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Joanne Wolf Small MSW LCSW-C Social Worker | Therapy Services | Author | Holland Light House

Joanne W. Small

MSW, LCSW-C. & Author

serving individuals, couples, families & groups


Grow your knowledge, power, and resolve against the problems you experience. Examine things like patterns

of thinking and behavior, and how they affect your interaction with the world around you.  


Focus on specific problems,  and work on learning 

techniques tailored to those unique  needs. Healthier coping methods or avoiding problem areas can help with addiction or stress management.


Considered an adoption competent therapist, and expert on adoption loss and search, I have presented at state and national genealogy associations, and train mental health professionals in state and county social services.


Receive expert consultation services to birth or first parents, 

adoptive parents, grandparents,

adopted persons who have

concerns about how adoption

touched them, and anyone coping with genetic DNA issues. 

The Adoption Mystique 

exposes, documents and confronts the effects of negative social stigma on adoption institutions, practices, adopted persons, as well as adoptive and birthparents. 

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Glad you made it here.

Whatever brought you to this page, I am here to help you! Carrying a Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW.) and as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Clinical (LCSW-C), I'm equipped with 40+ years of experience in community mental health and private practice. A social worker's approach is different than perhaps your typical therapist or psychiatrist. The profession of social work places high value on our assessing and understanding all of the ways

society impacts the individual.

For how better is it to effectively diagnose and treat a human problem then to utilize a fully inclusive, psycho-social model of evaluation?

Joanne Wolf Small MSW LCSW-C Social Worker | Therapy Services | Author



No one size fits all.

Desk with Book

My philosophy

I believe understanding an individual’s feelings, needs, and experiences, and how those things are related the society at large, is paramount to helping any client I work with. I believe our mental states are part of our surroundings, because society, like an ecosystem, impacts us in ways we are just beginning to understand and recognize. rather attributing all the blame to the individual first and foremost, as the medical model of "disease" often does, I use my knowledge to see beyond just a diagnosis and into causes of what my client's are facing. I provide solutions and understanding to my utmost abilities.

Areas of Focus


codependency, couples communication, divorce, family dysfunction, marital & premarital, peer relationships, parenting


social anxiety, stress management, coping skills, insomnia, negative thoughts, fear, phobias, letting go, self-control


emotional abuse, sexual abuse, grief, Loss, post Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), adoption trauma


aging spouses, aging parents, care-taker fatigue, self-esteem

self-esteem, bullying, assertiveness, body image, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, gender identity support


Families of origin, families who adopt, isolation, DNA testing,

step families


loss of loved ones, medical and health concern, location transitions, social aniexty, separation


sadness, loss, grief, helplessness, families surviving suicide, handling intense emotions

women focused

emotional and physical abuse, trauma, infertility, separation, professional and career issues, self-esteem

suicidal thoughts, families surviving suicide, intense emotions, trauma, loss, mood disorders

find me on 

psychology today

We're adapting.

Covid-19 has changed a lot for all of us. So, we're adapting. In addition to phone sessions, I can now offer teletherapy, or video sessions, through the Psychology Today website. Psychology Today is a wonderful resource for people seeking help, and it's a great place to start. Please visit my profile using the button below to ge

Consider scheduling
a free 15-30 minute consultation to see if
 we make a good fit. 
Verified by Psychology Today
Joanne Wolf Small MSW LCSW-C Social Worker | Therapy Services | Author
Clock and Plant

frequently asked


What is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker?

LCSW-C means I am a licensed clinical social worker certified by the state of Maryland to practice psychotherapy or offer psychotherapy services.

Where are you located?

7111 Fairfax Rd, Bethesda MD 20814. Due to the COVID-19 my office is not open for in-person sessions. I'm available to clients in and out of the Maryland, District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Pennsylvania area.    

What is your availability?

I work by appointment only through email, or phone calls. If I do not pick up right away, please leave a call back number, your name, and a brief description of your needs! I will call you back promptly

How long are your sessions?

My typical sessions with clients are 50 minutes long, weekly or bi-weekly, or whatever you need.

How much do you charge and how do you take payments?

Each of our sessions together range from $150-$250 each. I take cash, check, or other instant payment services, including PayPal. I am out of network, and also offer sliding scale.

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The Adoption Mystique Book | Joanne Wolf Small MSW




The Adoption Mystique:

A Hard-hitting Exposé of the Powerful Negative Social Stigma that Permeates Child Adoption in the United States

Big Red Lighthouse | Joanne Wolf Small MSW LCSW-C Social Worker | Therapy Services | Author

Marley Greiner

Amazon Review

"The Adoption Mystique by Joanne Wolf Small is a book that every adoptee rights activist needs to keep on the nightstand. I first ran into Joanne in 1980 when somebody gave me an article about sealed records and identities she'd written for a social work publication. It was from Joanne that I first heard the peculiar legal concept that the adoptee and natural parent(s) are 'as if dead to each other."'

Janet F. Allen

New Hampshire State Representative

"She is a truth teller and a myth buster. The Adoption Mystique should be in every classroom. I am a reunited adult adoptee, who was pleasantly surprised how she covered so many issues in depth and even helped me to get a better understanding of what happened to me in my adoptive family. Five Stars! A must read!"

Marley Greiner

Executive Committee Emerti

of the bastard nation

"THE ADOPTION MYSTIQUE is for everyone. Adoptees, it's your life line. Adoptive parents and everyone else who loves adoptees - gentle help has arrived. Teachers, social workers, doctors and other professionals - these extremely well researched articles will enhance your ability to help all the different people you meet whose lives have been touched by adoption."

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