Doctor Profiles, McLean Counseling Center
Ehsan Habibpour, MD
Child and Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist
I founded McLean Counseling Center with the vision of providing outstanding mental health care as well as promoting mental health awareness in the community. I’m a Psychiatrist with dual training in Child and Adolescent as well as Adult Psychiatry. I also have been fortunate enough to work with George Washington Psychiatry Department. My involvement with George Washington University began in 2014 when I accepted the position of Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and started teaching a course in Child Psychiatry.
I attended one of the well-known medical schools in Iran and completed Adult Psychiatry Residency at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. After completing my Adult Psychiatry Residency, I advanced my training by pursuing a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. Learning about the normal development of children and how experiences during childhood later affect us in our daily lives was a unique gift of this Fellowship.
Over the past few years, in addition to practicing psychotherapy, I’ve mastered the judicious use of psychiatric medications. Witnessing the many areas of exciting progress in the field of psychiatry over the last decade gave me the chance to familiarize myself with the most up-to-date medications. My approach in helping my patients is to integrate the use of medications with psychotherapy in order to optimize results and increase chances for healing. We often choose certain emotional and behavioral styles to protect ourselves in childhood that continue well into our adulthood. While those behaviors may have been useful in our childhood years, they are no longer needed. Exploring those feelings and behavioral styles is the first step for effective change.
I also developed an interest in treating anxiety and mood disorders, and gained experience in treating eating disorders. I am keenly interested in the role of culture and ethnicity in emotional disturbances. I had a chance to study this overlap and learn about it because of the cultural diversity to which I was exposed over the course of my life. My passion was reflected in the paper I co-wrote: “The Treatment of Depression in Culturally Diverse Children and Adolescents.” (Sunita M. Stewart, Alex Simmons, and Ehsan Habibpour. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. February 2012, 22(1): 72-79. doi:10.1089/cap.2011.0051.)
I am pursuing that passion through my involvement with The Global Mental Health Project at George Washington Psychiatry Department.
Through my years of practice, I have experienced and appreciated the value of therapeutic relationships. Self-determination, resilience and the power of meaningful relationships are the key factors that nourish human growth.
Carolyn Heier, Psy.D.
Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychotherapy
Individual, Couples, and Family Therapy
I have been a clinical psychologist for more than a decade. My journey began as an undergraduate at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where I majored in Psychology. After several years gaining experience in the mental health field, I went on to obtain a doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Denver. In the years since, I have gained extensive experience working with all ages, with a primary focus on issues facing children, teens and families.
The culmination of my graduate program took me to Los Angeles to accept an internship at an agency that specialized in working with children with autism, severe emotional disturbance, trauma, and other significant issues. Additional specialized training prepared me for my work with very young children ages 2-5. After graduation, I was selected to manage the day treatment program for 2-5 year olds at the agency where I interned. The program’s focus was working with young children with severe emotional and behavioral problems and it was here that I advanced my level of expertise with this population.
My integrative approach to treatment combines psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral elements, as well as behavioral approaches in working with some children. In addition, I have been trained in, and use, a number of evidence-based practices with individuals of all ages.
My client work has included helping children and adults who have experienced trauma; child and adult victims of human trafficking; those with mood disorders and anxiety; and families with children who have behavioral problems, ADHD, and selective mutism. Although the
treatment for selective mutism is very specific and directive, with all other clients, adults and children alike, I often take a non-directive approach, allowing the client to lead the therapy. I believe that children and adults are all striving toward health, and when provided with a caring, accepting, and nurturing environment that allows the individual to freely express who they are, healing will occur.
One of the things I love about working with children is the opportunity to use play therapy. Children are not just “mini-adults.” Their communication skills and styles, as well as their level of development, are completely different than those of adults. Children often do not have the capacity to voice what is bothering them, whether due to being overwhelmed, or simply not having the language skills. Play is the natural mode of communication in children. By engaging a child in play in a manner that encourages them to freely express themselves, issues can emerge and be treated in ways that are most meaningful to the child.
In addition to working with younger children using play, I engage in talk therapy with older children and teens, and regularly include families in treatment. This is because issues affecting a child may be affecting the entire family, and because it may be that issues affecting the family are affecting the child. I also help parents with parenting skills, addressing the challenges of parenting a child with emotional and behavioral problems.
