Our Staff

David L. Charney, M.D.
Psychiatrist; Medical Director, Roundhouse

I’m a psychiatrist and the Founder and Medical Director of Roundhouse Square Counseling Center.

I grew up in New York City. I decided early during my college years to become a psychiatrist since therapy was very helpful to me during that time and I thought I could help others.

I earned my medical degree at the Upstate Medical Center, State University of New York in Syracuse. After finishing my psychiatry residency in New York City, I served in the United States Air Force for over two years. Then I started a solo practice of psychiatry in Old Town, Alexandria.

In 1979, I expanded the practice, and with our new staff team, we took on treating a neglected specialty in our local area: agoraphobia, phobias, panic attacks and other anxiety disorders.

My approach to helping people evolved over time.

During my training years, the psychoanalytic model was the strongest influence on me, emphasizing understanding of childhood experiences to help patients recover from their problems. I believed in this approach because it helped me during my college years.

However, in the Air Force I saw many patients troubled with clinical depression and mood disorders where I saw that wasn’t enough. I had to learn on my own how to treat them with medications, as my training did not prepare me for what at that time was a new strategy. Of course, now it’s routine.

Later, when at Roundhouse we took on the anxiety disorders, we had to learn about cognitive-behavioral treatments, which meant partially letting go of a mainly childhood focus and shifting instead to “the here and now.”

Every few years, I come across new approaches that we can add to the mix of what we already know. I mention this because sometimes I’m asked what my main approach or philosophy is. I always answer “eclectic,” meaning a customized mix of whatever seems to actually work for an individual patient. I have learned that there’s no single cookbook recipe for helping people.

Once I fastened on the idea of the rightness of being “eclectic,” it was natural to look for new challenges that would benefit from novel approaches.

Here at Roundhouse, we’ve added other specializations over the years including Mood Disorders, Couples and Family Therapy, Eating Disorders, Adult Children of Alcoholics and Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. We like to stay on the lookout for the next interesting thing. Now, we are adding TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), a cutting edge treatment for difficult to treat depression.

Over 20 years ago, I got into broadcast media. I’ve been hosting a local access cable TV show on Comcast Cable called Psychiatry Today. The show gives me an opportunity to interview people from all walks of life, so long as there’s a psychological angle to what guests talk about. You can check out our show topics on this site.

Since 1975, I’ve taught psychiatric residents at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University, where I hold the academic rank of Associate Clinical Professor.

As a separate specialty, I’ve consulted to the United States Intelligence Community, and have become an expert on The Mind of the Spy. I’ve worked with a number of high-profile spies, and based on this unique knowledge, I’ve lectured about my findings to intelligence professionals in many settings.

I‘ve written a two-part White Paper entitled “NOIR” on how to better protect the country from spying, which was published as a Special Supplement of the journal The Intelligencer. It’s posted on our website NOIR4USA.org.

Among my leisure activities, I especially enjoy digital photography, ethnic restaurants and foreign travel.


Howard Jay Cohen, M.D.
Psychiatrist; Medical Director, TMS

I have been a psychiatrist at Roundhouse Square Counseling Center since 1987. Prior to Roundhouse, I was Medical Director at the Halifax Mental Health Center in North Carolina where I practiced for two years in service for my scholarship from the Public Health Service.

I received my undergraduate degree from Duke University and received my Medical Degree from New York Medical College. My internship and residency in psychiatry were at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

In my experience, I have found it extremely important to listen to a patient’s complaints and gather as much information as I can to understand their symptoms, the stressors they are experiencing and their relationships at work and at home. All of this information must be taken into account during the diagnostic evaluation along with a detailed medical and psychiatric history.

After I make the diagnosis, I explain what the treatment will be. I will provide information about whatever medication is prescribed and I will discuss the possible side effects. I will often discuss medication options and talk about the pros and cons of each option. Another area which is extremely important is drug interactions, which I carefully evaluate, especially when there are medical and psychiatric medications are involved.

