Risa Weinstein, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Risa is a dedicated and compassionate therapist who views herself as both a professional listener and teacher. She specializes in working with teens and adults to help them navigate life’s challenges and achieve their fullest potential. Risa’s approach to therapy is multifaceted.  Risa has found a theoretical home in the practice of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) as it offers a concrete path for healing and self-acceptance across a range of complex emotional challenges. Risa also provides parent coaching through a DBT lens, supporting parents in fostering healthier relationships and communication within their families. Outside of DBT, Risa practices Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), psychodynamic modalities, and motivational interviewing. Risa has also trained to employ Schema Therapy to help clients overcome long-standing maladaptive and painful thought patterns, often arising from childhood trauma. Risa’s diverse therapeutic toolkit enables her to tailor her approach to the unique needs of each client, promoting resilience and growth.

Transitioning to therapy as a second career, Risa brings a rich and varied background to her practice. She graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in History and Jewish Studies and was later ordained as a rabbi from the Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies at American Jewish University. For many years, Risa served as a rabbi in synagogues and as an interfaith chaplain in assisted living facilities and hospitals, including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. In these roles, Risa gained extensive experience working with people across the lifespan, guiding them through joyful celebrations, intense illness and grief, and complex family struggles. This background as clergy has made Risa particularly sensitive to the cultural and spiritual life of her therapy clients, enriching her ability to provide empathetic and nuanced care.

Outside of her professional life, Risa enjoys finding opportunities to celebrate and laugh with her family or engage in one of her many hobbies. Risa has been a jigsaw puzzle enthusiast since childhood, often completing new puzzles weekly on a specially designated home “puzzle table.” Risa can frequently be found hiking on the Rock Creek trail with her dog, Babka, while listening to audiobooks. Risa also loves planting bulbs in the fall and adorning her home with freshly cut flowers in the spring.These activities reflect Risa’s love for problem-solving, connection with nature, and nurturing growth, traits that Risa also brings to the work she does on behalf of the well-being of her clients.

Risa Weinstein, LMSW