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Meet The Team


Dona Paknejad
Practice Owner and Clinical Director


Dona holds a master’s degree in clinical counseling from The George Washington University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a license granted by the Department of Health in the District of Columbia.  She is also certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors. 

For the past decade, Dona has been working in Washington, D.C. as a consultant and counselor to federal and local government agencies, and private sector businesses, providing supportive services  around work / life balance issues and stressors.  The bulk of her work has been with The World Bank Group, The International Monetary Fund, and The Inter-American Development Bank, using predominantly soultion-focused supportive services around issues of acculturation, assimilation and stress management within personal, family and work lives.  Through the integration of her multicultural knoweldge-base and language skills, she is able to address her clients' needs in a comprehensive and holisitc manner.  She has also been a faculty member at the University of Phoenix, teaching psychology courses in their undergraduate programs.

Dona Paknejad identifies herself as Persian-American, having been born in the United States, yet with a deep appreciation and connection with her cultural roots.  Having lived, worked, studied and traveled extensively throughout Europe, South America and the Middle East, she has a deep understanding of how cultural norms and expectations can influence one's vision of the “optimal self” and draws on that understanding in her therapy practice.  She has worked in a variety of settings with strong international influences.  Starting at the Multicultural Human Services Center (MHS), a program of Northern Virginia Family Services, she worked with adults in English, Portuguese and Farsi, providing behavioral health services for issues varying from adjustment stressors to anxiety, depression and other mood disorders.  At the same time, she worked in Fairfax County Public Schools' LEAD program (through MHS), working with at risk adolescent youth.  She has also worked at The George Washington University Community Counseling Services Center where she provided services to numerous clients from various backgrounds and cultures.

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Behnaz Sekechi Paknejad

Practice Director & Intake Coordinator

Behnaz is an internationally-recognized multicultural and communications author and advisor.  Her expertise and skills have been developed through learned experiences while living, studying, and working, in several diverse countries and cultures.  Her unique skill sets allow clients to experience feeling welcomed, safe, and valued from their first contact with the practice.  Ms.Paknejad enjoys assisting potential clients in assessing which therapist would be a good match for their needs, and answering the multitude of questions that can arise surrounding the therapeutic experience. Ms. Paknejad is multi-lingual and her books can be found through all outlets and they have been translated into several languages.  The titles of her books are Not Another Pretty Binder; Strategic Planning that Actually Works, The Global Crosswinds of Change, and The Cultures in the Cubicles.


Ingrid Madison 


Ingrid holds as clinical Master’s in Social Work from The Catholic University of America and is a Licensed Graduate Clinical Social Worker. For the past 19 years, Ingrid has worked in local, state, and federal agencies providing therapeutic interventions for clients experiencing life transitions ranging from substance use disorders, anxiety, depression, and those in crisis. She provides a safe and judgement free setting where clients are empowered to grow, heal, and become the best versions of themselves. Ingrid is well versed in a variety of clinical modalities and specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy and solution focused techniques. In addition, Ingrid is a certified yoga instructor and integrates movement into therapy to strengthen the body and mind connection.


Born in Washington D.C., and raised in Northern Virginia, Ingrid identifies as Latin-American and can provide bilingual services in Spanish, if needed. Growing up in the cultural melting pot of NOVA, she has vast experience working with individuals from a variety of cultural backgrounds, the LGBTQI+ community, adolescents and children.


 Joy Steen


Joy holds a master's degree in Education and Human Development with a concentration in Counseling from The George Washington University. She is also certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Joy is a native of Winston-Salem, NC who currently resides in the Northern Virginia area. She has worked in the counseling field for the past 9 years and specializes in serving children and adolescents. Joy uses a client-centered, strength-focused approach within her counseling. Additionally, Joy is culturally responsive, open to exploring intersections of race and gender, and is available for faith-based counseling. 

Joy identifies as a cisgender, White, Christian, female. She is a wife and is raising a blended, bi-racial family. 


Joy is working under the supervision of Dona Paknejad.


Kate Salmon


Kate provides a safe environment to foster a new way of living for client’s who are feeling stuck.
She aims to provide a non-judgmental space and uses empathy, humor (when appropriate), and
encouragement to help clients reach their goals. She enjoys working with clients looking to
overcome substance use disorders, anxiety and depressed mood, among other concerns. She has
a strong belief that the relationship between therapist and client is the most important component
of therapy, and builds a foundation that creates a safe space to grow and explore.
Kate has expertise treating individuals who experience substance use disorders, as well as dual
diagnoses. She provides individual therapy for adults 18 and older. Kate is a trained addictions
counselor having previously worked at the Kolmac Outpatient Recovery Centers and continues
to provide individual and group therapy for clients struggling with substance use disorders. Kate
has seven years of experience working with those impacted by addictions. Her use of eclectic
approaches when working with individuals and groups, enables clients to develop helpful coping
skills, learn more productive ways of thinking, and achieve goals that have been set early on in
therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing techniques are just a few of
the theories and practices utilized to encourage exploration and promote well-being.
Kate holds a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University and a
BA from the University of Mary Washington where she majored in Psychology. Kate has a deep
passion for working with those struggling with substance use disorders, especially providing a
container for clients to share their experiences, grow, and learn to make recovery a part of their
daily life.

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Greylyn Owens


Greylyn Owens graduated with a masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Transpersonal Art Therapy from Naropa University in Boulder Colorado. Greylyn grew up in North Carolina and graduated with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Studio Art from NCCU. She is passionate about supporting individuals by creating a space to explore, create, reflect and connect in therapy. She expresses compassionate presence by demonstrating acceptance, empathy, genuineness, and unconditional positive regard in individual and group sessions while working with the here and now. Grounded in a contemplative mindful approach, she uses a holistic and non-judgmental view with each client. Just because she is an art therapist does not mean that art therapy will always be utilized as a method. Greylyn believes that the client determines whether or not this will be used.


Greylyn’s belief about Art Therapy is that it is for EVERYONE! Art therapy is a combination of psychotherapy and art making. The combination of these two worlds promotes healing on a cognitive, somatic, and unconscious terrain. The information the body holds on an unconscious level is expressed through the art. The connection between the mind and body is where the work can begin in a therapeutic setting. Providing space for these images to unfold and present themself is the essence of art therapy. Art Therapy (much like other therapies) can be a powerful tool in healing and also carries the potential to bring up uncomfortable feelings. Greylyn encourages clients to share openly about what is coming up for them as a part of the therapeutic journey.

Greylyn is working under the supervision of Dona Paknejad.

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