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ESSENTIAL Counseling and Therapeutic Services

for Teens, Adults and Adolescents in the Heart of the Triangle

Now hiring talented clinicians. Click here to apply.

The Team.

Our clinicians and support professionals inspire the wisdom, confidence, and radical realizations that can help you get unstuck, overcome obstacles, and unlock your authentic potential.

While we are trained in evidence based therapies, we realize that long-lasting change can only occur when an individual feels comfortable, connected and calm enough to witness their own inner wisdom. By taking the time to help you feel more comfortable with yourself and others in a safe, judgement-free environment, we are better able to provide you with the custom tools and techniques to get you to the next level or path on your journey.


We are located in the heart of the Triangle at Sutton Station near Southpoint in Durham, close to Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville and

Chapel Hill

5716 Fayetteville Road, #202

Durham, NC 27713



Complete this short survey to let us know your needs.

Individual Therapy

Weekly Individual Therapy session s have shown to be highly effective for targeting both short-term and long-term goals. Exposure Therapy is also highly effective for phobias, fears, obsessions, compulsions, OCD.  We specialize in DBT and CBT for issues that may arise as a result of Autism, PDD and the diagnosis formerly known as Aspergers. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

The components of DBT include:

mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance.

We have found that many people in the ASD community benefit from our modified DBT approach.

 Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has also proven to be effective for many.

Social Groups, Clubs and Courses

We offer an array of social group, clubs and courses to meet the various personalities and cognitive levels of those we serve. To see the full list of the groups we are currently offering, scroll down this page.

Parent Training

Parent Training is offered to parents and caregivers who would like to be more effective in the home environment. We also offer family therapy, couples therapy and caregiver self-care education and support. 

Therapeutic Support in the Home and Community

We offer Independent Skills Training and Therapeutic Support in the Home and Community.  

Current Groups and Courses

Eating Out

Ages 15-18
Ages 18-25
Dinner Group

This group meets on Friday nights to go out to dinner at walkable local restaurants.

Suggested donation: $20-$60 to support group facilitation and organization.


Ages 14-16
Ages 15-18
Ages 18 and up

Critical Core: D&D
Tabletop Game Group

What is Critical Core?

Critical Core is so much more than a tabletop role-playing game. Using the power of play for plays sake and designed as an alternative to traditional social skills training programs, Critical Core invites you to enter a shared world of fantasy and social problem solving to build social confidence and empowers you to flourish socially on your own terms. Developed under the guidance of autistics, therapists, educators, psychologists and using the practices developed by Game to Grow, Critical Core will change the way you understand tabletop role-playing games.

​Critical Core combines modern developmental therapies with the mechanics of tabletop role-playing games to help kids connect with their families, their friends, and the world around them. Players build social confidence, communication and collaboration skills, develop frustration tolerance, emotional resilience, and caring for others, all while rolling dice and having fun.


Ages 8-11
Ages 12-14
Ages 15-18
Ages 18 and Up
Tuesday Night Therapeutic Game and Activity Groups

These ongoing groups are designed for those who are looking to have more social opportunities in their lives.


Participants explore a host of exciting therapeutic activities geared towards recreation, relaxation and social engagement. 

Activities may include:

Board Games


Music Share

Mindful Walking

Arts and Crafts


Other Therapies we offer:

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)

for Mild to Severe Anxiety, Sensory Issues, Trauma and Social/Emotional Challenges

What I love about the SSP is that almost anyone can use it right away and start to see results. Many people who come to us have had mild to severe traumatic stress from previous individual counseling or group sessions due to severe anxiety and/or social anxiety. The SSP is a five-day intervention lasting one hour per day that only requires the individual to sit with and listen to the listening device (a Sony Walkman). 


Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a five-day auditory intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience. Based on Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, by calming the physiological and emotional state, the door is opened for improved communication and more successful therapy.

The SSP is a research-based therapy showing significant results in just five days in the following areas:

  • Social and emotional difficulties

  • Auditory sensitivities

  • Anxiety and trauma related challenges

  • Inattention

  • Stressors that impact social engagement






Man with Headphones

The Path Begins Here


Late one cloudy afternoon at Cape Disappointment in Washington State, a traveler followed a sign which read "The path begins here".  The traveler followed the path in that direction a short distance to where another sign appeared. The same words appeared "The path begins here". Weary, confused and a bit frustrated, the traveler summoned the wise traits of curiosity and tenacity and continued on the path.  However, when the path changed course again, the traveler began to understand what the path had revealed. Our paths are always beginning and ending and beginning again. 

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