Elizabeth Sloan - Marriage & Family Therapist
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Staff Overview

Elizabeth Sloan

Dr. Marika Martin

Dr. Kier Maxwell

Dr. Marika Martin, PhD, LGMFT, CFLE
(available at Glenn Dale, MD office only)

Dr. Marika Martin holds a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy and two Master's degrees, including an MS in Family and Child Studies. She is a Licensed Graduate Marriage and Family Therapist in Maryland with more than 13 years of experience helping couples and families. Dr. Martin is a Certified Family Life Educator and a Pre-Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Dr. Martin brings a commitment to lifting up all people so they can live their fullest expression of life. "I am passionate about my work and I invest in the couples that I work with," she says.

Dr. Martin describes her approach as eclectic, because she uses techniques from a variety of therapy models, including Emotion-Focused Therapy for Couples, developed by Susan Johnson, PhD, and Relationship Enhancement, developed by Bernard Guerney, PhD. Dr. Martin also has extensive training in the use of EMDR, a powerful, short-term, cognitive technique known to create rapid breakthroughs in treating trauma and facilitating personal growth.

"I'm a close observer of a couple's patterns and behaviors, while being aware of the distribution of power between them," she says. "I also listen closely to how tradition and culture may influence a couple."

She believes that improving a relationship often depends on addressing underlying communication problems. "Learning and practicing good relationship skills is a necessary ingredient of building a healthy relationship," she says.

"One of the greatest rewards of being a therapist is assisting clients through some of their most painful experiences and witnessing their transformation," Dr. Martin says. She believes that being genuine is an important part of being a therapist, observing that couples are more likely to open up when they feel comfortable and safe, and trust her as their therapist.

She works with couples of all races and ethnicities. She has conducted research on African American university students' attitudes about marriage, as well as on relationship satisfaction of Black, inter-racial, and inter-ethnic couples.


Dr. Martin's specialties include:

  • Infidelity and affairs
  • Commitment and decision to marry
  • Sexual problems
  • Family relationships
  • Parenting and step-parenting
  • Decision-making, housework, and money
  • Alcohol and drug problems
  • Past difficult events and circumstances, e.g., abuse and trauma

Dr. Martin teaches communication techniques that aim to help couples

  • Establish a constructive, cooperative atmosphere for resolving difficult issues
  • Foster increased openness and trust
  • Reduce defensiveness, anger and withdrawal
  • Reveal concerns and desires openly, honestly, and safely
  • Nurture caring and compassion
  • Increase love and affection

Dr. Martin also teaches Caring Couples’ educational programs, Happily Ever After for premarital couples, Money 101 for couples who want to improve their financial life, and Couple Checkup, a relationship improvement program for couples at any stage of their relationship.


  • PhD, Marriage and Family Therapy, Texas Technical University, 2011
  • MS, Marriage and Family Therapy, Texas Technical University, 2005
  • MS, Child and Family Studies, Miami University of Ohio, 2003
  • BGS, Sociology, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 2001


Dr. Martin has continued her education by staying abreast of the latest theory and technique in couples work. She also has taken numerous trainings in parenting and helping children and adolescents. Her post-doctoral coursework includes:

  • Advanced Couples Therapy. North Central University, Summer, 2014 

  • Human Sexuality and Couples.  Colorado School for Family Therapy, Spring 2014

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Bowie Youth and Family Services, Deany A. Laliotis, LICSW, LCSW-C, and Dan Merlis, LICSW, Spring 2008 - Spring 2014

  • Brain Gym: Moving towards Joyful, Easy and Successful Learning. Bowie Youth and Family Services, June 2014

  • DSM-V in Plain English. Cross Country Education, Kenneth Carter, PhD, Presenter, June 2013

  • Self-Regulation in Children: Keeping the Body, Mind and Emotions on Task in Children with Autism, ADHD or Sensory Disorders. Cross Country Education, May 2013

  • Evidence-Based Trauma Treatment: Interventions. Cross Country Education, May 2013

  • The 10 Core Competencies of Trauma, PTSD, Grief and Loss. Cross Country Education, May 2013

  • Working with High-Risk Teens and Their Families: Advanced Therapeutic Techniques.  Bowie Youth and Family Services, November 2012

  • Intensive EMDR Basic Training Course. EMDR Institute of Greater Washington, April 2012-June 2012

  • Emergency Evaluation Petitions. Bowie Youth and Family Services, March 2012

  • Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment (CAFAS): Administration and Interpretation. Bowie Youth and Family Services, October 2011

  • State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. Middle Atlantic Division, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Esther Perel, MA, MFT, February 2011

  • When No One Understands: Compassionate Family Treatment of Adolescent Anguish. Middle Atlantic Division, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Brad Sachs, MD, October 2010

