The Range of Services We Offer

Premarital Counseling

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Have you recently gotten engaged? Congratulations! This is an exciting time in your life and it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of wedding planning. While you are busy deciding the details of your big day, however, it is also important to take the time to think about what will happen after the wedding. Many couples choose premarital counseling as a way to strengthen their existing relationship and begin their marriage on a firm foundation. Taking even just a few weeks to discuss your individual needs and shared goals can help immensely as you make the transition from wedding to happily ever after. The following list is just a few of the things that we can work on during our premarital counseling sessions.
  • Identify the strongest aspects of your relationship. You fell in love for a reason, and knowing what makes you two “click” as a couple and the positive things you both get out of being together will help you cherish and respect those aspects as you continue your journey together.
  • Improve communication between you and your partner. The importance of good communication in a marriage cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, many couples wait until their relationship has become strained before taking an in-depth look at the way they talk and relate to one another. We will strengthen your communication skills before they have a chance to break down, giving you the tools to tackle any problem (major or minor) that might crop up in your married life.
  • Discuss any family of origin issues that might impact your relationship. As you join your two families via marriage, and create a new family of your own, any number of issues may arise. Counseling can help you prepare and work through these issues so that neither of you is caught off guard.
  • Work through any financial issues so that you and your partner are on the same page (or spreadsheet!) money-wise. Whether you are dealing with an unwieldy wedding budget, you want to clear the air regarding financial mistakes made in the past, or you simply want to discuss your shared savings goals, premarital counseling is a safe environment in which to do that.
  • Create a plan for achieving personal and family goals.
  • Address any other points that need to be worked through—such as stress, cohabitation conflicts, or intimacy issues.
premarital counseling, Bowie MDSome couples know that counseling is important, but don't know exactly where to begin. Those couples can benefit tremendously from the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment—a leading relationship inventory and skill-building program. For more information, please visit the PREPARE/ENRICH website.  

Couple Psychotherapy

We work with couples of any sexual orientation, whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual or transgender, who have relationship issues and want to explore the root cause of these difficulties in order to change and grow together. Our frame of reference is relational, systemic, and body oriented. We aim at facilitating awareness of personal feelings, body-felt experiences, mutual regulation and dysregulation, attachment patterns, embodied attunement, interlocking dynamics, while bringing that which is unconscious to consciousness, in order to bring about change. Our psychotherapists have years of experience in this field, and have studied and trained in different methods of couple therapy. Couple psychotherapy, in which both partners participate, is carried out in weekly sessions, usually occurring at the same time every week.  

Family Therapy

No matter how big or small family is, conflicts, relationship difficulties, misunderstandings and anxieties can occur at any given time—often when stress is highest. By capitalizing on the family's unique strengths, our psychotherapists model different ways to manage stress, and teach family members how to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts peacefully, revisit inner and outer boundaries, and facilitate awareness of personal feelings and body-felt experiences. Our psychotherapists have years of experience in this field, and have studied and trained in different methods of family therapy. Family therapy is carried out in weekly sessions, usually occurring at the same time every week.  

Play Therapy

play therapy counseling Bowie MDPlay is the “natural” language of children. It access the child’s unbridled feelings, gathers them into visual and kinetic modes, so that the therapist can help the child find their meaning and promote a developmentally appropriate understanding of what the child is experiencing.

Individual Psychotherapy

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is the process of examining feelings and emotions, linking them to words, and connecting personal history with current life events and relationships. Sometimes words are not enough to get to the source of the discomfort, which is why our psychotherapists are trained in interpersonal neuro-affective-biology—placing them at the cutting edge of clinical research and psychotherapy. Sensory body-oriented processing is necessary, we now know, in order to understand and then change behaviors or distorted beliefs that may interfering with living life to its full potential.

Authentic Movement

Authentic Movement bridges body and psyche, inviting the unconscious to a unique journey toward wholeness and healing through the medium of movement honor energy, impulse, flow, sensations, gestures, images, and kinesthetic memories. It provides non-judgmental attentiveness which fosters attunement to our body stories, body concepts and movement patterns, opening the way for greater self awareness, trust and self-regulating capacity. With attention to movement, gestures, rhythm, breath, verbal and nonverbal communication, the psychotherapist integrates the traditional therapeutic flow of words with the immediate, less defended expressions of the body. Movement experiences are tailored to the person’s needs. These include body awareness, sensory and breathing exercises, role play, active imagination, imagery techniques, exploration of childhood memories, or simply the emergence of spontaneous, authentic movement.

Dance/Movement Therapy

kids-dancingDance/movement therapists utilize a variety of bodily techniques aimed at fostering self-awareness, connecting inner psychic processes with feelings and experiences in the outer world, and understanding relational dynamics. As defined by The American Dance Therapy Association, dance/movement therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement as a process which furthers the emotional, cognitive, physical, and social integration of the individual. As we now know, the body is the repository of our emotions, whether we pay attention to them or not, and the vehicle with which we learn how to be in the world. Through movement we relate and communicate. Creative movement expression, in a safe, respectful environment, not only facilitates awareness of feelings and the discovery of hidden resistances or personal blocks, but also endows us with the ability to find unexpected solutions to life’s dilemmas.  

Consultation and Teaching

Patrizia Pallaro examines organizational dynamics in healthcare settings, and offers consultation to mental health agencies and individual therapists. On faculty at the International Psychotherapy Institute, she teaches nationally and internationally.

For Therapists


While some believe that a therapist has to be immune from conflicts or perfectly able to navigate life currents, literature reviews and research studies indicate that personal psychotherapy for psychotherapists is of utmost importance. Not only it is necessary to experience what it feels like to be in therapy (how can we expect our own clients to be vulnerable otherwise?), but also, psychotherapists need a safe and confidential forum for self-care as well as to understand the impact of un-metabolized projections and projective identifications in the therapist-client dyad. Patrizia Pallaro offers her expertise, in a confidential setting, to therapists who want to deepen their self-understanding.

Supervision and Consultation

As an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and, in the state of California, a Marriage and Family Therapy Certified Supervisor, she provides skilled individual and group supervision. As a board-certified dance/movement therapist, she supervises dance/movement therapists nationally and internationally. Her field of expertise is interpersonal neuro-affective-psychobiology, the interweaving of affective experience and self-reflection, how the unconscious reveals itself through movements, gestures, body sensations, and dreams.