About Leyla

Since 2000, I have been fortunate to work with adolescents and adults in the Washington, DC area.  As a result, I have a deep understanding of the complex needs of clients in this diverse, politically sensitive area.

Psychotherapy Experience

I have fortunately interned at two excellent facilities: The Center for Multicultural Human Services in Falls Church, VA where I was able to serve predominately adolescents and their families and at the National Institutes of Health where I worked with adults on the oncology and neurology units. At these internships, I was able to learn and apply short-term problem-solving therapy. After graduating with my MSW, I was immediately hired to work at Whitman Walker Clinic providing care for clients with multiple diagnoses.

From 2002-2007, I was in private practice in Friendship Heights where I served a diverse group of clients ranging from 12 years of age to 85 years of age.  In 2007, I moved my private practice to Dupont Circle and have enjoyed serving clients who work in a variety of different areas such as the Military, Foreign Service, US Federal Government, World Bank, IMF, and Private Sector.

Psychotherapy Teaching

I am an active teacher of psychotherapy.  These teaching opportunities help me stay up to date on the latest findings in successful therapy.

  • 2007 to Present; Faculty, Supervisor, Washington School of Psychiatry
  • 2010 to Present; Adjunct Faculty, Catholic University of America
  • 2021-2022; Co-Chair and Faculty Chair Counsel Member for Clinical Program, Washington School of Psychiatry
  • 2018-2022; Steering Committee Member for Clinical Program, Washington School of Psychiatry
  • 2016-2017; Co-Chair ISTDP Program, Washington School of Psychiatry

I teach every semester and am known for having an approachable, authentic and applicable teaching style.  At CUA, I teach various courses in the Masters of Social Work program including; Clinical Work with Adults, Human Development and Psychopathology, and Assessment Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Illnesses.  At the Washington School of Psychiatry, I have been supervising and teaching budding and seasoned therapists as a Faculty member at the Washington School of Psychiatry’s (WSP) three-year certification program in Intensive-Short Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy where I served as co-chair in the 2016-2017 academic year.  In addition, I serve as Faculty, Supervisor, and Steering Committee Member in the WSP’s Two-Year Clinical Psychodynamic Program.


I have presented seminars at various locations including the World Bank, George Washington University, Catholic University’s Counseling Center, Marymount University, American University’s Counseling Center, and River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation.


I received my Bachelors of Science Magna Cum Laude Academic Honors from Dickinson College. During my undergraduate education, I spent a year abroad in Bologna, Italy at the Center for European Studies studying the Italian language, culture, and politics.  Due to my personal, educational, and professional experience, I am particularly sensitive to issues of diversity.  In 2000, I completed my Master’s in Social Work from Catholic University of America’s National School of Social Services. I completed my Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work from the Clinical Social Work Institute in 2007 where I defended a dissertation on coping skills for burnout.  From 2002-2007, I studied Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy with Dr. Davanloo in Montreal.

Mindfulness/Yoga Studies


I am able to sit with my clients as they share traumatic events and intense emotions because of my steady practice in Mindfulness and Yoga. I keep a clear boundary between my Mindfulness/Yoga students and my psychotherapy clients. However, I bring my knowledge and skills of Mindfulness and Neuroscience into my psychotherapy practice if I find these tools can help my clients regulate their anxiety and reduce distress.

In 1997, I was accepted into a year-long residency at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health studying a Mindfulness-based lifestyle.  I received my certificate to teach yoga and since then have offered therapeutic yoga at numerous locations including the Whitman Walker Clinic, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Glen Echo Park, A Wider Circle, the Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Supreme Court. I taught a yoga class for Justice O’Connor for 15 years.  In 2002, I co-founded Capitol Hill Yoga. I served as the co-owner of this small business until 2008, when I decided to leave Capitol Hill Yoga to invest more time in teaching and supervising psychotherapy.  In 2004, I was listed in Washingtonian Magazine as a recommended Yoga and Mindfulness Instructor.  With more than 20 years of consecutive yoga teaching experience, I  currently teach 3 classes per week.  I currently serve as board president at Circle Yoga Cooperative. I also lead a weekly Mindfulness Class at Sibley Memorial Hospital.


I currently hold memberships in National Association of Social Workers, Greater Washington Society for Clinical Social Workers, Kripalu Yoga Ayurveda Association, and the Washington School of Psychiatry.


LICSW (District of Columbia)

LICSW (Maryland)

Board Certified Supervisor (Maryland)

LICSW (Commonwealth of Virginia)

I look forward to sharing my expertise with you and working together to help you feel better.

Contact Leyla

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