I am a Clinical Health Psychologist practicing in Washington DC and a behavioral sleep specialist associated with Medstar Georgetown University’s Sleep Disorders Center for over two decades.
As well, in collaboration with an interdisciplinary George Mason University team, we are developing a health communication campaign – ‘Share CBT-I.’ Our aim is to assist healthcare professionals to convey to health consumers ‘what works’ for insomnia and where to find it (e.g., Insomnia Hub, CBT Hub).
Address: 1234 19th Street, NW #901 Washington, DC 20036
Google Map: View here
Hours: Friday and Saturday (9:00 – 5:30)
Payment: Out-of-Network Provider
I work with individual adults using brief, time-limited, structured, & goal-oriented therapies that have solid scientific evidence. Motivational enhancement therapy helps people be more “ready, willing, & able” to change. Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and positive psychology strategies are used to help people learn how to improve their function in these areas:
Mental Health: Depression, anxiety, anger, excessive worry, panic, phobias, social anxiety, OCD, as well as other self-defeating behavior under stress
Motivation to Change: Lifestyle habits (i.e., smoking cessation, weight management, procrastination)
Physical Conditions: Pain, fatigue, chronic insomnia, chronic illness self-management (e.g., changes in function, relationships, self image, moods, values & other quality of life issues)
Well-Being: Increasing resilience, social intelligence, life satisfaction, & fulfillment
In short, I believe it’s my responsibility to help people know how to grow to their full potential (like the pictured flowers). It’s estimated that 80% of healthcare is self care (Sobel, 1995). And a provider’s top job is to support patients to be more ‘activated & informed’ (Wagner, 1987). Thus, people need to know and (1) Learn how to use the self care skills that are proven to work for managing illness & preventing it, and (2) Find proven self care resources.
In practice, I offer brief, skill-based CBT so that you learn a set of skills to become your own therapist – quickly. I also combine positive strategies with CBT – so that you learn how to optimize well-being, instead of just reducing negative experiences. As a community service, I curate public information sites – for CBT and Insomnia – to enable other health professionals to spread ‘what works’ for health and well-being.
Since 1990, Dr. Cary has been practicing clinical health psychology. In her DC private practice, she helps adults learn to better self-manage their anxiety or moods, stress-related conditions, or chronic medical illnesses. As an adjunct faculty member of the Georgetown University Sleep Disorder Center team, she teaches and consults as the behavioral sleep specialist.
After completing the Mayo Social Media Residency, Dr. Cary has been organizing an academic team, associated with Gary Kreps and others at George Mason University, to leverage curated knowledge-sharing platforms to communicate and spread ‘what works’ to the public. For more, see:
From 2004 to 2010, Dr. Cary directed Clinical Skills – a unique 2-year long course for civilian and military graduate students at the USU National Simulation Center. This course was identified as a model for training therapy and supervision skills by the National Training Coordinator of Army Psychology Programs, who disseminated the course throughout Army Internships nationally. As well, Dr. Cary was invited to present the course at the 2011 meeting of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology.
From 1993 to 2001, Dr. Cary was at Georgetown University Medical Center, where she began as a postdoctoral fellow in Behavioral Medicine (mentored by David Williams). As Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Internal Medicine, she directed the Biofeedback Lab and trained medical residents while working with patients from the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Clinics, Pain Clinic, Cardiac Rehab, and Sleep Disorders Center. Patients were also referred by Ob-Gyn (e.g., fertility), Gastroenterology (e.g., Acid Reflux), Neurology (e.g., Headache, MS), Rheumatology (e.g., Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue), and Internal Medicine (e.g., stress-related illnesses). Also, with Georgetown’s Lombardi Cancer Center, Dr. Cary supervised smoking cessation research clinicians.
Dr. Cary joined the Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center, when it was at Georgetown University. There, she led CBT groups in which people with fibromyalgia (chronic pain & fatigue) were 3 times more likely to gain significant function than controls – at 1 year post treatment. She also helped develop the CBT manual for treating Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses for the national multi-site trial. That study was the primary basis for recommending CBT as part of the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Chronic Pain & Fatigue.
Dr. Cary completed her Internship in Physical Rehabilitation Psychology at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital and completed her Doctor of Psychology at Nova Southeastern University (1990). While writing her doctoral dissertation (assessing anger/migraines), Dr. Cary was a school psychologist in Fairfax County Schools (at Lake Braddock Secondary School). Previously, she was the Personnel Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center for the State of Florida when it was at the University of Miami.
Professional memberships include