About Us- Our Therapists

Welcome! Creative Counseling Connections specializes in working with FAMILIES, CHILDREN, TEENS and ADULTS for the treatment of:

  • anxiety and depression, utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (using realistic thinking to decrease intensity of feelings), The Dare Program and biofeedback
  • communication, conflict resolution and relational concerns
  • trauma utilizing EMDR and TF-CBT
  • complex developmental trauma concerns via use of TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention & TF-CBT), attachment theory and family systems approach
  • alternative (non-medicinal) treatment of ADHD via Brain Integration Therapy
  • grief and loss
  • biofeedback training for stress, pain, and handling emotions

Independent Contractors serving Creative Counseling Connections

Gabby Berry, LGPC

Office location- Gaithersburg, Germantown or virtual
  • Aetna and United- we partner with Thrizer, a reimbursement company for those with “out of network” insurance benefits. Simply pay your out of network copay or receive automatic reimbursements to your bank account every 3 weeks.

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Hi, I’m Gabby! I work primarily with children, teens and families, and am on track to become a registered play therapist. Other people would describe my style as soft and supportive, yet proactive and goal-oriented- making it easy for children and teens to feel comfortable but also grow. I believe it’s important for therapy to:

1) include parents as an important piece of the puzzle 

2) send you and your child out the door with new skills or a deeper awareness every week and….

3) be fun, especially for the littles!

For kids, I can incorporate creative arts, play, games, virtual activities and even a therapy swing (!) into our time together. For teens, we may talk or incorporate creative arts depending on what you prefer. Christian counseling focus available upon request.

While I work with a range of concerns, I tend to work very well with kids struggling with anxiety, behavior, ADHD and those who have experienced childhood trauma or disconnection from their parent, including but not limited to foster care and adoption. 

“Therapist lingo” for modalities utilized:

  • TBRI and attachment-based therapies such as theraplay and parent-child interaction
  • TF-CBT, DBT and CBT-based activities beyond simple talk therapy, helpful for those who have difficulty expressing themselves or struggle with anxiety or depression.
  • Brain Integration Therapy for a holistic, non-medicinal treatment of ADHD. Ask about our upcoming online course for at-home treatment!
  • Making Sense of Your Worth/Past for those recovering from unhealthy families of origin and the impact on current relationships.

Parents will also have access to training in “therapeutic parenting” by senior therapist, Sara Rodriguez, LCSW-C. 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Ben Hurlburt, LGPC

Office- Frederick or virtual 
Insurance- Cigna, self pay or Aetna/United out of network
  • Aetna and United- we partner with Thrizer, a reimbursement company for those with “out of network” insurance benefits. Simply pay your out of network copay or receive automatic reimbursements to your bank account every 3 weeks.

Ben works with teens, adults and children who want to work on 1) disordered eating patterns or body image concerns, AFRID- avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, 2) depression 3) trauma and 4) painful childhood experiences. Ben is known for his patient and supportive nature, and has a knack for helping teens and adults open up and “put the pieces together” of their story. To do so, he uses a variety of techniques such as:
CBT -assessing thought patterns and how they affect emotions, behavior or even eating patterns
EMDR- Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing and CPT for trauma
Art therapy
Faith-based counseling is available upon request
Coming from a residential eating disorder facility, Ben has also been trained in eating-disorder CBT (using your thoughts and behaviors to create positive change), including helping clients through the stress of eating meals, running groups on the topic and connecting clients to dieticians when applicable. He takes a body positive and HAES approach (Health At Every Size) approach. Intensive outpatient options are available.
He is also trained in attachment-focused therapies such as TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention) and theraplay, especially designed for children and teens who have early developmental trauma or have experienced foster care or adoption. As an adoptive sibling himself, he’s had some personal exposure to the ups and downs of walking beside someone who’s experienced developmental trauma.
In his free-time, Ben enjoys baseball and spending time with his wife and daughter.  
Katie (Kathleen) Giganti, LCSW-C
Virtual only

