David Riley, LCSW
Clinical Director – Arlington, VA
David Riley, LCSW serves as the Clinical Director for Columbia Associates’ Arlington office. David is a compassionate and client-centered clinician. His passion for equity, social justice, and overall mental well-being is rooted in the firm belief that ALL people, regardless of race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation etc., are worthy and deserving of the freedom to live, whole-heartedly as their true and genuine selves. David’s approach as a therapist, research, and social justice advocate emphasizes the resiliency and internal strengths that enable us to overcome adversity.
David has a unique background in both forensics and mental health. He received his Bachelor of Science from Radford University in Anthropological Sciences with a concentration in Forensic Anthropology and a minor in Forensic Science. Through this experience, David worked closely with the Director of the program, serving as a consultant in medico-legal death investigations at the local medical examiner’s office. He also assisted his professors with nationally recognized research focused on improving the standards for producing evidence related to child abuse and neglect- related death investigations.
The high prevalence of child abuse related deaths that David witnessed in the medical examiner’s office, led him to pursue a career in social work; with the goal of reducing and eliminating the number of child-abuse related deaths through prevention, early intervention and family support services. David obtained his Master of Social Work degree from N
ew York University with a concentration in trauma across the lifespan. His current interests and specialties are in the prevention and early intervention of psychosis and psychotic experiences in addition to prevention and treatment of childhood and adolescent trauma and adult-survivors of childhood sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.
David worked in the New York City foster care system serving as a Child and Family Advocate for the Brooklyn Family Court. He also worked in community mental health providing individual, group, and family counseling to individuals in the underserved neighborhoods of upper Manhattan. During his time in community mental health, he partnered with Mt. Sinai hospital’s research team providing early intervention services to individuals and their families who were at clinical high risk of developing psychosis. Most recently, David worked at Virginia Hospital Center in the adult-inpatient behavioral health unit supporting patients and their families through mental health crises using mental health counseling and case management services.
His treatment approach as a trauma therapist leans away from outdated and pathologizing modalities and towards one that recognizes and understands how our environment and experiences influence our biopsychosocial well-being. His work as a researcher utilizes this model for the basis of identifying disparities in health across all people as well as the earliest signs of mental distress in efforts to intervene and prevent the development of more complex physical and mental health conditions.
David shows up for his patients every day embodying the words of John Wesley- “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, and for as long as you ever can.