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Fostering healing, wholeness & hope

through trauma-informed psychotherapy and treatment 


About Courtney

I was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. After a few stints of living abroad in South America and Southeast Asia, I landed in New York City where I received my masters in Social Work from Columbia University. In New York I spent the first 5 years of my career doing therapeutic work with survivors of intimate partner violence, domestic abuse and human trafficking. Now back in Durham, after working for some time in the medical setting, I have developed an expertise in trauma and a love for working with adults from a variety of backgrounds, ages and stages. While I work from a trauma-informed framework and perspective, my clinical niche lies in the intersection of relationships, attachment and identity development. I love getting to be a part of the healing journey with my clients and find joy in helping others discover their own worth and resilience. With a background of studies in Christian Theology, I also enjoy working with clients who are wrestling with spiritual or religious concerns.

As part of a multicultural, bilingual family, I am fluent in English, Spanish and various forms of 'Spanglish'.

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About Trauma 


“Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happened to you...Healing involves getting to know our true selves and knowing oneself comes from attending with compassionate curiosity to what is happening within.” - Dr. Gabor Maté

What I have learned over the years is that trauma impacts all of us- whether we are aware of it or not. Sometimes it is big and loud and other times it is hard to notice and seemingly insignificant. As we move from questioning why we are the way we are to truly understanding what has happened inside of us, a deep empathy is born that allows for whole and integrative change. The good news is that whether it’s small wounds that started in childhood or catastrophic events that happen later in life- healing is possible. 

About the Practice

In my relationship with clients I aim to create a safe and non-judgmental space to explore pain and facilitate holistic healing. 

In therapy you will learn the skills that you need to cope with and navigate relationships, tough emotions and challenging situations. Together we will uncover patterns of unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are rooted in the past. Central to my practice is the integration of body, mind, heart, and spirit. It is there that my clients experience the freedom to move forward towards their goals and the future they desire.

I draw from training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), Ego State Therapy, Internal Family Systems (IFS), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Theory and the ethics of the Social Work profession. 

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Individual adult psychotherapy sessions are 50 minutes in length and can be scheduled weekly or bi-weekly, depending on your need and availability. I offer telehealth services as well as in office appointments in downtown Durham. My telehealth platform is simple to use, inclusive of all therapeutic modalities and HIPAA Compliant.  

After a free 15 minute phone consultation to discuss your needs and whether or not Contreras Counseling is the right fit, you will be sent an online intake form as well as paperwork to sign and review before your first appointment.

I work with clients who may be dealing with these or other issues: 

Attachment concerns

Relationship issues

Peripartum difficulties


Family Conflict

Trauma or PTSD


Sexual or relational abuse

Grief and loss


Self-Esteem Issues

Stress and coping

Spiritual concerns

Desire to expand emotional awareness


New to therapy? Here is a bit of what you can expect...

  • As in any new relationship, therapy starts by getting to know one another. The first 2-4 times that we meet I'll focus on learning about you, your life and what's bringing you to therapy. 

  • Collaboration. You may know exactly what you want out of therapy or you may have no idea where to begin. Together, we'll identify what's going on in your life and structure our work together. 

  • In a typical session you can expect to talk, gain insight, learn things, practice new skills, or work out problems. 

  • A focus on the process. While I hope that each session we have is helpful, healing takes time and often looks different than we expect it to. Learning to trust the journey is a crucial part of getting the most out of your work in therapy.

Fees& Insurance

Individual psychotherapy sessions are $160. I accept most forms of payment including major credit cards. Payment is expected at the end of each session. 

While I do not accept medical insurance, I can provide documentation that you may need to file for out-of-network insurance reimbursements. Please check your coverage carefully prior to making your appointment. When you speak with your insurance company, you may want to ask the following questions (NOTE: Billing code 90837-Individual Therapy will be used for treatment): 

  • Do I have out-of-network behavioral health benefits?

  • What is the deductible for my behavioral health benefits?

  • What percentage of what I pay to my doctor will be reimbursed to me?

  • Is there a session limit?

Need help now and having trouble paying for Therapy?

Check out the following resources to find free or low cost services in your area.


What Others Say
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Chief Program Officer

Courtney understands the complexities of trauma and the impact it can have on individuals. She works from a place of deep empathy and desire to see people come into healing. 


Supervising Counselor

Courtney is an exceptional therapist. She has the compassion and understanding to meet clients where they are and walk with them from the deepest traumas to the greatest breakthroughs. 


Outpatient Therapist 

Courtney is insightful, kind and very easy to talk to. She is an incredibly effective trauma therapist whose compassion and understanding will help you feel empowered and encouraged.

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Recommended Reading & Resources

The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk


Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience, Brene Brown 


The Power of Vulnerability, Brené Brown

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find - and Keep - Love, Amir Levine, Rachel Heller

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery, Ian Morgan Cron, Suzanne Stabile


What Happened to You? Oprah Winfrey, Bruce D. Perry

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents, Lindsay C. Gibson

Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to be, Dr. Becky Kennedy 

Searching for Sunday, Rachel Held Evans

Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make us Whole, Susan Cain

The Great Sex Rescue, Sheila Wray Gregoire

Come as You Are, Emily Nagoski

Divergent Minds: Thriving in a World That Wasn't Designed for You, Jenara Narenberg

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