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psychotherapy and counseling for individual adults and families

dandelion psychotherapy, pllc

Erika Bugaj Petrova, LICSW & Associates
Psychotherapy for Children, Teens, and Families

Erika Bugaj, MA, MSW, LICSW

Director & Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist

Erika Bugaj is a licensed independent clinical social worker practicing in Washington, DC. Erika has many years of experience as a social worker and therapist, and three years of experience as a teacher. She has held social work positions helping adult survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence; meeting the complex needs of homeless families with young children; and providing counseling and resources to families receiving care on the inpatient pediatric units of a teaching hospital. After finishing her undergraduate degree at Syracuse University, Erika completed a two-year commitment with Teach For America, teaching second grade in DC Public Schools. She holds a Master of Teaching, Elementary degree from Trinity Washington University, and a Master of Social Work, Clinical degree from The Catholic University of America. Erika completed the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Program at the Washington School of Psychiatry in 2013, which is a two year postgraduate certificate program for mental health professionals specializing in providing therapy with children, teens, and families. In her spare time, Erika enjoys art, and she will sometimes incorporate artwork and creativity into her clinical work with clients of all ages. She has taken classes in drawing, watercolor painting, collage, and pottery. Erika is also learning to play the guitar. She resides in Washington, DC with her children and rescue dog.

Erika has been participating in a Train-the-Trainer program with Mary’s Center called “Maternal Mental Health Champions”. The goal of this program is to provide knowledge of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders to the Washington, DC community. Please follow this link to learn more about bringing this free training to your group: PMADS Trainings

Check out Erika's profiles on other websites:

Psychology Today

Erika is a also a therapist on Talkspace, an online therapy platform. Sign up to work with Erika online, on this link:

You can check out this recent essay, "Life as a Text Based Therapist" written by Erika in the Journal of the Academy of Psychotherapists, Voices: The Art and Science of Psychotherapy.

Monique Bhalla, MSW, LICSW

Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist

Monique is a licensed independent clinical social worker practicing in Washington, DC.  She began practicing social work in 2006 and has practiced within a variety of settings.  Monique’s individual work with clients has centered around issues such as recovery from sexual trauma, grief and loss, work and relationship concerns, and addiction recovery.  Monique holds a Master of Social Work degree from The Catholic University of America with a clinical concentration of study and completed post-graduate training with the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing.  She is also a long-time volunteer providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention assistance.  One of Monique’s favorite hobbies is baking cakes from scratch and she is also beginning to venture further into the mysterious realm of pies. 

Check out Monique's other profiles here: Psychology Today

Liz Hagerman, BC-DMT, LGPC 

Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor/Psychotherapist 

Liz is an experienced board-certified dance/movement therapist with a Masters degree from Goucher College in Dance/Movement Therapy. She specializes in working both therapeutically and pedagogically with infants, young children and their parents.  Liz is a graduate of the Infant Observation certificate program at the Washington School of Psychiatry and has studied the “Watch Wait and Wonder” psychotherapy model of working with young children and their parents. Since 2007 Liz has studied the Pikler® and RIE® approaches to infants and toddlers. She is a Pikler® Pedagogue candidate and a RIE® intern.  In 2007, she developed psycho-educational Parent Infant and Toddler groups at two arts-based (Waldorf) schools in Montgomery County Maryland and still leads these groups at  Acorn Hill Waldorf Kindergarten & Nursery  She has a keen interest in motor development and the relationship of motor development to the development of a sense of self. Liz is dedicated to helping parents of little ones to navigate the emotional ups and downs of early parenthood. Liz serves on the board of the local chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association, and is the founder of the DC area Infant and Toddler Study Group for professionals working with the Pikler® and RIE® approaches, and is a member of The World Association of Infant Mental Health. Liz has offered trainings to child care professionals and early childhood teachers on motor development and sensitive caregiving to promote healthy attachment. Liz's first specialty as a Dance/Movement Therapist was with women with eating disorderd and body image struggles. In addition to her passion for dance and movement, Liz loves the outdoors and nature. 

Check out Liz's Blog: The Nature of Nurture: Babies and Toddlers

Lisa McLish, JD, MSW, LICSW
Clinical Social Worker/Senior Psychotherapist

Lisa McLish is a licensed independent clinical social worker practicing in Washington, D.C. A former practicing attorney for seventeen years, Lisa came to the realization that her passion and interest was working directly with people on issues that were impacting their lives and decided to pursue a career in social work. In 2009, she earned her MSW in Clinical Social Work from Catholic University. Lisa particularly enjoys working with children, adolescents and families, and has spent the past seven years working in schools and with the Infants and Toddlers Program in Montgomery County, Maryland. In her work, Lisa has assisted homeless children and families, children with intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities, victims of abuse and neglect, as well as children and adolescents with anxiety and depression. In addition to her MSW, Lisa has also completed the two-year Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy training program at the Washington School of Psychiatry, and was a training Fellow in the Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program at Children’s National Medical Center. A long-time resident of Washington, D.C., Lisa lives with her husband and their three children and spends any free time training for running races and triathlons, and volunteering with her children’s schools and sports teams.

Edie Mead, MSW, LICSW

Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist

Edie Mead is a licensed independent clinical social worker practicing in Washington, DC. Edie has over ten years of experience working as a social worker, most recently with individuals and families receiving care in an inpatient critical care unit at a pediatric hospital. Edie has a particular interest in working with new parents and women in the perinatal (pregnancy through baby's first year) period. Edie received training through Postpartum Support International and is certified in identifying and treating perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Edie earned her Master of Social Work from The Catholic University of America and lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two active children. She enjoys the outdoors and staying active training for half-marathons. 

Zachary Shaeffer, MSW, LICSW, MDiv

Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist

Zack is a licensed independent clinical social worker practicing in Washington, D.C. A native of California, Zack has been a D.C. resident for over ten years, and is very committed to improving access to mental health services for D.C. residents. Zack has extensive experience working with children, teens,  college students, and adults, and a desire to help people of all ages to improve their mental wellness and function at their best. Zack currently works for the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health as a therapist at a D.C. elementary school. Zack received his MSW from Catholic University in D.C., and also has a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. Zack is committed to being a lifelong learner, and is currently enrolled in the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy program at the Washington School of Psychiatry. Zack is a great believer in the benefits of therapy for people of all ages as they cope with stress and seek to better understand themselves and be their best in relationships, at school, and at work. When not working, Zack enjoys cooking, jogging, reading, gardening, and spending time with his wife of eight years (and their cats). 

Nina Anagostopoulos, Office Administrator

Nina has her bachelor’s degree in Community Health from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has interned and worked at organizations that cater to improving the health of her community and enjoys lending a helping hand wherever she can. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and working out to keep a fit lifestyle. She currently attends Marymount University for her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Nina is currently responsible for scheduling new clients with our therapists, and she can be reached at (202) 686-7000 or at [email protected]