Katharina Kircanski, PhD

( she/her/hers )



Northern Virginia

Ages Treated

Children, Adolescents & Adults

Practice Philosophy:

Dr. Kircanski works with children, adolescents, and adults who struggle with anxiety, OCD, irritability, and depression. Warm and empathic, she is sensitive to each patient’s and family’s unique needs and goals as she develops treatment plans that make a difference in daily life. She uses an evidence-based, collaborative, and dynamic approach to therapy as she encourages patients to try new behaviors and ways of thinking that more effectively manage emotions. She helps children and adults learn to build long-lasting changes and internalize skills and tools that they can draw on in the future. When working with children and teens, she tailors treatment to a child’s developmental level, using language, concepts, and exercises that are as creative and fun as possible to build rapport and facilitate progress. Parents and families are involved in treatment as appropriate and taught skills to support their child’s growth.

Areas of Expertise:

Dr. Kircanski specializes in treating anxiety disorders, OCD, irritability, and depression. With extensive training in exposure therapy, exposure and response prevention (ERP), and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), she utilizes evidence-based techniques to reduce symptoms and facilitate change. She helps patients with anxiety, worry, panic, phobias, and OCD improve their ability to function at home, school, work, and socially. She also has specialized training in irritability and depression in children and adolescents. Dr. Kircanski brings research knowledge on anxiety and mood disorders to her practice, gained through an extensive background in clinical research.

Experience and Training:

Dr. Kircanski received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Stanford University, and completed her PhD in clinical psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She completed her clinical internship at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and she served as a postdoctoral fellow in clinical research at the Stanford Neurodevelopment, Affect, and Psychopathology Laboratory and NIMH. Dr. Kircanski also currently serves at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) as a Staff Scientist in the Emotion and Development Branch, where she conducts research on the nature and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Kircanski values ongoing engagement in research and continuing education to stay abreast of the latest findings and most effective treatments to enhance patients’ lives.

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