Insurance- Cigna, self pay or Aetna/United out of network

  • Aetna and United- we partner with Thrizer, a reimbursement company for those with “out of network” insurance benefits. Simply pay your out of network copay or receive automatic reimbursements to your bank account every 3 weeks.
I enjoy working with TEENS, PARENTS and ADULTS for the treatment of anxiety, depression and relationship concerns. I rely heavily on evidence-based practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (“CBT”) and Dialectical approaches for stress reduction & mindfulness. I am available to provide therapy at your teen’s school to accommodate for busy schedules, academic challenges or the need for collaboration with school staff.
My approach to parent coaching relies heavily on “positive parenting” strategies for avoiding power struggles and maintaining connection. 
I am a trained fitness instructor (and a mother of four!) and am able to incorporate physical and/or spiritual health into my work, upon request. I have immediate virtual openings on Wednesdays and look forward to hearing from you!
Michelle McLaughlin, LGPC

Office- Frederick, MD or virtual
In-network Insurance- I accept Cigna, self pay or Aetna/United out of network
* Aetna, United & others- we partner with Thrizer, a reimbursement company for those with “out of network” insurance benefits. Simply pay your out of network copay or receive automatic reimbursements to your bank account every 3 weeks. Thrizer processes the requests to insurance automatically on your behalf.
Hi, I’m Michelle! I am a licensed psychotherapist, retired military veteran, Christian counselor, wife and mother of two sons. I enjoy working with teens and adult individuals with complex issues such as traumatic incidences, painful childhood experiences (bullying; physical, emotional or sexual abuse, etc), or intimate partner abuse. I am a Certified Traumatologist, EMDR-trained. I prefer to create a tailored approach to every individual based on their unique needs. Therapeutic interventions used have included EMDR for trauma, emotion focused couples therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, coping skills, expressive therapy and trauma informed interventions.

Brief explanation of EMDR:

Elise Celli, LGSW

Hi, I’m Elise! I enjoy working with 1) young adults and teens entering and surviving the adulting world 2) stressed out men & women- I connect well with both 4) those who feel disconnected in relationships or choose the “wrong” people after painful childhood experiences- adult adoptees welcome 4) those with chronic pain or illness. As a person who has both personal & professional experience with chronic pain/illness, I get it and am here to help! My approach? I am supportive & a little spunky, but also gently challenge you so that you can reach your goals. Christian counseling available upon request.

You might find me introducing distress tolerance skills (DBT), help you observe thoughts, feelings and behaviors (CBT), connecting the dots from past experiences to current relationships (attachment theory), & exploring the different parts of yourself that pop up when triggered (IFS). I previously owned my own art studio, so I am happy to incorporate creative arts in our time together.

She also works with children from an attachment and trust-based perspective (TBRI) and encourages parents through connected parenting strategies.

Elise Celli has a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Maryland and is a formally trained artist with a degree from the Fashion Institute of New York, which allows her to combine her two passions, art and therapy, to create dynamic counseling tools for certain clients where appropriate.

According to Elise, “Art has the power to transform and heal, and yet so too does communication with a highly empathetic and trained individual, especially when it comes to trauma. By combining various theoretical perspectives, I am able to connect with clients and meet them where they are, so we can work together to get to where they want to go.”

Ms. Celli, together with her husband Louis lives in Montgomery Village, Maryland and together enjoy a blended family of six children, two grandchildren, and one puppy daughter named Savannah.

About Sara Rodriguez, LCSW-C

Post-Graduate Certifications:

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy for Trauma, National Center for PTSD
  • Trust-Based Relational Intervention Practitioner (TBRI), Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development
  • “Adoption Competent Counselor,” Adoptions Together/C.A.S.E
  • Trauma-Focused CBT Program, University of South Carolina

As an independently licensed clinical social worker, I enjoy using my training and experience in therapy to serve others. I am not the typical therapist depicted on TV who simply nods her head and asks “how does that feel?” I believe it is my job not only to create a safe place where you can feel heard and understood, but to send you out the door with skills you or your child can use in your daily lives.

As a believer, I am able and happy to include spirituality as a part of this journey, upon request. It is my goal that healing, connection and hope grows as a result of our time together.  Please feel free to visit the rest of my website for more details.


Sara Rodriguez, LCSW-C

Germantown, MD