Nancy F. Hensler, Ph.D.

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N a n c y H e n s l e r @ D r N a n c y H e n s l e r . c o m

my approach 

My therapy approach is to meet you where you are, in whatever moment in your life, tailoring therapy interventions to your needs and strengths, and working collaboratively and creatively with you to help you regain—or find for the first time--your emotional balance and a sense of empowerment and fulfillment in your personal and work life. 

My style is warm and accepting. I enjoy using gentle humor with clients, believing that humility and the capacity not to take ourselves so seriously is as important to healing as learning to lean into the vulnerable things from our past and present that we’d rather avoid. 

Our ability to connect as therapist and client may be immediate, or it may take some time, but research suggests that it will be foundational to whether or not therapy works for you.  For this reason, it’s important that you feel like we can be a good fit. 

Here is some information about what it’s like to be in therapy with me. 

First and foremost, I will listen to you—all of you.  I will not judge you.  I will provide a space for you to say the awkward, the uncomfortable, the unspeakable things.  I will not just nod my head and say mmm-hmm.  I will respect your right to make decisions about your own life, but I also will engage you in a dialogue about what’s working and not working for you, and I will encourage you to consider a different approach if I think that might be helpful. 

My approach to thinking about client problems incorporates an appreciation of many influences that shape us:

  • family history and attachment styles (Did you learn to trust that others will be there for you? Was an important caregiver absent or abusive? How connected do you feel to other people?)
  • interpersonal patterns (Do you find that you repeatedly run into the same frustrations interpersonally? Are you generally happy with your relationships but wanting to deepen your connections with others?  Are you an introvert trying to live in a extroverted world? Are you able to ask for and get what you need and want?)
  • personality
  • cognitive styles
  • broader systemic influences such as gender and sexual identity, race, culture, socioeconomic class, and disability status

I use a range of therapeutic interventions including empathic support, emotion-regulation strategies, mindfulness practice, cognitive-behavioral tools for reducing problematic thought and behavioral patterns, hypnosis, interpersonal process (awareness of what’s happening between us in the therapy relationship; attention to power dynamics in your relationships), sensorimotor awareness (mind-body connections), metaphor, education, and resilience-building. When relevant or helpful for clients, I also welcome the discussion of religious and/or spiritual beliefs in therapy.

Nancy F. Hensler, Ph.D.
Nancy F. Hensler, Ph.D, PLLC

  Complex Trauma & Dissociation, Grief & Loss, Mindful Living & Eating
Interpersonal Violence Response, Prevention & Program Development


5100 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20016