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LDG Therapy Larisa Degraffenreid LCSW Herndon, VA Virginia


We humans are relational creatures; we are healthier, happier, and live longer when safely connected with others.

My primary purpose is to help people whether in Individual, Family, or Couple’s therapy safely connect with their own internal system and the systems to which they are connected.

Internal Family Systems

The core premise of IFS is that we all have an innate capacity for wholeness--an inborn ability to thrive and that multiplicity is the natural way the mind works.  All of us ‘know’ this instinctively: a part of us wants to eat the cookie, part says we shouldn’t.  While this example is trivial, when our internal ‘ecosystem’ gets out of balance the consequences are devastating whether we label it as addiction, OCD, anxiety, depression, etc. IFS seeks to develop/restore that internal equilibrium by helping clients uncover/discover their innate ability to self-regulate and manage their internal system.

Emotionally Focused Family Therapy

Often in families, the caring intent gets lost in protective communication. My goal is to help heal the relationship bond so that the caring intent comes through clearly and to repair any attachment injuries from the past while improving or teaching the ability to repair in real time. ​ 


Within families, couples, and even in an individual’s own mind, there are cycles of communication that can either be virtuous--can bring us closer together or vicious--can leave us more disconnected, alone, hurt, and in pain.


My job is to help all, whether in families and couples, or individually to be able to interrupt these painful cycles and create more virtuous connections.

LDG Emotionally Focused Family Therapy Larisa Degraffenreid LCSW Herndon, VA Virginia

Here’s an example of this involving a typical adolescent:

A teen wants to avoid hearing from parents:

“Did you do this yet?” as it evokes the pain of ‘not good enough’

So, when the teen arrives home, they may walk quickly from the front door to the bedroom to prevent what they perceive as an onslaught of verbal darts. The faster the teen moves, the shorter the window of opportunity the parents have to converse with their teen. The first things to be eliminated can be “Hi how was your day? What’s new in your world” and what remains is “Did you do this yet?”, “Did you do that yet?”


This interaction creates a vicious cycle in which the teen walks even faster to avoid the parents and the parents words become even more pointed to fit them into this tiny window. My job is to help really slow all that down, to help clarify the message of care from the parent of ”We love you, we want to help you grow.”


Concurrently, I help the child to break free of feeling not good enough and to be able to receive a clear message of love and support from their parents. I often say to parents “I want your child to feel you HAVE their back, not that you’re ON their back.”

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

In couples therapy work, the RELATIONSHIP is my client. The aim of couples’ work is to remove the blocks in communication and repair the bond so couples feel safely connected.   


I focus on emotions, because emotions drive behavior. I do not teach communication skills per se, as most couples are great communicators when their systems are regulated and their attachment is strong. My aim is to help couples discover the vicious cycles that ensnare them and learn to move differently to create virtuous cycles of care and connection.

Individual Therapy

I work with individuals to resolve issues with depression, anxiety, ADHD, relationship challenges, and the like. My goal is to build a client’s toolbox of skillful means so that they can engage with life in a way that enhances their fulfillment and joy.

Licensed Therapist LCSW VA Virginia
Gender identity, Sexual orientation

As a LGBTQ+ affirming therapist, I strive to make my office a safe place for an individual’s internal discovery as well as provide support to parents and families. I encourage clients, parents, and families to develop a greater understanding of the complexities of gender and sexual identity, and of each other, so all in the family system feel felt, seen, and heard.


I provide Neurofeedback as a non-medical alternative available to clients who may prefer not to take or do not respond well to medication or people who would like an alternative to traditional talk therapy. Neurofeedback has been shown to help reduce anxiety; increase distress tolerance, resilience, and executive functioning; and promote trauma resolution.

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