SARAH FARNABY, PsyD, LPC, LCPC, ERPSCC
Owner and Clinician
Emergency Responder and Public Safety Certified Clinician
Sarah is an owner and clinician at Over the Rainbow, LLC and has been practicing in the field for over twenty years working with various populations including but not limited to trauma survivors (thrivers), adolescents, law enforcement/first responders, military, andhumanitarian service employees. She is a Converse College alumni with a Major in Psychology where she focused on forensic services and trauma. She then went on to complete her Masters in Counseling Psychology at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and now her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology (ASPP-Argosy University-Now Chicago School of Professional Psychology). Dr. Farnaby currently provides treatment to adults including varied types of first responders and local and federal law enforcement, their families, as well as those in various jobs requiring work in conflict zones. Her services to first responders also includes wellness checks, peer support consultation, and a role as mental health support during debriefings for local departments and federal agencies as part of the FRWP at OTR. Sarah is the Clinical Coordinator for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority's (MWAA) Peer Support Team.
In 2001, she started her post-graduate career path as a clinician for adolescent females at the Germaine Lawrence School (GLS) of Arlington, MA. GLS is an adolescent female residential treatment center serving the NE United States. Sarah's work began with a variety of trauma and attachment issues experienced by these young women and their families stemming from histories of abuse and neglect. She also provided treatment to young women struggling with dual diagnosis and substance abuse. She worked closely in the first years of her professional career with social services agencies, local public safety, and the public schools affiliated with these young women. Sarah also co-developed and implemented a rotating group therapy curriculum for the GLS campus. She also co-led the initiative of a family friendly treatment approach at GLS inviting the families and service providers of the young women into the dorms and events as well as utilizing parents or guardians as part of the treatment and behavioral planning. During her MA training Sarah also worked with local high schools to meet with GSA (Gay/Straight Alliance) groups and public safety addressing the risks of suicide and homelessness in LGBTQA+ youth through empowerment and community activities. This experience led Sarah to the Washington DC area in 2004.
Since arriving in Washington, DC Sarah has provided treatment to children, teens, and adults in outpatient settings and community mental health clinics in Maryland and Washington, DC urban settings. She began at the Center for Children in Maryland then spent 5 years with House of Ruth's Domestic Violence Support Center and 6 years with the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing in Washington, DC. Sarah provided trauma treatment in these clinics encompassing a wide variety of issues related to domestic violence, crime victims, childhood abuse, substance abuse and prostitution, military and federal employees and their families, emergency/disaster response and traumatic grief. She also began providing clinical supervision to MA interns and counselors pursuing their post-Master’s clinical hours for licensure. Sarah provided weekly domestic violence groups for women mandated to local substance abuse day treatment programs and she provided therapy to children and their mothers placed in shelters. Sarah also provided training on domestic violence and trauma treatment with children to social service agencies as well as mediating discussion panels with local law enforcement (MPD) and domestic violence advocacy agencies in Washington, DC. Sarah has been involved as a member of the local Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Team.
In 2008 Sarah and Jennifer opened the doors of their practice and began providing contract work to various clinics in the area. Sarah provided supervision for local clinics for those seeking licensure as licensed professional counselors. She also began providing clinical trainings to treatment teams. In 2011 Sarah ventured on to pursue her doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She completed a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an APA Accredited Internship. Her doctoral training began with providing forensic assessment in the juvenile justice court setting with the DC Superior Court. Sarah then began training in therapy and support services with law enforcement in Washington, DC's MPEAP (Metropolitan Police Employee Assistance Program) then within a practice providing varied services to Baltimore City and County as well as Maryland State Law Enforcement and federal agencies. She was the first non-military student chosen by the MPD's MPEAP program to participate in doctoral training at the MPEAP program. Over the years her career focus has now become more in depth in working with law enforcement, federal employees, and military support services in the Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Baltimore areas. Sarah brings an integrative treatment approach in which she views the person as a whole from a psychodynamic lens and utilizes CBT techniques with a mind-body connection that best fits the needs emotionally of the person.
