Diane M. Hoekstra, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Hoekstra received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia in 1991 and has been licensed to practice in Virginia since 1993. She has been in private practice since 2003, with a particular emphasis on individual psychotherapy.
She has the Authority to Practice Interjurisdictional Telepsychology granted by the Psypact Commission. This means that her practice extends to Telehealth with clients in other states that have approved Psypact Legislation. She is also licensed in the State of New York.
Dr. Hoekstra is a Certified Sensorimotor Psychotherapist. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a state-of-the-art comprehensive model for psychotherapy, which combines “talk therapy” with exploration of the somatic experience in the body. This approach applies the most up-to-date neuroscience findings to understand how healing and transformation occur in psychotherapy. Dr. Hoekstra works with survivors of childhood trauma as well as survivors of trauma experienced in adulthood, utilizing this model of psychotherapy.
- American Psychological Association
- Virginia Academy of Clinical Psychologists
- Northern Virginia Academy of Clinical Psychologists
- Former Vice-president and Continuing Education Committee Chair 2010-2014
- International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy
- Give-an-Hour Volunteer Provider for Members of the Military and their families
- Professional Member--Post-Partum Support Virginia
- Professional Provider and Member--Post-Partum Support International (PSI)
I have always known that I wanted to be a therapist. I am a life-long learner who has always been thirsty for a greater understanding of how we humans work.I believe in the innate and organic nature of each human to evolve and to reclaim who they were born to be.
As a young clinician, I was drawn to Attachment Theory, an exquisite model of human growth and development. Attachment Theory prioritizes the child-caretaker relationship as critical in childhood brain development. We function best when we have strong and reliable relationships with our parents, partners, children, friends and with our communities. Life is richer when these connections are in place. It is our relationships that promote a sense of competence and a willingness to explore our world. It is our relationships that provide a safe haven during life’s inevitable struggles.
We all have an inborn drive to connect. Sometimes, our “template” for relationships is wobbly. Safe, secure relationships are elusive. Living, being, loving and parenting are all more complicated and sometimes painful. It is so hard to create what you have not experienced. Psychotherapy can help us to notice which early “templates” or adaptations work for us as adults in the present and which do not. This awareness allows us to have choice about how we respond moving forward. We can learn to feel and embody security, repair and growth.
In 2014, I began to study Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. This approach both upended my understanding of what therapy can do and transformed my practice. It’s focus on the neuroscience of trauma experience and the inclusion of the body in psychotherapy helped me to find my “calling”. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy fit who I am in the world and my values. It is a gentle, collaborative model of healing and transformation in psychotherapy.
Trauma in childhood and adulthood is much more common that our culture recognizes. For those who experience a trauma (that includes most of us), the impact or legacy of the trauma often lives on in our bodies as physical and emotional symptoms. I am dedicated to the lessening the impact of past traumas so that clients can live more fully in the present.
Therapy is a “calling” for me. Folks tend to experience me as warm and welcoming. My capacity to “hold” clients as they work through painful emotions is quite strong. People describe me as ‘authentic’, ‘sturdy’, and ‘present’. We all have an innate, natural and universal tendency toward healing, growth and connection. I see my work as helping folks be more fully who they were born to be.