Gabriela Barber, MS, LGMFT

Clinical Degree

U. of Maryland, Couple and Family Therapy

Clinical Interests

As a therapist, I work with couples and families as they navigate various life transitions. This can include reorganization within the family system, through either a new marriage, a separation or divorce, birth of a new family member, the exploration of alternative family building options, or various other life events. I also work with individuals and couples who are experiencing primary or secondary infertility and individuals experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety.

Professional Background

Studying at the University of Maryland’s Couple and Family Therapy program for the last two years has provided me with experiences working with a variety of clients from various backgrounds. While at UMD, I was privileged to be able to work with mostly couples and families with school age children. My clinical experience at UMD provided me with experiences working with a variety of presenting concerns, including divorce, co-parenting, communication issues, and premarital counseling (I am a certified PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator). During my master’s program at UMD, I was lucky to be able to spend one year also working within Montgomery County Public Schools at a middle school providing therapy services to students. During my work in the school system, I primarily worked one on one with the students, however when necessary and possible, I would try to incorporate family sessions. Through my clinical work and various volunteer positions that I have held, I have come to truly value the family system, therefore I believe that it is extremely important to incorporate those who are important members of my client’s lives into sessions whenever it is beneficial. My work within the school system also provided me with valuable experiences learning to coordinate with teachers, guidance counselors, and other school personnel when it came to helping the students that I was working with. While I believe that family is extremely important, there are a variety of other influential individuals within the school system and its related institutions that greatly impact children’s lives and well-being as well. I am currently enrolled in the Maternal and Child Health doctoral program at UMD to continue to explore my research interests in regards to maternal and child health and family systems.

My Therapy Style

We all reach various transition points in our lives when we are unsure of what decision to make or what our next moves will be if in a new situation. Our lives are constantly in flux, and we all sometimes need support to navigate all the changes that are constantly occurring given that each and every single one of us reacts differently when confronted with life’s challenges. In therapy, I strive to create a safe space, where clients are able to explore their feelings and emotions. Whether this be through talking or other mediums, I seek to provide all clients with a way to express themselves, regardless of the situation or life circumstance that they find themselves in. I work to co-create with my clients what they would like to achieve through the course of therapy, and I aim to create a collaborative relationship with my clients where there is a reciprocal exchange of ideas and conversation. I believe that my clients know themselves and their relationships best, and I strive to be a guide with them on their journey to achieve their goals. In my work, I strive to use a growth-oriented approach, utilizing various therapeutic models, such as play therapy, CBT, and Structural Family Therapy.

A Little Bit About Me Outside of the Therapy Room

As a doctoral student at UMD, when I’m not doing therapy there is a good chance I’m on campus attending classes, conducting research, or working as a teacher assistant for undergraduate students. In my free time, I like to spend it curled up with a book or out on the water. Growing up in Florida, the beach has always been one of my favorite places, and I try to spend as much time as possible outside at the pool or on the coast.

Availability

Gabriela is in the office on Fridays (1:00pm – 8:00pm). Schedule Now!

Contact Information

Reach out to Family Therapy Center of Bethesda today with your questions, comments or concerns and we'll be sure to get back to you as quickly as possible!

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