Barb Elgin LCSW-C

Unhappy? Depressed? Stressed? Anxious?

Start Feeling Better Now Via E-Therapy & Video Coaching

Benefits of Video Coaching & Counseling

Save time, money, avoid traffic (and more). Meet with Barb when you want, at your convenience.

Benefits of Video Coaching & Counseling Benefits of Video Coaching & Counseling Benefits of Video Coaching & Counseling
I've loved my career.  It began over 30 years ago when I worked as a substance abuse counselor while finishing graduate school. Over the last three decades, my work has afforded me incredible experiences.  All because I sought them out, based on what I understood about who I am, what I'm good at and the needs of the workplace.

No matter what professional experience I've had, I've been told I have an approachable manner that puts most people at ease. As I've progressed in my work, I've become more confident, sometimes 'challenging' of my clients and I use humor more than ever in my work. As I like to say I first had to learn the rules and then I knew when and where to 'break' them, in the service of helping my clients. Sterile, too-medicalized counseling is not me. I'm like the small town doctor who wants to take her time and get to know you before suggesting what you need to do. One of the primary reasons I went back into solo practice this past year was my frustration with organizations whose therapists were on a therapy mill, which burns out helpers and has clients feeling like a number.

I've always been very ethical in my practice. In fact, what I just said above is an indication I haven't lost my care for the profession. This can happen in today's counseling practices where it's all about the numbers.

My hope is that as you invest your time and effort in conversations with me, we work together to help you pursue goals that mean the most to you. That's my overall mission in supporting you. The specific goals we work on are up to you!

FAST FORWARD: In the last few years or so, I've started to really enjoy providing video/digital therapy. And my clients haven't complained. Most of them love it, because it's really no different than in office therapy. And the benefits in terms of time savings and convenience are a blessing. So like I've done at other times in my career, I've joined the 'cutting edge' of what clients want and need.  Now is no different.  

I've made a business commitment to growing my video services.  To be of service to more individuals who might not have sought mental health treatment or coaching otherwise!

So just what is Online, Digital, Video, Virtual or Tele-Therapy, Counseling and Coaching?

There are many terms being used to describe therapy or coaching that is not done in a traditional 'brick and mortar' office. Whether you call it:

  • Online
  • Virtual
  • Tele-health
  • Tele-coaching
  • Tele-therapy
  • E-therapy
  • Texting Therapy or 
  • Video counseling 
Sessions are held on an encrypted video service via talk or via text with your coach or counselor using a device such as your smart phone, tablet, i-pad, laptop or computer.  

You avoid many stresses already, just by meeting online.

Either way you now have a 'no fuss, no muss' option to talk to a qualified, licensed therapist to receive the care you need.

Currently Barb Elgin accepts several insurances for tele-therapy services for Marylanders, including United Health Care, OPTUM EAP, Carefirst, Humana Tricare East, Tricare Military, Humana, Humana EAP, Aetna, Cigna and Cigna EAP.

Barb Elgin also offers affordable self pay counseling and coaching plans.

Why E-Therapy, Tele-Counseling and Tele-Coaching?

BOTTOM LINE: Video services respect today's fast pace of life. Tele-psychology services save you time. And often, money too. You waste less time, energy and hassle getting to and from your sessions, freeing you up to make the magic happen! Online counseling makes more time for you to take care of you.

Many busy professionals, moms, dads, students, those in rural locations and those with disabilities are utilizing video services with success. Video therapy or coaching can be 'safer' and 'less stressful' in that you avoid having to go in to an office, complete with the frustration of today's traffic jams, distracted drivers and parking prices. And even if there is a snowstorm, or the weather is otherwise an obstacle, you can still connect with your therapist or coach.

Does Virtual Therapy and Coaching and Tele-Counseling work as well as going to an office?

Yes, video therapy specifically has been shown in research to be an effective form of therapy.*

Video therapy is effective for many if not most individuals, including those who have difficulty getting general, basic mental health care due to long office waiting lists in the greater Baltimore area. A recent study, for example, showed that Maryland does not have enough mental health professionals to handle the need in our state.

In fact, this is one of my primary motivations in offering virtual therapy to people in Baltimore, Maryland and surrounding areas of Central Maryland at this time.

My coaching services are available nationwide.

Are Your Tele-Therapy Services Private/Confidential?

Yes, I follow HIPAA-standards in engaging with you online, such as an encrypted video conferencing system, a secure patient portal and encryption for email, phone and text communications, etc. In addition, there are steps I will teach you to take to ensure you create a quiet and private place for you to be during your sessions.

Barb Elgin's Video Therapy and Coaching services may be appropriate for you if you...

  • Are comfortable with the technology and preparation needed (or you are willing to learn).
  • Have had video therapy or counseling before and are familiar with how it works.
  • Are ready to experience the advantages of video therapy (convenience, savings of time and money).
  • Have been unable to find the right therapist for you in your area.
  • Struggle to meet face-to-face with a therapist and prefer virtual care.
  • Are struggling to deal with the psychological, behavioral and/or social challenges of making a critical, 'developmental' life transition such as going from adolescence to adulthood, dating and choosing a life partner, traversing the changes of midlife or empty nest, growing your self esteem, dealing with the physical and/or emotional shifts happening as you age in our fast-paced, complex world today, or you want to begin or adjust to semi or full retirement. 
  • Don't have a history of severe mental illness but you are currently facing a loss or other major life change such as not being able to find the right 'fit' in your work, job loss, business failure, death of a loved one, separation or divorce, change in your physical health, living as a self-affirming LGBTQ person (or becoming more accepting and supportive of your LGBTQ loved one), a chronic physical health challenge that is creating mild-moderate levels of emotional and social stress or any other form of stress that is to the point you feel you need support. Examples include obesity concerns such as post-bariatric surgery counseling, weight loss and maintenance and dealing with energy debt due to illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, lyme disease, fibromyalgia, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, immuno-deficiency syndromes, etc.
  • Have 'life purpose' or 'happiness' concerns - you are generally mentally healthy but you want to enhance your life or reach higher potentials, by making a greater impact personally and/or professionally.
  • Want to improve certain relationships in your life, such as with yourself, a parent, sibling, spouse, adult child, etc.
  • Are looking to create greater life balance, slow down and 'do less/be more'.

BOTTOM LINE: Because I provide services virtually and mostly self pay, I am able to focus my time on serving less clients more comprehensively than most therapists who are caught in the grind of 100% face-to-face, fee for service.  These therapists have higher burnout and because they are 'too busy', often their services are experienced as less satisfying.  In addition, I work very closely with all of my clients such that if at anytime during the treatment process it becomes apparent he or she might benefit from care other than video therapy, I help them find the type of care that best fits their needs at that time.

Who is Video Therapy NOT for?

I don't treat more complex issues like schizophrenia/psychosis and severe depressions or severe manic depression/bipolar because video therapy is inappropriate for those issues.  I am not able to virtually treat issues such as mental health crisis (suicidal or homicidal), court-ordered treatment, PTSD, OCD, (severe), sexual disorders, substance addiction (including detox), domestic violence and treatment-resistant depression. Why? Face-to-face treatment available in the community is most effective for these concerns.  There is a wonderful 'continuum' of care in the various counties of Maryland today, including outpatient, intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization. And, many communities have mobile crisis. These are all alternatives to the emergency room and inpatient psychiatric care and are often used to avoid the more disruptive level of care which inpatient often is. Check with your current insurance provider and/or local emergency services for referrals.


Call me 410-967-3848 and we'll set up a complimentary video consult.


*1. Client acceptability and quality of life – telepsychiatry compared to in-person consultation D Urness , M Wass , A Gordon , E Tian , T BulgerFirst Published July 1, 2006 Research Article -

2. World Psychiatry. 2014 Oct;13(3):288-95. doi: 10.1002/wps.20151. Guided Internet-based vs. face-to-face cognitive behavior therapy for psychiatric and somatic disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Andersson G1, Cuijpers P, Carlbring P, Riper H, Hedman E.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: If you've come to this website and right now your symptoms are severe - meaning you believe you are or might be a danger to yourself or others - you must call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room to receive the care you need right away. Resource: National Suicide Prevention Hotline - 800-273-8255.

