions and dual-diagnosis, parenting stressors, grief work, self-esteem issues, postpartum depression and fertility issues. She’s excited to begin helping you live the best life you can, right now!
Amanda has two children, ages 11 and 5, and is married to her high school sweetheart. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, and her American Eskimo dog Kodiak, as well as her bearded dragon Bazil. She enjoys being out in nature and exploring new areas. She also enjoys volunteering in the community with local animal shelters, the Calvert Nature Society, as well as volunteering to host chat rooms for pet loss grief support with the Association of Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB).
You are always one decision away from a totally different life. – Mark Batterson
Seeing girls starting at age 8, adult women & LGBTQ+ members in person and virtually to residents of Maryland and Delaware
Kelly was born and raised in Delaware and attended the University of Delaware, where she earned her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts. While an undergraduate student, she realized the healing power of art-making, which led her to earn her Master’s in Art Therapy at George Washington University. While at GWU, she worked with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, adolescents in a partial hospitalization day program, underserved children at a therapeutic day school, and women and men struggling with addiction and domestic violence in Chennai, India. Shortly after marrying her husband and moving to Southern Maryland, Kelly began working as a therapist and sexual assault advocate at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
Kelly has experience supporting individuals with depression, anxiety, and PTSD; and she is passionate about helping individuals through their loss, grief, and trauma. She has taken numerous LGBTQ+ trainings and workshops and has worked with dozens of LGBTQ+ individuals. Kelly has more than five years of experience supporting survivors of sexual assault in their journey to process and move forward from their trauma. She also has helped survivors of sexual trauma understand and navigate the legal system. She’d helped guide them to identify and take their best next steps, for example, reporting incidents to local authorities and acquiring a peace/protective order.
Kelly knows that every person has the potential to be their best selves, to discover the strengths they didn’t realize they had, and to understand themselves on a deeper level. Sometimes we just need someone to help guide us there! She also knows that some experiences, emotions, and thoughts cannot be communicated, understood, or processed verbally, which is why she loves using her expertise in Art Therapy as an alternative and complementary approach to talk therapy.
Kelly loves spending her time outside with her husband Scott and their two dogs, Phyllis and Leslie. She loves art making, fossil hunting, dancing, and going on walks with her family. She loves learning new art techniques, new hula hoop tricks, and new zumba moves!
If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces. – Shane Koyczan
Seeing adult women & LGBTQ+ members in-person or virtually to residents of Maryland
Also now seeing adult women & LGBTQ+ members virtually to residents of Virginia
Perinatal Mental Health-Certified
Emily is a Southern Maryland native who earned a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Psychology and English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) and a Master of Science degree in Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. Emily worked as a therapist in the Wellness Center at SMCM for seven years, providing individual therapy to students as they pursued their college education.
Emily’s experience includes supporting women with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and other traumas, as well as women seeking emotional support while adjusting to life changes and other stressors that can impact daily living. She has extensive experience working with members of the LGBTQ+ community and providing safe, inclusive, affirmative care in a non-judgemental environment. Emily is certified in perinatal mental health through Postpartum Support International and loves helping clients navigate their pregnancy and postpartum journeys.
Emily believes in the collaborative nature of therapy, the healing power of connection, and that everyone has within them the ability to heal and grow.
When Emily is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two young sons. Emily has a passion for travel, spreadsheets, and ice cream. She can often be found exploring new hiking trails, collecting old books, and hanging out on or near the water.
Love yourself first and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. – Lucille Ball
Seeing teen girls 14 & up, adult women to age 40 & LGBTQ+ members in person & virtually to residents of Maryland
Jeanette was born and raised in St. Mary’s County, though she has a passion for traveling and is always planning her next trip. Jeanette earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland which afforded opportunities for travel, including a semester in Australia. She later earned her Master’s in Social Work from Salisbury University which included practical experience with addiction treatment, work with homeless and at-risk populations. She’s passionate about working closely with teen girls, our LGBTQ+ community members and also adult women up to age 40. Her infectious personality lends to her ability to build connections with her clients which is so vital to their ability to learn and grow!
Jeanette’s academic career included research on resilience, and she is excited to help her teen (and women too!) clients build resilience and meet all of life’s challenges with grace. She’s also passionate about working with women and girls who are struggling with grief and loss, anxiety, our LGBTQ+ community, depression and women’s issues.
When she’s not working Jeanette enjoys being active outdoors and can often be found hiking with her dog, Penny, helping out around her family’s farm, spending time with her horses, or beaching it with friends and family.
They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds. – Dinos Christianopoulos
Seeings girls starting at age 5, teen girls and adult women in person & virtually for residents of Maryland
Sarah is a Southern Maryland native who returned to St. Mary’s County in 2020 after spending several years in St. Louis, Missouri; Washington D.C.; and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Art Therapy Counseling from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Loyola University in Baltimore.