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Learning Collaborative. University of Maryland School of Medicine, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Innovations Institute, September, 2010 – August, 2011

  • Sandplay Therapy.  Bowie Youth and Family Services, December 2008 - February 2010

  • The Impact of Learning Disabilities: Therapy with the Learning Disabled Family. Middle Atlantic Division, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Richard LaVoie, PhD, February 2010

  • Relationship Enhancement Therapy for Couples and Families. The National Institute of Relationship Enhancement, July 2009

  • Clinical Applications of Bowen Theory.  Bowie Youth and Family Services, April 2009

  • Narrative Journeys in the Sand: Theory and Practice. The Center for Culture and Sandplay, February 2009

  • Substance Abuse: An Overview of Treatment Implications. Carroll County Youth Services Bureau, Inc. and the Maryland Association of Youth Service Bureaus, February 2009

  • Executive Dysfunction and How to Help the Disorganized Child. Continuing Medical Education Institute, February 2009

  • Child Centered Play Therapy Workshop. The National Institute of Relationship Enhancement, January 2009 

  • Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic. Middle Atlantic Division, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Esther Perel, MA, MFT, January 2009


Dr. Martin has held a variety of positions that support couples and families, including:

  • Family Therapist, Bowie Youth and Family Services, Bowie, Maryland
  • Detention Therapist, Lubbock County Juvenile Justice Facility, Lubbock Texas
  • Mental Health Specialist, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Early Head Start, Texas Technical University
  • Family Therapist, Walden Sierra Substance Abuse Facility, Leonardtown, Maryland
  • Family Therapist, Children's Advocacy Center, Lubbock, Texas
  • Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Therapist, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Texas Technical University
  • Graduate Assistant, Family and Child Studies Program, Miami University of Ohio


  • The Portrayal of African American Relationships in Popular Print. Martin, M. Dissertation, Texas Technical University, 2012
  • Influences on Identity: A grounded theory approach to Descendants of Freedmen. Blakeslee, S and Martin, M. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 2009
  • Mixed Race/Ethnic Clinical Couples Compared To Anglo Couples. Martin, M and Wampler R. Research poster, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, 2005
  • Marriage Expectations of African American College Students. Martin, M, Hennon, C, and Joseph, A. Research poster, National Council on Family Relations, 2004


  • Exhale: Self-Care for Mom. Shepherds Cove Women's Shelter, Spring, 2014
  • Bridging the Gap: Connecting Families. Westphalia UMC Family Retreat, July, 2010
  • Real Talk with the Ladies. Diva Zone Winter Retreat, December, 2010
  • Men in Families. Miami University of Ohio, September, 2002-May, 2003
  • Adolescent DRAMA Group. Bowie High School and Benjamin Tasker Middle School, Spring 2014
  • ADHD in Adolescents. Bowie Youth and Family Services, September, 2008-May, 2013


  • Licensed Graduate Marriage and Family Therapist (LGM502)
  • Certified Family Life Educator
  • Member, National Council on Family Relations
  • Pre-Clinical Member, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy


Although she does not solicit testimonials from her clients and colleagues, they frequently express appreciation for her skills and assistance.

  • "We wanted to thank you for everything. Although we only had four sessions with you, you saved our relationship and helped us see what each other needed...." ­­–Premarital couple, 2014

  • "[My husband] and I continue to strengthen our bond and have experienced few relationship barriers since our last meeting.  Our communication has improved tremendously.  My patience with our marriage is getting better, and [my husband's] fear is dwindling…." –Client, 2013

  • "I am taking classes because I want to help others and bless others like you are doing." –Seminar attendee, 2010

  • "It was really good for me (professionally and interpersonally) to work with you." –Colleague, Brigham Young University, 2010

  • "Your presentation was inspiring and thought provoking, specifically with the notion of 'pushing buttons'…. You brought to light that not only do I have buttons that my spouse pushes, but my children have buttons (triggers) that I push, that in turn take away from positive relationships with them." –Seminar attendee, 2010

  • "Your empathic demeanor and clear thinking offer your clients a rewarding experience." –Colleague, Bowie Youth Services, 2010

  • "Dr. Marika, thank you for helping me and my family with pretty much everything." --Client, 2009


Washington Post (August 2014)
Lessons For All Of Us
08/25/2014   (HTML format, 113 KB)


Dr. Martin enjoys attending Bible study and couples retreats with her husband, spending time with her family and friends, and hosting backyard barbeques.  An avid horseback rider, she rides throughout Maryland in local and out-of-town trail rides.  She is a proud caretaker of two horses, Nemo and Kemosabe, and a Doberman named Dobie.  She also takes care of a friend’s Yorkshire terrier, Lola, who she considers one of the family.   Dr. Martin likes trying new recipes, reading, traveling, working out, cycling, and fishing. One of her favorite things to do is spend quiet time on her deck with her husband.

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