Jennifer Fuentes, MS, LPC, CTMH, CCTP
Owner and Clinician
Jennifer Fuentes is an owner and clinician at Over the Rainbow LLC. She has been in the field for over twenty-five years working with various populations including but not limited to trauma survivors (thrivers), adolescents, children, first responders, and humanitarian service employees. Jennifer always dedicated herself to support services and volunteer work throughout her undergraduate and graduate training. Jennifer is a Millersville University in Pennsylvania alumni. Her work with survivors of trauma began in 1995 when she was a volunteer counselor with survivors of sexual trauma. Jennifer went on to receive her Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University in 1999. Jennifer has trained and continues to adhere to an integrative model of psychotherapy. Jennifer’s professional career has included counseling and support services with the Sexual Assault Counseling and Prevention Center in Lancaster, PA; the Domestic Violence Intervention Network in Bedford, IN; the Crisis Services Center in Lexington Park, MD; Child Help residential services for abused and neglected children in Fredericksburg, VA; family therapy with at risk youth at Center for Children in La Plata, MD; and as the Coordinator in the Domestic Violence Emergency Services Center in Washington, DC. Jennifer brought those skills to her private practice as well in her contract services at the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing for trauma, grief, and loss survivors in Washington DC. Jennifer’s client work has included all genders and ages that include survivors of sexual assault/abuse, domestic violence, first responders (including consultation and mental health wellness support as part of OTR's FRWP), military families, witnesses of crimes, survivors of arson, theft, murdered loved ones, natural disasters, child survivors of abuse and neglect with behavioral difficulties, at risk youth and their families, support services for safe house locations in Washington DC, and for four years she facilitated the Remembering Mom support group at the Wendt Center. She now is an Adjunct Faculty at Howard Community College teaching undergraduate coursework. Jennifer is also further developing the supportive services we provide for our first responders' families through our FRWP.
Jennifer has always been committed to ongoing education on updated interventions that assist her patients on their healing path. She is currently a member of the International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP) and working towards a Trauma Treatment Certification and is Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP). Her commitment has led to multiple honors and certifications during her extensive career. In 1998-1999 she was the Southwest Regional Representative to the Executive Board of the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault. In May of 1999 Jennifer was a co-presenter of Treating the Non-offending Parent at the NASW (National Association of Social Workers) Indiana State Conference. In June of 1999 she was the co-presenter of Trauma and the Cycle of Victimization at the Professional Development Center for NASW. In August of 1999, she also received her Board Eligible National Certified Counselor status. Jennifer then went on to received her Clinically Certified Domestic Violence Counselor status in November 2001. In January of 2002 she received her Nationally Certified Counselor status. In June of 2005 she completed training certification as a Functional Family Therapist (FFT). She then received her certification in in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) in 2008. Jennifer was also part of the Disaster Mental Health Team with the American Red Cross.
TELEHEALTH SERVICES ARE CURRENTLY BEING PROVIDED BY ALL STAFF AS NEEDED
Meet the Team:
Melanie Flossman, MSW, MPA, LCSW (Alexandria Office)
Melanie Flossman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 35 years of experience in a wide range of mental health services. She received her Masters’ Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan and began her career working with kidney dialysis and transplant patients. She wrote and published an internationally acknowledged article on the psychological effects of chronic illness, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and authored a chapter in the Williams/Wilkins Rehabilitation in Medicine series focused on working with the families of patients living with chronic illness. She moved to the Virginia area and began her tenure in private practice, working in an outpatient mental health setting. In addition to practice, Melanie worked as staff with Human Affairs International, a national Employee Assistance Program which led to her start with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) EAP, where she spent over twenty years providing a full range of mental health services, more specifically Critical Incident Stress Debriefing and Intervention for law enforcement. At the DEA Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia, she taught courses in Stress Management for Law Enforcement Officers, and psycho-education on Post Traumatic Stress, its risk factors, identifying early warning signs, prevention and treatment. In addition, she was part of the DEA Trauma Training faculty, training DEA agents to be effective first responders to their fellow agents experiencing traumatic incidents.
In addition, she served as Interim Director of Social Work supervising the clinical social work staff at Charter Springwood Hospital (now Northspring ) addressing the acute and chronic issues of hospitalized in-patients. Through the years, she became increasingly interested in trauma informed care and working with marginalized populations. She provided parenting classes for female ex-offenders and served in a support role for those ex-offenders living in transitional housing.
Besides clinical roles, she became a passionate advocate for her profession and for teaching. Through the years she has been a Clinical Field Instructor for three different graduate social work programs: the School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University; San Diego State School of Social Work, and Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work where she was also Director of Field Instruction for three years placing and monitoring the field experience of the 200 graduate students on the Northern Virginia campus. During her ten years teaching in the VCU graduate program, she taught Diagnosis and Assessment, Direct Practice with Individuals, Couples, Families and Groups, and Crisis Intervention.
Most recently she was involved, jointly with the Fairfax Police Department/Human Trafficking Division, in a 4 day seminar for the residential treatment programs in Virginia where she presented on Clinical Work With Survivors of Human/ Sex Trafficking: the levels of complex trauma involved with that population and how to approach treatment modalities that are effective. Melanie has continued to be a strong support for all our local and federal law enforcement providing trauma treatment, she is heavily involved in our FRWP development. Melanie’s special areas of interest and expertise include: first responders, federal employees, couples, men’s issues, law enforcement issues, and trauma related issues. She is EMDR trained.
