• Treatment Philosophy

    Gil Institute is a community of professionals dedicated to providing research-informed,
    trauma-focused treatment to children, adolescents, and adults.

  • Trauma Recovery Services

    Gil Institute offers a variety of treatment approaches, modalities,
    and services. We can provide individual, group, couples, family
    and specialized parent-child therapies that focus on establishing
    or enhancing relationships.

  • Services for Children

    Gil Institute offers a variety of treatment approaches, modalities,
    and services. We can provide individual, group, couples, family
    and specialized parent-child therapies that focus on establishing
    or enhancing relationships.

  • Trauma Specialists

    Learn About Our Staff

    View detailed biographies of our founding partners,
    therapists, interns and residents.

    trauma specialists
  • Our Space

    Fairfax, VA

    See pictures and watch a guided tour of our facility.

  • Educational Services

    Starbright Training Institute

    Learn about our training, eductional and consultation services.

    Educational Services

GITRE Reflections

The past two years have been extremely challenging to us all. There seemed to be so much tension and conflict and division on many levels. Covid persists as an unpredictable and de-stabilizing reality. As more and more people stayed home to quarantine, single people felt isolated and anxious and sometimes lonely, and parents struggled to work and manage their children’s on-line schooling. Children have really wrestled with being on-line for school, not seeing friends, not spending time outside, and getting used to staying at home. Not everyone reacted the same: Some people began to like working from home and avoiding a commute, wearing comfortable clothing, making their own schedule. Others hated working alone, looking at a screen, not hanging out with friends at work.

The American Pediatric Society has pronounced that children are experiencing a mental health crisis, and urge adults to monitor their children’s depression and anxiety. We have been experiencing an unusually high number of requests which sometimes causes a delay in our current response time. Our clinicians strive to deliver the highest quality services and we thank you for your patience and trust in Gil Institute.

We are entering 2022 with some optimism that this disease might soon be contained. At the same time, we remain cautious and invested in everyone’s safety, so we continue to monitor the CDC guidelines, and sift through all the reliable medical information in order to make informed choices. Currently, most of our therapists are working remotely, while others have a small group of young children they see in the office, and others have designed a hybrid model with equal parts in-person and virtual meetings. We have discovered that parents like virtual sessions because they can avoid stressful commutes to therapy. The older children seem okay on-line, but others really hate it and want to come back to the office. It’s so true that no one model fits everyone, so people are finding the ways that work for them.

We have a great group of full- and part-time therapists who have many areas of expertise and talents. We meet regularly to enrich our clinical skills. Last year, 17 of us were quite blessed to take EMDR training with Sharon Rollins, Marshall Lyles, and Claudia Mustafa, trainers with Dr. Rick Levinson. In April, we will move into our consultation program after becoming fully trained in basic EMDR. We are excited to have so many clinicians trained in this valuable model which fits our clients very well.

Starbright Training continued to do virtual trainings all of 2021 and the 2022 program will be advertised shortly. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that most trainings can be done on-line, and we have developed expertise in engaging our participants with many expressive therapies.

We are proud to have a culturally-diverse staff, many of whom are bilingual. Our diversity and inclusion committee meets regularly to talk about building an anti-racist private practice.

In addition, we continued to learn new models of treatment so that our therapists can offer a variety of services. We consider ourselves an integrated, evidence- and practice-based private practice, and we are committed to maintaining a state-of-the-art approach given that treatment options are constantly developed, researched, and suggested.

We are grateful to our administrative and accounting staff (Silvia Escamilla and Ximena Smith) who continue to prioritize our general needs. We are also grateful to our Intake Coordinator, Malvolia Gregory, who responds to our callers as quickly as possible, listens well, and makes efforts to match the client and current concerns with our gifted clinicians. We have clinicians who specialize in adoption, attachment, grief and loss, eating disorders, foster care, sexual behavior problems, dissociative disorders, and general childhood trauma. Our therapists are trained to use Theraplay and the Marschak Interaction Method (MIM), Filial Therapy, Parent Coaching, Infant Mental Health, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Sensorimotor Integration, Child Centered Play Therapy, and Integrated Play Therapy. We provide individual, group, and family therapy to children, teens, and adults.

We welcome your questions and your feedback. We are committed to providing the very best services we can. Sincerely, Myriam Goldin and Eliana Gil


Unique Aspects of Our Approach

One of the distinguishing features of our clinical private practice is our willingness to be truly integrative of evidence-based approaches as well as promising trends that maximize our potential to be helpful to our clients.


To be truly integrative is challenging in that clinicians require ongoing exposure to continuing education in the literature, workshops, conferences, and specialized trainings. You will see that commitment reflected in the brief biographical information related to our therapists, as well as the incorporation of programs such as Theraplay, Circle of Security Parenting Groups, and HEARTS.


Gil Institute advocates for developmentally-appropriate services to young children, youth, and adults and utilize the expressive therapies (art, play, sand) to provide alternate forms of communication and expression.


Our therapists highly value opportunities for clients to reflect on their work and to achieve shifts in perception which are well facilitated through the expressive arts within an anchored therapy relationship.

Home page Expressive Arts
Expressive therapies invite, allow, and encourage externalizing of concerns through images and symbols, which can then be explored, felt, given voice, and eventually integrated.  Through this  process, traumatic memories can be acknowledged, managed in more adaptive ways, and transformed. The end result is that pain subsides, control is restored, and hope is activated for the future.  


We also commit to anti-racist actions as we advocate and provide mental health services to our diverse community. We are allies in support of equity, social justice reform, peaceful protests, and safe and just police responses. BLACK LIVES MATTER to us and we will be part of changes designed to dismantle institutional racism, one institution at a time. In this way, we will begin to meet the promises made throughout history, outstanding promises, not yet realized. As an organization whose primary purpose is to ameliorate childhood trauma and its impact, we recognize that racist actions and words can be traumatizing and cause black and brown people to feel oppressed, marginalized, and helpless.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Freedom is not a state; it is an act. It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest. Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.” John Lewis

"Only when diverse perspectives are included, respected, and valued can we start to get a full picture of the world: who we serve, what they need, and how to successfully meet people where they are. Daring leaders fight for the inclusion of all people, opinions, and perspectives because that makes us all better and stronger. That means having the courage to acknowledge our own privilege and staying open to learning about our biases and blind spots. It is also listening, centering, and honoring stories that reflect experiences that are different than our own. Courage is listening, learning, unlearning, knowing when to lead, and knowing when to let others lead." Brenee Brown

Helping to recognize the continued need to ensure racial freedom and equality

For 155 years Juneteenth has commemorated the emancipation of African Americans from slavery in the United States. It is celebrated on June 19 because on that date in 1865, Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army landed in Galveston, Texas and informed enslaved individuals that the Civil War had ended, and that the institution of slavery had been abolished. Granger's announcement came more than two years after former President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.