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Shelley Karliner, LICSW, and Tricia Bassing, LICSW, Licensed Psychotherapists image

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SHELLEY KARLINER AND TRICIA BASSING HELP MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF CLIENTS
in their therapy practice. Their clients are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. They are single, married, divorced, in committed relationships, or just dating. Their clients come from many racial and ethnic backgrounds including black, white, Latino, Central and South American, Asian and South Asian, African, and European. They are Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim. They are young and old. They are anyone who wants to feel better.


HERE ARE SOME THINGS SHELLEY’S AND TRICIA’S CLIENTS AND COLLEAGUES SAY ABOUT WORKING WITH THEM:


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Shelley Karliner and Tricia Bassing
Tricia Bassing & Shelley Karliner
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“My work with Shelley has opened my mind to new ways of thinking about myself, others, situations, relationships, and life as a whole. She taught me to slow my reactions and move through life more deliberately, more aware of my actions and responses, and more thoughtfully. I better understand the things I do that can sabotage my happiness and success. My work with Shelley is unique and priceless.” C. Collier, Marketing Executive

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“Tricia is a wonderful supervisor. I am very grateful for the unconditional support I receive from Tricia, in both challenging work and personal situations. Her suggestions and advice always come in handy. Her encouragement and motivation has helped me be more conscious of my personal and professional abilities, to explore and validate them. I am very thankful to have Tricia in my life.” S. Cañas, Student Assistance Counselor

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“I was driving to work the other morning, when I noticed the woman driving the car behind me was crying. I wanted to reach out to her, to make her pain mine. I wanted her to know that there was someone in the world who would listen to her, without judgment; someone who would let her know that she could be the leader of her emotions —that she could say what she was feeling and thinking.

I wanted to reach out to this woman to let her know what I have learned through therapy and my work with Shelley. What I have learned is that no matter what I am facing in my life, whether it be illness, death, custody issues, a promotion, or a new relationship, that I am facing each moment I experience with my entire emotional being. I have learned what it means to build relationships, with myself and others; to be giving to people without the expectation of getting anything from them; to provide leadership by expressing my feelings; to realize the role I play in the world. I have learned that I am a part of the environment that is being created, at home, at work, in traffic, at the grocery store, wherever I am.

I have learned that being honest about what I am feeling, without blame or judgment, is what strengthens an experience. Through my work with Shelley, I now have a stronger sense of self and of others. I am able to slow down and make time for my relationships. I am no longer tied to right and wrong. I am able to say when I have been hurt and I am able to listen when I have hurt others.

Working with Shelley on my emotions and the role I play in the world has been the most valuable experience of my life. I now know that I can decide who I want to be, how I want to perform my life, how I relate to others and how I need them to relate to me.” J. Gregg, Children’s Author

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“I really enjoy working with Tricia in group because she treats me—and everyone else—gently and with compassion even when she's telling me how unproductive or regressive my behavior or thoughts are. Her care for her clients makes it easy to listen to and act on her advice.

I came into social therapy because I was depressed; my dad had died and two months later my dog was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Tricia helped me to recognize one emotional trap that was keeping me depressed: I resented myself for being so upset, for being unable to stop crying and unable to control my pain. I was judging myself negatively for being devastated by these losses instead of being kind to myself and acknowledging that I had legitimate reasons for being sad. Tricia encouraged me to accept my tears and the pain instead of fighting myself when I was already so vulnerable.

While I am still learning how to go easy on myself, Tricia showed me that replacing self-judgment with self-compassion will make these and future losses easier to bear.” R. Ferguson, Editor

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“I have been a client of Shelley and Tricia for over three years and I have grown emotionally within myself. I have also achieved more stable and loving relationships with my daughter and my wife because of the excellent personal counseling I have received. I came in an angry man, because of growing up in a dysfunctional family, and was using my anger to try to get what I wanted. It wasn't working, and my wife suggested going to see Shelley after she became a client of hers. We have both greatly benefited from Social Therapy, and can't say enough as to how we have become a closer husband and wife and better parents for our daughter. In addition, being a school teacher, I have created a learning environment in my classroom that now promotes student responsibility and, ultimately, learning success.” J. Prescott, Recovering Angry Husband, Father

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“Tricia is a dedicated therapist and supervisor, who cares deeply about people and the community. She is hard working, enthusiastic and endlessly empathic. She has been my boss for over five years and has been consistently supportive, nurturing, and patient. Her warm, caring nature makes her a pleasure to work with and for. There have been many times when I've felt that Tricia has been more respectful and compassionate with me than I have been with myself. She is the sort of person who does her very best and encourages you to do the same.” A. Fierstos, Student Assistance Counselor

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“When I sought Shelley’s help, my life was at a very low point. Every day was a frustrating, stressful experience. It seemed like everything in my life was beyond my control. I was lonely, afraid, and terribly sad.

