At NorthStar Counseling & Wellness, we strive to serve you with guidance, encouragement and direction, so that you may achieve your goals, discover your authentic self, cultivate self-compassion, develop an increased self-awareness and grow creatively by providing mental health services, counseling and psychotherapy, and integrative care.
Get to know our staff!
Nicole is a Licensed Certified Social Worker – Clinical (LCSW-C) in the state of Maryland. With 10+ years of experience, Nicole has provided mental health therapy and counseling services in Community Programs, School Systems, independent Healthcare Practices, and a large Hospital Network. She has provided care in various settings including outpatient mental health clinics, school-based services, community programs, crisis intervention services, psychiatric rehabilitation programs, and intensive outpatient programs. Nicole has worked with a diverse population of clients from children to adults experiencing a wide variation of diagnoses, as well as working with individuals who have experienced trauma. She has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, parents, and families, but enjoys working with individuals of all ages.
Nicole uses trauma informed practices and integrative trauma modalities to address the unresolved symptoms of trauma, like anxiety, feelings of guilt and shame, dissociation, nightmares, flashbacks, relationship conflicts, chronic fatigue, depression, addiction, eating disorders and self-harm or self-injury. Nicole believes in the importance of practicing therapy, using self-compassion, while creating a safe space of non-judgment for authentic healing.
Nicole practices using a strength-based and trauma-informed approach with an attachment-oriented perspective. To best address the needs of her clients, she also utilizes integrative therapy, which combines different therapeutic tools and methods, to create a more individualized therapeutic approach. Nicole has training and experience in Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, Theraplay techniques, play therapy, sand tray, expressive modalities, mind-body modalities and mindfulness. Nicole will incorporate creative and expressive methods into her therapy practice including art and play therapy techniques, movement, and yoga.
Nicole holds advanced postgraduate Certificates in Advanced Trauma Treatment (Level I & Level II) from the Ferentz Institute; Theraplay & Marschak Interaction Method (MIM) (Level I & Level II) from The Theraplay Institute; Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (Level I) from the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute; Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT); Trauma Focused – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT); Trauma Narrative Art Therapy (Level I).
Nicole earned her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BSW) and her Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Salisbury University. After achieving her Master’s Dregree, Nicole has focused on growing as a professional by attending a wide variety of trainings and receiving several certifications, along with applying her knowledge and abilities in various therapeutic settings. She continues to focus on the impact of trauma, developmental psychology, social-emotional development, strengthening parent-child relationships, family engagement, and building secure attachments. Nicole has provided consultation to community-based and school-based programs on providing trauma-informed services to children and adults, as well as presenting professional development information to educators and mental health workers.
Jessica is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and Board-Approved Clinical Supervisor in the state of Maryland. With 10+ years of experience in various fields of mental wellness, she is dedicated to promoting social, mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being.
Jessica began her career in Residential Treatment Facilities working with adults and geriatric persons promoting community integration and rehabilitation. She was promoted to a Director position and managed a Residential Rehabilitation Program. Jessica then expanded professionally to providing clinical treatment for children and families in Baltimore City. Most recently, Jessica Directed a school-based therapy program, which provided mental health services for schools throughout Maryland.
Jessica has provided therapy in homes, schools, office setting, and other community locations to enhance access of care for those in need. Experience has enhanced her skill set in areas of mediation, leadership, offsite counseling, and positive psychology. Diverse experience in community mental health has allowed Jessica to provide treatment to individuals ranging from 5 - 85yo with diverse backgrounds.
Therapeutically, Jessica has worked with those seeking assistance with symptoms related to trauma, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Conduct, and conflict related to interpersonal relationships. Jessica has completed certificate-level postgraduate course work in the following areas: Mindfulness, Trauma and Attachment, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Jessica values a strengths-based, trauma-informed approach to therapy; and believes in providing a safe, nonjudgmental, compassionate space for treatment.
Jessica earned her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Psychology from University of Maryland Baltimore County while also minoring in Sociology. She then achieved her Master of Science (MS) degree in Applied Psychology from University of Baltimore. Jessica has experience advocating for mental health needs in school environments throughout the state of Maryland; particularly through involvement in Mental Health Task Force with Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Jessica has experience as a Mental Health First Aid Trainer and personally certified community members in MHFA promoting knowledge and interventions for those in need. Jessica has also contributed consultation services to local CSAs regarding residential mental healthcare for persons affected by chronic mental illness.
Jessica believes in a person-centered approach to therapy with profound respect for the individual's journey to health and awareness. Through practices rooted in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, trauma-informed care, and support, Jessica customizes treatment based on the needs of the individual.
Sara is a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor (LGPC) in the state of Maryland. After completing her undergraduate degree in human development, Sara advanced her academic studies by receiving a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with emphasis in Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling. She has worked in a variety of settings and enjoys working with children, adolescents, young adults, parents, and families. Sara is committed to working with her clients in the pursuit of mental wellness.
After receiving her Bachelor’s degree, Sara started out her career working as a Toddler Teacher. She was responsible for monitoring and facilitating important aspects of the children’s development including, social-emotional development, motor skills, cognitive abilities, language skills, literacy skills, and physical development. While pursuing her graduate degree, Sara completed her counseling internship at an outpatient mental health facility. She gained valuable experience working with clients of all ages from diverse backgrounds. By facilitating individual counseling and group therapy, she provided services to individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, mood disturbances/disorders and problems related to substance-abuse. Her academic background and work experience have supported and provided a comprehensive understanding of the unique dynamics within family systems and interpersonal relationships, while learning a holistic approach to provide treatment to those struggling with wellness.
Sara is a strong believer of Person-Centered therapy and its three main principles: unconditional positive regard, empathetic understanding, and transparency. Rather than adopting one treatment modality for all individuals, she uses an integrative approach, which combines evidence-based treatment such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing, Support, and Play-Oriented therapy techniques. She strives to create an exceptional therapeutic environment to best address client needs and goals. She works to gain the trust and confidence of her clients, while encouraging a meaningful therapeutic relationship. As she expands professionally by working with children and adolescents, Sara draws from her unique background helping children develop self-control, self-efficacy, and self-regulation through circle time, playing games that require impulse control, setting appropriate time limits, praising effort and strengths, establishing achievable goals, talking about emotions using an appropriate yet wide vocabulary, maintaining a daily routine, and helping children self-soothe by providing comfort while being a calm and supportive presence.
During her own journey through life, Sara discovered a passion for helping others, which led to her determination to pursue mental health therapy. She takes great responsibility in supporting others through various challenges in life and providing guidance on the path to wellness. Sara provides a customized approach, based on proven techniques, to address the needs and goals of the individual.