I feel a combination of psychotherapy and medication treatment provides the best results. In psychotherapy, I explore the relationships people have with their family, with their friends and with their coworkers. With a greater understanding and insight into their relationships, people can manage problems more effectively and improve those relationships.

I have been married for more than 20 years and I have two daughters. I love music and I play the trumpet in community bands. I also enjoy listening to music and I learned to build loudspeakers and tube amplifiers. In addition, I enjoy fixing all sorts of things around the house and troubleshooting computers. 


Ehsan Habibpour, M.D.
Psychiatrist; Adults, Children, Adolescents

I'm a Psychiatrist with dual training in Child and Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry. I'm also a Diplomate in Psychiatry of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

I'm the newest member of the Roundhouse Square Counseling Center and am happy to be joining this friendly and highly experienced team.

I attended one of the well-known medical schools in Iran. Subsequently, I moved to the United States and pursued my passion for understanding human feelings and behavior by deciding to become a psychiatrist. I chose to do my Adult Psychiatry Residency at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to the effective practice of psychotherapy, I mastered the judicious use of psychiatric medications. Witnessing the many areas of exciting progress in the field of psychiatry over the last decade gave me the chance to familiarize myself with the most up-to-date advances in medications. It also taught me how to effectively integrate these medications with psychotherapy in order to optimize the chances for healing.

Through my years of training, I experienced and appreciated the value of therapeutic relationships. I believe that self-determination, resilience and the power of meaningful relationships are the key factors that ignite human growth.

Over the course of the past few years, I became interested in the field of Psychosomatic Medicine, the study of the interactions of the psyche with the rest of the body, which attempts to explain such things as pain and other discomforts. My fascination with Psychosomatic Medicine was stimulated during the course of my training at the Medical College of Virginia’s Department of Psychiatry, where I was fortunate to work with a group of top professors in this field. I have continued to focus on the undeniable connection of mind and body by keeping up with the latest research.

After completing my Adult Psychiatry Residency, I advanced my training by pursuing a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. Learning about the normal development of children and how experiences during childhood later affect us in our daily lives was a unique gift of this Fellowship. I believe we often choose certain emotional and behavioral styles of protecting ourselves during our childhood that linger into our adulthood. While those patterns may have served useful purposes during our childhood years, we tend to continue those patterns into our adulthood when they are no longer needed. I believe that exploring those feelings and behavioral styles is the first step for effecting change.

I also developed an interest in treating anxiety and mood disorders, and gained experience in treating eating disorders, another focus of the Southwestern Medical Center.

I am keenly interested in the role of culture and ethnicity in emotional disturbances. I had a chance to study this overlap and learn about it because of the cultural diversity to which I was exposed over the course of my life. My passion was reflected in the paper I co-wrote: “The Treatment of Depression in Culturally Diverse Children and Adolescents.”

My training has encompassed the entire range of Adult and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. I am particularly interested in treating adolescents.

When I have free time, I play tennis, jog, and hike. As a matter of fact, my love of nature was one of the main factors that brought me back to the beautiful state of Virginia.


Ruth Ruskin, L.C.S.W.
Psychiatric Social Worker

Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist

I have been part of the Roundhouse Square Counseling Center staff since 1985. Before Roundhouse, I was a therapist at the Family Therapy Institute of Rockville, where I studied under two of the pioneers of short-term, problem-solving therapy—Jay Haley and Cloe Madanes. I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Cornell University and my Masters in Social Work from Catholic University.

My family therapy training taught me that mental suffering is more than the simple byproduct of biological illness or intra-psychic conflict. I help my clients examine other factors that are part of the mix—the social and environmental stresses and supports in their lives, their family dynamics, and even their learned ways of thinking and coping. In my years of private practice, I have studied and used cognitive and behavioral therapy (CBT) extensively.  This approach considers how the client views events that occur in their lives. Sometimes a simple shift of perspective can be a powerful tool for change.

At Roundhouse, I specialize in life and relationship problems, anxiety disorders and depression. My particular specialty is treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD. I sometimes do “in vivo” therapy with clients in the place or situation in which their anxiety response occurs. I serve as a “life coach” for adults with Attention Deficit Disorder. I use hypnotherapy as a tool to treat stress, performance anxiety, phobias and insomnia, and to jumpstart behavior change such as stopping smoking. I see mostly adults and adolescents. 

