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Summer Bryant, LCPC

Therapist

Helping You Make Incremental Change That Leads To Long-Lasting Transformation

Yesterday will repeat tomorrow unless you change in the here and now.”- Unknown.

Change doesn’t have to be bad or scary. Your trajectory toward healing and growth can begin by simply bringing awareness to the emotional disturbances you may have previously been avoiding, suppressing, or minimizing. By coming to therapy, you are already making a change in your life.

How My Nursing Background Informs My Practice

From as early as I can remember, I knew I wanted to work in a profession that helps others. It is fulfilling for me to be by someone’s side when they are at their most vulnerable, helping them navigate some of life’s hardest moments.

My path to therapy started in nursing. It was in that environment that I discovered how listening to people at their bedside could make a subtle yet impactful difference in their hospital stay. After working in a variety of different settings, I gravitated toward working in behavioral health and substance use. Eventually, I realized my talents were more attuned to professional counseling and decided to pursue my degree.

I am thankful for my journey in nursing as it has allowed me to carry invaluable skills and knowledge that I have applied to my approach to counseling. The human body is a complex system; everything is interrelated. My nursing background allows me to assess clients holistically, identifying how physical conditions may be affecting them mentally and vice versa. Additionally, I have a broad knowledge of psychiatric medications and their potential side effects.

I Help Individuals And Couples Reconnect With Themselves While Making Sense Of Their Emotional Landscapes

The Latin meaning of the word “emotion” translates as “to move.” When you think about emotions as energy, they are meant to move through us rather than be suppressed or avoided. When we experience positive emotions, our brain produces feel-good neurotransmitters such as serotonin and endorphins. Conversely, negative emotions can produce stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline that lower our feel-good neurotransmitters and trigger unpleasant physiological symptoms. Therefore, learning how to process emotions and move them through the body can help us feel physiologically and psychologically better.

I work with individuals and couples struggling to come to terms with difficult emotions that impede how they want to live. Oftentimes, addiction goes hand-in-hand with underlying anxiety, depression, or unresolved childhood wounds. I enjoy being a support, resource, and counselor to those beginning their journey of sobriety or already in recovery.

I initially became interested in couples counseling when, as a military wife, I witnessed the hardship those around me were experiencing. Unfortunately, divorce rates in the military are high due to the stressful conditions couples face. Rather than divorce, I wanted to help couples find solutions, reminding them there were ways to resolve conflict and get back on the same team. Today, working with couples is one of my favorite areas of counseling.

I Offer Effective Evidence-Based Therapeutic Approaches Tailored To You

With many different yet effective ways to engage in therapy, working with a counselor never has to be a one-size-fits-all approach. Because everyone is unique and thinks differently, what may work best for one person may not work as well for someone else. That is why rather than subscribing to only one theoretical framework, I offer modalities that can be fine-tuned to a client’s specific needs.

My clients appreciate how knowledgeable I am about neuroscience and my understanding of how neurotransmitters influence mental health. I am endlessly curious and love keeping up to date on the latest research that will aid in your journey to healing.

In addition to integrating mindfulness and attachment theory, I utilize modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). CBT and REBT illustrate how our beliefs affect our emotions and behaviors. Each offers skills that challenge limiting or distorted beliefs often underlying anxiety and depression. ACT helps identify what your values are and, with intention, determine how to act in ways that are aligned with those values.

For couples, I integrate Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and the Gottman Method, two short-term yet highly effective evidence-based modalities that are highly effective at building communication and connection.

What’s more, my person-centered approach recognizes that you’re the utmost expert of yourself. With my endless support and encouragement to practice radical self-acceptance, you will learn to have empathy for yourself as well as others.

The body is a mirror of whatever is going on in your life. My well-balanced approach to counseling acknowledges the importance of tapping into and processing emotions while also having a thorough understanding of the systems of the body. Because mental health is often influenced by physical health, I may refer you to a care provider to rule out anything that can be treated outside of counseling.

A Little More About Me

I was not born knowing how to connect and understand my own emotions. Just like many of us, I had to learn. I can remember times in early adulthood filled with self-medicating. Drinking, shopping, over-exercising, smoking, tanning—I was there. I was a pro at running away from how I was feeling because I didn’t know what to do with it. I got myself into some hard situations because of this. I didn’t know some of the things I was dealing with were treatable. Looking back, I’m so proud that I finally set myself free.

I now consider myself a recovered codependent people-pleaser. Boundaries changed my life. Feeling the uncomfortable knot in my stomach resulting from setting boundaries was empowering. Overcoming social anxiety without a drink, check. I finally figured out that I can take up space and not be a burden at the same time. Believing I was enough and worthy of love had to come from myself to matter, not others. I’m grateful for choosing to face “myself” head-on—it taught me a lot. Now, I can authentically be me and it feels good.

Outside of work, the majority of my time off is happily spent being a mom to two girls. I try to intentionally carve out time to make lasting memories with them. Although the mess and the chores will always be there, soaking in the gifts of the present moment—preferably outdoors and better yet, at the beach—can never be taken for granted.

Alone, I throughly love binging paranormal shows. I love organizing and being creative with photography.  My self-care musts each week consist of meditations and cold showers. Infused with this are long talks, on the phone, with friends.

Clinical Trainings

Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level 1: Bridging the Couple Chasm- The Gottman Institute

Treating Affairs and Trauma- The Gottman Institute

Emotionally Focused Therapy Externship- The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally Focused Therapy Core Skills- The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy

Summer Bryant is a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor (LCPC) based in Ellicott City, Maryland. After initially receiving a bachelor’s degree of Science in Nursing from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, Summer went on to receive a master’s degree of art in Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia. She gained experience nursing for 4 years in a variety of different settings, including mental health and substance counseling. Summer has been providing her counseling services since 2021.