KRISTIN DEZEN, PhD (DC and Alexandria Offices)
Kristin is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified school psychologist who is particularly passionate about working with children who have experienced trauma. She began her training studying social work and psychology at Nazareth College of Rochester, and subsequently completed a Masters degree in public policy at Georgetown University and a doctorate in Urban Education and School Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. As part of her graduate training, Kristin’s research interests included resilience and the effects of trauma on children, and her dissertation included the creation of an online training module for school psychologists working with children who have experienced trauma.
Since realizing she could transform her passion into a career, Kristin has sought opportunities that have combined social justice with mental health, resulting in opportunities to serve children and families through domestic violence shelters, runaway and homeless youth shelters, Head Start centers, public schools, and community mental health centers. Kristin’s internship with Miami-Dade County taught her the significance of linking community resources to prevent and treat mental health concerns among our most vulnerable, while her post-doctoral experience with Harbor Behavioral Health allowed her to sharpen her assessment and diagnostic skills, with a focus on more serious mental health concerns. Kristin’s work as a school psychologist provided invaluable experience in an educational setting, and enabled her to gain a deeper understanding of special education and the services available in public schools. Kristin currently also provides psychological assessment and consultation for Washington, DC Public Schools. At OTR she is providing therapy to children and teens of our local and federal first responders and military families as well as families struggling with varied issues such as trauma and anxiety. Kristin also provides supervision for our staff who see children and adolescents.
Kristin is passionate about the children and families with whom she works, and strives to create lasting and supportive relationships designed to help improve overall well-being. Kristin primarily utilizes cognitive-behavioral, solution-focused, and play therapy techniques in her work.
Shawnita McComb, MA, LPC, NCC (DC and Alexandria Offices)
Shawnita is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and an alum of Old Dominion University where she received her BS in Psychology with a focus in adult, child and adolescent studies. She received her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. While receiving her Masters, Shawnita worked closely with adults who presented with PTSD, anxiety, depression, bipolar, psychotic diagnosis, and personality disorders. She provided services including psychosocial assessment, crisis interventions, individual and group therapy. Within this experience, Shawnita built a foundation of strong skills in working with trauma and severe mental illness as well as working with multidisciplinary treatment teams within complex mental health systems. Early in her career, Shawnita worked with students from a variety of diverse backgrounds in higher education where she provided career counseling and wellness interventions to students struggling with anxiety and depression.
Shawnita has over 8 years of experience working directly with children and at-risk youth in a variety of settings including non-profit, community based organizations, and academia. She currently provides mental health services to children who present with complex trauma and other challenges at tier levels (school-wide interventions, parent training and individual/group therapy) within schools in the DC metro area as well as in a supervisory role. She is also trained in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and has worked with children diagnosed with Autism and other related disorders. In her work with clients, she combines a variety of different approaches to meet the client needs which include Person-Centered approach, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused CBT, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Narrative Therapy and Solution-Focused Therapy. Shawnita aspires to further specialize in trauma work with adults and children, and currently has experience working with anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss, and children who present with ADHD, ODD, and Adjustment disorders
Nicole Smith, MA, LPC (DC and Alexandria Offices)
Direct Clinical Supervisor: Jennifer Fuentes, MS, LPC & Sarah Farnaby, PsyD, LPC
Nicole Smith is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Nicole graduated from Marymount University with an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Nicole completed her clinical internship with us at OTR where she began developing her caseload working with trauma related issues. Nicole is also an alum of George Washington University. During her time at George Washington University, she served as an undergraduate research assistant with the Unified Parenting Project, where she conducted in-person interviews to gather data about the co-parenting styles of non-cohabitating, low-income families. Nicole aspires to specialize in trauma work, and currently has experience working with anxiety, depression, trauma, and loss. Nicole has been working with individuals and families of our First Responders, Frontline Medical Personnel, and Military Personnel. In her work with clients, she combines CBT techniques with a client-centered approach to help clients meet their goals and continue to grow. Nicole is also involved in career development of our clinical interns. She supervises clinical residents and interns and helps in program development and coordination. Nicole is under the direct supervision of Dr. Sarah Farnaby and Jennifer Fuentes, MA, LPC.