Over the years I have learned that different people respond to different forms of motivation and treatment. I get to know my client’s needs, strengths and goals first, then, think about what in my “arsenal” of treatment techniques might work best for him or her. For some, insight-oriented therapy is most appropriate and for others, I use solution-focused treatment techniques designed to address the presenting problem as quickly as possible. I really enjoy what I do and consider it an intellectual challenge.

I have been married over 30 years and have two grown children. In addition to working at Roundhouse, I serve on the board of directors of two businesses and am the president of a small charitable foundation. I am an avid reader, cook and gardener and a perennial student of Teaching Company courses. I love creative and artistic pursuits including writing, drawing, costume-design and flower-arranging. In my neighborhood, kids refer to me as “The Halloween Lady” because of the life-size homemade Halloween figures that grace my garage each Halloween. I suppose that display reflects my view of life – even when it’s ghoulish, one has to find humor in it!



Kathleen Simpson, L.C.S.W.
Psychiatric Social Worker

I have worked at Roundhouse Square Counseling Center for more than twenty years providing psychotherapy to people who are depressed, anxious, overwhelmed or confused. My practice consists of individuals (adolescents and adults), couples, and families.  Prior to joining Roundhouse, I worked as a medical social worker at Washington Hospital Center.

I received my Masters Degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University, and completed internships at Jewish Social Services and Fort Lee Army Base. I also received a Professional Certificate upon completion of a two-year psychotherapy-training program at American University. I continue to advance my training and expertise by regularly attending professional courses and workshops.

My approach comes from extensive training in Cognitive-Behavioral, Solution-Focused and Mindfulness therapies.  I am dedicated to creating a supportive environment that allows for exploring and resolving current and past issues. I will give you appropriate feedback and speak in easy-to-understand terms. Most people say I am a warm and down-to-earth counselor.

On a personal note, I am married and have three children. I have been active in the community, having served on PTA, Travel Soccer Club, and Swim Team Boards. I am currently a volunteer with Fairfax Medical Reserve Corp. My hobbies include bike riding, walking our two dogs, taking yoga classes, entertaining friends and family, and reading.


Elizabeth Schnobrich, PsyD

I am new to both the Roundhouse Square Counseling Center and to Virginia. I am very excited to be at the Roundhouse and am honored to be a part of such an incredible team of professionals.

I have been a licensed practicing clinical psychologist since 2006, and a member of both the American Psychological Association and the Society of Personality Assessment. I earned my Bachelor Degree in Psychology and Communications from St. Olaf College in Minnesota and earned my Doctorate in Psychology from the College of Clinical Psychology at Argosy University: Twin Cities.

Prior to joining Roundhouse, my professional career has spanned the globe. I have worked in a variety of settings with a multitude of different clients. I provided individual and group treatment to military children and families on Misawa Air Base in Japan. I worked in South Korea with children, adolescents, adults, and families, conducting therapy and also doing evaluations utilizing a full battery of psychological testing. Most recently, in Nevada, I specialized in providing a full range of assessments with the same wide range of patients.

In addition to my psychological practice, I have taught psychology at both the graduate and undergraduate level. I have a strong passion for teaching, and have found many rewarding moments in preparing students for the professional world.

At Roundhouse, I put to good use my extensive experience in psychological testing of children, adolescents, and adults. I provide a full battery of testing that includes intelligence, personality, projective, diagnostic, and neuropsychological screening. This testing can be used to help parents, teachers, and students understand academic underachievement and discover possible learning disorders. Testing can also identify other diagnoses and determine appropriate treatment plans, as well as uncover difficulties in the areas of memory, attention, processing speed, reasoning, judgment, problem-solving, spatial, and language functions.

To advance personal growth, testing can explain misunderstood personality tendencies and help with self-discovery and insight.