I came to Shelley intending for her to help fix all the stuff that was wrong with me. Pretty quickly, it became apparent we had differing objectives.

I never learned to recognize my own feelings (or God forbid actually DO something about them). I was stuck, but terrified and incapable of changing.

Shelley provided a creative, challenging environment where I examined the myths functioning in my life. These functions kept me in a very unhappy place. Providing for my own happiness and emotional, physical, and spiritual well being was not something I knew how to do.

Shelley helped me to stop beating myself up and start taking care of myself. She introduced me to a remarkable person…me!

While embracing change is something I will never be completely enthusiastic about, I can honestly say I am no longer afraid of it. My future isn’t scary anymore because I am the one creating it. There is something amazing out there waiting for me. When I find it, I will make it my own and I will have Shelley to thank.” C. Tethers, Cruise Sales Consultant

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“I first came to the Washington Center for Social Therapy in January 2007, after I was referred by a friend who'd been going there for about two years.

It's hard to say exactly what brought me there, but I felt I needed to talk to someone. I had a mix of issues, whose presence and seriousness varied over time. I was having trouble sleeping. I was convinced I had irritable bowel syndrome. I was having problems at work, bored and unchallenged in a job I felt was not sufficiently challenging me. I was having trouble in my social life, alienating my friends, constantly pointing out the flaws of American society and the U.S. government. It felt like I was living under a huge, black cloud, and it must have been hard for my friends to listen to my constant criticism, my constant negativity.

At first, I had individual therapy sessions with Shelley. I found her to be a great listener, and very insightful. When I didn't feel like opening up, she didn't push me. She gently steered the conversation, always checking to make sure I felt comfortable talking about what was on my mind. Back then, it seems I talked about something different every session.

After a few months of individual therapy, I transitioned into a group led by Shelley and Tricia. At first, it was hard to adjust. Then, as I got to know the group members, I became more comfortable. We shared our lives, talked about ongoing issues, sympathized and empathized, supported one another, and gave advice or criticism when we felt it was needed. But most importantly, I've learned to be better tuned in to my day-to-day emotional experiences, and how WHAT I feel impacts HOW I experience my life, my friends, my work. I've learned that there are many ways to experience any situation, and a negative experience could just as easily be a positive one.

Gradually, I have begun to understand how my often-ignored feelings of being marginalized, of not being taken seriously, and of feeling humiliated were seeping into my daily life, into how I experienced my work, my friendships, and my day-to-day life in the U.S. This also helped me understand and think about why I always felt so victimized, so dissatisfied, so frustrated, and often so angry.

I hope to work on getting better at identifying my emotional reactions to the situations I find myself in so that, even if I cannot change the situations I find myself in, I can change how I experience them.” A. Kargbo, 33-year-old Nonprofit Employee

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“I met Shelley and Social Therapy in 2002. I was looking for someone to help me and my partner strengthen our relationship. Therapy was not a new concept for me, so I thought this experience would be similar to others in the past and that Shelley would “fix” our relationship. From the first session, I knew this was not going to be “typical therapy.” My experience with Shelley and Social Therapy did not focus on what I thought was the issue in the relationship, but expanded to my way of living. Social Therapy is a holistic approach to living and growing emotionally. It has been six years since my initial consultation and the lessons I learned stay with me today. I intentionally think about my motive through the lens of giving. I ask myself, “Am I giving to get or giving to give?” I remind myself that I can choose how I want to perform at any moment and redesign my day and, most importantly, my life. I learned how to live a giving life…And it is ALL GOOD!” E. Thompson, Community Organizer

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“When a friend referred me to Shelley, my marriage and my family were in a state of great turmoil and stress, and I was dealing with profound loss and grief. Acute medical problems had resulted in the loss of my job. We were forced to sell our comfortable home and declare bankruptcy. In therapy, I have been able to come to terms with my losses and to piece my life back together.

The work of Social Therapy focuses on emotional growth and identifying one's
emotional needs. When I started therapy, I didn't recognize that I had emotional
needs. Now I'm working on how to have those needs met in a healthy, caring way. My marriage and family are functioning at a healthier level, and we share a more stable emotional environment. We are able to get to the roots of conflict quicker and resolve issues that used to just fester.

