Clinical Associate

Social Anxiety Help

NOTICE: Sessions are offered through secure video and audio telehealth calls, in accordance with COVID-19 public health measures.

Bertha Santillán, LICSW; Clinical Associate

Bertha Santillán, LICSW


My clinical practice is centered in creating a collaborative, individualized treatment plan with each of my clients. I specialize in helping adults learn to overcome social anxiety, other anxiety problems, depression, chronic illness, co-occurring disorders and insomnia, as well as helping clients cope with trauma, bereavement and life transitions. I use a comprehensive biopsychosocial, integrative approach to therapy that takes into account systemic, developmental, attachment, cultural and relational influences. I believe it is important to empower individuals by building upon their inner strengths to help them optimize their quality of life.

I provide guidance and clinical tools to help clients pursue their chosen goals. I utilize the following evidence-based treatment strategies: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy-insomnia (CBT-I), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness practice, distress tolerance, behavioral activation and problem solving therapy. Together we will find a treatment approach that works best for you! I also value your opinion and integrate feedback-informed therapy in every session to ensure the treatment aligns with your objectives.

I provide a gentle albeit direct approach with the purpose of creating a warm, inviting, safe space for deep exploration and reflection. By having a deeper understanding of how your emotional experiences directly influence your thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors, you are better able to gain control of your life. Breaking old habits and unhealthy thinking and behavioral patterns will help you experience a more fulfilling and meaningful life. Each session promotes personal growth and progress!

If you’re looking for extra support and guidance through a challenging situation or you’re just ready to move in a new direction, please contact me for an appointment! I look forward to working with you!


I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in the District of Columbia. I received my Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Washington, School of Social Work in 2015.

I have worked as a clinical social worker in various settings including emergency departments, hospitals, oncology, palliative and end of life care. From my professional experiences I have gained invaluable skills in crisis intervention, working with survivors of intimate partner violence, addiction disorders, chronic illness, patient advocacy, and trauma-informed care, particularly with Veterans. Prior to pursuing my MSW, I have experience and training in criminology and justice studies.

I am a bilingual (English/Spanish), Latina clinician with a special interest in working with individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds, historically oppressed and marginalized communities, those in need of support with end of life/bereavement-related issues, and individuals affiliated with the military community and their families. My pronouns are she/her/hers.



If you have any questions or comments, please email Larry Cohen, LICSW, with offices in Washington, DC.

Social Anxiety Help is a founding regional clinic of the National Social Anxiety Center (NSAC):