Meet Our Clinicians

Kirsten L. McNelis, Ph.D.

Dr. McNelis is a licensed clinical psychologist and the owner/founder of Changes Psychological Services, PLLC.  She graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, completing a BA/MA program in General Psychology. She then went on to complete a second Master’s degree and a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from American University, also in Washington, DC. 

Dr. McNelis has nearly 20 years of experience in providing psychological services. She began her training in a university counseling center, followed by community mental health work. She has practiced within several branches of the criminal justice system, at a state hospital for those with serious mental illnesses and in a large business corporation. Additionally, she has served as an adjunct professor in the Psychology Department at The Catholic University of America, training doctoral students in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. She has continually worked with clients from diverse backgrounds and cultures.  

Dr. McNelis specializes in providing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and her clinical expertise lies in treating anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders. She has also completed advanced training in the treatment of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders through Postpartum Support International. Dr. McNelis incorporates mindfulness, exposure techniques, positive psychology and acceptance-based strategies into therapy. She also has particular interests in assisting her clients to develop growth mindsets, overcome perfectionistic thinking and cultivate self-compassion. 

Dr. McNelis is licensed to practice in the District of Columbia, Virginia and Pennsylvania. She also has Authority to Practice Interjurisdictional Telepsychology (APIT), granted by the PSYPACT Commission (Date Issued 02/16/2021; E.Passport/APIT #6442)  

PSI Certificate Completion

Jennifer Maskell Carney, Ph.D., LPC

Dr. Carney is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a native of the Washington, DC area. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in Counseling from the University of Virginia. Dr. Carney’s training began at the UVA Women’s Center, where she worked primarily with young women with body image concerns and students from substance abusing families. She subsequently worked in a variety of settings, including community mental health, private practice, and college counseling at George Mason University, where she currently serves as an adjunct professor. 

Dr. Carney’s experiences in nearly 15 years of teaching and professional practice have helped to shape her approach as a compassionate, strengths-based counselor who values client empowerment, diversity, and wellness. She believes that a strong therapeutic relationship is key to progress and strives to create a supportive and collaborative therapy space where clients can safely engage in personal exploration and work toward their goals.

Utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Solution-Focused techniques, Dr. Carney specializes in working with individuals who are managing anxiety, depression and undergoing life or family transitions. Dr. Carney enjoys working with college students, professionals across the adult lifespan, as well as parents, who may be experiencing stressors, adjustment concerns, intrusive thoughts, perfectionistic thinking, or self-esteem issues. 

Dr. Carney is licensed to practice in the District of Columbia and Virginia.

Sally Fife, LCSW

Sally is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. After receiving a Bachelor's in Business Administration from the College of Charleston, Sally spent some time in the corporate world before earning her Master of Social Work from The Catholic University of America. Sally has worked with students within Alexandria City School system, and also active-duty military adults within Fort Belvoir Community hospital’s inpatient and outpatient units. Sally has also worked serving clients with serious mental illnesses within the Northern Virginia community, and within Inova Health System hospital's ambulatory care management team, serving patients with chronic medical conditions.

Sally specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for adults with anxiety and depression. She sees the therapist role as similar to that of a tennis or golf coach. First, understand what is “off” with your swing. Then, learn more helpful ways to improve your technique. Then, practice, practice, practice! Before you know it, your game improves and, in looking back, you can see how your hard work has paid off. Sally’s treatment philosophy is skills-based, client-centered and emotion focused. Sally will give appropriate feedback with honesty, warmth, and humor.

On a personal note, Sally is married with two young children and easily identifies with the stress of parenting. She loves helping parents to navigate everyday stressors, improve time management, cope with self-doubts and reframe negative thought patterns. She also supports her clients to maintain a healthy lifestyle (and tries to do so herself!) by engaging in valued activities, fostering meaningful connections, and incorporating daily self-care practices. Sally is looking forward to getting to know you!

Sally is licensed to practice in the District of Columbia and Virginia.

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