Freda Smith-Vittone, LPC
I first began my mental health work at the National Center for the Treament of Phobias, Anxiety and Depression in 1989. There, I worked with a team of doctors, many of whom were NIMH fellows and masters in the field of anxiety and mood disorders. I specialize in the treatment of anxiety disorders including social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress syndrome. For many years, I have also treated people with simple phobias such as fear of flying, heights, tunnels or bridges as well as more complex phobias such as social phobia and agoraphobia.
News shows such as ABC's Nightline and the Discovery Channel have invited me to to give expert advice about anxiety and its treatment. A number of times I have also been called upon to give information regarding anxiety to newspapers and radio audiences. In additon, I have enjoyed serving as a guest lecturer to graduate students regarding how best to treat people using the cognitive/behavioral model. In 2004, I joined Virginia Family Counseling because I wanted to use my cognitive/behavioral skills in the short-term treatment of couples and families in addition to individuals. I have found that this approach is as equally successful in treating couples/family issues as it is in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders. I have enhanced my work using EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) here at Virginia Family, creating the potential for even more effective short-term success.
Last, but certainly not least, I am a counselor who encourages my clients to bring their spiritual beliefs into the work if they so choose. Faith seems to significantly help many people deal with tough issues. I encourage my clients to examine and challenge as many beliefs as possible so they can determine if their behaviors are congruent with their beliefs. I believe that if the whole person is addressed, success follows.
I offer a rich and rewarding experience to my clients and expect them to work as hard as I do. My counseling style offers my clients a creative, "nuts and bolts" experience that can be life affirming and life altering.