About Dr. April McDowell

My Experience

I'm a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT) in Maryland and Virginia.  I have over a decade of experience in relationship counseling and have worked with individuals, couples, and families since 2005.

Couples therapist in Reston

I received my clinical education and training from one of the highest ranking MFT programs in the U.S. at the University of Maryland's School of Public Health.

My clinical experience includes over 10 years of work with individuals, families, and couples in both community-based and private practice settings in the Washington, DC area.

I'm a trained facilitator for PREPARE/ENRICH, a specially designed program for premarital and marital counseling and relationship enrichment.  I'm also a provider of online therapy with BetterHelp.

My Approach

I absolutely love being a relationship therapist!  And when you're in my care, I consider it a great privilege to help you along your life's journey.

My approach is based on the idea that relationship patterns have a great impact on each of us as individuals.  Therefore, our social networks must always be considered as a part of the treatment process whether you're in individual, couples, or family therapy.

If you are my client, I look closely at you within the context of your environment (i.e. family, community, society) to help give you the best treatment possible.  My clinical approach is always tailored to my client's specific needs and I encourage everyone to play an active role in their treatment and give feedback.

I use several clinical models including: Bowen Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Emotionally-Focused Therapy, and Solution-Focused Therapy.

I believe that psychotherapy can be a powerful vehicle for achieving your personal and relationship goals.  New insight is just as important as new skills in helping you reach your personal and relationship goals.  Furthermore, I believe that all clients come to therapy with numerous strengths, not just challenges.

It is my belief that change can only occur when you take a proactive stance in both your thoughts and behaviors.  A major part of this stance requires recognizing and accepting individual responsibility in your life and I'm here to support and push you to do so. As many of my clients can attest to, I work hard to provide safety, validation, and respect throughout the treatment process.

My Education

B.S., Human Development & Family Studies - UNC-Greensboro, 2004
M.S., Marriage & Family Therapy - University of Maryland, 2007
Ph.D., Family Science - University of Maryland, 2012

My Licenses

I'm licensed in the state of Maryland under license #LCM569 and in the state of Virginia under license #0717001389.

License verification for MD may be found here: Maryland Board of Professional Counselors & Therapists

License verification for VA may be found here: Virginia Board of Counseling

My Publications

Simple Practice: Spotlight Interview with Dr. April McDowell

PsychCentral: Experts Share Tips for Launching a Private Practice

InnerBody Careers: Couples Counselor - Marriage Therapy Career Information

Contributing author for H+W Magazine available from the H+W Store and on iTunes

La Taillade, J.J., Hampton, R.L., Pope, M., & McDowell, A.R. (2010). Intimate partner violence. In R.L. Hampton, T.P. Gullotta, & R.L. Crowel (Eds.), Handbook of African American Health. New York, NY: Guilford Publications, Inc.  -> Link on Amazon

Roy, K.M., Buckmiller, N., & McDowell, A. (2008). Together but not “together:” Trajectories of relationship suspension for low-income unmarried parents. Family Relations, 57, 198-210. -> Link on Wiley

Dezfulian, T., Alexander, R., Cunningham, J., Evans, L., Galloway, S., Hoskins, L., McDowell, A., Resnick, E., Southard, A., Treimel, M., Epstein, N., LaTaillade, J. J., & Werlinich, C. (2006, Spring/Summer). Research and clinical practice in marriage and family therapy programs: A closer look at the University of Maryland. Couples Research and Therapy Newsletter, 12(1), 12-14. -> Link on ABCT

My Profiles