Group therapy with Shelley and Tricia has provided me the opportunity to experience and express emotional intimacy. When internal conflicts are shared with a supportive group, they are released, and you're in a new space where healing can begin. This process verges on the magical. In day to day life, we just don't find ourselves talking on such an intimate, emotional level.” L. Rooney, Four-time Cancer Survivor, Mother

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“I was a fire department paramedic for 21 years. Over the course of my career, I ran almost 18,000 emergency calls. One at a time, the individual stresses of each call were manageable, but the cumulative effects were not. Nor were those effects readily apparent, at least to me. On September 11, 2001, my unit was dispatched to the Pentagon. The experiences of that day, plus another 13 days on site as a member of our Technical Rescue Team, proved to be the tipping point. Soon thereafter, my appreciation of the job, my coping mechanisms, my ability to compartmentalize, and any hopes for returning to my pre-9/11 life were gone. I managed another couple years until the day my partner and I were confronted by a gunman who fired upon us at point blank range. After that, I knew I needed help.

I was referred to the care of Tricia soon thereafter. Let me preface my therapy experiences with the fact that I had never been a believer in the benefits of mental health care. I began my sessions with skepticism and unrealistic expectations. I felt as if I'd lost control of my life, my career, and myself, and I wanted it all back. I was looking for a fix, and like a cast and crutches help to heal a broken leg, I was expecting to mend and get back to being a paramedic. Tricia faced a lot of challenges, not the least of which were to overcome my objections and win my confidence.

We worked together every week for over a year. In that time, Tricia helped me to realize there were no casts or crutches, and that I may never get back to work. That alone was an enormous accomplishment. She soon earned my trust and admiration. She helped me to realize that while she was the therapist, the real work was mine. Tricia established and reinforced my desire to overcome obstacles and encouraged me to continue when I became frustrated. She allowed me to speak but held me accountable for what I said. She forced me to ask difficult questions of myself. It was truly an evolutionary process. In the end, I had found myself again...and was able to accept all the changes with perspective and confidence. Tricia's tireless efforts on my behalf have surely made my life today far more enjoyable. She is truly the best.” J. Kump, Retired Paramedic

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“Talking with Shelley, one gets the sense that there is no one else in the world more important to her than you. She listens and listens and listens and then and not until then, she gently asks you what did you mean when you said a specific sentence. By asking, she immediately empowers you to think and reflect. It’s almost as if you are creating a sculpture and you knew all along how you wanted it to look. Then a question is asked and you suddenly realize the potential to make it into something different and perhaps better than you intended.” R. Gutierrez, Mother

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“I’ve known Tricia for over five years, first as her teacher and now as her colleague. Tricia is compassionate and empathetic. She is a dedicated therapist who is committed to bringing her clients the most cutting-edge therapeutic methodologies. What I love about Tricia is that she is a life-long learner. She has pushed herself to go beyond her comfort zone to explore philosophy, postmodernism, and theatrical performance. She uses these explorations to help clients with their emotional pain and to support them to develop in all areas of their lives. Tricia is special. She brings her humanity fully into her work as a helping professional.” C. Lobman, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Education

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“I have never met a better therapist than Shelley among the handful of therapists I have worked with. I have also never been part of a better therapy than Social Therapy. I developed skills while working with Shelley that I never imagined I even needed. My work with Shelley helped me grow emotionally. I learned how to have full emotional participation in the lives of others and to be supported emotionally by others. I learned how to ask for that emotional support in a way that has drawn me closer to others rather than pushed me away.

I was involved with what used to be the Washington Center for Social Therapy and with Shelley for about four years. I observed Shelley in one-on-one therapy, group therapy, and as a leader of workshops. I was so impacted by Shelley and by Social Therapy that I will never forget my experiences with her, with Social Therapy or with the WCST. I have since returned to my native Southern California and have had a few years to understand the work I did there and what it meant and still means to me.” G. Harding, Website Designer

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“I’ll never forget my first session with Shelley. I was ‘therapist shopping’ and had seen quite a few up to that point. When I met Shelley, she was warm, gentle, and loving, but honest and direct with me in a way that no one had been before. She saw through my game and called me on it without judgment, and in a way that made it safe to self-reflect. It was the start of an amazing, life-changing journey. Shelley helped me be more of who I want to be in the world, shedding fears and anxieties and stepping into love and happiness.” C. Way, Executive Coach

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Grow. There’s Nothing Stopping You. Feel better.

Shelley Karliner and Tricia Bassing, Licensed Psychotherapists
4115 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Suite 203, Washington, DC 20016—202-244-0442
info@growandfeelbetter.com


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