Christina Keenan, counselor
As a therapist, my priority is helping my clients feel safe and comfortable to sit with painful thoughts and feelings in an effort to help facilitate healing.

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia with over six years of experience working with adults and older adolescents in both community mental health and private practice settings. I am living proof that the path to what feels the most meaningful is generally not linear. I like to think that many of my personal and professional experiences have led me here – sitting with clients, holding space for their pain, and walking with them for part of their journey towards a healthier and more fulfilling life.

As a therapist, my priority is helping my clients feel safe and comfortable to sit with difficult thoughts and feelings in an effort to help facilitate healing. Long gone are the days when the therapist was the “all-knowing” expert in someone else’s experiences; my philosophy is that the client is the expert in their internal world and my job is to help them uncover their truths. I come from a psychodynamic and trauma-informed lens, meaning I believe it is worth exploring the link between past experiences and present thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and it is imperative to take into consideration how trauma and other adverse experiences can affect one’s present-day conceptualization of themselves, others, and the world around them.

In Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), we often talk about the Middle Path. This concept infuses the work I do with clients, as I want to help clients both to have a space where they can process, reflect, and develop insights, as well as to problem-solve how to make positive changes in their lives. Too much processing may lead a client to feel stuck in their pain and too much problem-solving might cause a client to feel invalidated. I encourage feedback from clients about what is helping or not helping as much in our work together, and I strive to develop an authentic partnership and therapeutic relationship with them. Likewise, I do not shy away from providing therapeutic feedback and using immediacy in my sessions.

I am also committed to providing a safe space for clients to share about and process how larger systemic injustices affect their well-being. I believe the counseling profession cannot and should not be separated from the social justice issues that impact our society, and it is a disservice to clients to ignore how these macro issues can impact them on a micro level. I want to learn from clients as they share their lived experiences, and I have often found myself humbled by what my clients have taught me.

Taking any step towards starting or restarting therapy can be challenging. Therapy is most effective when individuals are able to be vulnerable and open to new ways of conceptualizing and being, and that is not easy for many people. As such, anyone considering engaging or re-engaging in therapy should be proud of their courage. I look forward to partnering with you!