I also enjoy working with adults and couples, and value working with diverse populations. Fluent in Spanish, I conduct therapy with children and adults from a wide array of Latin- and South American countries. I also have experience working with many other cultural groups, and my work with diverse groups includes the LGBT community, including LGBT couples. One of the main aspects of engaging in the therapeutic process with clients is gaining a deep understanding of the individual’s (or family’s) experience. I value learning about clients’ personal histories and culture, and recognize the importance of understanding these influences in order to improve outcomes in therapy.
I consider working with a broad range of issues and clients of all ages an opportunity for me to be of assistance to the populations with which I have become involved throughout my career. I never take my clients for granted and I understand and am grateful for the privilege of being allowed to enter their worlds. I appreciate the trust that my clients, of all backgrounds, put in me, and I strive every day to cultivate and be worthy of that trust.
Every client is important to me. Every session is one in which my goal is to provide the highest level of service to address the issues a client presents, and to move the client forward to their full potential.
Kristen Jackson, Psy.D.
Adolescent and Adult Psychotherapy
Individual, Couples, and Family Therapy
I am a Doctor in Psychology with experience working with children, adolescents and their families as well as adults and couples with different life-challenges, emotional struggles or substance use problems.
My professional career reflects my deep interest in clinical practice and scientific inquiry. Very early on I knew I wanted to be a psychologist and pursued an undergraduate degree in psychology at Manhattanville college and went on to receive a Master’s degree in general psychology with a focus on substance use at the New School for Social Research in New York City. During that time, I worked and conducted research in attachment at the New School’s attachment lab and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. The research focused on understanding how attachment patterns affect the parent-child relationship. In addition, I worked with a team using attachment theory and relational therapy with families struggling with trauma, substance use, psychosocial stressors and social injustices. My passion for social justice led me to The Wright Institute, in Berkeley California which emphasizes issues of social justice and diversity. There, I earned a second Master’s and doctoral degree in clinical psychology.
Over the years, I have developed particular interests working to understand relationships and repetitive patterns that lead to problems in life. I have specialized experience working with individuals and families with a history of trauma and substance use. I worked extensively with veterans and active duty families at two veteran medical centers and a nonprofit service- member organization. There, I provided psychological and cognitive testing and individual, couples and group therapy using Time Limited Dynamic Psychotherapy and other empirically based models such as Cognitive Processing Therapy. These approaches focus on developing an understanding of patterns of relating, one’s view of self, others and the world and how that impacts functioning. Most recently, I was in a leadership position at a residential program in northern Virginia where I worked with a team of mental health clinicians providing services to adults and adolescents with substance use and co-occurring mental health problems.
I believe in an innate power and desire to heal. My approach is warm and supportive and I work collaboratively to identify goals for treatment. I am passionate about my work and feel privileged to witness the growth and recovery that therapy provides.
Mandana Roushanmeidan, M.Ed., Behavioral Therapist
I have been a behavioral therapist for more than 5 years. I started my training as an undergraduate in nursing. After working several years as a nurse, I became fascinated with human behavior and relationship. I decided to study human behavior and obtained a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Northern Arizona University as well as an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) certificate from George Mason University.
Over the past few years I have gained extensive experience working and treating many patients, as young as 18 months up to 65 years of age, with behavioral and psychological challenges.
My passion lies in early-intervention, academic readiness skill building and adolescent social skills acquisition. I have worked with and remain interested in working with students of varying ethnicities and cultures.
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the use of certain techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior. As a behavior analyst, I observe and collect information on the target behaviors. This includes information provided by the parents as well as what I observe during the sessions. Once enough information is collected, a thorough review is conducted in order to identify the triggers of behavior. I then develop prevalence strategies and determine the appropriate treatment option so as to decrease the incidence of target behaviors.
At McLean Counseling Center, I work closely with our team of professionals who are experts in treating executive function limitations and its related disorders in youth including ADHD, anxiety disorders, learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dysgraphia.
Dr. Habibpour, who is our child psychiatrist, provides guidance and works closely with patients and their families in order to provide the most optimal treatment. Our comprehensive approach enables us to apply ABA therapy and psychiatric treatments, to manage autism spectrum disorder and it’s related limitations such as comorbid ADHD, anxiety disorders and irritability during transitions.