Dr. Rachel AltvaterOwner | Psychologist & Board Approved and Play Therapy Supervisor, Psy.D., RPT-S
About Dr. Rachel Altvater
Dr. Rachel Altvater, owner and founder of Creative Psychological Health Services, was raised in Catonsville, MD. Dr. Altvater recognized a need in her own community, building her practice to make these resources more available to the surrounding area. She is passionate about normalizing the human experience and meeting each individual where they are to work toward finding their inner resilience, self-acceptance, and healing. Receiving compassionate, non-judgmental, and empathetic care during some of the darkest and most painful moments of our lives is an invaluable experience on our path to healing. She aims to foster a safe and comfortable therapeutic space to allow each individual to learn, grow, and ultimately become the best version of themselves.
Training and Education
Dr. Altvater is a Licensed Psychologist in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, a Registered Play Therapist–Supervisor, and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. She received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a minor in Family Studies from Towson University, a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University Maryland, and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Washington, DC Campus.
Dr. Altvater has extensive training and experience in child, adolescent, and family therapy. She trained at the Child and Adolescent Day Hospital at Sheppard Pratt Health Systems, the Child Care Clinic at University of Maryland School of Medicine, the D.C. Superior Courts, Expressive Therapy Center, and both the Southeast Baltimore Early Head Start and the Child and Family Therapy Clinic at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Dr. Altvater completed her doctoral internship at The Children’s Assessment Center in Houston. She previously worked as a clinician at MPB Group, the Counseling and Child Sexual Abuse Program at Family and Children’s Services, Wake Kendall Group, and Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education.
Dr. Altvater provides trauma-informed, talk and play therapy to children, adolescents, adults, and families at Creative Psychological Health Services. While she draws upon a variety of therapeutic approaches and interventions tailored to meet the needs of each individual, her primary approach to therapy is humanistic/client-centered. She works collaboratively with individuals and families to assist them in understanding, expressing, and processing internal and external struggles. Dr. Altvater believes it is essential that each individual allow themselves to face their vulnerability and authenticity in the presence of a safe and supportive person to uncover their own truth, happiness, and acceptance.
- Past President, Maryland/DC Association for Play Therapy
- Editorial Advisory Board Member, International Journal of Play Therapy®
- Advisory Board Member, Digital Play Therapy™
- Advisory Board Member, AscendantVR
- Clinical Consultant & Content Creator, Cognitive Leap
- Instructor, Hopscotch
- Contributor, Mental Health Virtual Reality Coalition
- 2017 Graduate, Association for Play Therapy Leadership Academy
Honors, Awards, & Acknowledgments
- 2022 Distinguished Alumni Impact Award Nominee, Loyola University Maryland
- 2021 Inspirational Woman in Games, Play Well for Life
- 2019 Emerging Leader Service Award, Association for Play Therapy
- 2018 Outstanding Play Therapy Research Award, Maryland/DC Association for Play Therapy
- 2018 Distinguished Alumna of the Year, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Washington, DC Campus