Is Work Anxiety or Burnout Endangering Your Career or Health?

You know it's time to make a change, but you don't know where to turn. If workplace stress, boredom, anxiety or burnout are issues for you, you are not alone. Many studies show that job burnout and job concerns are one of the worst stresses Americans face. In fact, according to the American Institute for Stress, workplace stress including job insecurity, juggling work and home and heart attacks have all gotten worse in recent years.

Is Work Anxiety or Burnout Endangering Your Career or Health? Is Work Anxiety or Burnout Endangering Your Career or Health? Is Work Anxiety or Burnout Endangering Your Career or Health?
"Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it." - Tori Amos

Have you been struggling with feelings of boredom or stagnation, frustration and anxiety about where you are in life? Do you feel unfulfilled doing the same thing every day: clocking in to an office, sitting in a chair at a desk, working endlessly at adminis-trivia and then clocking out, earning a paycheck but feeling otherwise unsatisfied?

Or, are you exhausted from the stresses and demands of your work? Fatigued from the pace and pressures of today's impermanent jobs? Ready to chuck doing one more type of resume? Are you midlife or 50 or beyond and showing signs of burnout, such as panic or generalized anxiety that you haven't had before? Or have you had a history of mild to moderate anxiety and now it's worse?

Are you established enough in your work now that it's time to give more attention to family relationships, but you don't know how to make that happen given the demands of that work?

Perhaps lucky you, you have financial security but you are bored out of your mind with your current job or career.

Either are out of balance. Too little or too much stress is experienced as unhealthy and baby, you are there.

While you may dream of creating a work life that better 'fits' you now, real life issues like paying the bills, putting the kids through college and saving for retirement keeps you stuck and feeling hopeless about things ever changing. Perhaps you’ve thought to yourself, “If I could just do what I love while still earning a comfortable living, then I would feel so much happier, healthier and more fulfilled.”

Particularly if you are single or the primary breadwinner in your family – there is no one behind you so you accept the inflexibility of a job that doesn’t allow you to do the things you need to do to improve your health, such as taking time to recharge, plan your healthcare, see doctors you want to see and take a real vacation of more than a week, once or twice a year.

Meanwhile, workplace anxiety leaves you dreading each day, as one bleeds into the next, with no hope for change.

When you are completely honest with yourself, you admit you ARE ready for a life change. You have a creative soul, and long to strike out on your own to do something more purposeful than feeding the corporate machine: something that not only allows you to live your passion, but also to give you more flexibility in your schedule so you can create and cultivate a slower pace of living and working that nurtures you physically and mentally.

If you were guaranteed success, you know you are simply “meant for more” than what you have settled into. But you ask yourself: Is it too late to break out of the traditional business world and create your own path? What about all the obstacles standing in your way?

Career Anxiety Affects Lots Of Very Successful, Talented, Hard Working, Creative People

Many people don’t believe they have much of a choice when it comes to choosing a job or career. In this cutthroat economy, the jobs that allow you to live comfortably aren’t necessarily the ones we enjoy. And those who don’t ‘get you’ tend to think you are just being rebellious or resistant to what you’re ‘supposed’ to be doing.

Perhaps you are someone who has climbed the ladder of success in your field, and now you are at the top (or near it), but the industry you are in pressures you to the point, you don't have the personal freedom you need to sustain your mental health?

More often than not, people face anxiety and perhaps even depression when they work in a position that doesn’t allow them to use their talents and gifts, even if the position pays well. But money, as they say, can’t buy happiness or meaning. It’s up to us to create that, but sometimes our circumstances can make that difficult.

While you may feel unsatisfied with your current job position, you may be so used to doing it that you’re not confident you can do something else. You've become confident in your ability to do what you do. It would be risky to let that go and start anew elsewhere. Trying something new is challenging and sometimes scary – especially if you are at an age where maybe you feel “too old” to learn new tricks. Many people in your shoes never take the leap because they are too afraid to fail – and trying to get hired again can be difficult when ageism is so rampant in the workplace.

Take it from someone who has been there: you can face this career anxiety head-on and create the work life you’ve always imaged.

Lastly, perhaps change is happening TO you. Talk about anxiety! Employers today expand and decrease their employee structures right and left. Today's workplaces are becoming more project-based, replacing jobs with salaries and benefits with contractual opportunities. For example: have you been laid off recently or are you concerned you might be?

All of these workplace scenarios increase anxiety. But this environment can also be part of your solution!

Anxiety Therapy Can Help You Change Your Life

I am living proof that it is not impossible to achieve your goals: I left home during a family crisis at eighteen years old, and was basically thrown into the deep end of a pool with no choice but to swim, or drown. As I made my way through college, graduate school and the work world, I discovered I am not wired for climbing up the corporate ladder – some people are natural leaders in that environment - nor was I the type of detail-oriented student to excel as a researcher, academic type.

I realized early on that I am a healer. I work best thinking on my feet and using research and “real world” experiences in helping others. Perhaps you have had similar revelations about yourself: you know that you have much to offer society, but need the right context to do it – while making a prosperous life at the same time. Being paid more for your true value, for example.

I help people discover their brilliance and bring it forth to heal the world. I help healers share their talents in ways the workplace needs and must pay more to get.  I understand that many people are pushed into “cogs and wheels” in order to survive. That not only squashes their brilliance; it can cause burnout and/or boredom, which can be even worse.

I help my clients develop the emotional and behavioral resilience needed to achieve their goals in today's marketplace. I help my clients learn to trust themselves so that they can serve the marketplace in ways their hearts are calling them to do, in ways that don't sacrifice the foundation of what keeps them excelling 'on the job'. You know, foundational elements like high quality sleep, rest, exercise, time away from the job, diet, satisfying relationships.

All of this might seem impossible right now, but you can transition from the imbalanced work life you are living now into a work life that you control.  Work how you want, when you want and deliver better to your clients and customers than you ever have.   

I will help you learn how to take wisdom from your early years of a career into a new, creative business that leaves the world better than you found it!

My approach to therapy is solution-focused. This means that we talk about what you want to see happen. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with you: your anxiety is really the excitement of being alive! Your anxiety is a sign of your courage. I will help you channel that excitement and courage.

Everyone has their own expertise about something, and I can help you get to know yourself better to fit in the world: what you’re good at, what you like, and how to cultivate it. Ultimately, our sessions will enable you to become more of who you are, and who you were meant to be. Workplace anxiety doesn’t have to define the rest of your life – a workable solution is possible.

You May Have Some Concerns About Career Anxiety Counseling…

"I had therapy before, but it didn’t work for me."

It’s possible that, in your prior therapy experiences, you lacked a genuine connection with your therapist. I don’t act like a clichéd automaton. I am not the type of therapist who stays aloof. I engage with you fully in every session. I bring my own story and wisdom into my practice, which makes me very relatable to clients. You won’t feel like you’re talking to a therapist, necessarily, but rather a mentor helping you on your journey.

"Isn’t anxiety therapy or expensive?"

Unlike a new pair of shoes, the skills you will learn in my session won’t ever fade over time or go out of style: they will stay with you for life, enabling you to create a better future. Don’t think of counseling as a purchase, but rather as an investment in creating the life you want.

I also take some insurance plans which can help you with the cost.

"I’m afraid to make that leap and do something different with my life."

That is a perfectly legitimate fear – one that I understand very well and one you will need to work through. But if you stay in the same place, you’ll never know what could have been. Career anxiety counseling can help you find the strength to make that leap and discover what you are capable of.

Schedule Your Appointment For Anxiety Therapy Right Now

WHY NOT GET STARTING NOW WHILE YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT YOUR OWN SELF CARE?  In order to assess your needs, I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation. You can reach me at 410-967-3848, or schedule a meeting with me and put it on your calendar right now~

Ready for a slower pace of living?

Tired of today's rapid pace of living? Ready to go a different way? Barb is and you can learn to do so too. In fact your health and your happiness are dependent on you doing so.