Lexie Beckstrand, MA, LPC (Alexandria/DC Office- Virtual Only beginning end of July 2021)
Direct Clinical Supervisor: Jennifer Fuentes, MS, LPC & Sarah Farnaby, PsyD, LPC
Lexie Beckstrand is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and graduate of Marymount University, where she obtained an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Lexie obtained her BA in Sociology from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. Lexie completed her MA clinical internship with us at OTR and completed training in December 2020. During this time she was was awarded the Boren Fellowship from the International Institute for Education for her research proposal exploring emerging mental health issues for refugees displaced by the Syrian war. With the fellowship, Lexie began learning abroad in Amman, Jordan until the COVID-19 pandemic brought an early end to her studies. Since then, Lexie has pursued a further integration of her mental health background and her interest in serving communities overseas. Lexie feels passionately about bringing mental health resources to clients working, serving or studying abroad, and is actively working on expanding her reach to bring mental health to other underserved communities overseas. Lexie is currently studying Turkish. Lexie hopes to continue developing her language skills, with the intent of specializing in mental health services in overseas communities as well as ongoing services to US local and federal first responders. Lexie’s therapy work starts with a trauma-informed approach, and integrates family-systems, attachment theory, and CBT practices. She has significant experience working with clients who have experienced Post-Traumatic Stress or Acute Stress, grief, loss, relationship challenges, depression and anxiety. Lexie is a former volunteer for TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for survivors) and has experience leading Critical Stress Debriefing therapy groups for American citizens overseas, most recently following the 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquake. Since joining OTR Lexie has focused on work with humanitarian aide workers, local and federal law enforcement, and military personnel and their families as well as working with complex trauma and grief. Lexie also worked closely with Sarah and Jennifer in the development and implementation of the First Responder Wellness Program (FRWP) at OTR and has an ongoing role in our FRWP virtually.
Simona Efanov, Psy.D. (Alexandria Office-Unavailable/Virtual Only)
Simona is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a McGill University Alumni where she obtained a BS degree in Psychology with a focus on Neuroscience. She has a Master's in Bioethics from University of Montreal. She completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) at the American School of Professional Psychology, at Argosy University, Washington DC in 2016. She was later an adjunct professor teaching assessment and ethics affiliated with Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Prior to obtaining her doctoral degree, Simona conducted assessments and clinical research at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, in Montreal, working with individuals with severe eating disorders in inpatient and day-hospital programs. She also participated in research studies of the effects of chronic stress on personality, neurocognition, and depression at the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University. Her research contributions yielded scientific publications in the areas of eating disorders, and on the neuroendocrine effects of stress on psychological well-being.
Simona’s strong research knowledge continues to be incorporated in her clinical work, as she uses integrative approaches to therapy. Her clinical interests include working with individuals with relationship difficulties, co-dependency, chronic stress, self-esteem, and difficulty with life adjustments. She has a strong knowledge of neuropsychology and ways neurological conditions impact individuals and their families. Simona also has experience working with individuals healing from past trauma. She has a certification in Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and has used elements of Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) for emotion dysregulation. She has received clinical training in private practice and outpatient medical/integrated primary care settings in the Washington DC area, working with adult and adolescent populations. Simona has trained in inpatient hospitals, including the Psychiatric Institute of Washington conducting group and individual therapy with adults and adolescents with severe mental illness and complex trauma history. Simona’s clinical areas of interests include treating anxiety and depression, grief, chronic pain, identity issues, eating disorders, and trauma recovery. She is also fluent in 3 languages and is available to provide therapy in French and Romanian.
Abbie Ochoa, MA, QMHP, RiC, LGPC, NCC (DC and Alexandria Offices)
Direct Post-Graduate Supervisors: Dr. Sarah Farnaby, PsyD, LPC & Jennifer Fuentes, MA, LPC
Abbie is a post graduate clinician and completed her training with us as part of her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with Marymount University. Abby joined our team nad has focused on trauma treament and working with military and first responders and their families. Abbie completed her undergraduate studies at Elon University in North Carolina and a Semester at Sea. She has a professional background in employment services for those with disabilities and coordinating care as well as case management in residential treatment/substance abuse treatment with county social services. Abbie focused her training and experience in working with frontline medical professionals and first responders in the Washington DC metro area along with military personnel. At OTR Abbie works with many of our first responders from across various departments in the area. Her work and training continues to grow in the area of trauma informed services and program development at OTR. Abbie also participated with Sarah and Jennifer and our Post-graduates and trainees on the development of the First Responder Wellness Program (FRWP) at OTR and has been involved in our Wellness check ins and supportive services for our local first responders. Abbie assists in Critical Incident Debriefs OTR provides for our police/fire departments and she has a lead role in response to our FRWP requests and coordination as well as prgram development.
