Meet Our Team

Collaborating with clients to impact change

A Fresh Start Therapy is a minority, locally owned behavioral and mental health therapy practice located in Washington, D.C. We collaborate with our clients to impact change, allowing them to live healthy lives.

From work-based problems to past traumatic experiences, our staff is highly trained, solutions-oriented, empathic and responsive to our clients, enabling them to leave our care feeling better.

Along with self-pay options, we work with various public and private insurance providers to ensure you or your loved ones get the attention you need and deserve.

Please note: This page contains photos of some of the team members of A Fresh Start Therapy. They are pictured with their families and stakeholders from their communities.

A Fresh Start Therapy specializes in addressing:

  • Depression
  • Mood Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Child and Adult ADHD
  • Grief
  • Trauma
  • Peer and Domestic Relationships
  • Spiritual Development
  • Employment Issues
  • Women’s Issues
  • Medical Challenges
  • Educational and Behavioral Problems in Children and Teens
  • Coping with New Family Dynamics

A Fresh Start Therapy uses a wide range of treatment methods, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  • Motivational and Life Coaching
  • Play Therapy
  • Trauma Therapy

Ebony N. Lea, LICSW, LCSW-C, MBA


Ebony N. Lea, LICSW, LCSW-C, MBA has been helping children, adults, and families in the D.C. area since 2003.

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Ebony has been a counselor, clinical program staff supervisor, and a front-line advocate for youth mental health. She’s received specialized training in child abuse and neglect, trauma systems therapy, and play therapy. Ebony is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP). Somatic experiencing is a trauma-based therapy that processes trauma by focusing on pain and physical symptoms in the body. It’s a non-traditional way to resolve both minor and major trauma experiences. Ebony was trained by Dr. Peter Levine, founder of Somatic Experiencing, in “the Eye of the Needle” technique which addresses near death experiences (NDEs), including but not limited to: drownings, car accidents, physical attacks, illnesses, and surgeries.

Ms. Lea graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore, receiving a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a dual concentration in nonprofit management and clinical practice. The University also honored her with the Mark Battle Scholarship, awarded to students demonstrating leadership in the nonprofit sector. In 2016, Ms. Lea received a Master’s in Business Administration from BAU International University.

Ms. Lea incorporates her diverse professional experience in administration, community organization, and clinical services at A Fresh Start Therapy. When she’s not busy helping individuals and families achieve a higher degree of mental health, Ms. Lea enjoys exercising, traveling, and spending time with family. Ebony has daytime and evening availability on varying days throughout the week. Feel free to call 855.325.3909 or send us a message to schedule.

Team Members

Bret Zdanowicz

Clinical Supervisor

Bret Zdanowicz is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in Washington, D.C., and New Jersey. Bret graduated from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, where he obtained both his graduate degree in Social Work and his undergraduate degree in Sociology.
Bret has over 16 years of experience in a variety of settings and with a diverse clientele, including both long-term and brief interventions. Bret has experience working with diverse populations in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Bret also has experience providing individual and group therapy to both children and adults. Bret has primarily focused his work with the most underserved populations; particularly the homeless population; economically disadvantaged; individuals with severe mental illness diagnoses; and substance abuse issues.
Bret incorporates a variety of therapeutic approaches with an emphasis on problem-focused treatment. Bret’s therapeutic styles include cognitive-behavioral therapy, play therapy, person-centered therapy, motivational interviewing, trauma therapy, and mindfulness therapy. During his free time, Bret enjoys remaining active and spending time with his wife and daughters.

Bret has availability on varying days throughout the week. Feel free to call 855.325.3909 or send us a message to schedule.

Asha Henson

Lead Psychotherapist

Asha Henson, MSW, LICSW is a Clinical Social Worker at A Fresh Start Therapy in Washington, DC. Asha specializes in Humanistic Therapy with an integrative approach to support her clients with identifying, understanding and releasing disabling beliefs and behaviors. After spending a decade working in schools, community settings, nonprofits and private practice, Asha is skilled in creating a judgment-free, culturally competent and safe therapeutic relationship that leaves her clients with long lasting self understanding and acceptance.

Asha has been trained in a variety of modalities including (but not limited to) Culturally Competent Therapy, Trauma Centered Care, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Somatic Experiencing. In addition to evidence based interventions, Asha also incorporates metaphysical, spiritual and cultural perspectives to provide a holistic experience for her clients. When Asha is not supporting clients or volunteering her services for community engagement, you can most likely find her developing social-emotional curriculums for her daughter’s learning co-operative, learning a new skill and/or developing the Bouji.Revolutionary Lifestyle & Wellness brand.

Asha holds a BA in Psychology from Spelman College and a MSW in Behavioral & Mental Health from The University of Maryland.

Asha has daytime availability on varying days throughout the week. Feel free to call 855.325.3909 or send us a message to schedule.

Leah VanderMark

Lead Psychotherapist

Leah VanderMark is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker located in Washington, D.C., and an Independent Contractor at A Fresh Start Therapy. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University.

Leah has worked as a social worker in a hospital setting for the past 9 years. She specializes in helping clients adjust to their illness, navigate new diagnoses, and cope with chronic pain and emotional burden. Leah also has experience working with individuals who suffer from anxiety, adjustment disorders, and depression.

Leah incorporates a variety of therapeutic techniques including cognitive behavioral therapy, family-systems therapy, and mindfulness. She uses a strengths-based approach that supports self-determination and self-discovery. She hopes to help you live life as your most authentic, true self.

In her free time, you can find Leah walking her 5-year-old golden retriever, traveling to see her family and friends or reading inspirational books. Some of her favorites include Becoming by Michelle Obama, Untamed by Glennon Doyle, Educated by Tara Westover, and Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown.

Leah has availability on varying days throughout the week. Feel free to call 855.325.3909 or send us a message to schedule.

Blason Early


Blason Early is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in Washington, D.C. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts. She has a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Blason has over 7 years of experience working in a variety of settings. She specializes in trauma work through the use of Cognitive Behavior Therapies (CBT), such as Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TFCBT) and Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT).

When working with children and adolescents, Blason incorporates play therapy, art therapy, and music therapy. She believes that every child is capable of being the best version of themselves with the right support and resources.

Blason enjoys spending time with her family, going on walks, reading, going to the beach, and learning new Afrobeats dances.

Blason has daytime and evening availability on varying days throughout the week. Feel free to call 855.325.3909 to schedule.

Keshia Edelin


Kesha Edelin is a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor in Washington, Dc. She attended Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland. She graduated with her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She earned a membership in the professional honor society Psi Chi. She has an Educational Specialist degree in Special Education Administration from Regent University and an MBA focusing on general management.

Ms. Edelin has worked the last 5 years in multiple settings from nursing homes to private practice. Her focus is Cognitive Behavior Therapy(CBT) though she uses a multi-modality approach to therapy. She provides individual and family therapy. Her specialization is working with adolescents. She has worked with youth in multiple settings spanning three different countries for over 20 years. Part of her education career was spent teaching students in South Korea and Germany. This time overseas gave her a different perspective. She uses her breath of experience and knowledge and incorporates it in her sessions.

Kesha believes in guiding people to reach their fullest potential. In her free time she is involved in various volunteer and activism activities. She loves to travel and spend time with family and friends.

Kesha has daytime and evening availability on varying days throughout the week. Feel free to call 855.325.3909 or send us a message to schedule.