Ready for a slower pace of living? Ready for a slower pace of living? Ready for a slower pace of living?
Life is setup, to bring up,
what has been bound up,
so it can open up,
to be freed up,
so you can show up for Life! 

- Mary O'Malley

Are you tired of rushing around?  Unable to find your work/life balance 'sweet spot'?  Fear (or know) you are burned out mentally and/or physically?  

Realize you too have been wooed into materialism, consumerism and 'keeping up with the Joneses'? Unable to keep up that front?

Concerned about the ability of your income to keep up with the increasing cost of living?

These are all common concerns for many of us living right now.

I too share your frustration and fatigue. Luckily...

INSIDE THIS CLOUD THERE MIGHT BE A SILVER LINING:  Every day middle class, hard working Americans just like you aren't taking it lying down.  Or hoping for a savior.  ere are other - less costly and less stressful - ways to live. Ways that are easier on the planet too!

Join me to explore alternative styles of living that you can create that are less stressful and that you love. After all as I say...

Life needs to work around you and not you around it!

That includes how you make your income. Work needs to work around you.

Imagine no more traffic jams, high electric bills, big mortgages.

We all have options.  If you were truly honest with yourself (including your physical abilities) do you need and/or want to work less and have more time for living?

If that's you, let's explore topics such as co-housing, tiny homes and the art of slow living. And here's an added bonus: done right making the shift is better for the planet too!

Yes, I recognize those of us who are re-evaluating our current lifestyles, including their likely drain on us, are contrarians to the current culture.  But we might be also seen as 'early adopters' of the emerging world of tomorrow's work environments and lifestyles.  For those of us who 'can't wait' because of financial, health or energy-related realities, it's time we came together and started building a more sustainable future, that is less dependent on the consumerist 'things' that keep us a slave to them as well.

Tired of the Rat Race?  Why You Are So Stressed...

"When will you put more of 'you' into your life?”
― Barb Elgin

Why are human stress rates and mental health problems skyrocketing today? 

The struggle is real. Life is inevitably full of tensions and one of the most compelling today is the tension between being controlled by our environments versus taking one's personal control back. Obviously optimal living lies in the balance. But more and more we humans feel imbalanced and we are unsure how to find and sustain it.

Case in point: more and more we are being urged to take better care of ourselves.  But then, how are we supposed to do that when demands/expectations from employers, business and families and the overall pace of living are both increasing?  Often we blame the individual when he or she suffers illness when to me it's obvious it's more complicated.

Two other examples: the more we know, the more we tend to worry or get anxious about. This is most likely why today's younger adults are more anxious and depressed. How does a healthcare provider handle 'the bind' between knowing he/she should educate his/her patient on a drug's side effects when he knows that doing so could create those side effects in his/her patient due to placebo effects?

I believe we as a society are 'victims of our success' and 'ignorance was bliss'.  For example: do you recall hearing years ago that 'computers and technology would make our lives easier'?  Or that it was a plus getting our food from anywhere and on the cheap?  Until we've discovered both of these realities are, so far, either an endless hamster wheel and/or unhealthy.  For example: factory farming.  It's helped us learn that you get what you pay for.  There is a point where quality is sacrificed for quantity and price.

So just how do you define success?  Has anyone ever cared enough about you to ask?  Have you reflected and found your definition of success is totally different from what your parents believed and aspired to?  Have you reflected and found you don't even know yourself enough to answer that question?  Or perhaps even more satisfying and more importantly:  How do you define a 'life well lived?'

I don't know about you but I have always grown to become aware of thoughts and feelings my parents never envisioned. For one, my mom and dad weren't allowed to 'become'. As blue collar, middle class people, they silently 'did what they were supposed or 'told' to do'. Yes, this way of life was practical and gave them a level of security and success they are satisfied with, however, they've sacrificed A LOT in being so 'led'.

My generation and the ones after my parents aren't silent. We question. And we have had access to extraordinary amounts and types of information and knowledge they never did.

Back to computers and them making life easier? The answer is that this is only partly true. The bar keeps getting raised. Technology has led us into a trance of sorts. What is the trance? Moving rapidly forward into a new version of society where we are increasingly being pressured to become machines. Like my parent's generation. Don't think, don't feel, keep your head down. A more powerless position, but one that when people accepted they had some freedom within it.

However, the traditional 'middle class' job and the life that went with it has mostly vanished. Instead we work in an economy where many find themselves working more for less. Where the complexities of jobs have continued to grow. And where many of us haven't seen our incomes rise in decades while the cost of living has risen...a lot.

Faster isn't necessarily better.  Toughness is only functional to a point.  Not expressing 'you' in the world in a positive way is what the ruling class might prefer, but is a loss to yourself and to your world.

No matter how much technology helps us, there are costs. The cost? Simply put...we are not machines. Let me say that again.

You are not a machine...

So the reality is that life IS pushing you in that direction...but only if you let it.  In fact, it already is.  Not only are machines threatening to take our jobs, our environment - especially government, social media and business - are inculcating 'machine-like' processing into the ways we live and work, more and more every day.  And I LOVE technology.  But after burning out on the fast-pace of life today, I've discovered the key for me - and it will likely be for you too...

Is to be in charge of YOUR relationship with the machines. And to ONLY engage with the machines when they ENHANCE your relationship with yourself and other flesh and blood humans, not DETRACT from them.

At times, differentiating when technology adds to not takes from our lives is difficult.  Unless we are adamant, big corporations - who use the machines to crush us and break our spirits - get to decide how we run our lives.  

Help you put your relationship with yourself FIRST when creating your life.

Then - and only then - can you NEGOTIATE a healthier relationship with the world.  And make technology serve you, not make you a slave to it!

And what do you need to be able to do so? You need to find a more time and energy to do the work!~That's where it begins and grows, as you slow down and live this more conscious, intentional way.

Ready to learn more? Call me at your convenience to talk to me right away about how I might help you design your life more to your liking call me 410-967-3848.  

And congratulations! You are at least aware what I am referring to above IS occurring. Some after all have become unconsciously a part OF the machines and don't realize the peril!

Intrigued?  It's easy to get started by setting up a complimentary call with Barb.  Do it now before you get distracted.  You'll be glad you did.  It all begins with a simple conversation...

Single LGBTQ Adults Over 50

Are You A Single, Over 50 LGBTQ Adult?

Single LGBTQ Adults Over 50 Single LGBTQ Adults Over 50 Single LGBTQ Adults Over 50
"Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity." - Hippocrates

Are you a divorced, widowed or single adult nearing retirement?

Do you wonder what it will be like retiring living alone? Do you not have the type of family who think of you as vulnerable to some of the concerns all who age have as well as those unique to LGBTQ's? Like siblings who assume they have grown adult children to notice, care and/or look after them as they age? Do you feel you could become a burden to siblings, nieces or nephews and wonder how they'd respond.

Do you shudder when you hear stories of aging, senior, or elderly LGBTQ's being forced back into the closet in order to be accepted into a nursing home or retirement community with homophobic staff or tenants? Do you fear this could happen to you too?

Already, so many questions.  Yes you may be worrying too much about the future, but your concerns ARE reasonable.  

Maybe you wish you had a partner to weather through these challenges with you, but because of past experiences in relationships and personal growth that has helped you get to know yourself much better such that you know what you want and need, you ARE selective. You still have time to find the one you will spend the rest of your life with and you don't plan to 'settle' in the meantime.

While you are happy, at the same time, you may experience occasional loneliness – but meeting people at your age is hard and doesn't get easier as time flies by, particularly if you don't live in or near one of a few major U.S. cities. Either way there is no time to sit and wonder. You have a busy, full life. Your work is a labor of love and you are a great family member and friend.

Now, as you are nearing retirement age, you want to find a new 'work/life' balance. You want to slow down on the career track and build more of a peaceful, less hectic life. In fact, you need to pay more attention to your diet and physical activity. You are at the crossroads of age-related changes intensified by the stressful life you've lived up till now. You most likely have weight to lose and other health concerns you want to improve upon. And you want to begin to figure out just what the next chapter of your life will look like, one that is both happy and financially do-able.

