Ellen Brandenburg, LCSW-C received Masters in Social Work with a focus on clinical behavioral health from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and her Bachelors in Social Work from Messiah University.
Ellen completed her undergraduate clinical practicum in Seeta, Uganda working with local Ugandan social workers to complete psychosocial assessments of children, adolescents and young families for a local child development center. Within this space, she was often triaging physical and emotional needs while learning to embrace the importance of “tea time” (ask me about it!) as a mindful way to connect with clients. Upon returning to the United States, Ellen worked for a year at Brook Lane Hospital on their various inpatient units before transitioning to gain her graduate degree while completing a clinical practicum at St. Vincent’s Villa Residential Treatment Center. There she gained training on the Zones of Regulation, a format for self-regulation and emotional control that embraces a truth Ellen holds unto: that there are no ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ emotions, only emotions that may feel unmanageable, but can in fact be accepted, and even utilized in helpful ways.
More recently, Ellen worked for Sheppard Pratt, initially spending a couple years on their inpatient female crisis stabilization unit before shifting in late 2020 to help open a new co-ed adolescent mood disorders unit, in response to an unfortunately unprecedented number of adolescents needing inpatient hospitalization in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In early 2022, Ellen transitioned to work at Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center, initially within their partial hospitalization program, but more recently to their intensive outpatient program, to allow for Ellen to join The Bethesda Group part-time.
Ellen’s approach is one that is open, yet dynamic, both person-centered and growth-oriented. While Ellen has clinical training and familiarity with a variety of behavioral approaches (cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapies for anxiety and depression, cognitive processing therapy for PTSD and exposure and response prevention for OCD), she believes the strong foundation of the therapeutic relationship, with its warm rapport and appropriate boundaries, is what allows for skills to be embraced, therein allowing for true healing, self-acceptance and growth.
When Ellen is not working, she is often spending time with family, friends and her very old scruffy mutt, Sasha. Ellen enjoys spending most of her time outdoors, whether it’s hiking, backpacking, camping, climbing, kayaking, caving or running. That said, she’s also a large fan of crime shows (Criminal Minds, NCIS, etc.) and medical dramas (Grey’s Anatomy anyone?). Finally, Ellen is often planning her next travel adventure, with current plans to trek through in Nepal mid-2023.