Dessie M. Canelakes, LPC
   Founder of Eros & Agape Counseling, PLLC

My name is Dessie M. Canelakes. I founded Eros & Agape Counseling, PLLC because counseling has the ability to create positive healing and change. I have vast experience working with children, adolescents, parents, and families. Most of this expertise was obtained through group work in an acute psychiatric hospital setting.  A group setting illustrates specific individual struggles and facilitates techniques to aid in personal growth and improvement. These rich clinical experiences allow me to help adults and couples grow and face life challenges. I believe the interpersonal experiences we have from childhood through adult life shape how we interact as human beings and how both our platonic and intimate relationships develop. It takes real courage to want to change given that lasting change requires honesty, self-reflection, and hard work. I commend your willingness to take the leap in order to feel better in your skin.

There is meaningful significance to the myriad of life’s relationships. Feeling connected to others gives an individual purpose and meaning. I believe the dynamic in a relationship can be quite complex. There are multifaceted components (finances, in-laws, verbal and non-verbal communication, sex, self-care) that affect how two people feel and interact with each other.

As an undergraduate and graduate student at James Madison University, my research interests concentrated on relationships, intimacy, and sexuality. My honors thesis examined the relationship between life meaning and sexual motivation, while my graduate thesis explored two leading couples-therapy approaches: The Gottman Method and Imago Therapy. I earned my Master’s degree and Educational Specialist degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

I look forward to incorporating my interests, research pursuits, and rich clinical experiences during our therapeutic work together.