Sarah has worked in inpatient, residential, and community-based settings supporting children, adolescents, adults, and families. She has experience treating girls, teens, and young women who are experiencing a variety of challenges including anxiety, depression, mood disorders, eating disorders, ADHD, and PTSD.
Sarah has also recently completed the first half of Postpartum Support International’s training to become certified in treating perinatal mental health disorders. As a mom with personal experience healing from postpartum depression and anxiety, supporting birthing parents in their new role as caregiver has become one of Sarah’s greatest passions.
Sarah utilizes a person-centered approach as well as art therapy to help facilitate creative expression, growth, and healing. She loves encouraging those she works with to engage with themselves in a new way through art. Her style is empathic and supportive, as well as honest and open-minded.
When not working, Sarah enjoys spending time with family, making art while listening to her favorite music, exploring with her kids, watching comedy with her husband, and working toward her new goal of becoming a Great British Bake-Off worthy amateur baker.
Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. – Henry James
Seeing adult women & LGBTQ+ members ages 18 and up in person & virtually for Maryland residents
Also now seeing adult women & LGBTQ+ members virtually for residents of Virginia and North Carolina.
Certified Clinical Trauma Professional
Certified First Responder Counselor
Jen is originally from Charles County, but has lived in St. Mary’s County for the last 16 years with her husband of 20 years and 4 children ranging in ages from 14-19. She received her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1997 and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore in 2000. She has been a social worker for 21years. Her professional experiences range from the mental health arena, medical social work and school social work.
Jen believes in making a positive difference in the lives of others each and every day and empowering women is essential in the therapeutic process. Jen works with women who face challenges such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, sexual assault, domestic violence and other trauma. She is trained in CPT for PTSD and other trauma as well as CBT.
She is a strong advocate for those who have been victimized through dating violence and bullying.
Jen enjoys spending time with her family, looking for shark teeth on the local beaches, reading mystery/thriller books and anything outdoors! She has a very special dog that she will be bringing with her to sessions.
She will be working with women 19 and older as well as the LGBTQ+ community and is excited to walk this road with you: the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
Promise me you’ll always remember you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. – A.A. Milne
Rochelle was born in Ohio but grew up in the Maryland suburbs of Prince George’s county until she moved to Charles county in 2004 with her family.
It is her love for people and her passion for customer service that drives her desire to serve others in a way that ensures that each and every client is well taken care of.
As a former Cosmetologist turned business owner and manager of more than 5 Salons and spas over the past 19 years, Rochelle feels compelled to BE the difference in the lives of those she meets and she is committed to elevating the customer experience for every client, every time!
Her daily goal is to leave our clients better than she found them by giving them more than what they expected!
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain. – Vivian Green
Norrisa was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in the Maryland suburbs of Prince Georges County’. Norrisa’s love for family and people lead her to open her own daycare that she owned & operated from 2004-2011.
Being a mom of 3 daughters, Empowered Connections’ core values and mission really resonated with her resulting in her seeking out full time employment with Empowered Connections.
Norrisa has a combined 26 years of outstanding customer service, but what sets her apart is her compassion, empathy and desire to be the very best version of herself possible.
Her daily goal is to intreat everyone who she comes in contact with, the ways she would want her own daughters to be treated, with kindness, understanding and imparting knowledge into them, empowering them to utilize these tools to aspire to greatness!
Not having the best situation, but seeing the best in your situation is the key to happiness. – Marie Forleo
Maryland Board-Certified Clinical Supervisor (now accepting MD LMSW professionals needing supervision who are working towards their advanced license)
Deborah is the founder and creator of Empowered Connections, LLC. She is a survivor of domestic violence both in her family of origin and in a subsequent marriage: because of these traumatic experiences, she has dedicated her life to advocating for women rights and the empowerment of girls. She is working diligently to provide our communities of women and girls with real therapeutic support and empowerment by opening locations of Empowered Connections across the country. Each location has been specially designed to create a warm, safe place for all women and girls & each therapist has been specially chosen because they embody the mission and values of Empowered Connections. She believes that women and girls have been left out and left behind for long enough: it is her mission and life’s purpose to create those connections that they have always needed and craved in order to empower them to live that life they’ve always dreamed of!
Deborah can be reached at email@example.com
A girl should be 2 things: who and what she wants. – CoCo Chanel
Mascot & Therapy dog
Our mascot and therapy dog Bailee is a 8 year old Welsh Pembroke Corgi.
She loves lounging, car rides, pettings and Starburst but she hates brushing, baths and bananas (weird).
Bailee also loves to accompany Deborah to the office providing love and affection if needed by clients.
She is from an Amish family in Pennsylvania but enjoys living in the Atlanta area with her family and 9 year old Corgi brother, Toby.
“She was unstoppable. Not because she didn’t have a painful past, doubts or failures, but because she lifted herself up despite them.”
― Leslie Cassidy