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A Secure Base Psychotherapy
17003 Barn Ridge Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20906



Elissa Levine, LCSW-C, LICSW                                           Dan Kimes, LCSW-C
        elevine345@gmail.com     240-462-7659                   dan.kimes@gmail.com     301-996-0809

What is “A Secure Base”?

A "secure base" is a term first introduced by the Canadian psychologist Mary Ainsworth in the 1960s and 70's, and later described by British psychologist John Bowlby in his 1988 book by the same name. It is the basis of modern "Attachment theory" which identifies different ways that children and adults relate to others. In order to form a healthy attachment style, a secure base is a requirement for every adult.   

A secure base comes from quality contact from an important figure in ones life such as an intimate partner, family members, or friends. Finding and attaching to secure bases throughout our entire life is a fundamental evolutionary survival mechanism. All of us are “wired” from birth through death to seek and maintain quality contact with others the best we can. The best secure base occurs when a child or adult receives interactions from important others in which emotions are openly expressed, responded to, and reciprocated in sufficient quality, consistency, and frequency that the individual develops a sense of safety and trust within themselves.  

A common theme during childhood is that we did not always experience the secure base we needed to develop a secure attachment style. As a result, many of us experience the same issues and traumas over and over in a cyclic manner that come from old psychological wounds. A secure base rejuvenates us, soothes, heals, and decreases our anxiety when we have difficult and stressful interactions in our environment.  Once we are soothed and “ready to go”, this base gives us the courage to launch off into the world and explore our environment anew with confidence and strength.

As adults, we long to “be seen”, “to be known deeply”, “for another human being to really get us”, and to share a reciprocating emotional accessibility, responsiveness, and understanding. Much of the daily bickering and arguments of adult couples are really a misguided attempt to fight for this deeper emotional connection and the resulting secure base needed to negotiate and thrive in our every day lives.



How Does Therapy Work?

As adults, the presence of a secure base in a healthy and loving adult relationship or when provided by a skilled therapist, helps to heal old wounds and starts the creation of a healthy attachment style.  

At A Secure Base Psychotherapy, the most powerful and transforming mechanisms for our clients in individual, couples, or family therapy have been experiential in nature. As therapists, we are highly empathetic and compassionate, and aim to deeply understand you and your personal experiences so that we can provide a safe space for your work.  We will talk, trust, share, and explore experiences, thoughts, and emotions. You will begin to have personal experiences and insights derived from a mutually constructed space, and sense the mystery, energy, internal mastery, and joy of living and relating to yourself and others.

We are looking forward to working with you and to help bring about changes that will allow you to reduce anxiety and depression, experience more clarity and energy, enhance the quality of your relationships, and empower you to bring more joy into your life.  With time, you will experience an increase in emotional awareness and openness, and improve your mental, physical, relational, and spiritual well being.



We provide individual, couples, and family therapy for adults and adolescents to help you find a secure base within yourself and in relationship to others. 


In our work, we help each individual to connect to the innate part of yourself where you feel grounded, safe, and secure.  With this awareness, you are able to connect to others, feel peaceful and excited about the purpose of your life, and create the relationships and lifestyle that help you to thrive.

A Secure Base Psychotherapy

"...Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, 
there is a field. I'll meet you there...."   Rumi