Joia Pierce, LCPC

Works with Teens and Adults

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” – Brené Brown


Therapy with me: My approach to therapy is humanistic and holistic, and centers on building a strong relationship with my clients. Cultivating a warm, authentic, caring relationship is at the core of my work. At the same time, I will challenge you when needed. I believe we are inherently motivated toward personal growth and that therapy with me can serve as a safe environment for that growth. I consider you to be the expert on your life and your lived experiences, so therapy with me means a collaborative approach to your goals. Finally, I understand that our environments impact our mental health. We might consider how family, education/work, gender roles, political systems, marginalization, or cultural values have influenced you.

Roles that inform my work: I am a White, queer, highly empathetic, cisgender woman. I acknowledge the impact of my intersecting identities, and I work to practice cultural humility and create a safe space for all clients.

I feel informed and knowledgeable about: depression, anxiety, panic, family systems, complex trauma, queer identity, and neurodivergence. I incorporate techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, internal family systems, and polyvagal theory. Areas I can support you include building self-compassion and self-care, improving relational skills, and increasing capacity to deal with overwhelming emotions.

I work best with clients who: are willing to engage in difficult work, strive for insight, learn to allow painful emotions and to disrupt maladaptive patterns, and seek genuine connection. I enjoy providing another opportunity for healing to clients who have had past negative experiences in therapy. I work with adults, young adults, and motivated teens.

I am not a good fit for clients who: are unwilling to try new things, seek highly structured therapy, or expect therapy to “fix” them.

What makes me unique: I am a real person in and out of the therapy office. I use humor and bring in cultural references to my sessions, and you will likely see my pets at some point over telehealth. In showing up as my true self, I invite you to do the same. Additionally, I am committed to working with broader support networks where you and I believe that may be helpful. I am happy to provide additional resources or to refer you to a psychiatrist, nutritionist, or other professionals for adjunct treatment.


Kenyon College, Psychology, Modern Languages
Johns Hopkins University, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Recent trainings
Internal Family Systems for Deep Healing, Richard Schwartz, Spring 2021
Complex Trauma Training, Hope Ignited, Fall 2021
Polyvagal Theory in Action, Deb Dana, Spring 2023
OCD and Anxiety Series, Sheppard Pratt, Spring 2023
Techniques for Deeply Held Trauma, Janina Fisher, Summer 2023

Recent reads
No Bad Parts by Richard Schwartz
Anchored by Deb Dana
Burnout and Come as You Are by Emily and Amelia Nagoski
You Just Need to Lose Weight (and 19 Other Myths About Fat People) by Aubrey Gordon


Self-care: mindfulness, deep friendships, and appreciating nature are some ways that I nourish myself. I am a strong proponent of the healing power of rest.

Just for fun: to relax, I enjoy listening to podcasts, hiking, and spending quality time with family. I dabble in a variety of creative hobbies, from embroidery and puzzles to
videogames and Dungeons and Dragons. If I were a kind of ice cream, I would be raspberry sorbet with dark chocolate chunks.