Dr. Rachel Altvater is a Licensed Psychologist in Virginia, District of Columbia, and Maryland, a Registered Play Therapist – Supervisor, and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. She received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a minor in Family Studies from Towson University, a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University Maryland, and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Washington, D.C. Campus. She trained at the Child and Adolescent Day Hospital at Sheppard Pratt Health Systems, the Child Care Clinic at University of Maryland School of Medicine, the D.C. Superior Courts, Expressive Therapy Center, and both the Southeast Baltimore Early Head Start and the Child and Family Therapy Clinic at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Dr. Altvater completed her doctoral internship at The Children’s Assessment Center in Houston. Prior to joining The Gil Institute, she also worked as a clinician at MPB Group, the Counseling and Child Sexual Abuse Program at Family and Children’s Services, and Wake Kendall Group.
Dr. Altvater presently provides evidence-based, trauma-informed, talk and play therapy to children, adolescents, adults, families, and groups. While she draws upon a variety of therapeutic approaches and interventions tailored to meet the needs of each individual, her primary approach to therapy is humanistic. She believes it is essential that each individual find his or her own truth, happiness, and acceptance. She aims to foster a safe and comfortable therapeutic space to allow each individual to learn, grow, and ultimately become the best version of him or herself.
Additionally, Dr. Altvater published two articles in the International Journal of Play Therapy on her research of technology use in play therapy and is a contributing author in Integrating Expressive Arts into Counseling Practice: Theory-Based Interventions (2nd ed.) and Integrating Technology in Modern Therapies: A Clinician’s Guide to Developments and Interventions. Her writing has also been featured in the Play Therapy Magazine and Baltimore’s Child Magazine, on psychotherapy.net, and in several newsletters. Dr. Altvater is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Alumna of the Year from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Washington, D.C. Campus, and the 2018 Outstanding Play Therapy Research Award from the Maryland/DC Association for Play Therapy.