Telehealth sessions in Maryland and DC

Elizabeth Knudson, LCPC


My Passion Is Helping Clients Heal From Trauma And Release Shame

As someone who is naturally inquisitive, I’ve always been interested in learning about other people and their stories. In my previous higher education career, I found that I most enjoyed the opportunities I had with my students to delve into their lives and learn more about the obstacles to their success. My favorite part of the job was brainstorming ideas to help them meet their goals and achieve their dreams. The realization that I wanted to help people work through stuck times in their lives led me to pivot away from higher education and pursue Clinical Mental Health Counseling instead.

My decision to shift careers was also influenced by firsthand experience. Throughout my life, I have been fortunate enough to benefit from working with amazing therapists. I want to help others experience their own healing because I know how life-changing and empowering therapy can be.

I Offer A Brain-Based Approach To Help Adolescents And Adults Heal From Trauma And Addiction

When we suffer from trauma, the internalized shame we experience can make us feel like we are broken or defective. This continuous discomfort we feel inside can sometimes cause us to turn to substances or other addictive behaviors to numb our emotional pain.

Helping people understand the reasons why they act the way they do from a brain-based perspective is one of my passions. Once we begin to comprehend the impact that trauma has on the brain and body, the shame we feel about our behaviors and reactions starts to fall away. Working from this place of self-compassion allows healing to begin. Helping clients heal from trauma, whether big or small, can change the trajectory of their lives.

My mission is to help people grow and develop the strength and resiliency they need to thrive in their environment. In addition to understanding how trauma affects them physiologically, I want clients to understand how resilient they are and discover the power they possess within themselves to heal. Harnessing this power allows them to set out on a new path and create the life they want for themselves.

Because trauma and addiction are so often intertwined, my specialty is exploring the intersection of trauma and substance use with adults as well as adolescents. Substance use is still heavily stigmatized, but if we can understand it as a way of coping instead of a character flaw, we can create more space for compassion and healing.

My brain-based perspective and approach are supported by Eye Movement Desensitization (EMDR), an evidence-based modality that taps into the natural brain’s ability to heal from trauma. Utilizing EMDR, clients can target troubling experiences from the past and, through a gentle desensitization process, enable those memories to recede and lessen in emotional intensity. One of the reasons I decided to become trained in EMDR is because I love how it can help people process traumas without repeatedly talking about the worst moments of their lives.

My sweet spot is working with adolescents who are struggling with trauma and, potentially, substance use addiction. My experience working with young adults in the university setting gave me a perspective on how stressful this period of life can be with its competing priorities of building a social life while also focusing on academic pursuits.

With experience working with adolescents in a variety of settings, I have gotten to know, understand, and develop a particular affinity for this age group. As a therapist, I can connect with teens and adults alike so that they feel heard rather than judged. For me, creating a safe space where people feel willing to be vulnerable makes all the difference.

A Little More About Me

In addition to my EMDR training, I have been trained as an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) presenter and have presented to several George Mason University masters-level graduate counseling classes. While working in K-12 schools, I had the opportunity to do a lot of outreach and education to caregivers about substance use among teens.

In my downtime, I love to bake for my family and neighbors and hang out with my husband and little girl. We spend our weekends exploring and enjoying the Chesapeake Bay area and soaking up the beauty of the area where we live. I also love to get in some snuggles and playtime with our Corgi, Gwendolyn. I like to dabble with gardening because the joy I feel from using herbs I’ve grown in cooking is amazing. I also love planting things that attract butterflies and bees and watching them pollinate the plants.

Elizabeth Knudson is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Maryland and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Virginia. After receiving a bachelor’s degree of Science in Sociology from East Tennessee State University, Elizabeth went on to receive a master’s degree of Arts in College Student Development and Student Affairs from Appalachian State University in 2006. After pursuing a career in higher education, she decided to go back to school and obtain her second master’s degree of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from West Virginia University in 2016. She gained experience at Prince William County Community Services as a Juvenile Probation Therapist and as a Substance Abuse Counselor in Fairfax County Public Schools. Elizabeth has been in private practice since 2023.