Iwona Tanen, MA, LGPC, QMHP, NCC, RiC (DC & Alexandria Offices)
Direct Post-Graduate Supervisors: Dr. Sarah Farnaby, PsyD, LPC & Jennifer Fuentes, MA, LPC
Iwona is a post graduate clinician. She earned her MA in Counseling from Eastern New Mexico University. During her clinical training she had an opportunity to work with low-income clients experiencing depression, anxiety, trauma, bi-polar, personality disorders, schizophrenia, grief and loss, life transitions, post-partum, and acute stress.
In addition to her clinical practice, Iwona is a yoga teacher with over 1,000 hours of teaching experience. She is passionate about movement and mind-body connection. She has experience in providing yoga to various military units as part of their wellness plan as well as many others. Iwona is also a visual artist. Her art is her way to express and work through difficult emotions. She likes using art therapy interventions in her counseling practice (you may see some of her work hanging in the offices!).
Iwona has a person-centered, trauma informed approach with her clients. She is incorporating art therapy, movement, and meditation in her practice. Iwona is also a huge believer in using humor and lightheartedness to tackle day-to-day stress. Iwona will bring her healing yoga and art skills along with her clinical skills to OTR as she grows in her career as a therapist. She also provides trauma informed yoga and individual, couples, and group therapy services to our first responders, military, and medical populations. She enjoys participating in community outreach with our various client populations as well. Iwona also participates in our FRWP providing wellness checks and supportive services.
Everlis Bernal, MA, RiC, LGPC, CCTP (DC & Alexandria Office)
Direct Post-Graduate Supervisors: Dr. Sarah Farnaby, PsyD, LPC & Jennifer Fuentes, MA, LPC
Everlis is a post graduate clinician and certified clinical trauma professional (CCTP). She earned her MA in Clinical Mental Counseling from Marymount University and an MA in Victim Services Management from Sam Houston State University. She is a Stevenson University alumni with a BA in Paralegal Studies. Everlis joined our team to grow her clinical interests in trauma and working with adolescents, adults and families. She has a professional background in legal services through a private practice for individuals applying for legal status in the US as well as providing advocacy assistance for survivors of crimes with the State's Attorney's Office of Prince George's County. Everlis will be providing psychological support services for those in need with varied immigration and refugee statuses. She also provides clinical support in local hospital emergency rooms. Everlis has focused her training and experience in working with adolescents and their families in a school-based setting in the Washington DC metro. Her work and training continues to grow in the area of trauma informed services and working with out first responders and military population. Everlis has been providing therapy services to our families of first responders and our military personnel. Everlis is also available to provide services in Spanish.
Lyron Blum-Evitts (She/her/hers), QMHP
(DC and Alexandria Offices)
Training Program: MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling until March 10, 2024
Lyron is a Clinical Resident in Training (Sep 2022-Spring 2024) as part of her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with the Family Institute at Northwestern University. Lyron is passionate about working with a broad client population and about treating clients holistically, looking at the whole of the person. She is using this clinical placement to refine her skills working with adults and children experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss, life transitions, adjustment issues, and attachment issues. Through her training, she plans to develop the clinical skills needed to integrate her theoretical approach to meet the unique needs of each client she meets with.
Lyron earned her undergraduate degree from St. Lawrence University in psychology and sociology. She has experience working with individuals with intellectual disabilities and assisting individuals coping with crisis situations. She has been living and working in the greater D.C. area since 2011. Much of her career has been spent working in policy and politics working on or tangential to Capitol Hill for the House of Representatives. Despite being a resident in training Lyron has been training and participating in our FRWP and assisting in providing supportive services for our first responders and military.
Bridget Frothingham (She/her/hers), QMHP
(DC and Alexandria Offices)
Training Program: MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Bridget is a Clinical Resident in Training at OTR (August 2023-August 2024) as part of her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with Marymount University. She earned her undergraduate degree from James Madison University in Psychology. Bridget is devoted to assisting a broad range of clients, focusing mainly on the importance of immediate intervention of those experiencing trauma. She is passionate about helping military members, first responders, and refugees. In March of 2023, Bridget furthered her research skills and presented on the immediate needs of refugees in Eastern Europe. This opportunity has motivated her to continue assisting populations of trauma. She is utilizing this clinical placement to strengthen her techniques when helping individuals experiencing trauma, anxiety, and depression. She has experience working with students and alumni in higher education, assisting them with their career goals and needs. Bridget also has been involved in supportive services with our local first responders. In March 2024 she will be travelling abroad for a 2 weeks study involving international first responder wellness and military health.
Over The Rainbow, LLC