Diane Adlestein, PH.d.



‚ÄčThe demands of daily living can compound and easily cause one to feel anxious, depressed, or just generally overwhelmed.  Difficulties managing stress can result in disruptions to one's mood, eating or sleep, relationships, and school or job performance.  Strategies to cope with stress and engage in "self-care" are important in maintaining one's physical and emotional health.  Dr. Adlestein helps individuals enhance their capacities for coping through various approaches including cognitive therapy, mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and hypnosis.  A psychodynamic approach to therapy, which involves addressing how one's past may influence one's present day thoughts, emotions, and relationship problems, is often indicated to help individuals affect change




Dr. Adlestein has extensive experience providing training, supervision, and consultation to clinicians within the field of trauma, including having served for 18 years as the Director of Postdoctoral Training of The Trauma Disorders Program at Sheppard Pratt Hospital. She is available to provide program trainings or consultations to individual clinicians.  Professional references are available upon request.  Appointments for individual consultation can take place in her Columbia, MD office or via telephone or Zoom.   

Trauma treatment can be challenging for client and therapist alike.  Bearing witness to another's trauma, helping to contain clients' intense emotions, and managing concerns about clients' well-being and safety pose multiple demands for trauma therapists.  Reactions to doing trauma treatment can prove to be complicated and overwhelming and often raise questions about our efficacy as therapists.  If one works with dissociative disorder clients, such reactions in therapists can be even more pronounced.  Dealing with issues of traumatic transference and counter-transference and identifying projective identifications and re-enactments can be very helpful in negotiating trauma treatment and addressing difficulties encountered by therapists. 


Studies show that as many as 89% of Americans will be exposed to traumatic events sometime in their life (National Center for PTSD).  Post-traumatic responses include intense anxiety, fear, intrusive thoughts, images or flashbacks of the traumatic event, nightmares, and problems with concentration.  Most of the time, these symptoms resolve within several weeks.  However, a significant number of individuals exposed to trauma (10 - 20%) experience much longer sustained difficulties and develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).  Individuals with PTSD may experience long-term problems in their emotional, cognitive, social, and occupational functioning.  In these cases, treatment is needed to facilitate coping and enable healing.


If trauma is interpersonal in nature (such as a violent assault, rape, or physical or sexual abuse), the negative impact on one's self-experience and one's capacity for intimacy can be profound.  "Complex PTSD" may result from interpersonal trauma that begins early in life and is prolonged and severe.  Complex PTSD is often unresponsive to or even worsened by traditional treatments for PTSD (such as prolonged exposure therapy).  A longer, more gradual approach to therapy is needed which is implemented in stages and in which the initial focus is on helping someone to safely manage emotions and control PTSD symptoms prior to processing trauma.  Trauma processing involves developing skills to manage difficult memories and emotions in order to be able to integrate one's past experiences.  Dr. Adlestein helps clients process trauma in order to lessen distressing symptoms and decrease the impact of trauma on one's sense of self and one's experience of others and the world.