Our Associates

Amye L. Fried, LCSW-C
ext 703
Rebecca Kullback, LCSW-C
ext 702
Daniel Abzug, LCSW-C
ext. 709
Julie Derby, LCSW-C
ext 704
Caryn Harris, LCPC, NCC
ext 714
Kimberly Levin, MS, CCC-SLP
ext. 706
Joy Martini, LCSW-C
ext 710
Allison Nordlinger, LCSW-C
ext 719
Veronica Suleiman, LCSW-C, LICSW
ext 707
Alexandra Swe, LCSW-C, LICSW, 
ext. 712
Katherine Whorton Todman, LCSW-C
ext 708
Robyn Wechsler, MD
Chris Whitaker, LCSW-C, ATR
ext 711

Amye L. Fried, LCSW-C 

Amye is the co-founder of Metropolitan Counseling Associates, LLC and has been providing individual, group and family therapy to children, adolescents and young adults in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for over 20 years.  She is currently the Clinical Director of ASCEND, an Intensive Outpatient Services division at MCA.  Amye has a particular passion for and a strong commitment to helping older teens and young adults launch into adulthood with a sense of purpose, self-understanding, confidence and hope.  It is this commitment that guides her approach to clients and the programs she develops.

In addition to her comprehensive clinical work and program development, Amye serves as a certified clinical supervisor, and educational advocate for students with emotional and/or learning challenges, a parent guide and a consultant in the community on issues of mental health and wellness.  Amye graduated Summa Cum Laude from Emory University with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and from Smith College with a Masters degree in Clinical Social Work.  Amye has completed 5 years of postmasters clinical training with a specialization in family and group therapy.  She has served as a keynote speaker at private and public schools, hospitals, colleges and professional conferences on topics including the young adult-parent relationship, teen-parent relationship, child and adolescent social dynamics, eating disorders, exercise abuse and childhood trauma.

Amye is committed to implementing empirically based treatment and practice, and has published multiple abstracts and co-authored a paper on the relationship between problematic exercise and various forms of psychopathology.  In the July 2009 issue of the Washington Magazine, Amye was cited as one of the Best Adolescent Therapists in the Washington DC metropolitan area.  In addition to her depth of work, Amye is the mother to two incredible active boys.  Alongside her cherished family time, she enjoys being a loyal friend and a die-hard Baltimore Ravens fan.

Rebecca Kullback, LCSW-C 

Rebecca is a co-founder and the Director of Outpatient Services at Metropolitan Counseling Associates LLC.

Rebecca received her MSW in clinical social work from Smith College School for Social Work in 1994, and began her career training and working alongside internationally recognized researchers and clinicians at NIH and Chestnut Lodge Hospital.  Her work provided extensive experience treating young adults and adults diagnosed with personality, mood and trauma disorders. And sparked a passion for developing effective early intervention that would shape her career for years to come.

Rebecca’s work with individuals and families debilitated by psychiatric crisis and disorder led her to pursue working with teens and young adults in more proactive ways. She shifted her attention to program development and direct services in school based work, and became the Director of Counseling at the Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC where she created and implemented an inaugural counseling program. Although she left Sidwell several years later to have more time and flexibility with her own family, she has spent almost twenty years working as a supervisor and consultant to dozens of other independent and public schools in the metropolitan area to enhance program development, policy and direct services that better meet the learning, social and emotional needs of students and families.

Rebecca considers herself a lifelong learner. She also loves the art of teaching. She has worked as adjunct faculty at Catholic University School of Social Work, is a certified supervisor for the state of Maryland Board of Social work and despite her fear of public speaking, is a frequent presenter to school, community, healthcare and corporate groups on issues pertaining to child and adult mental health and wellness. 

At MCA, Rebecca maintains a full and diverse outpatient psychotherapy practice with teens, young adults, adults, couples and families. She has extensive training in DBT, CPT trauma treatment, Family Systems, Adoption Competent Treatment, and a special interest in assessment. She believes that successful treatment is collaborative, considers the influences of family, school, and community on individual development, integrates mindfulness practice and balances attention towards acceptance and change.

Rebecca loves a challenge, and to play as hard as she works. She embraces fun with family and friends, surfing, long walks on the beach and dancing to live music. And she is mildly obsessed with her recently launched collection of handmade fine jewelry. 

