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Matt Sims, MSW, LCSW


Although my mom, who is also a therapist, said I'd always end up here, it was a rather circuitous route... After graduating from JMU with degrees in Spanish and Justice Studies, I was working at a juvenile detention center intending for that gig to be a stepping stone into federal law enforcement. While working there, my curiosity about the lived experiences of the detainees combined with my innate ability to be present and nonjudgmental resulted in the inmates calling me "tio".  I realized I was not meant to be in law enforcement and left that post to get my MSW from Catholic University.  My mom resisted the urge to say, "I told you so." ​ Prior to starting Sunny Ridge Counseling, PLLC, I worked in the public school setting (Arlington Public Schools and Fairfax County Public Schools) for six years, and have worked in the private practice setting at Cabush, Paul & Associates since 2018.  I am also an adjunct professor at George Mason University in the School of Social Work, having taught courses like Psychopathology and Clinical Work with Children, Youth, and Families, among others.  ​ In my free time I enjoy being outside, playing/coaching/watching soccer (though these days I don't particularly enjoy watching Everton), and spending time with my wife and sons (one human, one tuxedo cat). 

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Melissa Jackson, MSW

Therapist/Supervisee in Social Work

Life’s challenges can often leave us feeling fragmented, with our physical, spiritual, emotional, and social aspects in disarray. It is easy to lose sight of our authentic selves when faced with life’s hardships and as a therapist, I will act as your co-captain throughout your therapeutic journey. My goal is to guide you toward the equilibrium that fosters your well-being. Each person’s path is unique, and I am committed to tailoring evidence-based techniques that will suit your individuality best. I am passionate about working with individuals who are driven to make positive changes in their lives and are willing to push through even when it’s hard.

Contact Melissa at or (703) 493-0261.


Chris Smith, MSW, LCSW


Chris is a graduate of Lynchburg College and Catholic University of America. Chris has worked as a school social worker at public high schools, supporting the social and emotional needs of students through individual and group counseling, parent support and education, and supporting students with IEPs. Christopher's clinical experience includes work at a group home for Sasha Bruce Youth Work in Washington, DC. Christopher believes that successful therapy is built upon a trusting therapeutic relationship. In order to work towards solutions, Christopher combines his skills and techniques acquired academically with his own naturally ability to meet clients where they are. Christopher incorporates Cognitive Behavioral Theory, Psychodynamic Theory, mindfulness, as well as a strengths based approach.

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