ABOUT US

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Freestate Behavioral Health Associates is a counseling & medication management practice conveniently located near I-95, I-695, and St. Agnes Hospital. We treat adult clients struggling with anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, PTSD, and those who have been through traumatic events. Feel free to contact us regarding any questions you may have about our practice. 

© 2018 by FreestateBHA LLC. Design by Ashburn Engineering.

COUNSELING SERVICES 

Click on a specialty below or scroll down to read more about our specialties:

  

  

  

 

INDIVIDUAL THERAPY

Clients seek out therapy for many reasons.  Often, they are looking for support, validation, and guidance and other times, they may be experiencing a stressful time in their life and they don’t want to take the journey alone.

 

Our clinicians have years of experience working with individuals with stress, depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, or sexuality and LGBT issues. The use of cognitive behavioral or other types of therapies allow our staff to provide you with the best service possible.  In some cases, we will suggest that you seek an appointment with a psychiatrist or mental health nurse practitioner for medication management, to supplement your counseling treatment.

 

We offer general counseling all individual and to those who are in the uniformed services. Police, fire, EMS, and members of the armed forces are our specialty. Several of our counselors have had previous careers in the fire and EMS services, or worked indirectly with law enforcement officers.

 

Individual therapy is limited to clients 16 years of age and older. A variety of insurances and private pay and sliding scale is accepted. Unfortunately, we do not accept Medicare or Medicaid.

 

ANXIETY & DEPRESSION

Two of the most debilitating mental health conditions are depression and anxiety. One doesn’t just wake up one morning with these illnesses. Somewhere along the line, something happened in your life. Maybe it was a past or recent trauma, a medical condition, a change in the chemical balance in your brain, or something that you might not be aware.  Our therapists are there to help you in these times of need.

 

Severe cases of depression can result in suicidal thoughts or behaviors.  In these cases, you should seek immediate help but contacting your therapist, calling the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK, or going directly to the closest hospital.

 

Although depression may occur only once during your life, people typically have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:

 

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness

  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies, or sports

  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much

  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort

  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain

  • Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness

  • Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame

  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things

  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or suicide

  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

 

<Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007>

 

 

Anxiety can present in many ways, from simple jitters and fast heart rate to full blown panic attacks. Examples of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), specific phobias, and separation anxiety disorder. You can have more than one anxiety disorder.  Common symptoms of anxiety include:

 

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense

  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom

  • Having an increased heart rate

  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)

  • Sweating

  • Trembling

  • Feeling weak or tired

  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry

  • Having trouble sleeping

  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems

  • Having difficulty controlling worry

  • Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety

 

<Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961>

 

TRAUMATIC EVENT / PTSD 

The team of therapists at Freestate Behavioral Health Associates specialize in past traumas, Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We have extensive experience working with individuals who have been exposed to a variety of situations such as sexual assault or rape, childhood sexual abuse, traumatic childhood events such as an alcoholic or drug addicted parent, cumulative personal or job-related stress, or horrific or terrifying life events.  Symptoms may include:

 

  • Flashbacks

  • Insomnia

  • Nightmares or night terrors

  • Severe anxiety

  • Uncontrollable thoughts about the event

  • Intrusive memories

  • “Replaying the event” in your mind

  • Avoidance

  • Negative changing in thinking and mood

  • Changes in physical and emotional reactions

 

<Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967>

 

Our practice specializes in taking care of those in the uniformed services such as police, fire, EMS, and military. Both Dwight Polk and John Caruso came from the field of fire and EMS. They know what it’s like to work in public service and see the “worst of the worst.”  They speak and understand the language so that you don’t have to educate your therapist on the duties of your job. Dwight also responded to New York City following 9-11 to provide mental health and critical incident stress support to members of the local and federal law enforcement community (NYPD and FBI).

 

There is a lot of media attention about psychological trauma and PTSD. We want you to know that there is help for these conditions. You are not alone!! Our specialists use researched trauma techniques such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to help process past events and traumatic intrusions.

 

Freestate Behavioral Health Associates has an excellent working relationship with the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Center of Excellence Recovery Center. The IAFF Center specializes in issues of behavioral health, substance abuse, and PTSD for IAFF members. This excellent intensive outpatient and 30-day inpatient program is located in Upper Marlboro, MD and is available as a referral source for our therapists. We also support and provide you with continuing care once you have completed your treatment at their facility. For more information, visit their website at https://www.iaffrecoverycenter.com/ or call them directly at 1-844-398-4378.

 

MEDICATION MANAGEMENT

Some clients may need extra support to help them along their journey to wellness and recovery. In January of 2020, we will be adding our own Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (MHNP), Dr. Simon Freyou. Please read more about Dr. Freyou by clicking the “Our Team” tab on our home page.

 

In the meantime, we will be happy to work with your personal psychiatrist, MHNP, or primary care physician. We can also refer you to several local psychiatrists and MHNPs to provide you with a medication evaluation and monitoring for conditions such as:

 

  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

  • Adjustment Disorder

  • Depression or other mood disorders

  • Insomnia or other sleep disorders

  • Acute, cumulative stress, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)