What is the difference between a Ph.D/Psy.D doctor vs. non-doctorate clinician? Who should I choose for my therapist?

While this is a VERY important topic, it is still considered very taboo, especially amongst clinicians in the mental health field.

First, let me provide an understanding of a Ph.D in Clinical or Counseling psychology and a Doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D). Both of these degrees are at the doctorate level. A Psy.D is a doctorate in psychology, where you spend 4-5 years working towards a degree that focuses on clinical/therapy work. A Ph.D. spends usually 50/50 in terms of clinical and research work. This allows your clinician to have a good grounding in new, evidence-based treatments and a continual knowledge and training in the scientific method to approaching their work. A Ph.D typically takes 5-8 years of training and research. Both degrees require post-doctoral work (taking 1-3 years) before the official licensure process. A Psy.D and a Ph.D. will have 10,000-15,000 clinical hours by the time they are licensed.

Other degrees, such as licensed social workers (LICSW), Licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), and Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), receive 1-3 years of clinical only training. Usually this training is generalized and not in a speciality form (e.g., cognitive behavioral). These degrees will have 3,000-5,00 hours of clinical hours by the time of licensure.

A lot of therapists claim to use “cognitive-behavioral therapy” but they are actually just doing talk therapy. Before any clinician is accepted as part of the Washington Anxiety Center (Capitol Hill and Alexandria Location), they are vetted to make sure they have at least 7-8 years of supervised experience in using evidence-based treatments.

While many clinicians without a doctorate-level degree are qualified, you need to do your due diligence as a patient to make sure they are qualified. Also, in the Capitol Hill area, non-doctorate clinicians are charging similar rates as doctorate level ones.

Think about the qualifications that you want in a mental health provider that will best fit your needs. If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, school refusal issues, please get the most evidence-based treatment (i.e., cognitive behavioral, exposure work).

Feel free to reach out at our practice! We have current openings.–Dr. K


Recent presentations! Take a look

Dr. Kaplan recently presented at Sidwell Friends school in NW, Washington DC and at St. Peter’s Catholic School on Capitol Hill.

Click here to see a presentation on “Anxiety as a Superpower”


If you are interested in having her speak at your school, please email her directly at drkaplan@washingtonanxietycenter.com.

Dr. Kaplan provides these presentations pro bono as a way to give back to her local community.


We are welcoming two new psychologists (see our website, http://www.washingtonanxietycenter.com for their bios) and are immediately accepting patients for telehealth and in-person sessions!

You will be scheduled immediately if you reach out this week! This typically does not last for more than a few weeks, so if you are interested, please reach out asap at admin@washingtonanxietycenter.com

We hope to welcome you on board!

Dr. Kaplan

Director of the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill

The Summertime slump

Every few years I have to re-address with our patients how important it is to continue treatment over breaks (summer, winter, spring). If someone has a diabetes or cancer diagnosis, they do not stop taking their medications during these breaks, so why with mental health do we deem it ok?

Available studies have shown that you can actually backslide significantly during the beginning and active phases of treatment if you do not attend consistently (i.e., every week). Towards the end of treatment, one can typically space out sessions over several weeks so taking a break would not have too much of a significant impact in terms of treatment success and outcomes.

Make sure to keep your weekly appointments and follow the recommendations of your provider. Day and sleep away camps actually have medical personnel on staff and can accommodate virtual appointments in privacy; all you have to do is ask!

Remember, keep your treatment going!

Hope you all are having a happy summer!

Dr. Kaplan

Announcement accepting new patients! great news for our patients

I am VERY thrilled to announce that we have brought on Dr. Jennifer Henderson. She is a fabulous clinician. Please see her bio on our website (https://www.washingtonanxietycenter.com/dr-henderson-bio.html)

We have NO current wait for teletherapy for adults or adolescents 14 and above.

Younger kids the waitlist is around 2 months.

Please contact us at admin@washingtonanxietycenter.com to get booked in. This is a rare occurrence at the practice and not likely to last more than a few weeks!

Dr. Kaplan

Announcing new Peri/post-partum anxiety depression group starting February 2022!!!

Are you looking to prevent the onset of anxiety and depression during or after pregnancy?

Do you need a place and support system to discuss your pregnancy and birthing journey?

Do you want specific skills you can apply during and after pregnancy to decrease your anxiety and depression?

This group is for you!

The group will have 4-5 patients who have been screened for similar presenting concerns. The group will be semi-structured within a cognitive-behavioral model (the most evidence-based treatment for anxiety in peri- and post-partum mothers). Discussions will be had on the education on the birthing process, hormonal fluctuation during and after pregnancy, developing resiliency with mental health concerns pre and post pregnancy, how to restructure your thoughts to be more helpful, and how to face your fears as a mother. Dedicated time during session will allow for group dynamic development and an effective social support system.  

The group will run from Feb 15th-April 5th, 2022, on the following Tuesdays from 4-5:30pm: 

Feb 15th

Feb 22nd

March 1st

March 8th

March 15th

March 22nd

March 29th

April 5th

Cost is $125 per group.

Each patient must commit to all 8 sessions, as group dynamic emerges and needs to be maintained. Each patient must also have an intake with the practice prior to joining the group. 

Dr. Kaplan, the psychologist running the group, has had over 15 years of experiencing treating women with peri- and postpartum anxiety and depression. Please see our homepage for her full bio. 

New accelerated/intensive program announcement!

Our Accelerated/Intensive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program

At the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill, we have dedicated one clinician on staff to always be available for this program.  Please call us at 202-768-6494 or email us at admin@washingtonanxietycenter.com if you are interested.

Exposure-based therapy (as part of cognitive-behavioral therapy) is THE most evidence-based treatment for anxiety disorders. Accelerated programs are structured to meet the individual patient’s needs. A fear and avoidance hierarchy is designed and individualized per patient and exposures adhere to this plan during the program. 

The majority of patients who participate in the program respond well. The aim of this program is to decrease anxiety symptoms (and depression) at a faster rate than 1x a week treatment (e.g., one can have many months of treatment in 1-3 weeks) and potentially avoid a higher level of care (e.g., IOP programs, residential, or inpatient).

We accept and encourage this service to be complementary to services you may be receiving at other practices. For example, if your therapist does not have the availability for multiple exposure sessions during the week, you can continue seeing them while you complete our program and then return to their regular care. 

At this time, we offer accelerated programs for the following disorders:

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

            4 sessions a week for 3 weeks

Panic Disorder

            4 sessions a week for 1 week OR 2-3 sessions a week for 2 weeks

School Refusal

            4 sessions a week for 8 consecutive weeks

Specific Phobia

            1-4 hours of a single session OR 1-2 hours of 2 sessions


            4 sessions a week for 4 consecutive weeks


Q: Is this an inpatient, partial hospital, or residential program?
A: The Accelerated program is an exposure-therapy specialized program that does not fit into any of the categories listed above. 

Q: Does “accelerated” mean the treatment is more difficult?

A: No, in fact, it means that it is more frequent and focused, with the hope that you are able to accomplish a lot in a shorter amount of therapeutic time.