I fully explain all testing results to you, and give you a copy of my report in order to assist you with a complete understanding of your behavior, personality, and capabilities.
I also conduct therapy at Roundhouse with children, adolescents, families, and parents. I have spent the majority of my career and training devoted to aiding families overcome their difficulties. As a parent, as well as a professional, I have found parenting to be the most challenging and rewarding job one can face. We all encounter struggles as a parent and I’m here to work with your family in order to improve your communication, relationships, and quality of life.

In addition, I am certified in The Kazdin Method of the Yale Parenting Center, part of Yale University This is a program created to help parents learn strategies to deal with a variety of parenting issues, ranging from minor to severe and is based upon years of research. Every child I meet is unique and comes with his or her own strengths and weaknesses. I work with parents to help their children grow into responsible and dependable children. I provide parents with the tools they need to assist their children in listening, getting along with others, and solving problems without resorting to tantrums, whining, or even violence.

In my personal life, I enjoy reading, running, snowboarding, and traveling. My favorite thing to do is to play with my two children and my two dogs as well as spend time with my husband.


Burton Rubin, JD

Director, Stagefright Survival School

I have been helping hundreds of people overcome their disabling fear of public speaking.

For my “day jobs,” I’m a practicing attorney, and have served as General Counsel for the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). I’ve testified on its behalf before the United States Congress and many other legislative bodies.

Since 1985, I’ve been a Member of the Fairfax County Water Authority, which governs water use for over a million people in Northern Virginia.
I attended the University of North Carolina Law School at Chapel Hill and earned my JD in 1969. After graduation, I served as Editor for a number of legal publications at the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. In 1984, my fellow employee-stockholders elected me to the Board of Directors of BNA. Later, as General Counsel of ASTA, I won landmark cases on its behalf in various courts around the country.

While I keep busy at my “day jobs,” I’m equally passionate about helping people with fear of public speaking. It’s a problem I know well because for years I struggled with fear of public speaking myself until I overcame it by using many of the successful techniques that are now incorporated into the Stagefright Survival School. With over 20 years of experience helping people with extreme fear of public speaking, I’ve refined and improved my approaches and added additional methods and techniques. I enjoy passing along to others the lessons I’ve learned for myself.

After years of working on it, to my great satisfaction, I finally completed my book “Stagefright Solved: The Official Stagefright Survival School Manual,” which you can find on Amazon.com.

Also, you can visit my companion website StagefrightSurvival.com. I’m also the Director of the Fear of Flying Program for the Roundhouse Square Counseling Center, which employs similar methods and techniques to help people master their anxiety-based problems.


Richard Adviento
TMS Clinician

I work as a TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Clinician at TMS Nova, a part of Roundhouse Square Counseling Center. I earned a degree in Physical Therapy and have been affiliated with many rehabilitation centers, hospitals and outpatient clinics throughout the Northern Virginia area. My work with TMS has given me the opportunity to extend my health care career into new directions.

I am thrilled and privileged to be a part of the caring team here at Roundhouse. Patients get help not only for their presenting problems, but also they get educated on how to take better care of all of their health concerns. I like having the chance to make a difference in the lives of our patients with my work and to feel the joy of helping others.

On a personal note, I am happily married to my beautiful wife and have two wonderful boys. I enjoy traveling to different places, listening to music, and cooking at home for my family.


Emmalyn Nicolas
Office Manager

I have worked at Roundhouse Square Counseling Center since 1996 and I’m happy to say that working with everyone here has always been very pleasant. As part of the administrative staff, I handle the insurance claims and help with choosing the right psychiatrist and or therapist for each person who seeks treatment.

I am married and have a wonderful 5 year old son. I was born in the Philippines and grew up In Northern Virginia. I graduated from T.C. Williams in 1988 and attended Northern Virginia Community College.

For fun, I like to dance and sing, and I also enjoy cooking.


Dawn Cyphers

I graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in Psychology. I have been working at Roundhouse Square Counseling Center for almost 10 years. I am married and just recently had my first baby. 

I love dogs and enjoy spending time outdoors with my very active Weimaraner. I also enjoy lots of sports, especially football, hockey and tennis. Go Steelers!