Suzanna Hillegass RN, LCSW
Relationship Therapist
Silver Spring, Maryland

Suzanna's photo

Suzanna M. Hillegass RN. LCSW offers marriage counseling, couples therapy using the Imago approach, as well as individual psychotherapy. Offices are in the Washington DC area in Maryland.

Suzanna is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in helping couples and individuals develop more conscious loving relationships. She draws on a variety of experiences including anger and stress management, and is a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist. She is certified in sex therapy by AASECT-the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. 

Please contact me below. My office is in Silver Spring, Maryland. I offer 90 minute sessions for couples and 50 minute sessions for individuals.

Suzanna Hillegass RN, LCSW
Silver Spring, Maryland
Phone: 301-328-7007
Email: sh@shillegass.com

Would you like to share more openly with your partner? Are you ready to learn more about yourself and your part in difficult moments in your relationship? Imago Relationship Therapy may be helpful and enlightening to you.

What does it mean to be intimate? Intimacy is feeling safe to share your thoughts and feelings with another and safe to be hugged and held. When you feel safe and understood you open more of your inner life with its needs and disappointments to your partner. When he or she understands more  fully, they may feel more inclined to give you those things you say you want. That creates a loving relationship.

We all want to be intimate - emotionally open and physically close - as a part of our human heritage. If there is any doubt this is true, Dr. Dean Ornish has written a new book, "Love and Survival", that documents extensive research indicating that our feelings of love and intimacy are powerful determinants of our health, longevity and happiness. Unfortunately, because of our experiences, intimacy often takes on an expectation of danger - the danger of being shamed, or engulfed, or used and abandoned. We may lose our courage, opting to give up acknowledging our need for connection or electing to give up awareness of our own thoughts and wants. Most everyone has had some or all of these experiences in the process of becoming socialized in our culture. 

One of the things that separate us humans from the other species is our adaptability. As children we adapt in ways that seemed most beneficial and protective to us. Today those same protective adaptations may be keeping us from a loving relationship with ourselves and others. Time to adapt again!

We often chalk up our failures to bad luck, or bad choices of partners, or a lack of natural ability. Mostly it is bad habits and a failure to rethink the territory. Just like other skills, practice and new knowledge about relationships can change the outcome. Picasso had the aptitude but it took practice and courage and drawing lessons to become a great artist. 

When I work with couples, I help them develop an intentional dialogue process. It is an opportunity to learn more about the experience of the other person and at the same time to stay connected. That is a stretch for most of us, but with practice each of us can share more of our real thoughts and feelings.