Individual Counseling in Bethesda & Reston

Individual Counseling

individual therapyDr. Carlos Durana brings an effective approach to individual counseling through a model of growth and healing in Reston, VA and Bethesda, MD.

For individual counseling or therapy to work, you need a safe and supportive environment where you can think, develop solutions and understand yourself and your circumstances better.

Dr. Durana works with you to help you become the best you possible through his unique model of support and therapeutic encouragement.  As such, you become the biggest factor in the success of your therapy and counseling

40% of successful therapy is the result of the client’s capacity for growth and healing. You enter therapy or counseling with strengths you may not realize, including your:

•    Knowledge and understanding of YOU, your circumstances and outside influences on your life.

•    Skills, aptitudes, abilities and experiences.

•    Beliefs, values, feelings and instincts.

That’s a lot of innate knowledge that is your most helpful resource while in therapy. Dr. Durana uses what has worked (rather than what has failed) in your life and with your resources to help you position yourself more firmly, with a strength and resolve that creates positive change. Over time, those changes build upon each other, fortifying your own efforts and creating lasting changes in your life.

               Contact Us               

4933 Auburn Ave, Suite #208,
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 654-0100

2265 Cedar Cove Court
Reston, VA 20191
(703) 716-0906

Atrium #5, Suite 1C, 11250 Roger Bacon Dr.
Reston, Virginia 20190
(703) 408-4965

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         Dr. Carlos Durana         

healing servicesCarlos Durana, Ph.D., M.Ac. is a licensed clinical psychologist and counselor with over twenty years of experience in the field of individual and couples counseling. He is also experienced in areas of complementary medicine that help enhance mindfulness, wellness, and life management. His approach is based on acceptance and regard for others; it is practical, educational, and holistic. Read More…

YOU are not the problem, but you are the solution.

You don’t have to have a label for counseling and therapy to have a positive impact on your life. In fact, those labels can sometimes work against efforts to create the changes you want in your life. In many cases, when you focus on what you’ve done that has worked to create positive change, a pattern or method evolves that allows you to overcome obstacles in life.

Dr. Durana’s approach to therapy and counseling in Reston, VA, and Bethesda, MD, encourages self-discovery, personal responsibility, personal control and problem-solving

The Client-Therapist Relationship

Therapy or counseling relies on the client-therapist relationship for success. It is one of those resources you may not go into therapy understanding, but it is a powerful tool for motivation, accountability, and validation.


Instead of fixing problems or treating symptoms, Dr. Durana listens and provides a non-judgmental environment that fosters trust and self-exploration. Within that setting, you are given the tools and time to discover more of your own strength and abilities to navigate through life. You are in charge of your therapeutic journey, including setting your goals, the timeline and more. Once you feel you have reached your goals, you leave Dr. Durana’s care with a more empowered focus on the world and more pride in your own abilities to overcome obstacles.

Client Expectancy and Hope

When we are frustrated, discouraged or in emotional pain, it is difficult to function properly. It can be easy to keep repeating our same patterns, without different results, or hiding from problems. Having another person to listen as we sort through any problems we are experiencing gives us a better way to get around what hasn’t been working.


Improving your quality of life is the reason you are looking into therapy. With Dr. Durana, you will find yourself able to consider better ways to:

•    See the problems you’re experiencing, including solutions you may not have considered or were too timid to attempt.

•    See your own ability to create those changes you desire, cutting away the external noise that may be holding you back.

•    Outline the steps you can take to make those changes, with the help of an expert in the field.

Change is usually a step-by-step process of trying out new things over successive times. In everyday life, people change through normal processes of thinking about a problem, exploring and experimenting with solutions and receiving feedback from the environment; out of this come new perspectives and experiences, which then lead to new solutions and explorations. These are natural self-righting mechanisms, that when promoted, generate hopefulness in the pursuit of goals.

Individual therapy is successful for people, with early benefits seen between 5-10 session in many cases. Some situations or people may require more than 25 sessions due to personal circumstances, motivation or other issues at play.

Therapeutic techniques can be a part of the success of individual therapy, as well. But it is you, the client, who are the biggest factor in your own healing and the success of therapy.

Methods or Models of Individual Therapy or Individual Counseling

Dr. Durana uses several therapeutic methods or approaches at his offices in Reston, VA and Bethesda, MD. These approaches are connected to the way clients best respond, including:

•    Thought processes

•    Experiencing feelings and emotions

•    Focusing on behavioral changes and action

•    Focusing on body awareness and the relationship between body signals and personal concerns.

•    Gaining deeper access to themselves through mindfulness.

There’s not one best approach and more than one approach can be used or different methods can be used at different stages of therapy. For example:


Cognitive behavioral therapy: As human beings, many of our problems arise out of faulty or limiting beliefs, like “I am unworthy”, “I am unlovable”, and “people are untrustworthy”, etc. Our beliefs are part of our self-esteem, sense of self, life philosophy and how we relate to others. Our beliefs are heard in our self-talk and how we judge ourselves and others, becoming thoughts that can positively or negatively change our experience.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) gives you the tools to help identify and transform negative beliefs into healthy adaptations. CBT helps those with anxiety, depression, personality disorders, addictions, etc.

Emotionally-based approaches: It is common to avoid or deny difficult emotions and feelings, creating internal conflicts or issues in our relationships. Dr. Durana’s therapeutic approach honors the emotional nature of clients, creating a safe environment that encourages honest communication and problem solving. This includes:

  • Encouraging emotional availability and receptivity
  • Evoking emotional experience to enhance motivation, commitment, and determination to achieve goals and resolve problems.
  • Enhance awareness of emotions and integration emotion with action for both individuals and couples in therapy.

Mindfulness therapy: Mindfulness means doing something with awareness and/or intention. There’s no judgment, but a sense of openness, curiosity, and acceptance. Our attention is receptive to the present and not affected by our learned patterns of mental processing. Dr. Durana encourages mindfulness therapy so that clients can see themselves through a different lens, not one that is clouded by the past or others’ opinions of them. Mindfulness encourages healthier relationships with our personal issues and even illnesses, including anxiety, pain or depression. Mindfulness is also a direct route to interaction with the soul or spiritual awareness.

Holism and Body-centered Therapy: the body-mind connection can be a strong therapeutic channel for change. By working through the body, trauma or illness can be addressed on a more natural level, while ensuring the connection to the higher mind is leading the way. That connection can also be used for stress-related health issues and to help increase vitality, a sense of wholeness and strong awareness of the self, mentally and physically.