Daniel Abzug, LCSW-C

Daniel earned his Bachelor’s degree Cum Laude in Social Work with a minor concentration in Psychology at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. He continued his studies by pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Maryland-Baltimore. Daniel has extensive experience facilitating individual, family, and group therapy with adolescents and adults. Prior to working in private-practice settings, Daniel spent his time working as a primary therapist at two JCAHO accredited dual-diagnosis treatment centers located in the Baltimore region serving the needs of those with chronic substance misuse and mental health disorders.

Daniel exhibits a unique ability to work with a wide-variety of populations and age-groups. His compassionate therapeutic model weaves a fabric of mind/body skills through the use of strategies such as mindfulness meditation, cognitive behavioral therapies, and transpersonal psychology. Recently, Daniel has focused his efforts on utilizing a delicately-interwoven process of coaching, traditional talk therapy, and intervention to aid families in resolving unhealthy habitual patterns within their home. In addition to his work with clients, he provides supervision to recent MSW graduates. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts and playing drums in his band.

Julie Derby, LCSW-C

Julie is a primary member of our ASCEND team and a lead therapist in our adolescent DBT program.  Julie has an extensive background working with adolescents, young adults and families with specialized training and an experience with young women struggling with a wide range of eating disorders. Her previous eating disorders work included providing treatment to acute eating disorders patients and families at the Renfrew Center. She is well versed in the continuum of care from hospital through outpatient therapy, and is able to lead clients and families through discharge planning into sustained progress.

Julie also has expansive experience working with teens on the Autism spectrum and their families. She spent several years as an individual and group therapist at Kennedy Krieger and developed competence helping her students reach far beyond initial expectations by identifying and protecting their strengths.  Julie also has training and experience as an individual and group therapist providing Dialectical Behavior Therapy and is a primary DBT skills group leader at MCA.

Julie is a mother to two teenagers herself.  Despite the fact that her professional skills and commitments have led to e vast expansion of her practice, Julie finds precious time to read, bake and travel with her friends and family.

Caryn Harris, LCPC, NCC

Caryn is a licensed clinical professional counselor and a national certified counselor in Maryland who specializes in working with children, adolescents, young adults, and families. She earned her Bachelors degree from Tufts University where she doubled majored in Psychology and Child Development. Caryn received her Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from George Washington University. As well as Caryn’s work in private practice, she is also a member of the ASCEND program.

Prior to joining MCA, Caryn worked full-time at the Jewish Social Service Agency as a clinician providing individual, group, and family therapy. Caryn worked primarily with children, adolescents, and young adults exhibiting depression, anxiety, ADHD, learning disabilities, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Caryn also led many social skill therapy groups for children and adolescents. She was a lead clinician in the Building and Fostering Friendships summer camp at the McLean School in Potomac, Maryland. Additionally, Caryn provided support and guidance to parents, mental health consultations, and case management.

Caryn uses a combination of therapeutic approaches including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), family systems and solution-focused therapies, to  help clients manage and overcome social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Caryn is passionate about empowering pre-teens, adolescents and young adults with the skills and coping mechanisms to improve self-esteem, manage stress, and navigate the difficult transitions into adulthood.

In addition to Caryn’s clinical work, she is also the co-founder of About Time, a tutoring service for children, adolescents, and young adults struggling with executive functioning, time management, and organization. Caryn works with clients to develop effective strategies that will enhance overall functioning at school and at home. Caryn joins the ranks of Baltimore fans at MCA. In addition to enthusiastically cheering on the Ravens and O’s games; she enjoys traveling and exploring the food scene in and outside DC.

Kimberly Levin, MS, CCC-SLP

Kim is a licensed Speech Language Pathologist in both Virginia and Maryland and has over 20 years of experience working in the Washington DC area. She obtained her undergraduate degree cum laude from James Madison University in Communication Sciences and Disorders and her Master of Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Speech Language Pathology. Kim has vast experience working in acute care, acute rehabilitation and outpatient settings with traumatic brain injury, stroke and other neurologically impaired and medically complex patients. She worked at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, George Washington University Hospital and the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health providing both assessment and treatment services to a variety of patients.

Kim has experience both evaluating and treating executive function disorder as it relates to neurological issues and is thrilled to be expanding her clinical practice into a new area – mental health with young adults. Kim is a member of the ASCEND team providing both individual and group services. In her spare time, she is busy with her 3 children and 2 dogs. She spends most evenings and weekends going to soccer practices and games and dreaming of summer at the beach!

