From Trial Attorney & Executive to Counselor & Coach
About Bernie Knight
I knew that I always wanted to be a mental health counselor and coach. I enjoy helping people.
While working as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, I earned my master’s degree in developmental psychology from Johns Hopkins University. I took classes in the evening and loved learning more about how each of us develops psychologically through the lifespan. After earning my degree, I understood that helping people was my passion. So, I decided to embark on a path that would allow me to be a mental health counselor and coach. I received another master’s degree this time in mental health counseling again from Johns Hopkins University.
I am both a mental health counselor and a certified life coach. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in D.C. and Virginia. I help clients with anxiety, depression, life transitions, self-esteem, intimacy, and career issues. In counseling, we will explore the issues that might be preventing you from living your life to the fullest and together develop effective tools to help. Effective counseling also identifies what is going right and plays to those strengths.
People often ask me how coaching is different from counseling. In coaching, we work together to define your goals and achieve them, quickly and effectively. We only look to the future and there is no need to diagnose or treat psychological issues. Consequently, insurance does not provide benefits for coaching.
One of the hallmarks of psychological health is good decision-making. We work together to help you make decisions that are more fulfilling and better aligned with your true self.
I find that my prior experience as a lawyer and manager helps me to be a better counselor and coach. I have real-world experience and know first-hand what it’s like to have a significant career and work pressures. I also have changed careers, and this helps me to guide patients and clients through much different life and career transitions. This has been especially useful during the COVID-19 crisis where many have suffered job loss. I understand what it’s like to restart your career and the fears associated with these changes.
As an equity partner at an international law firm, and as the Acting General Counsel of the U.S. Treasury Department during the critical period of the 2008 financial markets crisis and the General Counsel of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office during the greatest legislative change to the U.S. patent system in the last 50 years, I have worked with and managed people in a variety of contexts. I have managed teams to deliver top performance in stressful situations and under immense time pressures.
I am married and my husband and I have a Doberman Pinscher named Zoe. This is a photo of Zoe on vacation with us in Maine.