Happy New Year!

Our clinical training groups and couples psychotherapy groups are continuing into 2019.
Groups meet for one two-hour session a month on either a Saturday or a Sunday.
We welcome your participation in the group(s) that best meet your needs.

  •   Clinical Training Group
    This short-term series nurtures your “use-of-self” in connections with clients.
    The Winter/Spring Series starts February 9th for four monthly sessions. Read more

  •   Process Group for Therapists
    This long-term experiential group develops your abilities for self-reflection and relational awareness needed for clinical insight and therapeutic expertise. Read more

  •   Couples Psychotherapy Groups
    These work- and life-friendly group experiences support your efforts toward achieving the relationship you desire and deserve. Read more

As private-practice clinicians, we provide individual, couple, and group psychotherapy. Our collaborative styles provide rich experiences for group members. Learn more about us by visiting our websites: www.gingersullivan.org and www.trishcleary.com

Groups meet in Bethesda and are convenient to the Washington/Baltimore metropolitan areas.

Contact Kelly Case at kelly@gingersullivan.org to register.

Thank you for your continued support of our groups through referrals to clinical colleagues, LGPC graduates, clients and friends.

Sincerely, Trish and Ginger

Trish Cleary, MS, LCPC, CGP, LFAGPA & Ginger Sullivan, MA, LPC, CGP, FAGPA


Clinical Training Group

The ability to comfortably use one’s self in therapeutic relationships is a valuable professional skill. Clinicians who are familiar with their emotional strengths and vulnerabilities connect profoundly and empathically with their clients/patients.

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Process Group for Therapists

Process Group for Therapists   

Participation in this experiential group for mental health providers offers an opportunity for professional growth that can enhance your work with clients/patients. This group is limited to 10 members. Openings are currently available on the wait-list.

Earn: Category B CEUs; Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP) credentialing hours; and/or LGPC hours for licensure in Maryland and the District of Columbia.  

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Need LGPC Supervision hours?

Join our once-a-month 2-hour LGPC Supervision Group
Co-facilitated by LGPC Supervisors for Maryland and DC
Trish Cleary, MS, LCPC-MFT-ADC, CGP, LFAGPA & Ginger Sullivan, MA, LPC, CGP, FAGPA

When: Next Session - Saturday, September 23rd   - From 2 to 4 PM
Where: Bethesda/Chevy Chase is convenient to Washington/Baltimore metro area.
How:  Register now by contacting: Kelly Case at
Fee: $100.00 per group session.

Trish: trishcleary@comcast.net  301-654-4936 &
Ginger: vmsmail@aol.com  (202) 265-5855
Visit our websites to learn more about us: www.trishcleary.com & www.gingersullivan.org

“Knowing” & “Not Knowing”

Many of us may feel overwhelmed by the recent advances in communication technology: social media, 24/7 news coverage, and feature stories about “15-minute” celebrities as well as “real” superstars. Amidst rapid-fire sound-bites, continual distractions and unrelenting interruptions, our psyches are bombarded with information that disappears as quickly as it appears. The added insult of “fake news” and “alternative facts” create chaos and make it difficult to “know” anything accurately.

In this fast-paced world, important information can be missed if it doesn’t capture our attention. Targeted disruptions make it easy to glide past whatever makes us uncomfortable. Living in a culture that advocates “not knowing” is demonstrated in our preoccupation with the “quick fix.” In the past it was the glossy magazine ads and whimsical TV commercials that peddled alcohol and cigarettes as a cure-all for whatever ailed you. Now drug corporations’ feel-bad-feel-better messaging provides a ready remedy without exploring the cause of symptoms. With no lens to view ourselves, in a culture where feelings are taboo, we are left with “quick fix” solutions that numb our ability to “know” who we are and what we need.

For those who experience traumatic injury it is difficult to feel secure in a fast-paced dismissive world. However, they are not doomed to live in misery (as we explored in last year’s focus on the “Adult Child.”) As we journeyed with them, we came to understand the emotional weight of their burdens and the high price of hiding their secret shame. While “not knowing” shielded them from acknowledging generational dysfunction, it didn’t protect them and their families from suffering.

Healing the emotional wounds in the “Adult Child” necessitated slowing down in order to willingly look at the menacing beliefs and distractions that kept them stuck. As they made room for “knowing,” their anxiety quieted. We also learned how going inward to explore self-defeating behaviors could promote awareness and change. When the “Adult Child” courageously dared to experience confusion, pain and sorrow, we witnessed their developing self-esteem. Throughout their healing journey, they peeled away their defenses and found their lost puzzle pieces - parts of themselves that liberated their personal “knowing” and supported congruent confidence.

This year, we will continue to explore the debilitating impact of trauma. We will spend time discovering varied emotional adaptations of “not knowing” and “knowing” needed to cope with challenging life-circumstances. We will continue to retrieve lost puzzle pieces and increase our understanding about how connecting once-lost puzzle pieces can promote emotional well-being and wholeness.

LGPC Supervision Group

For Licensed Graduate Professional Counselors in Maryland and Washington DC.

Co-facilitated by LGPC Supervisors approved by Maryland and by DC
Trish Cleary, MS, LCPC-MFT-ADC, CGP, FAGPA & Ginger Sullivan, MA, LPC, CGP, FAGPA
2 hour sessions meet one Saturday a month from: 2 to 4 PM

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The Power of the Adult Child’s Shame-filled Secrets

Emotional distance caused by secret shame can be reversed with heartfelt attention.

Clare’s therapy continued. She was happy to report that things were going well between her and Charles. Clare noted, however, that her confusion about her mother’s reaction to the whole Charles situation persisted. “I asked my mom if we could talk about what has been going on between us; she cried but then said nothing. While she’s always been somewhat distant, this is different. I can’t find a way to connect with her and I am scared for her and for me.”

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Dancing with Danger

An Adult Child tends to partner with another Adult Child in their relationships. As kindred spirits with intergenerational family secrets, they don’t realize they are at risk for heartache. Without awareness of their family histories, they get lost in a dangerous dance that tosses them in-and-out of Persecutor, Victim and Rescuer roles in the closed system of the Dysfunctional Triangle. These roles surface and play out in endless cycles of Rupture and Regression inside each individual, between each other, and within their families. Overwhelmed and confused by unexpected yet familiar feelings of shame, they struggle. Only when the dancing slows down enough can the Adult Child begin to access the depths of their concealed pain and sorrow and achieve emotional safety and secure connections.

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Flirting with Infatuation

The Adult Child longs for love and yet avoids emotional closeness.

The Adult Child grows up wanting the loving connections promised in TV shows and movies. They struggle to connect in their relationships in the hope of insuring success. As forgotten emotional vulnerabilities threaten, the Adult Child’s “as if” wish to thrive in a relationship is forgotten and they return to their proven coping strategies in order to survive.

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“…Shining Armor”

The Adult Child is drawn to shining armor and is blinded by it.

The Adult Child becomes emotionally intoxicated by the wearer of shining armor. They are drawn to them as a kindred spirit. They are comforted and affirmed by their reflection in the armor’s glow. They are excited by what is concealed beneath the armor. Is it an attraction to the wearer’s strength, weakness, or to familiar danger?

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Mother’s Day

Our ongoing need for secure and satisfying connections is important. Consider yourself blessed if you have someone in your life who gives you the space to share your feelings openly; who finds time to be with you; and who expresses concern without judgment. If you don’t have such a person in your life, allow yourself to discover and experience a connection with someone you trust. It may be the “beginning of a beautiful friendship.”