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REbecca

Rebecca Behnke, LCSW-C

She/Her/Hers
Works with children, teens, and young adults

“Anything that’s human is mentionable. And anything mentionable can become more manageable.” Fred Rogers

Healing Work

Therapy with me: I work with children and families on their path toward healing and with adults whose inner child is continuing or just beginning this journey. I consider the client to be an expert in their own experiences and feel that therapy works best when the client feels a sense of empowerment and agency within the therapeutic process. I often incorporate play, art, music and movement in my work with clients and enjoy finding creative, individualized and collaborative approaches to sustain clients’ growth and wellness. 

My impacting identifies/roles that inform my work:  I am a straight white female who was primarily raised in rural Pennsylvania, except for a short period spent in Eastern Europe as a teen. I live with chronic illness and have navigated varying levels of disability throughout my life. I strive to continuously work toward understanding how my privilege impacts my practice and interactions with others. 

I feel informed and knowledgeable about:

  • PTSD, complex trauma and dissociation
  • Sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and sex and labor trafficking
  • Working with parents and families impacted by trauma
  • Chronic illness, disability and medical trauma

I work best with clients who are: 

  • Open to change and are willing to stretch their perceptions of what therapy can be
  • Committed to unlearning patterns developed by personal and generational trauma

I am not a good clinical fit for clients who are: 

  • Focused on managing substance use disorder 
  • Primarily concerned with disordered eating or managing Eating Disorders
  • Interested in couples therapy
  • Looking for a “quick fix” or are not interested in working toward change outside of sessions

What makes me unique: For the past five years, I have focused on working with survivors of trauma in several different roles including legal advocate, crisis counselor and trauma therapist. This work has brought me to schools, detention centers, courthouses and hospitals and I have insight into the challenges of interacting with systems that are designed to protect us, but often duplicate toxic dynamics of power and control, and can be retraumatizing. I have experience working with clients across the lifespan and have a thorough understanding of the impact of trauma within family systems. My degree in Dance Performance and my academic education and training in this area informs my knowledge of the mind-body connection, and has developed my ability to apply creative and improvisational approaches in my practice.  

Learning and Growing

I recently made the transition from agency work to private practice.  I am discovering how my work can grow in this space, and I am excited for clients to join me on this journey. 

Though I have left nonprofit work, I strive to remain involved and up-to-date on  advocacy efforts and the issues that impact my community. As part of this work I am a member of the Maryland Human Trafficking Clinician Collaborative, which focuses on support and information-sharing to enhance therapy services for survivors of human trafficking. 

Fun Facts/Resilience Building 

What resources me to build resilience:

I  surround myself with others who are committed to their own healing and growth, and who also encourage and support my own. I try to create space to explore the world around me through interacting with nature, travel and trying new things. Like many others, for the past few years my world has often felt isolated and closed off, and I am working on expanding my experiences in a way that feels safe and supportive. I am also making an effort to incorporate more restorative rest into my self care. 

Education

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Bachelor’s Degree in Dance, minor in Social Welfare

Columbia University- Masters in Social Work

Certifications/Trainings/What I’m Reading Currently 

Licensed Certified Social Worker- Clinical (LCSW-C)

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) Nationally Certified (In Progress)

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) Certified Sexual Assault Counselor- 2017

Training and coursework in Complicated Grief Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Internal Family System Theory

 

The Gift of Therapy- Irvin Yalom

My Grandmother’s Hands- Resmaa Menakem

Trauma Stewardship- Laura van Dernoot Lipsky

On my reading list:

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded

Disability Visibility- Alice Wong