The Center for Travel Anxiety was founded in 1998. It is run by Jean Ratner and Cornelia Tietke, both holding masters degrees in clinical social work with many years experience as psychotherapists treating anxiety, panic, phobias, depression, trauma, and other issues. From our personal experiences with phobias, as well as our professional training and many years of experience, we know how to help you. Each of us is pleased to be your personal coach, giving you new information, skills, tools, and confidence to get you on your way. Your world will expand and we know that you will gain a tremendous sense of personal freedom.
Jean Ratner, LCSW-C
Founder and Director of the Center, Jean has over 20 years specializing in treatment of panic disorders and phobias. Her BA is from Smith College and her Master's Degree in Clinical Social Work was done at Simmons College in Boston. Her office is in Bethesda, MD.
Jean was a fearful flyer many years ago and stopped flying for several years. She has been back to flying for many years, including long distance flights to Australia, Europe, and China. She is devoted to the program and gets great pleasure out of helping each person travel wherever and whenever they want.
Cornelia Tietke, LICSW
Cornelia has more than 15 years' of experience treating anxiety and trauma disorders. She earned her BA at Harvard University and her MSW at Catholic University. Her office is in Northwest DC, very close to the Friendship Heights metro.
Cornelia has overcome her own claustrophobia and can now ride in elevators and take flights when she wants. She has flown to Southeast Asia, Africa, and Europe, and she has even flown in a small sea plane and loved the view. Though she dislikes getting stuck on a runway, she can handle it. She takes great joy in helping people face their fears, whatever they may be.
Lisa Wilson, LICSW
Lisa has been treating individuals with anxiety, phobias and panic disorders for more than 15 years. She received her BA from Michigan State University and went on to earn an MSW from Howard University. She has a private practice in the Petworth neighborhood of Northwest DC.
In addition to longstanding anxiety related to flying, Lisa also developed fear of driving through construction zones as an adult and increasingly opted for the bus or train despite related inconveniences. She worked through this when it became necessary to care for an out-of-state family member. Now she enjoys all forms of travel and is passionate about helping others reach their own travel goals.
James Finkelstein, PsyD
James has more than 20 years of experience treating anxiety and trauma disorders. He is licensed to see clients in-person or via telehealth in over 20 states currently (check Psypact.org for participating states). James graduated from Loyola University in Maryland with his doctorate in Psychology.
James experienced fear of flying for much of his life until practicing the skills that he now teaches. He is now able to fly and travel without any significant difficulty, and is able to even enjoy the process of flying!
Our gradual desensitization program is extremely effective. Our phobia work related to travel has been featured on CBS This Morning, CBS Eyewitness News, NPR's WAMU Radio, The National Geographic Traveler, Family Circle, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and USAToday.com.
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