Would your concerns be alleviated if you could just figure out plans for retirement that allow you to be your authentic self? Are you unsure of where to find LGBTQ-friendly resources in your area to help plan your future?

Homophobia Is Still A Part Of LGBTQ Life

It’s a unfortunate fact that in this day and age, homophobia is still a serious issue in our society. It is still legal in many parts of the country to be denied housing or be evicted from a housing community because of your sexual/gender identity. Employees and business owners who discriminate often cite religious reasons. Yes, in many states it is still legal to fire an employee just because they are LGBTQ. It is unfair, deeply hurtful, and sadly common.

Because homophobia is a deeply ingrained societal issue, it’s not something that any one person can solve on their own. You may have known that you are LGBTQ you entire life, but still carry hurtful baggage and even a sense of shame from subconsciously soaking up society’s hetero-normative messages. You can, however, learn to live in such a way that the criticism of others doesn’t impact the confidence you have in your identity. You can still make plans for your future despite the people who may not want you to be happy.

I know from experience that simply ignoring it doesn’t work. Neither does the old adage about “sticks and stones” address how deeply rejection as a result of your identity can hurt and negatively transform your life. Self-advocacy is a skill that most of us do not acquire naturally; it is something we must learn.

Fortunately, an LGBTQ therapist can understand you and your predicament better than a straight therapist. I have a unique understanding of depression and anxiety from living in a world that is not accepting of who we are. And, being near to retirement age myself, I have dealt with many of the same concerns that you have. You can feel assured that you are investing time with someone who closely identifies with your experiences.

An LGBTQ Therapist Can Help You More Fully Embrace and Celebrate Your True Self As You Age 

As an LGBTQ individual, I understand the fear of having people you trust suggest ways that you can blend in to a hetero-normative culture in order to avoid discrimination. These people may mean well and have a genuine desire to protect you, but that doesn’t mean the words don’t sting. Straight people don’t have to worry about hiding their relationships or using gender-neutral language when talking about their relationships – as you may have felt pressure to do at times. This strategy may protect you physically, but is damaging on an emotional, personal level.

When it comes to aging, there are again, issues facing us that are just like everyone else and then there are issues specific to living as LGBTQ. Thankfully we do live in the western world, where we don't experience a severe degree of discrimination, hate and laws against us. However, right here in the good ol' USA, the battle isn't over. There are plenty of places in American and people who judge us due to who we love. The rate of hate crimes against LGBTQ's is up since Donald Trump became president in 2016. And there are plenty of states and localities trying to 'turn back' federal laws like marriage equality.

LGBTQ therapy can help you learn to love yourself more and maintain confidence to navigate a system that discriminates against LGBTQ people. I know that being alone or unpartnered in the world can be an uncomfortable, if not outright scary, experience. However, I can show you how to alleviate the anxiety you are facing about who will take care of you later in life and not allow any discrimination to negatively affect your view of yourself.

During our sessions, we will talk about what's important to you, first and foremost. One thing that a therapist or coach experienced in LGBT issues knows is that not all LGBTQ clients go to therapy for issues related to their sexuality.  We are, in most ways just like any other person, gay or straight, and we usually go to counseling or hire a coach for life and work issues that are universal to everyone.

Either way, coaching or counseling can help you address any unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns. A lifetime of being under the stress of being LGBTQ can take it's toll.

If you do, I will help you make needed changes in your self esteem. We will also focus on the importance of not shrinking away from challenges.

I will help you learn to recognize when a situation can possibly be changed and how to know and accept a reality in which those it cannot be changed. I believe that the most effective way to deal with fear is to work toward it, rather than back away from it or avoid it altogether. Furthermore, I will help you initiate conversations with people in your life who may not be aware that you are LGBTQ.

I believe that an emotionally healthy sense of identity and ability to manage negative thoughts can carry you through just about any situation. With a confident outlook on your future, you can triumph over more obstacles than you realize you are capable of.

You May Have Some Concerns About LGBTQ Therapy…

I don’t want a counselor to try and change me.

As a member of the LGBTQ community myself, I completely understand that fear. But a counselor who has many shared experiences exclusive to the LGBTQ community is uniquely qualified to help you. I can do more than empathize; I can help you on the path to self-acceptance.

Isn’t therapy and coaching expensive?

Don’t think of therapy or coaching as just a monetary expense. It’s an investment in your future. Through therapy, you can learn to have a healthier sense of self, better relationships, and an improved outlook on life – all of which are priceless.

Does going to therapy mean it’s wrong to be gay?

Absolutely not. Being gay is not a mental illness; psychologists are now in agreement about this. Rather, you are seeking therapy as a way to cope with the effects of being gay in a hetero-dominated world, which could be affecting you more than you think. Therapy can help you embrace yourself as nothing less than who you were created to be.

Call To Schedule Your Appointment For LGBTQ Therapy or Coaching

In order to assess your needs, I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation. Feel free to call me at 410-967-3848 or reach out via my contact page.  I take many insurances INCLUDING MEDICARE.

Sports/Performance Coaching

Sports Psych Coaching can help you perform better, whether that's at home, on the job or in sports.

Sports/Performance Coaching Sports/Performance Coaching Sports/Performance Coaching
"It's when we start working together that the real healing takes place... 
it's when we start spilling our sweat, and not our blood." - David Hume

Ready to gain an edge in the mental game of life?

Two of the biggest loves of my life have been psychology and sports. Long before I knew I was drawn to studying the field of emotional wellness, I played sports and daydreamed of one day being a professional athlete. Well, unfortunately this was back in the 1960's and 70's, before women had some options in that regard.

Long story short: I grew up like most of us and 'put away my toys' to 'get to work' in the world! That's when I discovered the study of human behavior and became very passionate about topics such as character, resilience and the merging of spirituality with science!

Back to earth let me explain to you how all of this applies to my sports and performance coaching. About six years ago, I took up a new sport while living in Florida called pickleball. It was easy to learn (not as easy to get better at) and very social.

So here I am several years later now and I am back in Baltimore finding new and helpful ways to combine these two loves: sports or what I call 'friendly competition' and mental health.

I've been a leader in the pickleball community. Up until recently I was a USAPA ambassador and I started a pickleball club which now has over 300 members. I've since moved on, but I still play when I can, including nearby tournaments. And, while playing I discovered that people turn to me for help in the 'mental' aspect of the game. And that includes pickleball coaches and instructors, who come to me for personal and business coaching.

In playing this 'sweet game with the sour name' I'm learning a lot about people and their mental games. Including some who apply better sportsmanship (or I like to call it 'sports-person-ship') to the game and others who don't know yet that they could improve their sportsmanship. Pickleball is a very social game and sometimes people get overly competitive and forget that. I thus spearheaded a type of consultation to groups like USAPA and other pickleball training and membership associations to promote certain rules they haven't yet adopted in the recreational areas of the sport, so that all can enjoy the sport, without injury.

Many new to the sport are new to athletics in general and don't have a reference point for how to be a great team mate/partner, for example. Well long before pickleball I excelled in softball and I bring what I learned as a young person to my philosophy as well.

I can help your mental game in ways that will help you improve your athletic performance as well and, even if you aren't an athlete - you can apply sports psychology strategies to life, relationships and work.

I offer group and individual services to help you learn what the most successful athletes practice to reach their peak performance in the sports of their choice.

There are many areas of focus including...

  • mental preparation and confidence building
  • stress control 
  • sleep-energy management routines
  • injury recovery
  • working best with team mates and doubles partners
  • how to coach female athletes to their highest performance (for male coaches)
  • cultural awareness
  • and more!
So what part of the 'mental game' in work, sports, life or love are you struggling with?  Click here and schedule a free consult and let's explore your relationship to any of the important areas of your life!  Through a relationship with me, we will untangle some knots and have you hitting your 'sweet spot' soon!

Spiritual Coaching

"I existed from all eternity and, behold, I am here; and I shall exist till the end of time, for my being has no end." - Khalil Gibran

This is the most 'emerging' and exciting part of my labors of love.

