Meet the Staff

Leslie M. Evers, RN, MSN, CS, LMFT 

I have over 40 years of experience helping people make positive changes in their relationships with their spouses, children, parents, siblings, friends, and especially with themselves. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, registered nurse, certified psychiatric nurse and clincial specialist. I use a holistic approach to help adults, adolescents, and children heal their emotional wounds and progress through "stuck places.” Growth is facilitated in all systems of the integrated self including the emotional, biological, psychological, spiritual, family, and social. My experience as a nurse and family therapist encompasses a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, women’s health (pregnancy, menopause), chronic illness, eating disorders, and addictions. In addition to my work with children and adolescents, I have provided ongoing consultation to various schools (elementary and high school), residential treatment centers, and adolescent programs.

I am Certified in the EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) technique and am an NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Practitioner.

I earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (R.N., B.S.N.) from the University of Cincinnati in 1971 and a Master of Science in Nursing in psychiatric nursing (M.S.N.) from the University of Cincinnati in 1975.

I am a Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, co-founder of The Family Therapy Center of Old Town, and am a member of EMDRIA, the American Nurses Association and the Counsel on Psychiatric Nursing.

Arlene K. Berger, MSN, CNS, NP, BC, PhD

I did my undergraduate studies at Georgetown University, graduating with a BSN and a degree in Biology Pre-Med. My graduate work was done at The Catholic University of America receiving an MSN and board certification as a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist and a Nurse Practitioner. My academic pursuits completed with a Masters and Doctorate in Alternative Medicine from Clayton College of Health. 

My professional career also included being an Executive Clinical Director for Interim Health Care, Vice President of Health Care for VMT, Washington, DC, Sibley Hospital, Washington, DC, Clinical Liaison in Forensic Psychiatry for the state of Virginia, Professor for Marymount University as a clinical supervisor for graduate nurses studying psychiatric nursing, and private practice with The Family Therapy Center, Alexandria, Virginia since 2003.

I am certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). I use an integrated approach in my practice utilizing conventional modalities of intervention and alternative/holistic concepts. My practice directs to Marital/Interpersonal Relationships, Trauma, ADHD, Substance Abuse, Depression and Anxiety, and grief and loss.

Rhea Caracosta, Ed.D, LPC, LMFT

My professional experience includes 24 years of clinical work as Clinical Supervisor for a special education day program, overseeing the delivery of clinical services, providing clinical supervision to other clinicians, as well as providing direct services to children, adolescents and families. Areas of focus of that work included emotional regulation, social anxiety, peer and family relationships, executive functioning and identity formation.

My private practice work spans over 20 years. I work primarily with adults and couples in particular. I specialize in helping adults process family of origin issues, trauma, depression and anxiety and manage everyday life stressors. In facilitating their growth, I meet individuals where they are, and incorporate their belief system and spirituality into our work. I help individuals raise their self-awareness, realize their strengths, recognize their options and maximize their potential.

I earned my B.A. in Psychology from the University of London, my M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Ball State University and my Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Southern California. I trained as a Marriage and Family Therapist at Virginia Tech. and became licensed in 1993 (LMFT).

I am a Clinical Member and an approved supervisor of the Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.

In addition to English, I am fluent in Greek and French.

John L. Ehlers, III, M.A., LPC, NCC

Over the past 15 years I have learned that the change process is collaborative and requires a unified focus between the therapist and client. In therapy, the most positive outcomes occur when we develop a healthy therapeutic relationship and focus on the same goals. Building a trusting and safe relationship allows both therapist and client to feel comfortable while cultivating positive change.

I practice from a wellness perspective that states everything we experience throughout our lives is a natural part of our development as individuals. I will meet you wherever you may be emotionally knowing that your life’s journey has brought you to this place. My approach stems primarily from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and is informed by mindfulness, holistic health, and family systems theory. I work with adults, adolescents, children, couples, and families to address anxiety, depression, trauma, ADHD, relationship stressors, and life transitions. I also provide psychotherapy services in Spanish.

I earned my bachelor’s degree (B.S.) in psychology from James Madison University, my master’s degree (M.A.) in counseling from The George Washington University, and completed post-master’s graduate coursework in counseling at Adams State University. I am a board certified counselor (NCC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Virginia and Washington, DC.

Please click here to view my profile on Psychology Today.

Julia Kaplan, M.Ed, MHP, LMHC, LPC

I have spent the past 11 years working in the fields of social work and mental health. I completed my undergraduate studies and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Radford University. I received my Master’s in Mental Health Counseling (M.Ed) from the University of Puget Sound. I am a board certified counselor (NCC), a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Washington, a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Virginia, and am a member of the American Psychological Association (APA). 

I have a holistic, trauma-informed approach to treatment with roots in Family Systems Theory, Attachment Theory, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I believe that true change comes from working together with a patient as their partner, viewing them through the lens of curiosity and acceptance. I believe in offering empathy and understanding while exploring a patient’s innermost self, bringing their unconscious thoughts, beliefs, feelings and behaviors into their consciousness so they may feel empowered to bring about the change they desire through self-awareness, active choice, and self-actualization. 

I am certified in CBT, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). I am also trained in treatment modalities including Motivational Interviewing, group therapy, relationship and family therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, and emotionally-focused therapy. I work primarily with adolescents, young adults, adults, and couples. I have experience treating depression, anxiety, relationship stressors, ADHD, trauma, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder.


Neil D. Kaplan, PhD, LMFT

Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, AAMFT Approved Therapist

Dr. Neil Kaplan had more than 30 years of experience helping people make positive changes in their relationships with their spouse, children, parents, siblings, friends, employer and coworkers, and especially with themselves. He worked with individuals, couples, and families. He used a holistic approach to help adults, adolescents and children heal their emotional wounds and facilitate growth in all 6 levels of the human experience. These levels are: emotional, psychological, biological, family and social relationships, spiritual, and the Self. He took a results-oriented approach to resolving relationship problems, addictions and ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) issues, unresolved emotional pain and low self-esteem from childhood, and also problems such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, shyness, ADD/ADHD, loss, guilt, shame and fear. Dr. Neil Kaplan received a Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Clinical Psychology from Miami University (Ohio) in 1979 and a Masters degree (M.A.) in Clinical Psychology from Miami University (Ohio) in 1974.

He was a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist, a Certified NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Practitioner, a Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, and he had training and experience in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). He was a Member of the American Psychological Association, and a Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

Dr. Neil Kaplan was the Clinical Director of the Family Therapy Center of Old Town. Previously, he was Director of the Family Therapy Training Program at the Houston Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Family Therapy Institute of Alexandria, VA. He also held the following positions: Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX) and Texas Children’s Hospital; Adjunct Professor at Virginia Tech, Department of Child and Family Studies and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston; and Adjunct Faculty at the Houston Child Guidance Center, the Houston Family Institute and the Galveston Family Institute. He also twice held the position of President of the Houston-Galveston Family Therapy Consortium.

No Hours settings found. Please configure it