About Ethel Sayles

I am a licensed therapist (LMSW) in Maryland and Virginia and would be so happy to support you on your journey of healing and growth.

What I Do Best:

My approach is warm, compassionate, and rooted in revolutionary evidence-based treatment. I am trained in Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), and The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), a music-based therapy designed to calm the nervous system. While cutting-edge therapies are powerful tools, I believe that healing and growth happen best within relationships of safety and trust. For this reason, creating a strong therapeutic relationship is at the heart of my practice.

How I Got Here:

Before specializing in chronic pain and insomnia, I had the privilege of working exclusively with children and families. This work introduced me to the powerful intersection of neuroscience and mental health and I was largely influenced by Pediatric Psychologist Mona Delahooke. I adapted her philosophy of using “compassion and brain science” to guide families through challenging times and I use this same philosophy in the treatment of chronic pain. I believe that a combination of applied neuroscience and self-compassion can help many chronic pain sufferers resolve or dramatically reduce their symptoms. My confidence in this approach stems from my own recovery after suffering from pain and medically unexplained symptoms for 9 years. My personal history gives me a passion for helping others as well as a deep understanding and empathy. My interest in chronic pain also led me to the field of sleep medicine and CBT-I in particular. The treatment of insomnia is an exciting part of the work that I do and I am passionate about helping clients experience symptom relief.

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My Career:

I earned my BA from Salisbury University with a major in Spanish language. After graduating, I was drawn to the work of community-based non-profits. For many years I worked as a victim advocate, supporting adult and child victims of violence. It was this work that led me to pursue my master’s degree in social work (MSW) from Delaware State University. Over the past 15 years, I’ve gained experience in a variety of settings including school social work, in-patient mental health centers, community-based non-profits, clinical crisis counseling, and private practice. I am thrilled to be specializing in the treatment of chronic pain and insomnia and doing the work that I love.

The Fun Stuff:

Born in DC and raised in Frederick County, MD, I later spent 12 years in southern Delaware. While beach life remains close to my heart, I happily returned to Maryland with my husband and children in 2018.
My favorite pastimes include swimming in the ocean, eating popcorn, and finding new ways to laugh with my family.