I am coming out of the closet on this one and facing my own fears to share with you what I believe is very exciting information and skills to share.

My 'brand' of spiritual coaching will likely be something you've never seen or heard of before.

I want to share with you what I'm learning about the more ethereal part of me and my spiritual journey in this lifetime on this earth.

I do know that my approach is very unique and I am as a wise aunt once called me: a free thinker!

Traditional religion hasn't worked for me. It hasn't resonated. And living right now when certain 'faiths' have mixed with politics in unhealthy ways just turns me off more from 'religion'. These forms of religion are hypocritical: while they claim to be loving they are actually ripping apart the fabric of our country in the name of 'god'. So sad!

What you and I probably share is our agreement that what's 'available' on the surface to most of us, just ain't cutting it.

So you will want to join me and learn more about what I'm discovering in the area of spirit.  I didn't go off the edge and become an atheist because I find that too hopeless.  I have been an agnostic questioner, or as I like to joke: a recovering catholic AND recovering christian!

Here are some clues as to what I will be sharing...

  • science and spirit CAN work together (and do!) in the service of faith
  • you deserve to enjoy your own spiritual journey
  • how to practice your faith so that it first does no harm to others
  • what I believe - to date - about what happens to us when we die
  • how evangelicals and atheistic scientists are more alike (and stuck) than you know
  • answers to questions like: why am I here and is there life after death
Intrigued?  Call me to discuss 410-967-3848.

Pet Grief Coaching

Are you grieving the loss of a pet? Are you caring for a sick or dying/terminally ill dog or cat? Barb Elgin's grief coaching can help.

Pet Grief Coaching Pet Grief Coaching Pet Grief Coaching

There was nothing like incorporating my miniature pinscher Lucy into psychotherapeutic work.*

The years were from 2008 to 2014 and I was living in Florida. In the same six months or so, I both rescued Lucy and had to euthanize my 19 year old miniature pinscher Ruby (what a dog!). This was the first and only time I've put to sleep one of my pets and it was difficult.

I have so many fond memories of those years. Lucy was a very important part of two very exciting projects:

Traveling therapist - I drove all over central Florida to meet with clients, who lived in assisted living and nursing home facilities. Lucy and I also had the honor of visiting some of our clients while they were hospitalized or in the ICU.  Lucy and I brought great comfort to many clients and their families.

Program Director and Lead Therapist for a major hospital system - Lucy sat right in the therapy circle of my intensive outpatient program for active seniors 55 and up.  Lucy was loved by the clients and her presence helped more than one client who was really struggling with one or more physical and/or emotional issues.  And while I no longer have a connection with those clients, those still alive I am sure remember Lucy and how she made them feel.

Today, I coach and counsel pet owners who are grieving the loss of a pet. I understand...

  • What it's like to have to decide to euthanize. 
  • What it's like to care for a paralyzed animal (sadly Lucy developed Degenerative Myelopathy - AKA 'doggie ALS' - at age 8 which shortened her life)
  • What it's like to hospice a terminally ill dog and to help that dog die at home, if that is the most humane course for you and the animal.
  • What it's like to care for any special needs pet.
  • What it's like to lose an animal suddenly and to blame yourself.
  • What it's like to have others trivialize your loss.

If you want support regarding the emotions of caring for any animal, please call me.  I can help.

* Benefits of the Human-Animal Bond -

Where to Begin

Barb Elgin lives her life to the fullest like you do, so she understands your stress and anxiety challenges.

Stressed Out?

Are you stressed out or anxious either personally, professionally or both? Can't sleep? Finding it hard to relax? Tired yet wired?

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Counseling and Coaching for Freelancing, Self Employed Boomers (and Wannabes)

According to the AARP, more than 50 percent of the self employed workforce are boomers! We have unique mental health needs. As a fellow boomer freelancer myself, I provide counseling and coaching for both baby boomers and Gen X'ers in this growing population group, who plan to work beyond traditional retirement age.

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Barb's Services

Barb Elgin has been guiding individuals, families, couples, groups and companies to better living, working and loving for 30 years. Barb offers life coaching, motivational speaking and psychotherapy services. Convenient, private meetings, on your terms.

Online Psychotherapy, Video Counseling and EAP Counseling

Barb Elgin offers outpatient psychotherapy and EAP Counseling services to clients across Maryland, including Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Harford County; to residents of Parkville, Perry Hall, Nottingham, White Marsh, Towson, Timonium, Cockeysville, Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Catonsville, Belair, Joppa, Fallston, Forest Hill, Aberdeen, Havre De Grace, Churchville and more.

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Management Counseling, Coaching and Training

Having worked for decades in organizations both as an employee and as a manager, Barb Elgin brings in depth experience to the challenges managers face in forming and maintaining the most positive working relationships possible with each employee they manage or supervise. Barb Elgin can provide a full range of services for your managers, from coming into your organization to assess what the problems are and address them in a motivating and inspiring way that helps you retain your best employees and add to your bottom line.

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Life Coaching

Barb sees life coaching as both a preventive service AND as an opportunity to optimize one's experience of life. If more of us had an adviser to guide us to our happier, more balanced, less stressful life, perhaps we'd avoid having mental health issues in the first place. Have you realized, for example, that you've been successful in your career and now you want to experience that level of fulfillment in your personal life? If you are someone whose heart is calling out to you to experience such a 'fully realized' life, Barb wants to support you. Barb believes you know the answers to every question or challenge you may have in your life, and her heart-centered/higher-self focused coaching process will inspire you to build a more caring and accepting relationship with yourself, which will equip you with the vision and courage to reach your personal potential.

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Motivational Speaking

Bring Barb Elgin to your next meeting or event to motivate and inspire. Barb will have you laughing while you learn. Barb brings over 50 years of life and work experience to challenge attendees to become healthier and happier.

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Barb's Bio

Barb Elgin's style of wise, compassionate listening, problem solving and humor will inspire you to live a more 'accountable to yourself' life.

"All healing is first a healing of the heart." 
- Carl Townsend

Barb Elgin...

  • Was born and educated in Baltimore, Maryland. She graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, Magna Cum Laude and was voted by psychology department faculty as "Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student" given her academic and leadership activities (President of Psi Chi/Psychology Club).
  • Earned her Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Downtown Campus, with a specialization in community organizing and social administration with a concentration in employee assistance programs, studying under nationally renowned EAP experts Dr.'s Dale Masi and Muriel Gray. She interned for a national EAP and a continuing care retirement community in Baltimore County, Maryland.
  • Has been an independently practicing LCSW-C in Maryland since 1994 and spent almost a decade doing the same as an LCSW in Florida. She received post-grad supervision from private practitioner Kay Spence, LCSW-C and John Verleger, LCSW of the Family Counseling Center of Baltimore.
  • Studied life, business and relationship coaching, attending The Relationship Coaching Institute with David Steele, LMFT, MCC, and Thomas Leonard at Coachville as well as private training with master coaches Dr. Ben Dean, MCC (The Mentor Coach) and Marion Franklin, MS, BCC, MCC of The Life Coaching Group.
  • Completed training with Lisa Clampitt, MSW at the Matchmaking Institute in New York, New York. She's received business coaching from successful entrepreneurs and business professionals such as Max Simon (a protege of Deepak Chopra), Sabine Messner, Jeffrey Van Dyk, Susan Bradley, Alex Mandossian, Ted McGrath and Travis Greenlee.
  • Has over 25 years of post graduate professional experience in a wide variety of settings including outpatient private practice, managed care, clinical and administration of EAP's, management and business ownership. She directed an innovative, one of the first of it's kind intensive outpatient treatment programs in the premiere 55 plus active adult community in the Villages, Florida. Part of her responsibilities included teaching grief workshops at the Villages Lifelong Learning Center (now Enrichment Academy). Her EAP experience includes critical incident debriefings and management consultation, such as providing crisis and grief counseling following terrorist attacks, bank robberies, company layoffs and workplace tragedies.
  • Incorporated her rescue miniature pinscher Lucy into her work with senior clients in Florida, in outpatient therapy, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. She also created and ran her own matchmaking and relationship coaching practice, along with wrapping almost 100 episodes of her podcast.
  • Has worked in the public and private sectors, for organizations large and small. She likes to say that one of the reasons she loves her career so much is that she has been honored to work with people from all walks of life and work, from janitors to CEOs, from the homeless to those with many homes, to professional and amateur athletes and celebrities thrown in too. And everyone else - the lion's share of her clients by the way - in between! Her adventures at one point even included traveling around the United States, giving talks and running speed dating events on cruise ships.
  • Continues to develop her wide range of helping skills with hundreds of hours of post graduate continuing education. She has studied communication and couples therapy skills extensively, as well as stress management and mindfulness and current areas of interest and practice development includes sports psychology and use of tech applications to improve mental health services. For many years of her private practice, she focused on counseling couples, gay and straight.