Joy Martini, LCSW-C

Joy holds a BA in Interpersonal Communications from Bowling Green State University and a Masters in Social Work from Catholic University.  

As an original member of the Ascend team, Joy has worked over the past 8 years to help build and provide many aspects of the program in roles that include program coordinator, group, individual and family therapist. 

In her work with individuals in the program and her outpatient practice, Joy begins with helping her clients clarify areas of concern and develop treatment plans to address identified problems and goals. She then incorporates a range of therapeutic, educational and supportive methods to help her clients develop and practice techniques to stabilize mood, increase effective behaviors and develop healthy relationships.  Joy’s work with families examines the family dynamic, how family history impacts current challenges, the importance of interpersonal effectiveness, and maintaining respect while participating in a challenging process.  

Joy is trained in DBT. In addition to running DBT groups for adolescents, young adults and Ascend participants, Joy integrates  DBT theory and practice throughout her clinical work to help clients by teaching skills around mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation and distress tolerance.  

When not engaged with her clients, Joy loves to spend time with family and friends including her 2 young adult sons and her ridiculous Golden Retriever “Lucky”.  You will regularly find her on or near the water or engaging in anything outside including kayaking, hiking, and the occasional rock climb.  Joy is an avid yogi and practices mindfulness meditation.

Allison Nordlinger, LCSW-C

Allison is a licensed clinical social worker who has been working with adolescents, young adults, adults, families, and parents in individual and group settings for over 15 years.  Allison has been in private practice for the last 11 years, and before that she worked in a school setting as well as a community mental health center.  Allison was a primary member of Metropolitan Counseling Associates’ Ascend Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for several years.

Allison’s private practice incorporates insight-oriented and cognitive behavioral strategies, including mindfulness practices through interpersonal talk therapy.  Allison works collaboratively with her clients to address a broad variety of challenges including life transitions, anxiety, depression, loss, co-dependency, and parenting work.  She focuses mostly on helping her clients address and resolve issues that are disrupting a satisfying personal and/or family life.  Her therapeutic approach includes a collaborative patient-therapist relationship, which emphasizes the client’s strengths and insights and is often based upon a balance of hard work and humor.  Allison enjoys working with her clients to help them develop greater insight into their relationships, communication patterns and defenses.  She also works closely with parents to provide psycho-education and support.   When appropriate, Allison collaborates with other key treatment providers (psychologists, psychiatrists, nutritionists, pediatricians, schools, etc…) in an effort to treat her clients through a wrap-around and integrative lens.

Allison is a native Washingtonian.  She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her M.S.W. from the Catholic University School of Social Service.

Veronica Suleiman, LCSW-C, LICSW

Veronica is a licensed clinical social worker who has been working with adolescents, parents, young adults, and adults since 2010.  Before coming to MCA, Veronica worked as a therapist in a middle school and a high school through Linkages to Learning and Identity Inc.  She has previously worked with young adults at a university counseling center and with performing risk assessments in the emergency department of Children’s National Medical Center in DC.  

Veronica has a relational-cultural approach to treatment that prioritizes authenticity, validation, and respect.  She integrates psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral therapy as well as some mindfulness practice to help clients develop self-acceptance, change, growth, and empowerment.  Veronica has experience working with trauma, adjustment issues, anxiety, depression, loss, and parenting challenges.  

Veronica is a native Spanish speaker with a theater background.  She received her B.F.A. from The Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and her M.S.W. from the Catholic University School of Social Service.  When not at work, Veronica is busy raising her four children and relaxing whenever possible!

Alexandra Swe, LCSW-C, LICSW

Alex is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in providing individual therapy to adolescents and young adults. Alex uses a combination of dialectical behavioral, cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic treatment approaches.  In addition to her clinical work within private practice, Alex is also a member of the Ascend team.

Alex earned her Bachelors degree from the University of South Carolina where she majored in Psychology and minored in Social Work. Alex received her Masters degree in Clinical Social Work from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Prior to joining MCA, Alex worked in child welfare within the District of Columbia, primarily with children and adolescents in therapeutic foster care. Additionally, Alex worked within the DC Public Charter school system at an alternative high school, providing behavioral support and counseling services to 9-12th graders. Alex has years of experience working with children and adolescents with extensive trauma history, behavioral challenges, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, attachment disorders and socio-emotional concerns.  As a true social worker, Alex strongly believes in being an advocate for her client and helping them identify and understand their strengths. 

