Lena Aburdene Derhally, MS, LPC

Dupont Circle North
Foggy Bottom

Phone Number: (202) 449-3789 x704

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I am a licensed psychotherapist and my areas of expertise focus on all relational and relationship issues at any stage: singles, unmarried couples, engaged couples (premarital counseling), married couples and couples with children. I also specialize in treating anxiety and panic attacks incorporating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Other areas of expertise include: Difficult life transitions, grief and loss and work place issues. If you are looking for a more directive approach, I also offer coaching services and more short term therapy. 

As a working and married mom of children under 5 years old, I understand the unique challenges many men and women in Washington DC are facing and help my clients navigate the complexities of work-life balance in a transient city. I am published in the Huffington Post, The Washington Post and more. I also work with the women’s organization Bossed Up as the featured Love and Relationships speaker to help women achieve healthy work-life balance and positive and fulfilling relationships.

Below is a list of more in depth list of issues I help individuals and couples with. Please feel free to contact me for any more information you would like me to provide.

Individual Therapy

  • Anxiety, panic attacks
  • Issues with self esteem, assertiveness, boundary setting
  • Relationship issues (with a romantic partner, family member, friend, colleague, boss, etc)
  • Dating issues (helping discover underlying patterns that contribute to the choices we make, finding the right partner, becoming a more mindful and conscious dater)
  • Navigating difficult life transitions and changes
  • Grief Counseling (death, divorce, end of a relationship, loss of job, end of a friendship, moving)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Imago Relationship Therapy for singles`

Couples Therapy

I am a certified Imago relationship therapist and couples work with me on some or all of the following:

  • They are struggling to stay connected and are having trouble dealing with conflict
  • They want to work on their communication skills
  • They are at a crossroads in the relationship and want to know if they should take the next steps in their relationship or go their separate ways
  • They would like to learn practical relationship skills to help increase connection, fulfillment and intimacy
  • They would like to understand deeper patterns and dynamics that are contributing to their issues
  • Premarital counseling

While the outcome of couples counseling is not necessarily to stay together, many couples I work with have a renewed strength and bond in their relationship and many go on to get engaged, married or enjoy deeper fulfillment in their relationship.

I help each couple understand themselves and their partner better while addressing relationship dynamics, communication issues, and underlying patterns that contribute to conflict. I am also a strong believer in teaching and education. I think it is important that couples understand the theory, science and research in the field of relationships. I teach couples skills and give them applicable tools that they can refer back to whenever they need to.

I am certified in Imago relationship therapy. Imago is a specialized focus and is a unique and highly effective way to work with singles and couples.

Education, Experience and More

I have a Masters degree in Counseling from Loyola College and a Masters in Communications from Fordham University. My undergraduate degree is in Psychology from Lehigh University.

I have worked in many clinical settings, including my current practice with the Imago Center of Washington DC since 2011. I have worked with the homeless and mentally ill at Catholic Charities, in Palliative Care at St. Agnes Hospital and in patient services at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Johns Hopkins Oncology.

Please feel free to contact me with inquiries related to any of my services, including speaking engagements and interviews. 

Recent Posts

  • Sessions with Bob and Lena: A Podcast - “Sessions with Bob and Lena” is a podcast with monthly episodes ranging from 30-40 minutes in length. Although we will explore a wide variety of topics related to psychology and wellness, our focus will be on relating: how we relate in the world individually and collectively with the goal of … Continue reading
  • How to Set Healthy Boundaries in Relationships - Boundaries are one of the most important factors in healthy relationships. The Wikipedia definition of boundaries as they relate to relationships is: “…guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when … Continue reading
  • The Science Behind Infidelity – Helen Fisher’s 10 Facts About Infidelity - If you aren’t familiar with Helen Fisher’s work and you are in a committed relationship, you should be! Committed relationships are hard work and various forms of infidelity are occasionally reported in my practice with both individuals and couples. As a guest author, Helen Fisher, the biological anthropologist who studies … Continue reading
  • How to Choose the Right Couples Therapist - Many of the couples I see in my practice are surprisingly not in couples therapy for the first time. In some cases they felt the therapy wasn’t working and they wanted to try a different approach, in other cases they had a bad experience but were still committed to making … Continue reading
  • How to talk to kids about sexual abuse, and how you can help prevent it - One of my clients came into my office one day for a last-minute appointment and he sounded anxious. I had been working with him as his psychotherapist for several months and we had just started to delve into some deeper issues as our therapeutic bond became stronger. It was in that session, … Continue reading

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