Currently Barb's individual, group and retreats coaching and counseling practice focuses on...

  • Women Health Care Professionals and Healers 50 and beyond who are creating healthier, happier life/work balance, through self employment and political advocacy.
  • Adult athletes who want to improve their mental game.
  • LGBTQ's who are dealing with the anxiety and stresses of living in an America that is still full of plenty of bosses, family members and institutions that actively discriminate against them.
  • Baby Boomers 50 and up seeking more flexible work schedules and earning more income doing so.
  • Adults aging well while dealing with the impact of chronic pain and chronic illnesses.
  • Millennials, Gen X, Y and Z'ers who are seeking wisdom and mentoring by those who've been there.
  • Professionals who've chosen work they love, that is so well matched to them, that their challenge is balancing rest with their engagement in their creativity. 
  • Free thinking agnostics who are finding their way spiritually.  Who are entranced by the mysteries of the universe. Who find they don't 'fit' into any category of organized religion, new ageism or atheism.  Who are open to discovering other ways.  They ARE out there!
  • All voters who want to build bridges versus attack each other.  To build consensus versus all republicans or democrats are bad.  Or that independents are irrelevant.
For more details on Barb's work go here.

Barb is also an athlete and a (sadly, retired) musician (due to lack of time and practice!). Barb has had a long history of character building experiences such as coming out gay in the 1970's and putting herself through college and grad school. She has a long history of volunteer work in the Maryland and Florida communities including chamber of commerce board member, political activism for worker's rights, healthcare and LGBTQ issues, dog rescue and pickleball. For example, a few years ago upon returning to the Baltimore area, she founded Charm City Pickleball, which now includes over 300 members. She's also very active in her family, spending time with her parents, sisters and nieces.

Barb is a successful business owner and is licensed for independent clinical practice in Maryland.  She has an active practice in central Maryland, including an office in Towson and a full time video coaching and therapy practice for adults 18 and up.  She also offers life and career coaching and consulting services, including webinars, individual video sessions and in person workshops and retreats.

"To succeed in life you need a wish bone, a back bone and a funny bone". - Reba McIntire, Country Music Star

Barb's Story

Chances are my story has elements that are similar to yours. It's time. Let's talk.

Barb's Story Barb's Story Barb's Story

"It is very important that you do only what you love to do. You may be poor, you may go hungry, you may live in a shabby place, but you will totally live. And at the end of your days, you will bless your life because you have done what you came here to do." 
- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross "The Wheel of Life"

Growing up in Baltimore, I remember the Maryland Marathon, whose original route came very close to my childhood home. Experienced marathon runners say there is a point in every race where they hit physical and/or emotional feelings of fatigue so strong they threaten to prematurely end their run. Runners affectionately call this point in most races 'the wall'.

The wall hits many runners even those with advanced training. The wall on the original Maryland Marathon route occurred right after the half way mark. It was the result of a long, slowly rising and winding hilly monster called Satyr Hill Road. Today Satyr Hill Road hasn't changed one bit, other than I wouldn't dare try to ride a bike up it like I did as a teen.

After Satyr Hill, the runners headed back to Perring Parkway, a flat road that led to the finishing line at the old Memorial Stadium (or in later years I believe the finish line was Baltimore's Inner Harbor). Runners knew that if they could get through Satyr Hill, chances are they could finish the race.

Does this story remind you of yourself? I know it reminds me of this chapter in my life and work.  If you're like me you've practiced in a career you've enjoyed, even loved.  You have worked long and hard for many years, bringing all of yourself to your work.  

However, compared to many of our moms we are working harder than ever post 50, even as we hit more of our physical and emotional 'walls'. Many of our moms, if they were lucky enough to have a supportive spouse with a good job and pension, in their 50's were in their 'empty nest' phase, helping with the grand kids and now, in their 70's and 80's, are doting over the great grand kids.

The key difference between our generation and our moms is that we are finding we need to run a marathon when it comes to income generation. Often on our own. Today, we live at a unique time in history where women have earned their freedom, which as you know is never 'free'. And lucky us: we will most likely live longer than our moms, again begging the question: we don't want to 'outlive our money'. LOL....

As you move into the later years of your career or working life during midlife and past age 50 you find...

  • You are emotionally and mentally 'sick and tired' of working in inauthentic, 'too sterile/corpora-tized' dysfunctional workplaces (you know ones where there are one too many what I call 'bureaucratic landmines' and where people seem to have a 'Game of Thrones' mentality which management often ignores or even encourages).

  • You have developed one or more chronic health issues (some no doubt created by the stresses and strains of your labors of love).

  • You need more time to rest and recover physically and mentally from your very unique and important work.

  • You recognize you need to pay more attention to self care.  You can't drive yourself as much as you did when you were young.

  • You need to continue to earn a living (but you aren't willing to sell your soul to do so).

All of the above leads you to find yourself at a crossroads: you need to find ways to both work at the level you can (likely no more than 40 hours a week and less than that if you could) AND create enough income to be able to continue to live the life you are living (or even maintain a more simple one).  Or find a way to stop trading more of your time for money (more on that one later...)

Because you are single, the sole breadwinner of a family or couple or you are a member of a dual income couple and you still need to make a reliable income.

You are facing that proverbial marathon runner's wall...and yet you can't just quit.

So, how do you survive the wall and find a new pace that helps you finish the race strong?  

The truth is...We're still great workers, but most likely not as able to focus for as many hours consecutively as we used to. Many of us are facing new levels of ageism out in the work world.  After all, business places are mostly about who can get the most done, the most inexpensively.  We are efficient and effective, but we don't come cheap!

We expect more from employers and contractors and they don't always like that. Today's workplaces prefer to expect more from us and give less. Therefore, we are in a position of needing to be savvy about what we do and who we do business with, and adapting so we can find places we can go both where our contributions are valued and we sustain the work/life balance we need to remain healthy physically and emotionally!

Many of us have also had a variety of issues happen during our careers - serious illness, family illness, child rearing, divorce(s), death of a spouse, the great recession, a failed business, layoff(s) and on and on - that has led us to have very little saved for retirement, even after the age of 50.

Perhaps you haven't had an opportunity to do much saving for retirement.

I was reading an online article the other day by a 'so-called' financial expert. He was talking about those who never had children and remarked that perhaps those who didn't never got 'serious' about saving money. To me that was an insult: especially as a single income household. There is a discrimination common in our culture called singlism: where people think single people have it easier. Not so. If you are a single professional, I 'feel you', as I am too. We have to run our households and our careers, without help. It's not easy. This obviously sexist's comment also ignored the pressures on the middle class that most of us find ourselves in: where we don't have strong unions and wages have stagnated for quite sometime now, not keeping up with the costs of living.

And this man didn't even factor in the fact we do labors of love, often traditionally called 'women's work', where the pay is never equal to that of what a man earns!

Chances are if you've found your way here, I understand what you crave at this time in your life. And it's not just chocolate!  Perhaps you haven't figured it out yet (only because you're too busy to slow down and connect with yourself), we most likely share the same needs and desires for a simpler, less hectic and more balanced life. In fact a simpler, more nourishing life is what we need, if we are to continue to survive, much less than thrive.

But that doesn't mean that you or I are any less capable of working and living to our fullest potentials NOW, personally and professionally.

