Caitlin Heffernan, LCSW-C

Caitlin Heffernan, LCSW-C, Clinical Director

Works with Late Teens and Adults

*No current openings, accepting new clients on waitlist*


Therapy with me: I approach work with clients as intentional, reflective, and through a trauma-lens. I appreciate an approach that is relationship-focused and values connection, incorporates reasonable expectations, and honors where the client is, where they are coming from, and where they would like to go. I wholeheartedly believe in striving for change that is sustainable over a “quick-fix.” I view myself as human first, therapist second; this allows me to embrace and honor the humanness in every person, and my hope is that it brings an authenticity and warmth into the work I do with others. While I value a relationship-focused approach to the work I do (after all, healthy human connection plays such an important role in our lives), I am also mindful to incorporate awareness and utilization of both body- and brain-based approaches to therapy. I view this as a realistic honoring of how it is both our brains and our bodies that walk through our life experiences.

My impacting identities/roles that inform my work: I am a cisgender, heterosexual, white female. I remain committed to an ongoing journey to understand the impacts of my own identities and the privilege they inherently bring, to have awareness and accountability for myself, and to continue to cultivate a deeper empathy for others.

I feel informed and knowledgeable about: The impact of trauma on the brain and body, self-compassion and self-forgiveness, anxiety and intrusive thoughts, complex trauma histories and complex family dynamics (explored in individual-based work), supporting clients in identifying and implementing boundaries, navigating parenthood (and what it can bring up in us as parents) and the impact of “juggling” multiple roles, women’s health and health-related stress, unpacking the impact of capitalism and antiquated societal expectations, anti-diet culture and radical self-love.

I work best with clients who: Are comfortable with the idea of navigating therapy without a roadmap or exact timeline. Who have maybe tried therapy before and are looking to “dive deeper” rather than “apply a bandaid.”

I am not a good clinical fit for clients who: Are seeking overly-structured therapy. Outside of my work in Cognitive Processing Therapy, which is structured by nature, the work I do with clients is generally more organic and led by client life experiences and/or goals.

What makes me unique: I won’t shy away from using humor in therapy when there’s an appropriate space for it. While my current focus is mostly on older teens and adults, I’ve worked with a broader age range in the past. This has provided a deeper understanding of the lifespan, and therefore allows me to support clients in both life reflection (past and future), as well as in processing relationships with others who are in different life stages.


In March 2020 (just as the world was shutting down!), I completed training and certification in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). I am continuing to expand my trauma training through Janina Fisher’s Complex Trauma Certification program (Levels 1 and 2), and remain interested in somatic-based trainings. Additionally, I am in the lottery to complete IFS Level 1 training (waiting for my name to be selected in the lottery); this is likely to happen in late 2023 or in 2024.


I enjoy time spent outside and feel peaceful when I’m near the water (although less so when I’m in the water – that’s a work in progress and living in the Annapolis-area is helping). I am learning to listen more to my own body and slow down when needed; this is proving to involve a lot of “unlearning,” much of which is connected to capitalism. Time with family and close friends feeds my soul, balanced with quiet time at home that helps me rest and recharge (and tends to my introverted parts).

What resources me to build resilience… I strive to “walk the walk” as a therapist; I am invested in my job to help others, and I am also committed to doing my own work (for both the human in me, and as a therapist to allow me to show up to help others more sustainably).


James Madison University / University of Maryland School of Social Work (MSW)


Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Plus (CBT+, through the National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Child Welfare)

Board Approved Supervisor for Maryland Social Workers and Professional Counselors

Janina Fisher Parts-based trauma therapy and training (Healing the Fragmented Parts of Self)

What I’m currently reading…

The Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love, by Sonya Renee Taylor

Truth be told, I usually have multiple books going at the same time. It’s a goal of mine to finish the books I start!