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SOPHIE DYKSTRA 

If your child engages in extreme or inappropriate behaviors that don’t seem to make sense, and you struggle to help them manage these BIG reactions to their world, then I'd be a fit for your family. My passion lies in creating a safe space for children, parents and caregivers to break free from dysfunctional behavior patterns, emotional dysregulation, and trauma. I believe healing the parent-child relationship is an important part of improving a child’s ability to cope and demonstrate skillful and safe behaviors.  My personality is goofy, energetic, creative and nonjudgmental. Others enjoy working with me because I am realistic about the difficulties families experience in daily life, I give direct and honest feedback, and I am highly motivated to help kids, teens, and parents achieve our agreed-upon goals. 

I have been working in mental health care since 2011, after I graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Journalism. I decided to pursue my Master’s in Social Work after working for several years at a residential treatment center for teens and earned my MSW from The University of Maryland, Baltimore.

I have experience working with complex trauma in children and adolescents, problematic sexual behavior, toileting issues, severe emotional dysregulation, and with clients whose behavior is impacted by autoimmune disorders including PANS/PANDAS. I also specialize in helping families with Highly Sensitive parents and/or children understand the personality trait and improve their self-regulation and communication patterns. 

I believe an important part of this process is helping parents recover from their own experiences of trauma within the parent-child relationship in order to parent more effectively and reconnect with their children. As a clinician I value thorough case conceptualization, assessment and accurate diagnosis, and utilizing evidence-based interventions tailored to your family’s goals. I provide lgbtq+ and neurodiversity affirming care, using an attachment-based and trauma-informed approach with all of my families.

Like most millennials I enjoy yoga and brunch in my free time. I am a devoted mom to one human daughter and my two cats. I also like to experiment with all different kinds of cooking and baking challenges, making sure to utilize all of my relaxation skills in the process!

I have specialized training in:

  • Brainspotting

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy

  • Prolonged Exposure for trauma recovery

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • Treating problematic sexual behaviors in children and youth

  • Child-Centered Play Therapy

  • Child-Parent Relationship Training for infants, toddlers and children

  • AutPlay Therapy for Autism and neurodivergence

  • Client-Centered and Relational therapies

 

Professional Associations: 
 

  • National Association of Social Workers

  • Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers