Dina IsmailovaTherapist, LCPC
About Dina Ismailova
Dina was born in Moscow, Russia and immigrated to the United States with their family as a child. She grew up in Philadelphia, where she did most of her initial schooling before going to college and later graduate school. She has resided in Maryland since 2017 and currently lives in Baltimore with her cat and leopard gecko. In their free time, Dina enjoys listening to music and going to concerts, spending quality time with loved ones, and a variety of creative endeavors (read: many passion projects that spark interest then get abandoned for new ones, only to be remembered weeks-years later and sometimes completed). Dina always has a journal full of doodles and collages on her person and loves to integrate art into therapy sessions when appropriate. They love to be creative in and outside of sessions, and approach challenges with curiosity and determination. Dina understands how difficult it can be to feel alone and hopeless, which fuels her desire to be a safe space for those that need it and to help clients develop their “toolbox” of coping skills. They feel it is important to help clients build self-esteem and self-compassion in order to manage life’s challenges. She is particularly passionate about helping adolescents identify their goals and strengths, as well as teaching younger children emotion regulation techniques and strategies.
Dina views therapy as a collaborative experience between the therapist and client. Therapy can be a difficult and scary endeavor to begin, and Dina works hard to foster a safe, accepting, non-judgmental environment for clients to start their journey. She approaches sessions from a holistic perspective and prioritizes reassuring clients that the goal of the journey is progress, not perfection. We all have our subjective experiences to work through and it is important to have helpful feedback during the difficult moments in which growth is occurring. Connection and understanding is at the forefront of the therapeutic relationship, and Dina strives to help clients harness their autonomy in order to reach their goals. They have over 5 years of experience working with children in a variety of settings, ranging from one-on-one support in the community to individual and family sessions in an outpatient mental health center. They also have extensive experience working with families and individual adult clients. As an eclectic therapist, Dina uses patience, humor, compassion, modeling, and gentle challenging and reframing to understand client needs and weave together the strategies that can be most helpful in the moment. She primarily has experience using psychodynamic therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy, but is actively working to get more skilled in play therapy and trauma-informed therapy.
Training and Education
Dina is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Maryland. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from West Chester University in Pennsylvania. She continued her education at University of Baltimore to complete a Master’s degree in Applied Psychology and Counseling. Throughout her academic career, Dina has had the pleasure of doing research related to emotion regulation and psychological flexibility, which she then co-presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference in 2020, as well as completing an internship with NDMU focused on young adults, which allowed her to run a group centered around teaching mindfulness skills. Dina has experience working with clients in school and home settings, and most recently worked at an outpatient mental health center, where they provided individual sessions, family sessions, and started several groups.
Dina is passionate about working with the LGBTQIA+ community. They have taken Affirm trainings to learn a better framework for working with LGBTQIA+ kids and their caregivers, used this information to start an Affirm group for teens at their previous organization, and recently attended a symposium dedicated to expanding gender-affirming healthcare. Dina actively works to stay informed about current best practices and has taken continuing education trainings related to Trauma-Focused CBT, interventions for OCD, and ways to manage ADHD in adults. She strives to continue to be as knowledgeable as possible in areas of interest and has a goal of becoming a board-certified supervisor.
*Although Dina speaks fluent Russian and (conversational) Spanish, she only provides sessions in English.