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I am not currently accepting new clients.

I believe being deeply understood, in the context of a safe and collaborative therapeutic relationship, is the catalyst for healing and transformation. In our work together, what often are considered symptoms are viewed as important messages about one’s lived experiences and psychological needs. We will work together to understand your distress, and the deeper meaning underlying that distress. My focus in therapy is on understanding the root cause of your suffering, rather than focusing on treating symptoms alone. Addressing the root cause will lead to lasting, transformative change. 

My orientation to clinical work is grounded in psychodynamic, humanistic, existential, and phenomenological approaches to human suffering. I see our early experiences as largely influential and formative of our later adult experiences. With this in mind, much of my work draws on attachment theory, and understanding how early attachment relationships shape and inform how we relate and attach to others in adulthood. I also take seriously how our unique identities and experiences of oppression contribute to distress and suffering. I actively integrate a focus on various aspects of identity (i.e. gender, sexual orientation, ability, race, class or socioeconomic status) and how those aspects shape and inform your experience in the world. 

As a self-psycyhology oriented psychodynamic psychologist, I take seriously how unmet psychological needs may be at play in your experience of suffering. I especially enjoy doing this work with couples, as we try to better understand how early unmet needs may be at the root of conflict in your partnership or relationship. I have training in Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) for Couples, and am actively pursuing ongoing training and consultation in this modality. I am also participating in advanced training in Intersubjective Self-Psychology through the Training and Research in Intersubjective Self Psychology (TRISP) Foundation in New York, NY. 

Clinical areas of interest include working with individuals who wish to examine family of origin concerns, as well as supporting individuals who have experienced religious trauma. I love working with members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and have specific training and experience in supporting trans* individuals pursuing transition. I also enjoy working with women’s issues across the lifespan, trauma, first-generation college students and the transition to college or higher education. During my clinical training, I’ve worked in community mental health centers, community clinics, and university counseling centers.



Phone: 540-208-3188

Payment Methods: I am in network with Aetna, Anthem/BCBS, Oscar, Oxford, and United Healthcare insurances. I also accept self-pay clients

Education: Ph.D. Clinical Psychology – Duquesne University

License: Virginia License # 0810008045

Monica Lawson, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

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