Chelsey Barrios Foster, PhD

( she/her/hers )

Psychologist, Co-Director of Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program


Washington, D.C. & Northern Virginia

Ages Treated

Children, Adolescents & Adults

Practice Philosophy:

Dr. Chelsey Barrios Foster provides therapy to children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of concerns, including anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD, identity development, adjustment issues, executive functioning difficulties, and emotion dysregulation. She uses her warm and compassionate demeanor to form strong bonds with clients of all ages, and believes in the importance of a positive and genuine therapeutic relationship. Using an integrative, evidence-based approach, treatment is tailored to the unique goals and needs of each client and family. In treating children and teens, Dr. Foster values collaboration and works directly with parents and other members of a child’s “team” (e.g., school teachers, medical professionals, and other therapeutic providers). Dr. Foster empowers her clients to identify and explore emotions, understand unhelpful patterns of behavior and thought, and develop effective coping skills. She strives to create a supportive environment to foster hope, resilience, and positive change.

Areas of Expertise:

Dr. Foster has specialized expertise in treating anxiety disorders across the lifespan, from preschool through adulthood, and often incorporates exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy techniques into her work. For children and teens, this includes empowering parents to serve as “coaches” to help youth regulate their emotions and effectively cope. She has extensive experience helping individuals with chronic medical diagnoses manage psychological distress and improve health behaviors. Dr. Foster also has specialized training in perinatal mental health, including treatment of mood and anxiety disorders during pregnancy and postpartum. She is skilled at helping people manage stressful life changes, including the developmental transitions into adolescence and young adulthood, changes in family or school circumstances, and difficulties in relationships. Dr. Foster draws from multiple evidence-based techniques, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches, and functions as a member of The Ross Center’s DBT treatment team. Dr. Foster provides parent consultation and ongoing parent coaching when appropriate, and also conducts psychological assessments for children, adolescents, and young adults.

Experience and Training:

Dr. Foster received her bachelor’s in psychology from Williams College, and her master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her clinical training has included assessment, treatment, and consultation across a variety of settings, including outpatient community settings, medical specialty clinics, primary care, inpatient medical settings, and clinical research studies. She completed her pre-doctoral internship training at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, and her practicum training at Children’s National Hospital. Her research focused on risk and protective factors for the development of psychopathology, and has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences. She was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Graduate Student Achievement Award in Clinical Practice from the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. She a licensed clinical
psychologist in DC, MD, and VA. Dr. Foster currently serves as a volunteer clinician with Pro Bono Counseling and as the co-chair of The Ross Center’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Taskforce.

Dr. Foster has completed continuing education requirements that meet the initiatives of The Ross Center’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force.

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