The Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) therapists at the Washington Baltimore Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy provide mental health therapy and education for distressed couples, families, and individuals in order to restore a sense of well-being, create healthy relationships, and build strong bonds between all family members.  

The Clinicians working at the WBCEFT help partners, families, and individuals create better communication, achieve and experience emotional clarity, and to increase the trust, security, and comfort within couple and family interactions.

In relationships struggling with tension, conflict, and fear, the clinicians at WBCEFT help reduce these qualities and find mutual validation, shared understanding, and heart-felt empathy.

WBCEFT gives couples and families the skills and tools necessary to create ongoing, lasting improvements at home, with those who matter most.

If you are interested in learning more about the therapy offered at WBCEFT or you have questions about therapy, please feel free to email


To schedule an appointment with a therapist, please email

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"Relationship distress is the single most common reason for seeking therapy. It undermines family functioning and is strongly associated with depression, anxiety disorders, and alcoholism.  EFT for couples offers a comprehensive theory of adult love and attachment, as well as a process for healing distressed relationships.  EFT recognizes that relationship distress results from a perceived threat to basic adult needs for safety, security, and closeness in intimate relationships.  This experiential/systemic therapy focuses on helping partners restructure the emotional responses that maintain their negative patterns of interaction.  Through a series of nine steps, the therapist leads the couple away from conflict deadlock into new bonding patterns. Over the past 30 years, Sue Johnson and her colleagues have developed and rigorously researched this short-term approach in couples therapy.  It is now one of the best delineated and empirically validated approaches in the field of couples therapy."

- Quoted from brochure produced by International Centre For Excellence In Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT).



Dr. Kathryn Rheem, Director

Kathryn is a Certified EFT trainer, supervisor & therapist. She has trained hundreds of mental health clinicians in EFT nationally and internationally. She has been a student of EFT since 2002, has been using this empirically-validated approach exclusively in private practice since 2005, and continues to study and learn the model daily. 

Kathryn trains and presents EFT regularly at many locations in U.S. including the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, AAMFT Annual Conference, state divisions of AAMFT, and EFT Summit and has taught EFT in Denmark, Sweden, Holland, and Germany.

She works extensively with couples where one or both partners have endured trauma and has written and presented on the application of EFT with trauma numerous times. In addition to the application of EFT with trauma, Kathryn has a special passion for working with and teaching the Withdrawer Re-engagement process. For her doctoral dissertation, Kathryn completed the first analysis of Withdrawer Re-engagement, and she enjoys teaching clinicians how to come alongside and work with Withdrawers. Kathryn was voted a Top Couples Therapist in Washington, D.C. by the Washingtonian magazine in December 2012.

Kathryn Rheem:

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Michelle is a Licensed Professional Counselor working as an Independent Contractor for the Washington Baltimore Center for EFT. Through her work at WBCEFT, Michelle nurtures her passion for helping couples move from disconnection to connection, repair betrayal wounds, and establish a secure bond. An ardent believer in Emotionally Focused Therapy, she approaches her work with a strong foundation in the science of love and attachment, and considers herself to be a perpetual learner with a never-ending curiosity about human relationships. Drawing on a background in English literature and writing, Michelle often incorporates the use of metaphor, and sees our primary love relationships like a beautiful orchid -- amazingly resilient but simultaneously sensitive to changes in the environment. In her work with couples, Michelle is attuned to and tends to the needs of the relationship while helping each partner learn how to reach and grow toward each other.

Michelle earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling from George Mason University, and has experience treating adult survivors of trauma and individuals with eating disorders. Michelle maintains a dedication to the clients she works with, and a commitment to providing a safe, non-judgmental environment. For more information or to schedule an appointment, Michelle can be reached at

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Emily Margaret Brown, M.S. MFT Resident

WBCEFT is proud to offer reduced fee therapy provided by Marriage & Family Therapy Resident Emily M. Brown. Emily has a Master's of Science in Human Development and is supervised by Dr. Kathryn Rheem, Ed.D., LMFT, Director of WBCEFT, AAMFT-Approved Supervisor and International Trainer of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT).

Emily received her Master's degree in Human Development from Virginia Tech in 2016. Emily provides therapy to individuals, couples, and families to strengthen relational bonds, develop skills to improve communication, and enhance emotional closeness. She has a deep appreciation for the strength and vulnerability that clients bring and expresses that in the room by providing a safe space for each client. Emily creates a supportive environment of empathy, trust, confidence and success when working with her clients. In other settings, Emily has worked with individuals, couples and families across developmental stages dealing with various issues. You can reach her

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Emily Dowling, MFT Intern

Emily Dowling is in her final year of the highly regarded and rigorous graduate program at Va Tech. She will receive her M.S. in Human Development/Marriage and Family Therapy in May 2020. As an MFT Intern, she sees individuals, couples, and families in weekly therapy. Emily has completed the four-day Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and will continue to develop her application of EFT at WBCEFT under the weekly supervision of Kathryn Rheem, Ed.D., LMFT, AAMFT-Approved Supervisor.

In addition to EFT, Emily is passionate about providing clients with opportunities for personal growth and enhancing connection in both couple and family relationships. She is currently conducting thesis research on military couples.

Emily attended California State University Fullerton, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology with emphases in communication and multicultural studies. As the spouse of a United States Marine, Emily understands how work stress can impact relationships and believes that open communication, flexibility, and the willingness to be vulnerable are key to creating strong bonds.

You can reach Emily by emailing or by calling 703-942-9835.



Kathryn Rheem, Falls Church

Jack C. Childers,  Leesburg

Robin Cohen, Herndon                              703-625-4836

Leigh Conant, Falls Church

Sarah Cook, Alexandria

Annmarie Early, Harrisonburg

Ana Lastra-Abromavage, Leesburg

Janine Murphy-Neilson, Fairfax              703-596-4205    

LuAnn C. Oliver, Arlington

Melissa Peters, Reston

Jill Soyka, Reston 

Janine Murphy-Neilson, Fairfax 703-596-4205




Reena Bernards, Kensington

Dyer P. Bilgrave, Baltimore                        443-562-8331        

Marie Caterini Choppin, Silver Spring    410-235-6588

Ann-Marie Codori, Baltimore                      410-235-6588

Carol H. Corcoran, Severna Park

Eileen Epstein, Baltimore

Mark Goldberg, Baltimore                          443-835-6991

Linda Hellmann, Towson

Carol Kutzer, Silver Spring

Larry Letich, Frederick/N. Bethesda        240-315-8100

Beth Levine, Rockville

Laurie McNeil, Frederick                              301-788-1612                        

Sara Phillips, Ellicott City 410-696-2183

Yula Ponticas, Towson

Lee Schneyer, Rockville

Mayer Solomon, Silver Spring

Douglas Tilley, Annapolis                             410-268-4072

Neil Weissman, Lutherville                         410-321-7980

Flori Willard, Ellicott City                          410-733-8804

Washington, DC


Angela Fowler-Hurtado, Washington, DC

Robert Hartford, Washington, DC

Carol Kutzer, Washington, DC                    301-565-0436

Jette Simon, Washington, DC                      202-244-7990