And I don't know about you but I have no role models for this life stage. My mom and her relatives and friends were mostly housewives.  So too were many of my peers.  Me on the other hand?  I am one of those women who never married. In fact, integral to my story is that I realized in my teens - in the late 1970's - that I was gay. That decision has shaped so much about my challenges in living my life, most specifically that I've always had to depend on myself for the most part. I have no spousal health insurance or other support to lean on!

I have been supporting myself financially all of my adult life. I've not had the benefit of dual income (or a man's income where I've been paid my true worth) and girl, in my fifties, the stress on my body has caught up. The dual income thing has become increasingly important as prices for things like housing and health insurance have literally skyrocketed. While more of us are living alone, the price of doing so is higher than ever.

Some would then say: why don't you just get married, Barb, or, couple up?

Well inherent in that question is a number of biases. Number one: that I haven't considered that or that I'm not trying to achieve that again. I was coupled at various points in my life, but I - like many - can't always control that outcome. It takes two. As I age, I find it more challenging to find someone I could form a healthy bond with, which, don't you think is just as important (if not more) than coupling, just for the sake of finances!?!

Another bias inherent in the above question is that I should have to 'couple up' in order to make ends meet or have a higher quality of life. As one of my favorite activists Dr. Bella DePaulo would say: the system is rigged against singles economically and in favor of couples. And it's not really fair, but that's why you and I need to do more to nourish ourselves!  And a deeper truth is this: the system is rigged against EVERYONE who isn't super wealthy in today's world!

But I can help you because I'm right here with you...

You feel the transition, it's here. You can't go all day and night like you used to, without consequence. You find you need to take more care of your mental and physical health. And, yet, you still need to generate a decent income and save for retirement. Whether you are never married/choosing to be single, divorced, widowed, single or LGBTQ, you can't rest on your laurels of past success.

Additionally, social and economic forces in today's world mean housing is too high, health care is pricey, and you worry how you will keep up. The workplace has continued in many corners to become leaner and meaner, speeding up, thus leading us to a higher risk of burnout. The so-called invention of technology hasn't made our lives easier in this respect.

So, even if you never retire fully, one thing you have recently discovered about yourself is that your priorities and energy levels have changed. While you engage fully in work when you do it, it's easier to leave it behind and engage fully outside of work as well.

BOTTOM LINE: All of this makes you realize you aren't willing and shouldn't if you want to maintain your level of health, succumb to the pressure of today's inflexible work schedules, unreasonable bosses and terrible traffic jams.  Don't give up on this work that you love and that you are talented at, please. The world needs you. You need you.

Don't continue to let today's marketplace commodi-tize you!

Sound familiar?

So like other times in our lives of courage, we are 'in transition'. Each transition in our lives has been challenging, and each we've survived. Whether it was leaving home at 18 prematurely before finishing college or making it through the trials of grad school or grieving both of my long term relationships and a failing business, or adjusting to living the single life in a new state, my life has truly been an adventure. And I know yours has been too.

This time is different in that I don't have the endless amounts of energy and drive I once had. Which of course concerns me. But heck, I trust I can recreate myself again.

And so can you!


More about me and my story...I work with individuals, couples and groups who are seeking realistic, workable solutions to their lives, by finding a better work/life balance.  I help anyone who is courageously dealing with adversity, whether that be physical, life change and/or grief-related, stigma-related, etc.

I understand the challenge of staying fit - mentally and physically - when one is heavily engrossed in today's expected level of engagement in one's education and/or career. Many professions today require such a focus, time commitment, and sitting on one's butt that I encounter a lot healers who are struggling with issues like obesity, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, heart disease, diabetes and the resulting relationship issues, depression and anxiety. I deal a lot with healers whose families don't understand and fully appreciate all they do and all they are. With healers who try to educate their families as to their value in the workplace, when families don't 'get it'.

For example, there is a term that the health care industry now recognizes as a big issue: care giving syndrome. You are no doubt experiencing some level of this syndrome, which is a form of imbalance which you must 'right' if you are to stay healthy.

I've helped many healing professionals - teachers, doctors, nurses, psychotherapists, counselors, social workers - who are at increasingly higher risk of burnout and compassion fatigue. If you are ready to either transform the work you are doing now or transition into a job or self employment that is healthier and happier for you, take heart. Because today's marketplace could always be more flexible, I help individuals change now, by helping them create a work life that bends to their will versus the opposite. Having made this career transition myself, perhaps I can offer my experiences to you in a manner that will help you create a healthier, happier and yes, financially success life too!

Having lived and worked in Florida for a decade, I have a great deal of experience working with the active adult 55 and up population - those folks who are...

  • still working full time but starting to think about transitioning into a less hectic full time work life
  • looking to build a more flexible full time or 'almost full time' work schedule free of the commitments of a traditional 'job'
  • building a financially prosperous work life while enjoying semi-retirement
  • already semi-retired because they burned out mentally and/or physically and now need to find ways to replace/increase their income.

Ready to make your life A LOT better?  Are you ready to make work, work around you, rather than you around it?  Dream of working less and enjoying a less stressful life?  Let's talk about it!  It's easy to get this rolling - just click here to set an appointment to talk with me free and with no obligation other than you slowing down for a few, quality minutes to re-center and remember why you are here and what you are meant to do now.  

How Barb Helps

Barb Elgin understands her soul's mission as helping you become the next highest version of yourself. She has learned that lasting happiness and vibrant mental health results not from OUTER success but from cultivation of an INNER loving and accepting of oneself and others and creating a life that reflects this simple - but not always easy - practice.

"Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion." - Buddha

As a 58 year old, suburban-loving, female, LGBTQ social worker, I have my share of stories, wisdom and anecdotes to pass on - should you choose to listen to them - that will be helpful to you as you travel your life journey.

Our world has changed quit a bit in the 40 years since I became a young adult. I've been grateful to be a part of an amazing time to be alive.

SO HERE IT GOES, YOUR FIRST TIDBIT OF WISDOM: I do notice as we seem to be barreling ahead in this post-global, AI world, that we are 'running too fast', letting go of the wisdom of the masters - you know those who are say 50 and older - too soon. We've always had an ageist culture, and that is why I loved Bernie Sanders in 2016 and why I still love him for 2020.

I know myself that when I rush or 'stretch myself too far too fast' (like the time a couple of years ago when I was playing in a Maryland Senior Olympics singles pickleball match I ran so hard to catch up to a ball that was too far away, I couldn't stop and fell flat on my face!). I've always prided myself in avoiding injuries by knowing my limits and 'playing within myself'. You are going to hear more about that principle from me I can guarantee you!

I am also - by birth I guess - an optimist, so it's easy for me to look at all of my experiences - the victories and the tragedies - as valuable.  For example, some of the most stressful and sad experiences of my life have taught me to be a stronger - yet at the same time more gentle - version of me.

As I tell you my life story - which is still being written! - I am hopeful you will then understand why I am like I am and that in itself might help you grow in your understanding of yourself and others you care about. As real people with high ideals, you and I are always looking at our next challenge - which if you are living a full and authentically expressed life - never ends. I get that and am here to support you in your hero's journey.

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength". 
- Saint Francis de Sales

Perhaps my first big challenge in growing up was learning to have a voice. Big deal my friends and one many of us will always have to work on. Raised as a good girl and 'to be seen and not heard' you can see how I found myself as a young adult stuck on the fence post between the old and the new. Ouch! Trust me when I say it hurt to extricate myself from my ancestor's dictum that women follow while the men lead.

This was a challenge for many of my peers too, as women's freedoms rapidly expanded in the past 40 years. Along with that comes great responsibility as well. I get that and am here to help you continue to stand for who you are in the world. This is not some selfish endeavor. The world needs you to be your best self now more than ever.

My mom tells me now she is surprised when I say I was a shy child, a highly sensitive person (HSP) and an introvert. Trust me I was and I am, although I've 'come a long way' as they say. Perhaps like many shy people do, I hid it well!?! I have learned to embrace all of these characteristics as gifts along with the courage to be more of who I am and share these gifts in the world. You can too!

