Individual Counselor, Couples Counselor, Family Counselor Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist, Bethesda, MD

  • Clinical Degree: University of Maryland, Couple and Family Therapy
  • Expertise: Self-esteem/Self-worth, Relationship Skill Building, Trauma, Family-of-Origin Influences
  • Available: Monday afternoons and evenings; Wednesday mornings, afternoons, evenings; Sunday mornings and afternoons
  • Prepare/Enrich Certified: Yes
  • Discernment Counseling: No

About Kaitlin Doyle

Many people seek therapy because they feel “stuck”. This sense of “stuckness” may be present with your partner or family members, or may pervade your everyday life. This “stuckness” can have many origins, including childhood experiences, poor partner communication, mental health diagnoses (e.g., depression or anxiety), or family dynamics. Whatever the cause may be, together we can work to help you move forward feeling positive and fulfilled.

My style of therapy is open, warm, and empathetic. I strive to build relationships with my clients by listening carefully to their unique perspectives and concerns. I also believe that just as every client has unique challenges, they also possess unique strengths. My passion is helping clients gain deeper understanding of the pattern of these challenges and building upon their strengths to overcome them. I use a variety of therapeutic techniques drawing from cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, family systems models, and trauma-informed practices.

When working with individuals, I still keep my marriage and family training in mind. I enjoy helping individuals understand connections from their family of origin to their current challenges. Together, we can find ways to move differently in any system you are involved in, whether it’s your intimate relationships, family, work, or other communities. I also enjoy teaching individuals to use mindfulness and other skills in order to overcome the pain of stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma.

I understand that couples come to therapy at many different stages in their relationships and with varying degrees of satisfaction in their relationships. Whether dating, engaged, newly married, or married for many years, I can teach couples effective communication and conflict resolution skills that can enhance and repair connection and intimacy. When working with premarital couples, I use a strengths-based approach to help partners get on the same page about important topics and learn skills to help their marriage last. When couples are in distress, we can work together to uncover unhelpful relationship dynamics and focus on building a secure connection.

I also enjoy working with families to create positive family communication and infuse joy into the family system. Together, we will look at the patterns of family dynamics that are causing dysfunction and work to help every member of the family feel heard and appreciated. I have years of experience working as a school-based mental health therapist, which allows me to assist families in navigating the school system. In families with younger children experiencing behavior problems, anxiety, or trauma, I use Theraplay-based interventions in order to strengthen family attachment.

I provide therapy in English and Spanish. My trainings and certifications include: being a certified PREPARE/ENRICH counselor, completing level 1 Theraplay training, and holding several certifications in providing trauma-informed care. I hold a Master’s degree in Couple and Family Therapy from the University of Maryland. My thesis research focused on the effects of childhood trauma on new mothers’ self-perceptions.

Finally, a little bit about me: I grew up in North Carolina, but have lived all over the East Coast! Before becoming a therapist I worked in education and in a psychology research lab. I enjoy traveling and learning about new cultures. In my free time I practice yoga and might incorporate some mindfulness and breathing exercises into our sessions!

Kaitlin Doyle is available Mondays from noon until 10 pm, Wednesdays from 9 am until 10 pm, and two Sundays per month from 11 am to 5 PM.

Endorsement by Practice Owner, Dr. Emily Cook

Kaitlin is a skilled marriage and family therapist and a wonderful addition to Emily Cook Therapy’s team. She focuses her work on meaningful connections — those that she makes with her clients, and those that she helps couples and families create among one another. Kaitlin’s therapeutic style matches her personality: she is warm and deeply empathic, and she has a way of keeping even the most difficult conversations light-hearted. She is naturally insightful and, like me, enjoys using illustrative metaphors to help her clients understand and relate differently to their challenges and successes. Clients truly benefit from working with Kaitlin.

Two Favorite Therapy Quotes

My first favorite therapy quote is “comparison is the thief of joy.” I like this quote because it speaks to ubiquitous tendency to compare, but forces us to realize the way that comparing hurts us. Let’s face it- our brains are set up to compare based on evolution. Our ancestors had to know that one berry would kill us while another would provide nourishment; however, the comparing that modern humans tend to do is less favorable. When we focus on what others have or do better than us, we lose sight of gratitude or acceptance of the way things are. Gratitude and acceptance, on the other hand, can bring us much more joy and peace.

My second favorite therapy quote comes from family systems theory and it is: “sometimes attempted solutions perpetuate the problem.” This quote guides much of the work I do with couples and families. It emphasizes that clients are often quite motivated to solve their problems, but sheds light on the way unhealthy patterns may be created. Let me give you an example of this quote in action. Imagine a mother who is concerned about her daughter’s low grades and lack of motivation for school work. The mother constantly chastises her daughter and spends so much time going over homework that she practically does it for her daughter. The mother wonders why her daughter’s grades are not improving. What the mother doesn’t see as that her attempted solutions are making the daughter less motivated to learn independently. Through family therapy, the family could learn to see these patterns and attempt new solutions.

Are you searching for help after a negative experience with therapy?

First off, it’s understandable that you may be hesitant to seek help again after feeling hurt or being treated poorly by a previous therapist or counselor. Maybe you felt they didn’t listen to your concerns or took sides in a way that further damaged your relationship. When clients tell me they have previous experience in therapy, I always ask what they found helpful and unhelpful. I’ve been shocked to hear some of the stories my clients tell me about negative experiences in therapy, ranging tactlessness to plain unethical behavior. In your sessions with me, I will remain curious and compassionate while practicing ethical decision-making. I will never tell you what to do, because I know you have to live with the consequences of those actions. I will listen to you, and moreover, I will check in with you to make sure you are feeling heard. I know it can be a difficult step to take again, but I promise — good help is out there! You can find the right fit.

Recent Blog Posts by Kaitlin Doyle

Education

  • MS, Couple and Family Therapy, University of Maryland
  • BA, Psychology and Hispanic Linguistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Maryland Marriage and Family Therapy License #LCM679, licensed since 2016

Ready to get started with expert relationship therapy in Bethesda, MD? Give Kaitlin Doyle a call, she’s looking forward to hearing from you.

Kaitlin Doyle, MS, LCMFT is an independent contractor of Emily Cook Therapy, LLC and not an employee.