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Sometimes we need a safe space to collect our thoughts, name our hurts, explore our desires and work through our fears.  I can offer you a space of hope and reprieve. Together, you and I, will work through the trauma, anxiety, sadness and overwhelm that is overshadowing your life so that you can live the full and authentic life you desire. 


My name is Lenée N. Essig, and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who received a Masters of Social Work from Florida State University.  I also hold a Bachelors of Science degree in Art Education.  My clinical expertise extends to depression, anxiety, shock and developmental trauma, and end of life issues.  These life altering experiences embody my clinical interest in working with the neurobiology and psychology of trauma, attachment, safety, and self-regulation.

I work with young adults (18+) and older individuals from a client centered, somatic (body-centered) and cognitive behavioral perspective.  This is to say, I bring both the body and mind into the time we spend together.


I use the science of the autonomic nervous system (fight/flight/freeze) to help individuals understand and re-work unresolved trauma they (struggle to) live with, as well as to understand and manage, symptoms of anxiety and depression.  This is because, present day research indicates that we cannot “talk our way out of trauma or pain of any sort.”   My intention with our work together is to expand the capacity and resilience within your nervous system so that you can live in a more embodied and present way. 


I incorporate trauma informed-care, self-regulation and mindfulness practice techniques, as well as eastern philosophy throughout the therapeutic process. This includes using breath work, sound and the use of asana (body positions) to help individuals, who are experiencing anxiety or depression, to cope better. 


Please know, trauma does not have to be re-told or re-lived in order for it to be resolved. 


Please scroll to “Services” on the menu page and select “Somatic Experiencing and Trauma” or “About Life Force Yoga” to read more about how I incorporate these interventions when teaching people how to re-work shock trauma, how to self-regulate and how to better cope with anxiety and depression.

& Areas of specialties

  • Individual Psychotherapy for Young Adults and Adults

  • Shock Trauma

  • Complex & Developmental Trauma

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Self-Worth

  • Grief & Loss

  • Life Transitions

  • Relationship Issues

  • Work Issues

& training

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker in VA (LCSW)

  • Licensed also in DC (LICSW) & MD (LCSW-C)

  • Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner (SEP)

  • NARM® Level 2 Therapist

  • NARM® Masters Therapist Training Completed

  • EMDR (Training Summer 2024)

  • LifeForce® Yoga Practioner Level I 

  • Advanced Certified Hospice & Palliative Care Social Worker (ACHP-SW)

  • Group Crisis Intervention Specialist via the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety via the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • Register Yoga Teacher (RYT-200)

Additional Professional Services

  • Clinical Supervision for LCSW Candidates

  • Speaking Engagements & Presentations

  • Specialist as a Critical Incident Responder with R3 Continuum formerly known as Crisis Care Network

  • Member of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) with the R3 Continuum formerly known as Crisis Care Network

  • Professional Consultation

community service

  • Comprehensive crisis intervention and disaster behavioral health servies to emergency response professions and other organizations



  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW, NASW-VA)

  • Greater Washington Society of  Clinical Social Workers

  • Disaster Assistance Response Team 


What was the most significant part of working with Lenée?

Being able to open myself up completely, sharing even the negative experiences and bad thoughts, without worry about being judged - by being open I was able to shine light on the dark parts of my life and heal that space within.  



The overall sense of peace in a very unsettling situation has been the most significant part of therapy. Even though there is a lot of conflict around me, and a lot of unrest with my relationship with my Mom, therapy has given me a sense of peace that I am doing what I need to be to doing to handle the situation and stay emotionally healthy while trying to figure out the best outcome for myself. I know that therapy has helped me stay calm in many stressful situations.  



Working with Lenée was my most successful therapeutic experience. I gave her a call after driving by her office and was really pleased to hear that she accepted my health insurance. I remember calling many offices only to find out they didn't take any insurance. My finances were tight and it helped a lot that therapy didn't add to the burden. When our sessions began, I remember feeling at ease with her.  Therapy sessions before that had always felt so clinical, but with Lenée, I felt like we had a conversation rather than an interrogation session. I had not expected her to be so friendly and that made it very easy to talk to her - especially when we talked about the hard or embarrassing things. She never judged me, and in fact encouraged me not to be so hard on myself which I've always struggled with. When my world seemed darkest, Lenée helped to remind me where the light at the end of the tunnel was and guide me out. Most of all, she helped me to recognize the progress that I'd made, to celebrate it. I'd happily recommend her to anyone who's in need of someone to talk to.  



During the times when I feel it's most difficult to articulate my thoughts and feelings, Lenée seems to intuitively bring to light the core issue(s). Sometimes it is hard to put my finger on things, and there's such a relief when she seems to be able to zero in on the point I'm trying to make.  


What have you experienced working with Lenée that you did not expect?

Trust in myself. I have learned to listen to my gut instead of listening to others (particularly the boyfriend which was causing the trouble in the first place). I expected clearer answers where someone would tell me that 'I should do X' - in fact, the solution was to learn on my own what techniques work best, and trust myself to believe that my wishes are valid as well.  


I didn’t expect to have therapy to be such a useful way to prepare for many of the stressful situations that I have had to deal with in the past year with my family. It made me much calmer and prepared to handle seeing my Mom at holidays, as well as at a family wedding. It also has allowed me to play out situations to determine if they are actually beneficial and what the unintended consequences could be. I also didn’t realize that I would want to bring so many other aspects of my life into therapy. It has been helpful for stuff going on at work, with friends, with significant others, and overall stress in my life. I also have found therapy to make me much more aware of what is going on around me and how I am feeling/handling situations.  



The first time I called to schedule an appointment, Lenée was willing to talk with me for a few minutes on the phone, to allow me to share my story so I could determine if I thought this would be a good fit. I felt immediately at ease because she was willing to take the time with me, and I didn't expect that I could feel such an immediate connection, so immediately understood, by one short phone conversation. This phone call really set the stage for such a positive and productive therapeutic relationship.  


What quality about Lenée did you find the most important in your time together?

I love that Lenée asks the hard questions, and knows how to phrase these questions so that they are helpful and not hurtful. The key is that by spending concentrated time asking the questions, eventually you will get to the heart of the problem, even if it's difficult.  


Lenée has a very calming presence about.  She is very good at listening and also give very good feedback. Lenée makes me recognize positives in stressful situations and are always very supportive. She does a very good job of recalling instances from past appointments and connecting them to current situations. She also does a great job at making me talk situations out to be prepared or to figure out what the most beneficial outcome is.  


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