Shy Porter, MS, LCMFT :: Senior Associate Therapist

Clinical Degree: University of Maryland, Couple & Family Therapy

Prepare/Enrich Certified: Yes

Available: Sunday and Wednesday (daytime & evening)

Fees: $170/50-min. session; $255/90-min session; Prepare/Enrich package: $1150

Clinical special interests: Building healthy communication; Conflict resolution; Infidelity; Sex & intimacy; Anxiety; Depression; Self-esteem; Trauma; Grief and loss; Dating; Life Transitions; Cultural & Ethnic Issues

Contact: Email; Phone 240-752-7650

My Background

There are few things that I enjoy more in life than sitting down with couples, individuals, and families to help them navigate their inter- and intrapersonal difficulties on a journey toward growth and resolution. I strongly believe that no matter what the motivation for coming to therapy may be, clients should emerge from the process with a greater understanding of themselves that ultimately translates into a deeply enriched and fulfilled life.

My extensive clinical training has included work with all permutations of family systems, including adolescents, adult individuals, couples, nuclear families, blended families, extended families, and beyond. I have worked with clients who represent diverse backgrounds and experiences on a wide array of issues and celebrate the intersectionality that makes each of us beautifully unique.

Clinical Expertise

In my work with clients, I aim to serve as a compassionate, authentic, collaborative, and warm companion on their quest toward insight and self-discovery. I view therapy as a collaborative exercise characterized by mutual respect and feedback, and am thrilled that my clients describe working with me as a comfortable, nonjudgmental, and enlightening experience.

I describe my primary therapeutic approach as “insight-oriented.” I strongly believe that gaining insight around the “why” and “how” of a problem is critically important; it is only by identifying the root of an issue that we can embark on the task of creating lasting change. Keep in mind that in order to gain true understanding, we must also engage in deep emotional work. Identifying your feelings about the crux of the problem is a key component in generating improvement and fulfillment in your relationship with yourself and others.

Therapy with Individuals

I greatly cherish my one-on-one work with adolescents and adult individuals. In this form of therapy, the focus is solely on YOU with the primary task being to help you identify and work through a wide array of issues ranging from childhood trauma to day-to-day challenges. It is my goal to ensure that the therapy room is a safe place to talk about any and all things that present as concerns in your life. I have extensive experience working with teens and adult individuals on issues related to anxiety, depression, self-esteem, trauma, grief and loss, challenges with close relationships, separation and divorce, and general coping with the stresses of living in modern society.

Therapy with Couples

I strongly believe that the couple is the nucleus and often the central point of change in any familial unit. I am to help couples evaluate, strengthen, rebuild, repair, and enhance their relationships. Whether you are dating, engaged, married, or unsure if you would like to remain in your current relationship, my aim is to serve as a warm, empathic, and caring presence who can guide you and your partner through your challenges and come to a conclusion that feels right for both of you. My work with couples covers a wide range of topics, including communication, conflict resolution, infidelity, cultural differences, sex and intimacy, trauma, and (co)parenting. No matter the challenge, I aim to foster a space in which both partners feel seen, heard, and valued as they navigate their relationship challenges.

For couples interested in premarital counseling, I am also a certified Prepare/Enrich facilitator and have helped many partners prepare for a lifetime of partnership.

Therapy with Families

In my work with families, I support adolescents and/or young adults and their parents in working through challenging developmental processes. These might include blending families, processing and healing from past hurts, or preparing for upcoming transitions. My aim in the therapeutic process is to restore health family functioning and assist family members with learning how to strengthen and maintain their emotional connectedness even in the midst of growth and change.

About Me

I am a lifelong learner and thrive in both clinical and academic settings. So, after completing my training as a couple and family therapist, I decided to continue my graduate school journey and pursue a PhD. When I’m not in the office seeing clients, you can most likely find me immersed in doctoral candidate duties, which include working on my dissertation, conducting research, and writing manuscripts. My research interests are primarily focused on the intersection of mental health and sexual and reproductive health in couples and individuals. Thus, my work as a therapist informs my work as a researcher–and vice versa. If you work with me, you’ll notice that I infuse the latest clinical research and resources into therapy sessions; I believe that keeping up with research advances is critical in providing a well-rounded and informed therapeutic experience.

I refuel and recharge from my various duties by making time for long-distance running, trying out new vegetarian and vegan recipes, laughing as often as possible, finding new and exciting books to read, and spending quality time with my loved ones.

If you are interested in my clinical services, please contact me today! I am very excited about the great work that we can do together.

Check out Shy’s Blog posts here:

Depart from Equilibrium | One Little Word | Resolve to Reconnect in 2018 | Surviving the Holidays When the Going Gets Tough | Creating Space to FALL Into Yourself | What Are You Not Saying? | Sustaining Your Relationships During Major Life Transitions | Break Up with Stress for a Happier, Healthier Life | The Power of March 21 | Making this Valentine’s Day One to RememberA Word on Connection this Holiday Season | Preparing to Heal Post-Election | Fostering a Culture of Awareness | Let’s Take It from the Top | Savoring Summer with the “3 R’s”

Phone: MD: 240-752-7650
4905 Del Ray Avenue, Suite 301
Bethesda, MD 20814