Teresa Combs, PhD, APRN, BC

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner,  Ceo, Owner & Founder of Living and Growing

Teresa Combs is a Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who has been in practice in Washington, DC, for more than 20 years. She earned a PhD from The Catholic University of America, a Post-Master’s Certification as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner from The University of Maryland, a Bachelor’s Degree of Nursing and a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Health from Michigan State University. She started her work in mental health at the Yale University Department of Psychiatry. In this position she was responsible for research and clinical practice associated with chronic mentally Ill substance abusers. While working with this population she noticed the detrimental influence mental illness and substance abuse had on families, and specifically children. This resulted in an increase in treatment for participants and the initiation of a program for families. Once she relocated to the Washington DC area she secured a faculty position teaching at Howard University Division of Nursing.   At Howard University she continued her research activities within the Division of Nursing as well as interdisciplinary investigations. Dr. Combs was a member of the team of nurse investigators from Howard University who participated in a five-year grant from the Agency on Toxic Substances and Drug Regulations (ATSDR) investigating the effects of environmental pollution on communities in the Mississippi Delta Region. She provided the mental health expertise on this study that resulted in a policy change in multiple community health clinics. In addition, the findings yielded a published workbook that is currently used in many nursing programs around the country. 


Dr. Combs has held faculty positions at Coppin State University School of Nursing, The University of Maryland School of Nursing the Catholic University School of Nursing and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. As an American Nurses Association SAMHSA Minority Fellow she was a member of the working group with the Carter Center for Mental Health that provided the mark-up for the Mental Health section of the Affordable Care Act with particular emphasis on children and adolescents. Dr. Comb’s research on anxiety and depression among African American youth as precursors to bullying and victimization has resulted in presentations and lectures to help change the treatment trajectory of this population.

Dr. Combs believes her training, workshops, work on inpatient psychiatric settings, the years of working with alternative schools for youth with behavior challenges, her research experience and practice where she treats individuals and families across the life span affords greater substance to treat her clients.


Caitlin Tromiczak, LICSW-C

Clinical Social Work & Therapist

I am here to create a healing, supportive space for you to reach your goals. Whatever life stressors you are experiencing in this moment is the perfect place to start. Personal transformation is a journey that begins within and effects change in our immediate environment. Supportive processing and practical skill building give you the tools you need to live the most fulfilling life possible; the life you truly deserve.

I have worked with individuals from diverse communities in Washington DC and abroad for over 15 years. My areas of expertise include trauma, depression, anxiety, grief & loss, immigration, family separation in transnational families, domestic violence, women's empowerment, community outreach, diversity & inclusion, and using mindfulness practices as an accompanying modality to therapy.


Ashley Aker, LCPC


Warm, welcoming Licensed Professional Counselor providing individual and group counseling services to adults in order to address a wide range of concerns.  Areas of interest include addictions, mood issues, self esteem, LGBTQ* and related issues, and improving overall health & wellness. I aim to impart a sense of safety, support, and feeling truly heard, while assisting clients with identifying and reaching personal goals around change and growth.  My counseling approach is largely eclectic, borrowing from Cognitive Behavioral therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavior therapy, and Solution-Focused therapy, as well as from my work experience in the fitness industry. If you are ready to take the first step towards a new chapter, I am here to walk that path with you.


Junko Araki, LCPC, LPC, BC-DMT


Junko Araki is a Licensed Professional Counselor in DC, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Maryland, and Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist.  

Junko has background in dance and somatic counseling psychology. With her belief that our physiology and psychology are inseparable, Junko utilizes mindfulness-based, body-oriented interventions, and creative experiential activities as therapeutic tools, along with verbal interventions, to support her clients in making choices for the integration, understanding, and change they seek. 

Junko can offer services in English and Japanese (日本語).

8777 First Avenue

Silver Spring MD 20910


Tel: 301-920-0316

Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm

After Hours and Weekends


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