Therapists can refer clients to psychiatry on UpLift. Psychiatric providers are available to answer questions about medication, changing treatment plans, side effects, and more.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.

Headshot of Jessica Martin
Provider Spotlight

Get to Know Jessica Martin, LCSW-C

Jessica Martin, LCSW-C, is a therapist on UpLift. She shares her approach to therapy and to supporting survivors of violence and abuse.

Get to Know Jessica Martin, LCSW-C
Eliana Reyes, Content Strategist


min read


table of contents

UpLift’s “Get to Know” series features our providers—so other providers can get to know them, learn from each other, and connect. 

This month’s featured provider is Jessica Martin, LCSW-C.

Grow your private practice with UpLift
Learn more

What are you passionate about when it comes to therapy?  

I want to help clients listen to themselves and believe that they can trust their own judgment. It can be hard for people who’ve experienced violence or abuse to feel confident when making decisions that impact themselves or their children. Sometimes this is because of power dynamics in the household they grew up in, other times it’s because trauma symptoms can impact decision making. 

I worked at an agency for 13 years where the focus was intimate partner violence, which showed me how much it affects everybody. I do therapy with clients to process trauma while also preparing people as they go through the justice system.

Using the lens of intersectionality is really important. An individual's race, class, gender identity, disability, immigration status—all of these things impact our clients’ experiences. Especially when working with judicial systems or immigration systems, people go through these systems differently. Therapists need to look at the whole person, specifically how oppression and privilege affects individuals and their families. . 

What type of clients or areas do you specialize in working with?

I mostly work with people with anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder, usually victims of crime or veterans. Some of my clients have experienced violence through war, gang violence, serving in the military, or sexual assault—but I mostly work with people who’ve experienced intimate partner violence and sexual violence. Fear of retaliation from perpetrators, distrust of systems due to systemic racism, and financial limitations are some of what come up in therapy in addition to the impact the assault or psychological abuse had on the client. 

A lot of my clients are also immigrants or people petitioning for asylum. It can be hard for many people to navigate both the justice systems, especially if English is not someone’s first language or if they have a low literacy rate. 

How do you believe change happens for a client? 

The client is really the one doing the work. I’m just piecing things together to help people assign blame outside of themselves and make sense of their choices after the violence. For example, if the client chose not to call the police, I’d ask what they were worried about. Maybe they didn’t want their kids to hear sirens or for their partner to get deported because they needed help paying bills. Or maybe their abuser’s family is close to theirs. There’s so many layers. 

My therapy focuses on helping people feel validated and important. If they want to tell their story, that’s theirs to tell. If they want justice, sometimes things don’t go well in court, so then there’s this sad process for survivors and what they’re put through. Or if an assault occurred last year, the trauma from that incident compounds with going to court or trying to get custody from an abusive partner. 

For others, there’s years of things that aren’t necessarily physically violent but are emotionally and psychologically abusive. It becomes hard to trust your own judgment or even put into words what’s happened. Whether something happened a long time ago or recently, the effects and the legal process can be ongoing. All of these are part of what we do in therapy.

I act as a sounding board so people hear what they’re saying. It’s amazing the number of times people are like, “Wow, I’m talking about myself in a really mean way! That wasn’t my fault.” 

Are there any modalities or approaches you feel attached to?

I go back to the core of social work and counseling: building rapport with the client to validate them and give them a confidential space to talk. A lot of people have been so isolated from telling their story.  

I am trained in EMDR, which is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. I’ll use that with people who have experienced trauma, if that’s something they want. I really like EMDR for trauma but I try to be respectful of where people are. 

Cognitive Processing Therapy is another modality that I’m trained in that some people really connect with. Others may connect more with some of the mind-body modalities. 

I like to be able to present different options to clients. 

What inspired you to get into therapy?

I had my undergraduate degree in social work but I thought I wanted to go into immigration law. I had an internship with the U.S. Committee for Refugee and Immigrant Children, and I would call people who were trying to link with immigration attorneys. 

The legal aspect focuses on things like, how many times did the person hit you? It wasn’t about how it made you feel but just the facts of what happened. 

I cared more about the person's experience, like how their sleep was affected or their interactions with other people. Could they hold down jobs? Trauma makes it hard to function when you're super anxious or depressed. So I got pulled back into social work. 

What is your favorite local resource to share with clients?

I love the Family Justice Center in Prince George's County and the Family Justice Center in Montgomery County

House of Ruth Maryland and DV LEAP also work with victims of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. 

What is the best therapy-related article or resource you’ve seen recently? 

Anything by Ana Gomez. She’s a therapist and trainer. Her shop has resources and articles she’s written to help explain EMDR to children, teenagers, and parents. I use it a lot with parents, too. 

What is your favorite way to practice self-care that you’d recommend to other therapists? 

I really love getting outside and jogging. Running is the time that I try to limit how much I think about clients. I want to run mindfully and not think about work. It helps me compartmentalize a little bit. If I notice that I’m thinking a lot about clients when I’m not working, it means I need to figure out what shifts to make. 

I’ll also talk to another therapist. I have a couple of really good friends that are awesome therapists that I've met from previous jobs or grad school. I'm not giving personal client information to them but when I’m stuck, I can turn to them for advice. 

Especially working with clients who have to deal with a legal system that can be really draining for them. I might share something like, I really thought this client would be granted a protective order, but it was denied, and their estranged partner was just released from jail. That kind of stuff can be really frustrating, so having other therapists who have done similar work and talking about it can be helpful. I like that community and the camaraderie. 

What’s the last book you read or what book did you read recently that you would recommend to anyone?

I'd recommend Good Inside by Dr. Becky Kennedy.

I've found the author's message about learning to treat yourself, your children, and others with the understanding that they are inherently good inside—or that we all are—useful for shifting how one responds to behaviors. The book has good examples of responding to a child with big emotions in a way that accepts or validates how the child is feeling in the moment while still holding a boundary or sticking to a family rule.

Why did you choose to use UpLift?

I chose UpLift because I needed extra income outside of agency work. I like that there's support and I can make my own schedule. As soon as I have a question, the people at UpLift are so responsive. 

I like being able to provide quality therapy to people and take their health insurance. Though we can provide therapy to people who can self-pay, I like being able to take so many different kinds of insurances and not be the one dealing with it. 

It's allowed me a lot of flexibility as a working mom. I can schedule around my kids’ pickup or things like that and not worry about aftercare, which can be hard if you work for a place that needs you to stick to a certain schedule. 

I really value the clients that I've worked with.  I appreciate that clients can read our bios and pick who they want to see and who they’re matched with.

Another thing I like is being able to connect my clients to psychiatrists. In Maryland, it's hard for clients to find a psychiatrist that accepts their insurance. It's nice knowing that if they’re seeing me with their insurance, I can connect them with a psychiatrist. I've had clients report back that they've had good experiences.

About the author
Eliana Reyes, Content Strategist

Eliana Reyes is a content strategist and writer at UpLift.

Edited by

Meredith McClarty

Fact checked by

Our fact checking standards

Every UpLift article is created by our team or other qualified contributors, and reviewed for accuracy by clinicians.

Interested in learning more about this provider’s practice or want to book a session?

view provider’s profile