Dr. Herdani is a clinician, faculty associate at Johns Hopkins, supervisor and professional development provider. She is also a military counselor and has lived on three continents.
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Fluent in Portuguese, English, German. Conversational Spanish.
PhD, International University of Graduate Studies, Portsmouth, Commonwealth of Dominica, W.I. Behavioral Health. 2018.
Post-Masters Certificate in Clinical Counseling, Johns Hopkins University, MD. 2005.
M.S. Johns Hopkins University, MD, Organizational Counseling. 2003.
B.A. Ibero-Americana School of Arts & Human Sciences, Brazil. Translation/Interpretation. 1988.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Additional Certifications & Trainings
NLP and HYPNOSIS Practitioner
– Certified Employee Assistance Provider
Aviation Disaster call center Specialist
You want to feel connected and loved, yet maybe you didn't have good marital role models at home growing up. Or maybe, like me, you had excellent role models and can't figure out why this relationship isn't working.
You may have difficulty talking to each other in a way that leaves you feeling heard and understood. In my work, I want to help you to re-examine your views on how to be a couple and learn to form a more productive relationship.
I was a translator earlier in life. It taught me at times when couples don't understand each other how to 'translate' in a language and a tone they can understand. As a teacher I have learned the skill to sometimes bring elements of education into therapy and teach skills about how to be a healthy couple.
I love working with all sorts of couples.
- young and recently married facing the first marital challenges,
- couples who have been married for many years and feel they need to rekindle and/or review their commitment.
- Couples that are facing big life challenges such as an illness, an affair, or a loss in the family, which has left them depleted and disconnected from their partners.
- Multicultural couples that experience challenges given very different upbringings.
- Couples that decide to divorce and help them grieve the losses and still be able to separate respectfully.
All couples can benefit from psychoeducational knowledge and a science-based practical approach.
In my work, you'll learn conflict management skills. You'll experience a strong, safe, modeling presence. I demonstrate how to connect, empathize, understand, and support your partner even when you do not necessarily agree with their point of view. I also bring a diverse multicultural background to the table, living in 3 different continents, several countries and states.
Before becoming a psychotherapist, I was a language teacher, and a translator. Since becoming a clinician, I've worked as a counselor in the Federal Probation Program providing assessment and treatment to prisoners and training to probation officers. I've supervised and trained staff at group homes and provided counseling in Employee Assistance Programs. I've worked in crisis counseling, aviation disaster specialist and am certified as a mental health first aid instructor.
I currently work as a Military Family Life Counselor, serving the American military service members and their families. I have been working with military couples for 11 years now on military bases around the world (including Japan, Italy, Germany, and others...) as well as couples through my clinical practice.
Having lived across the world, I have a powerful curiosity, and love to learn. I adapt quickly.
While I can be empathetic and understanding, I have strong opinions and can effectively advocate these for my clients benefit. You'll know that I have a genuine interest in you, and a clear roadmap for how to heal your loving bond.
Working as I have, with many powerful personalities in military bases in multiple countries, I've learned to push on when I'm initially told "no," and to effectively advocate for novel perspectives. I'm not only a "helper" but also a "doer," which both men and woman appreciate. I quickly build rapport with people; I am willing to give my best to support and help you while holding you accountable for your actions and the changes you both want to make.
But I can also slow down to understand and empathize with a very diverse set of perspectives.
I've been inspired by so many people. I'll start with my parents who were married for 33 years until my father's passing.
I grew up in Brazil with a Brazilian father and a German mother. My parents presented a united, stable, safe base that allowed me to grow and explore myself. My Dad instilled in me the love of learning and the curiosity for knowledge. My mother, who is 91 years old and a pillar of strength, showed me how important it is to take care of your health. She was a child in wartime Germany. To me, she represents what resiliency is all about.
My favorite Aunt just passed away last year. She was the best storyteller. She had a wonderful memory of past family situations and could tell those tales with wit and vivid images. She was always positive. Her gifts were thoughtful and well-chosen, she made the effort to tailor the gift to the person. Such thoughtfulness really impressed me.
During my earliest education in Brazil, psychology wasn't seen as a "real" profession. Nevertheless, I've had important teachers from those years. One in particular opened me up to an expansive and spiritual view of human possibilities. She modeled teachings and practices that helped me to develop into a kinder, gentler human being. And the seed to dive deeper into the human psyche continued to flourish. While clinical practice was my second career, it was always my first calling.
I am married and have two children: a biological daughter and a stepdaughter from a previous relationship. I am so very proud of both of them, yet each are so different. One lives in Amsterdam and the other in Nebraska. My daughter in Amsterdam is introverted, preferring quick messages, and less video, but when we do meet, the connection is focused and deep. My other daughter is more of an extrovert, with phone calls lasting a minimum of 1 hour (!) and we share strong emotions together. My daughters have spirit, strength, and resolve, and teach me daily that there is always room to improve and learn. I am so enormously proud of both.
They gave me a t-shirt that 'proves' I'm a "supermom!" My strategy is to be supportive, understanding, resourceful, and helpful to my daughters and other youngsters that I've gathered along the way...friends of my kids that call looking for comfort.
Along with many other adults, I have learned a great deal from my intimate relationships. I've learned that real marriages don't look like fairytales or romantic movies. The men I have loved (and even the man I lost to suicide) have taught me how to love deeply and how to become a better wife.
As a mother, a wife and a daughter I have lived and learned lessons on how to navigate through many of life's challenges. It made me stronger and a bit wiser.
I was an Astrologer before becoming a therapist. I have quite a following and many who still seek me out for this unique service. My hobbies include traveling, reading, learning, yoga, crochet, and ceramics. They all have the same level of importance but serve diverse needs in me.
- Traveling broadens my horizons and fulfills the need to be on the move.
- Reading and learning are the food my brain craves.
- Yoga is part of having a healthy body practice, I do it daily, rain or shine.
- Crocheting I do in the evenings because I love watching TV. It's a guilty pleasure, so when I crochet blankets for babies that I later donate, it eases my guilt!
- Ceramics is the activity that allows my creativity to flow.
I also love to organize and decorate my space. I have a natural ability to categorize things, find the right home for things and create a nest that is cozy and comfortable.
I look forward to talking to you both to learn how I can be of help.
Faculty Appointments and Seminars
2008 – present Graduate Faculty Associate, Johns Hopkins University, Rockville, MD Counseling Program
“Introduction to Counseling“ and “Counseling Military Families."
Conference Presenter – at the annual MCA (Maryland Counseling Association) and at the LCPCM (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors of Maryland Conference 2015 - present