Dr. Eric D. Shaw, Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Ltd.


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Clinical Practice

  • Child and Adolescent Therapy with specialized experience in Attention Deficit Disorders and substance abuse issues.

  • Adult Individual Therapy with specialized experience in social developmental delays, post traumatic stress, dissociative disorders and work-related problems.

  • Group Therapy with specialized experience in trauma, relationship development, assertiveness and self-care issues.

  • Couples and Marital Therapy with specialized experience in relationships destabilized by individual changes in one partner, traumatic events or developmental life milestones.

I am a Clinical Psychologist in practice in the Washington, D.C. area since 1986. I went back to graduate training in Psychology after several years of working in the international relations area so I maintain a strong interest in cross cultural issues. Although my original training is in Child and Adolescent Therapy, I also see adults and couples. During my graduate education at Duke University I specialized in behavioral and cognitive approaches, especially social skills therapy with children and adolescents. During my fellowship training at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, I also specialized in child and adolescent treatment.

My original training in child development strongly influences my clinical approach with adults and couples. For example, in my work with many individuals and couples who are "stuck" or troubled, I often find that important aspects of their personal development have become stymied or had to be sacrificed in order to deal with some form of family, relationship or environmental stressor. I have found an important part of effective therapy involves "jump starting" that stalled development. Sometimes these developmental delays can be very serious. For example, someone may lose their ability to regulate, translate and use specific emotions or perform types of self-care that can lead to anxiety and depression. In some clients, there are often personal, relationship, or work barriers that must be overcome to allow personal development to resume. But once these innate developmental processes "shake loose" their natural energy and motion often becomes self-reinforcing and self-sustaining. Under these circumstances, progress is often rapid and rewarding (and my job gets a lot easier). In addition, those of us who work with children must learn to work well with parents. As a matter of fact, some of our most effective therapy with children involves a "child guidance" model where we work with the parents directly and help them deal with their child differently.

This type of work has also helped me develop as a couples/marital therapist. Since moving back to Washington from training in New York I have taken a strong interest in combining psychodynamic theory with pragmatic approaches to behavioral change. I became a Founding member of a psychodynamic training institute for therapists (Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis) and served on its Board and Faculty for several years. I also participate in peer supervision and reading groups on adolescent therapy and trauma through this organization. Our teaching and training focuses on constructing active models of a client's problematic current functioning and helping them understand how their emotions, assumptions about
themselves and others, and characteristic behaviors may have been useful in the past but are not working well now. We can then use a variety of dynamic, behavioral and cognitive methods to help them develop new ways of dealing with themselves and others.

Sometimes therapy can be a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. However, it is my firm belief that therapy should pay for itself in terms of derived benefits in the areas of love and/or work. I work to set specific goals for my clients and revisit and judge progress on these goals at regular intervals. Sometimes individual therapy may not be the most effective intervention for problems related to relationships, so many of my individual clients are also involved in group therapy. Group therapy is an excellent way to practice what has been learned in individual treatment and a good transition for departure from individual work. For many persons with specific social or relationship problems, group therapy alone is often an excellent treatment format.

My other clinical and academic interests include organizational behavior, problems in the workplace, leadership, and political psychology. I also teach at George Washington University and perform research and consultation for other organizations. Sometimes these other areas of interest are also of benefit to my clients.

Copyright 2009 by Eric D. Shaw, Ph.D.

Contact: DrShaw@DrEricShaw.com (E-mail is not secure. Please do not send private information.)  Phone 202-686-9150