The wisdom I've gained living as a whole person, not 'just' someone's wife, has deeply colored my life. I was once in one of those relationships and that too taught me so much about life, including how to leave a toxic love relationship and assume my person hood more fully.

Career-wise, I've also bucked the trends. I didn't cave to pressure from those who tried to get me to become what they wanted me to be: I took what was for me the 'longer term' view, took my time and discovered for myself from high school graduation until my early 20's: what am I good at, what do I like (i.e: can do for 40-50 years) and what does the world need?

As a result I've been well satisfied, which is a lot more than many can say: work is a labor of love for me. One of my biggest challenges is how to fit it all in with the limited time we all have. And I have no one else to blame when it comes to the downsides of that choice! Every career has them, so you might as well get more honest with yourself and do what you can excel at, not what others think you can 'work harder to achieve'.  I can help you choose more authentically in your work and career and live those choices with joy and responsibly as well.

I experienced earlier on in my career the lavender ceiling, as it's been called. I worked in corporate environs where they gave lip service to their gay friendliness but where they didn't do much else in making LGBTQ's feel comfortable being themselves as they worked there. For this and other concerns I have about corporations, their ethics and what they do to control those who work for them and who they serve, I decided to strike out on my own in my career. While it is 'the road less traveled' it's worth it every step of the way, especially in terms of my own self respect.

I've served the LGBTQ community for decades and this has deeply educated me on what the concerns are and how to address them. I personally understand what it is like to be ostracized, and even, poorly tolerated. I think the second is actually worse, but what many of us live with, given that not all family and friends get to the point of 100% acceptance and celebration of who we are.

Coming out as LGBTQ in 1979 was no picnic. Being the first visible gay person in my family was a chore, to say the least, one I'm glad has eased up as the next generations come along and come out proudly.

I've decided to take the risk of being a single woman in a care giving type business and not sell my soul to the current dysfunctional model of delivering mental health care that exists in many areas of the system today. In a world where being self employed is as risky as ever, given the costs of expenses like health care and housing, I know that this is for me, one more s-hero's journey.

"First do no harm." - Hippocrates

I've worked in the field of healing for decades. I've seen a lot. A lot I love about my profession and a lot I don't. I've decided against working in group and corporate settings at this time in my career because doing so burned me out and left me somewhat jaded about our industry.

As a member of a group practice, I felt like I was in a mill, on a wheel, having to run so fast to keep up that my clients weren't getting my best self. Hearing clients complain about other practitioners not listening to them because they were so in a rush to finish their session and feeling badly when I know I'm rushing them because there is always someone right behind them!  I don't know if most psychiatrists or therapists realize it or not, but most of our clients are not up to the task of being forthright enough with us when they are unhappy with our care. I think it's reasonable for a client to expect us to engage with them fully during our minutes with them, not distracted or too tired to listen carefully and work fully towards problem solving and whatever is required to help a client get better.

Or in another mental health care environment, I was expected to drive all over a three (large) county area to see as many in a day as one can 'squeeze' in!

"The bigger they are the harder they fall".  - Joe Walcott, welterweight champion of the world 1901-1904

And in corporate: well those folks are in what I call the 'golden handcuffs',  many of them overpaid executives and managers, addicted to their bloated salaries and benefits, part of the overall diseased health insurance system that is wasteful and inefficient.

I make no bones about believing we could drastically simplify our current payment model and put more of available resources towards patient care not redundant, unnecessary pencil pushing and paper shuffling.

After all, what's expected of today's health care practitioners is - well - extraordinary. And, most of us give that level, until we can no longer physically and/or mentally do so.

Plain and simple, these are some of the reasons I opened up my own 'mom' shop! Why? It makes me, the practitioner, a much happier camper. And when I am better mentally and physically, I can take better care of you!

This is not without a price: I am unique, in that because I'm single, with one income, I've had to drastically simplify my life to afford to practice this way.  If you like the way I work, please tell your congress person about it.  Why? Because true parity and coverage for mental health care is the law but when it comes to the cost, society is being short changed.  I would bet by the insurance companies.  If mental health professionals had a less insane schedule like the one I am doing all I can to hold the line on, many more therapists would set up shop like me and many more younger folks would be attracted to the mental health field.  And everyone - especially patients - would be the winners.

So I hope all who read this will cheer me on to succeed in a sustainable way.

I so know that the way I practice today is healthier. I take my time in our meetings, both for you and for me.

For you, going slower, helps me...

  • Truly learn all I can about helping you better
  • Not miss important details
  • Cut down and hopefully eliminate crucial mistakes that can happen when being forced to rush
  • Co-create with you goals and planning that will work for you
  • Deeply respect your needs

For me, going slower helps me...

  • Sustain myself (I don't schedule my clients back to back, I take time during a typical work day to go to the bathroom, eat a nutritious meal, get up and stretch, take a break or two, connect socially with a family member or friend, all of which helps me stay energized and good natured so that I can give you my best when you are with me.  This should be in my opinion the minimum standard for all therapists)
  • Practice more effectively in my profession
  • And more!

So there you have it.

Now I don't know about you but that's music to my ears!  Want to experience better mental health care 'in action'?  Call me 410-967-3848.


Don't want to wait? Fee free to give Barb a call or text anytime.

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Success Stories

See the 'value add' in connecting with Barb Elgin.

Former Therapy Client:

I love Barb and have been seeing her for roughly 2 years now for couples therapy. She's taught me to be more honest with my boyfriend including telling him that if things don't change soon for the better for me and my daughter I may break up with him.

Former Therapy Client

Former Client:

Barb is refreshing and authentic in her approach. Her positivity is warm and welcoming. Recently my son turned 13 and starting having issues. I brought him to see her. We got more accomplished in one session with Barb than in 3 months with my previous therapist.

Former Client

Facebook reader:

Beautiful lady with a beautiful message! I love her Facebook posts.

Facebook reader

Sports Coach/Instructor.:

I am a relatively new certified sports instructor and coach. I've been working with Barb now for a few months and I am amazed - being older than her - how much wisdom I gain from talking to her. I look forward to our discussions and, as a male coach working with female athletes, her perspective is guiding me to more success at motivating them.

Sports Coach/Instructor.

Carol Naff:Business Owner/Entrepreneur

Barb is a leader in the community and beyond. She provides strategic ideas in her passion for her work. You will be lucky to get to know her.

Carol Naff

Matt Skallerud:LGBTQ Online Marketing - President, Pink Banana Media

Barb has proven herself incredible to work with... she has stayed well focused on bringing some of the best online services to the "L" in LGBT, and that focus, along with her personal and professional skills, has elevated Barb to a position of being a great person to both work with and partner with when making outreach to the lesbian community online.

Matt Skallerud

Fellow Coaching Colleague and Former Client:

Barb is a great coach who is committed to success and quality of life for her clients. She is creative in her approach. She offers her clients a variety of services as well as great networking opportunities.

Fellow Coaching Colleague and Former Client

Merlyn Sanchez:President, SMART Business Owners

Barb Elgin and I have been members of the same associations during the past several years and she has always been a consummate professional. She is an acute business person who has collaborated with others to create great products for her clients.

Merlyn Sanchez

Paula Gregorowicz:Experienced Digital Marketer | Small Business Consulting | Website Expert

I have had the opportunity to work with Barb in professional organizations and as a joint venture partner. Barb walks her talk and I would highly recommend her and her work.

Paula Gregorowicz

Marion (Anschel) Franklin, MS, MCC, BCC:Life Coaching Group - Professional Coach Training, Mentor, Life Coach

As Barb and I co-wrote the e-book "7 Simple Secrets to Successful Workshops," she worked diligently to make it a successful product. Barb's style was easy-going, fun, and motivating. She is great at asking challenging but important questions to gain clarity.

Marion (Anschel) Franklin, MS, MCC, BCC

Michael O. Coop Cooper:Executive Coach and Trainer

Barb's enthusiasm, thoughtfulness and thought-provoking nature makes working together more fun and insightful.

Michael O. Coop Cooper