In her spare time, Alex enjoys traveling, listening to music and trying all the food DC has to offer.

Robyn Wechsler, MD

Dr. Wechsler is the consulting psychiatrist for the ASCEND IOP, a consultant to Launch Well and routinely collaborates in the treatment of clients and families in our outpatient practice. Robyn also has a very busy child, adolescent and adult psychiatric practice in Chevy Chase Maryland where she brings a wealth of knowledge and exceptional skill to her accomplished and comprehensive work.

Robyn is on the faculty of Georgetown University Hospital Department of Psychiatry and was a staff supervisor and psychiatrist there prior to full time practice. She has been affiliated in fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of Maryland and completed her residency at the University of Pittsburgh Western Psychiatric Institute.  After NYU she moved west and prior to joining the staff at Georgetown was a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Children’s Institute in Los Angeles.

Robyn integrates a sophisticated knowledge and practice of medicine with warmth and enthusiasm for her patient’s success and well-being. Her wisdom, competence and energy make her a highly sought after provider and an invaluable asset to Ascend. Robyn is also passionate about the importance of meaningful and enjoyable experience in mood stability and when not treating her patients she is active with her loving family and may be found hiking or doing impressive flips on the trampoline.

Chris Whitaker, LCSW-C, ATR

Chris is a clinical social worker, licensed in both Maryland and Virginia and a registered art therapist. Chris’ experience with adolescents, young adults and their families extends over 25 years. Her training began in the criminal justice field after graduating with a BS in the Administration of Justice from American University. With her understanding and application of the universal language of art, she obtained a Masters in Art Therapy from George Washington University and entered the field of mental health working in psychiatric inpatient units with adolescents. During her early career, she also worked in special education working passionately with emotionally disabled students. The tremendous value in working with individuals in the context of family and larger systems led to her pursuit of her MSW, and a commitment to helping clients repair, achieve and sustain healthy relationships.

Her training at the Family Therapy Practice Center under Marian Walters in Washington, DC, laid the groundwork for her extensive family work including specialized work with sexually abused adolescents and their families. Chris has been with MCA since we opened and has been both a leader in outpatient practice and a key participant in the development and evolution of the Ascend program.  Throughout her career she has also been a member of the Montgomery County Executive Board on both the Victims Services Association and Citizens Review Panel on Child Protective Services. Now in fulltime private practice, Chris incorporates her extensive knowledge and clinical skills providing individual, family and group psychotherapy to adolescents and adults. She is a member of the ASCEND team and oversees Art Therapy at MCA.

Chris is a tireless advocate for clients’ strengths. Her warmth and compassion extends to all, and translates into her role as in-house staff “therapist.” Her office is by far the most visited by our entire staff. Chris’ love is further reflected in her large family and house of pets including her most recent addition Berkeley, her enormous “puppy.”

Katherine Whorton Todman, LCSW-C

Katherine has been providing individual, family and group therapy in the private and public sectors since 1996. Alongside Chris, Katherine joined MCA in our beginning and has been an accomplished individual, family and group therapist for adolescents and adults. Her practice focuses treating anxiety and depression. She has also done extensive work treating trauma and issues related to loss and bereavement. Katherine graduated with honors from Chapman University and earned her Masters degree in clinical social work from Smith College. Additional training includes completion of the adult psychotherapy program at the Baltimore Washington Center for Psychoanalysis and advanced clinical training at the Clinical Social Work Institute in Washington DC.

Katherine began her practice with a focus in hospice and medical social work and then worked with the severe and chronically mentally ill at Chestnut Lodge Hospital. Currently, she works at the National Institute of Mental Health with a focus on human subjects protections for research participants.  Her expansive work in research and ethics is a consistent asset to our group and is seen in our outcome- based studies in the Ascend program and in-house ethics adherence and training.  She also provides ceaseless and sophisticated attention to the complexity of variables that impact clinical work and helps our team safeguard the integrity of practice.

Katherine enjoys teaching and supervising social work students entering the field and has served as a field instructor and supervisor for several schools.

Contact Us

7201 Wisconsin Ave
Suite 700
Bethesda, MD 20814

Phone/fax 301 654 7770