PRESIDENT, Virginia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Dr. Ronnie Zuessman, PhD LCP LMFT LPC
mobile (347) 267 3170
PO Box 4523, Fairfax VA 22038
As a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor in AAMFT since the early 1980s, my interest is in promoting the availability of systemically informed psychotherapy to the many individuals, couples and families who have the need for quality professional services.
I have an extensive background in public service and private practice, and in graduate teaching and clinical supervision. Licensed in Virginia as a Clinical Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist, and Professional Counselor, I have an appreciation of the disciplines, the preparation of practitioners, and how each may serve the people who reach out for assistance with the difficulties or problems they are experiencing.
Today, some of the stigma for seeking mental health (or what is now called behavioral health) services has diminished. However, because of a system of insurance payment that relies and narrowly focuses upon a diagnosis of mental disorder located within one individual, practitioners with lesser preparation than Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists often miss the dynamics of the relationship or family system that are contributing to the ‘problem’ seen in the person suffering with symptoms. By entering therapy with a LMFT there is enhanced opportunity to address those dynamics and to seek resolution.
This new era is calling upon LMFTs to maintain a balance between the needs of people presenting as our clients, understandings of systemically oriented theories, research informed practice, and the pressures of the contemporary health care system and pop culture expectations. Our foremost concern is the welfare of our clients, and bringing to them excellent, ethical clinical practice, taking into account the client’s unique experience, culture, ethnicity, spirituality, identity and history.
Working alongside other members of the VAMFT board and the general membership, we are helping people who need the services of LMFTs by: enhancing the profile of marriage and family therapy, improving the accessibility and quality of advanced professional education, and engaging in appropriate advocacy.
It is my hope that people seeking services come to LMFTs with a sense of confidence in their therapist. The scope of my professional experience is indicative of the types of concerns LMFTs can address.
My experience includes working in: community mental health, inpatient psychiatry, substance abuse treatment services, child and family services, disability services, public schools, correctional services, forensic services, residential services, not-for-profit agencies, and employee assistance services. Some of the areas with which I have been clinically involved include child protection, domestic violence, sexual abuse, human resource management, civil commitment, court assessment and expert testimony, personality assessment, diagnostic reporting, and risk assessment. I provide individual, couple, family, and group psychotherapy. As an ASSECT Certified Sex Therapist, I also work in the areas of sexual identity, orientation, dysfunction, paraphilia, abuse survivorship, and harassment. I have clinically supervised practicing LMFTs and graduate students. I have also clinically supervised practitioners and students from other disciplines. I have taught graduate courses at many universities and currently serve as adjunct faculty at George Mason University, and affiliate faculty at Union Institute and University.
Many LMFTs have a rich clinical experience and are prepared to help individuals, couples and families who have the need for quality professional services.