Ray Stirba Moneypenny, LCSW-C (They/Them)

Licensed Social Worker

Therapy Approach

I understand that reaching out for help is a big step, and I seek to first and foremost create a space where each individual feels seen and heard for who they are. I have witnessed therapy transform people’s lives and I strive to foster an environment where you can feel comfortable and safe to explore and be vulnerable. I believe that therapy is a collaborative effort to work towards your goals and to make the most of our time together.

My therapeutic approach begins by focusing on a trusting relationship and understanding the goals my client seeks to achieve in our work together. My identities as a Queer- and transgender-identified clinician may be important to others exploring their gender and hoping to work with someone in community. I always attempt to acknowledge other factors of identity which may impact our work, including race, class, education, citizenship status, etc.

Providing affirming care is deeply important to me, and I am committed to meeting every individual where they are, as well as continually practicing through a lens of intersectionality and compassion. Navigating the world as a queer person can be complex and sometimes difficult, and I strive to integrate my experiences in the LGBTQ community with the latest research and development of clinical work and process. I also have significant experience working with individuals living alternative lifestyles, including non-monogamy and BDSM.

Individual Therapy

I provide individual therapy to patients ages 13 – 65 years old. I have significant professional experience working with survivors of acute or complex trauma, and I also treat individuals who are experiencing anxiety, depression, and other mental health diagnoses. My greatest passion is supporting LGBTQIA+ individuals, especially gender expansive and transgender people navigating transition. A primary focus of my practice is with adolescents and their families, both by supporting young people in their identity formation, and in helping caregivers and other loved ones build trusting and affirming bonds.

I utilize an integrative approach, and draw from a variety of treatment techniques including, but not limited to, mindfulness and meditation, somatic and movement work, and sand tray. Therapy modalities I often incorporate into the therapy space include relational therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy. I believe in strengths-based assessment, where instead of focusing on “symptoms,” we recognize how you have adapted to survive given your experience and history, and how some of those adaptive behaviors may no longer be helpful to you.

I have experience writing Gender Affirming Surgery letters for clients and helping support individuals and families throughout the transition process. This includes those who are seeking care with me for this purpose only. I am skilled in navigating the insurance process for surgery approval and discussing different local surgeons.

Couples Therapy

I currently limit referrals to couples who are LGBTQ and/or non-monogamous. I enjoy working with couples (or other intimate relational systems, i.e., triads) hoping to improve their communication skills, to explore or navigate non-monogamous or BDSM lifestyles, or to manage life events or adjustments, including exploring sexuality or pursuing gender transition. My goal as a couples counselor is to provide a safe and non-judgmental space for individuals to identify their needs and boundaries within intimate partnerships, and to help folks find a balance where everyone thrives.

Educational Background & Previous Work Settings

I am a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Social Work and have been working with therapy clients since 2014. Prior to Collaborative Pathways Counseling, I worked at Hopeworks of Howard County, in child welfare and foster care at Good Shepherd Services and MENTOR Maryland, at the non-profit TurnAround in Baltimore City, and at GBCC Counseling Centers as a therapist and LGBTQ Specialist.

Professional Affiliations

I serve as a volunteer for the Pro Bono Counseling Project (for more info about this resource, see here).

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