Renew Counseling and Services is a group practice located in Virginia that works with children, adolescents and adults. Many clients feel overwhelmed by what’s happening in their lives, whether that’s school, work, growing a family, or going through major life changes. They find themselves anxious, irritable or angry, which can impact their ability to sleep throughout the night or to take care of themselves. Renew therapists work with those whose symptoms are impacting their daily lives.

The approach to therapy centers around renewal. We strive to empower clients to start fresh and grow motivation to make healthy changes in their lives. Clients find that Renew Counseling offers an atmosphere that feels safe and supportive as they talk about what’s happening in their lives. They benefit from learning about Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness practices, increasing their self-awareness and learning more about their patterns to bridge new coping skills. We focus on finding solutions for clients to bring into their lives to find ways to cope with their emotions.

All therapists have earned a Master of Social Work from accredited Universities and Social Work Programs. Therapists are collaborative and support clients in determining where they go in sessions. Taking a strengths-based perspective, all clients have an innate resilience to tap into when working on their mental health.

Shaakira Simmonds


Shaakira obtained her BS degree in Psychology from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, earned a Master of Social Work (2008) at Florida International University, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Shaakira is licensed by the Board of Social Work in Virginia, DC & North Carolina. She has more than 18 years of mental health experience specializing in women's mental health, life transitions, wellness, depression, and anxiety. She invites individuals to engage in conversations about navigating these challenges, prioritizing healing, and fostering personal growth. Through therapeutic recovery, there is hope and empowerment with the guidance of a licensed professional.

I am a registered Licensed Clinical Supervisor and provide supervision upon request.

Areas of Service:

District of Columbia
North Carolina

Florida International University (M.S. Social Work)
Florida A &M (B.S. Psychology)

Licensed Boards of Social Work:

District of Columbia
North Carolina
Shaakira Simmonds full body shot picture

Gail Durant

Associate Therapist

Gail completed her Bachelor of Social Work degree at Norfolk State University and earned her Master of Social Work at Walden University (2022). The state board has granted her approval to participate in supervised clinical experience, working towards accumulating the mandatory 3,000 hours necessary for her eligibility to sit for the board exam in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Gail has already accrued over 1,500 hours towards her licensure. She has completed numerous practicum hours and has counseled individuals related to depression, anxiety, substance abuse and major life transitions. She is pursuing her independent licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is committed to navigating life's journey alongside you. She provides services to adolescents, adults, and families Picture your sessions as a safe space where tears, laughter and growth go hand-in-hand.

With the focus on creating equilibrium, her approach combines evidence-based techniques, like EMDR, and TF-CBT, ensuring a tailored experience for each unique individual, whether you are navigating the challenges of daily life or managing Military issues, family issues, or if you need a listening ear, our collaborative journey will empower you to rediscover balance, welcome healing and embrace the full spectrum of your well-being.

Kimberly Embe-Mamong

Associate Therapist

Kimberly earned a Bachelor of Social Work, minor in Anthropology at James Madison University and a Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University (2022). The state board has granted Kimberly approval to participate in supervised clinical experience, working towards accumulating the mandatory 3,000 hours necessary for her eligibility to sit for the board exam in the Commonwealth of Virginia.Kimberly has already fulfilled over 2,000 of those hours. Kimberly began her social work career in 2018 as a youth housing advocate working to address youth homelessness in the Richmond area. She has been fortunate enough to present her housing research on national and local levels and in 2022 created a free shared housing program for pregnant, parenting, and/or queer youth experiencing housing insecurity. Kimberly is deeply passionate about addressing and dismantling systemic harm and oppression, and aspire to use my clinical practice to destigmatize mental health care and create equitable, trauma-informed for historically underserved populations. Kimberly has experience working in several areas which include; domestic violence, sexual assault, serious mental illness, housing insecurity, and bereavement/grief.  She is guided by System Theory, Black Feminist Theory, CBT, DBT, Acceptance Based Commitment, Psychodynamic, and Humanistic/Client-Centered Approach. Whether or not this is your first time receiving treatment, she recognizes that opening up to someone new can be intimidating. This is why Kimberly believes so deeply in the importance of maintaining authentic therapeutic connections by taking on a holistic and collaborative approach to practice that centers on compassion, transparency, and openness.