Carolyn Bell

Carolyn Bell, LGPC, Psychotherapist

Specializations: Couples counseling, individual relationship therapy, premarital counseling, sexual issues, anxiety, ADHD, finance therapy, LGBTQIA+. Racial justice allied.

Pronouns: she/her

Relationships bring meaning to our lives. I work with couples and individuals to help remove obstacles that hinder your connection and intimacy. Working together, I can help you achieve your therapeutic goals in a safe and trusting environment.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy can help you learn to be more fully present in the here and now and resolve issues, enabling you to heal and grow. I work with clients at points of transition, helping you to enhance your relationships, heal anxiety and depression, resolve trauma, manage ADHD, and develop a healthier relationship with money (see Finance Therapy below). I also help clients who are experiencing life-changing events, including loss and grief, chronic health diagnoses, adoption, and job growth and relocation.

As a therapist, I make use of Experiential Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Cognitive Behaviorial Therapy (CBT), Walk-Talk Therapy, and other modalities.

Couples Therapy

I offer support for couples who want to strengthen their relationships and resolve issues that are preventing emotional and sexual intimacy. My approach to couples therapy is Emotionally Focused (EFT) and Gottman Institute-based. I’m experienced working with LGBTQIA+ and heterosexual couples, and with monogamous and consensually non-monogamous relationships.

Working together, I can help you:

  • Strengthen your communication
  • Increase sexual intimacy
  • Explore commitment
  • Heal from breaches of trust
  • Improve your parenting skills
  • Manage ADHD in your relationship
  • Engage in Premarital Counseling

Finance Therapy

I offer finance therapy, which can help you better understand the money lessons you learned in childhood and how they may be showing up in your adult lives. Decisions about money are one the biggest stressors in a couple’s relationship. By better understanding each partner’s relationship with money and destigmatizing discussions about money, couples can have greater clarity about how each person prioritizes financial decisions, so the couple can proceed with less conflict.

I had a career in finance and business before becoming a therapist, and I enjoy helping clients explore and resolve money-related therapeutic issues. Please note that I am not a Financial Advisor or a Financial Planner, though I can refer you to specialists in those fields.

Intensive Therapy Retreats

Intensive retreats are multi-hour or multi-day therapy experiences for an individual or couple in need of significant treatment in a short timeframe. These sessions are curated; they are driven by the specific individual or couple’s needs and goals.

Various obstacles can be addressed indepth and beyond what a typical 60-minute therapy session would allow. These obstacles could include processing past traumatic experiences, betrayal within a relationship, and understanding the consequences of patterns of behavior. We can be curious and explore, for example, how a couple wants to shape their relationship going forward.

We provide a safe environment that allows individuals and couples to access and process painful memories and move closer to healing. Clients dictate the pace and intensity of the experience; all therapeutic activity is by permission. Multi-day intensives conclude with an after-care plan that clients can use to continue with supporting their recovery.

Candidates for multi-day intensives may be recommended by another therapist. All candidates must be screened prior to scheduling by completing questionnaires and intake interviews to determine if an intensive retreat is appropriate for the client’s needs and to create a specific agenda for the client. With client consent, more than one therapist may participate to assist with facilitating a supportive experience and providing critical session feedback to clients.

Training and Experience

I’m a National Board-Certified Counselor and a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor in the District of Columbia. I obtained my Masters in Counseling in Clinical Mental Health from Wake Forest University. I also hold a BA from Stanford University in Economics and an MBA from Columbia Business School. I have worked in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street, and am a former CFO and elite athlete. I have advanced training in ADHD, Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), and mindfulness and meditation from the Institute of Meditation and Psychotherapy. I’m working towards my independent licensure under the supervision of Lisa Smith, LPC.

Contact: 202.930.3697,

Lisa Smith Psychotherapy, 1801 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20009 (Dupont Circle Metro)