Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.
- Benjamin Franklin
Our Maryland Psychiatric Staff
Bruce Kehr has served as Founder and President of Potomac Psychiatry since 1981. Dr. Kehr is passionate about helping patients with anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, life adjustment issues, and bipolar disorder. He treats adolescents, adults, and the elderly in psychotherapy, and with medication management when needed. Through his collective expertise and experience in business and psychiatry, he specializes in helping top business executives lead more balanced, symptom-free lives. He is also the author of Dr. Bruce’s Couch: Life Lessons at Potomac Psychiatry.
Dr. Kehr was voted one of the area’s “Top Doctors” by Washingtonian Magazine for 2014 and 2012, after polling 7000 randomly selected physicians in the DC area, and asking them where they would send their family members for treatment. In 2013 Dr. Kehr was selected as a Top Geriatrician by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals and will appear in the renowned publication, The Leading Physicians of The World. Dr. Kehr also serves on the Board of the Institute on Aging of the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as Chairman from 2006 to 2009, and was selected as one of the “100 Most Inspiring and Influential Leaders in the Life Sciences Industry,” by the readers and editors of PharmaVOICE in 2007. He was included in “Guide to America’s Top Psychiatrists,” 2008 Edition, published by the Consumers’ Research Council of America.
Dr. Kehr received training in psychotherapy at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute, where he also completed his training psychoanalysis. A forensic consultant in neuropsychiatry and traumatic brain injury, Dr. Kehr is also the inventor of sixteen issued patents and five pending patents in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Canada, as well as issued and pending trademarks and service marks, in the field of medication adherence software, hardware and communications technologies.
Dr. Kehr is also a Senior Scholar, Department of Health Policy, at Jefferson Medical College. He has frequently lectured on the interface between executive coaching and psychiatry; the field of medication non-adherence, where he is recognized as an expert; and has lectured on neuropsychiatry aspects of traumatic brain injury. He received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania, followed by an MD from the Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and has been in practice since 1978.
Guillermo Portillo is a clinical psychiatrist who enjoys working with adults and teenagers age 14 and above, using a variety of psychotherapy techniques as well as medication management. Dr. Portillo believes that medication management works best in combination with psychotherapy. He is passionate about engaging the patient in a talk therapy approach that is integrative in nature– drawing on interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral, and insight-oriented therapeutic modalities – to bring the best of each modality into the therapeutic relationship.
He has extensive training in treating depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and addictions. His areas of special interest include emotional and identity development, multicultural issues, relationship difficulties and treating adults with coexisting medical problems. Dr. Portillo uses a biopsychosocial treatment approach; discovering and exploring the biological, psychological and social/environmental factors that have caused emotional distress; to formulate an accurate diagnosis and generate a treatment plan that is tailored to each individual patient. Additionally, Dr. Portillo is able to provide psychiatric care and consultation in both English and Spanish.
Dr. Portillo received his undergraduate degrees in Biology and Classics from Brown University. He went on to complete both his medical degree and psychiatry residency at Temple University. There, his psychotherapy training included long term instruction and supervision from multiple renowned psychiatrists at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He served as Chief Resident during this final year of psychiatric training and completed a forensic psychiatric fellowship at the University of Rochester. Dr. Portillo currently has an academic appointment as an adjunct clinical faculty member at Temple University Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science where he has lectured on forensic and emergency psychiatry. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both Clinical Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry.
Walker Lyerly is a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist who provides medication management and individual therapy to children, adolescents, and adults. He provides significant coordination of care with parents, pediatricians, and school counselors to optimize a child or adolescent’s treatment outcomes. Dr. Lyerly also provides medication management and psychotherapy services to adults.
As a gifted psychopharmacologist and psychotherapist, Dr. Lyerly blends these skills to treat patients ranging from those with simple adjustment problems to highly complex and challenging patients including those with rapid cycling bipolar disorder.
He received his undergraduate degree from Davidson College, where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and his medical degree from Duke University Medical School. Dr. Lyerly is Board certified in Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry, and has been in practice since1992.
Barbara E. Kehr is a psychotherapist who treats adults ranging in age from college students to senior citizens. She specializes in therapy with individuals and couples facing the challenges of infertility, and women suffering from post-partum depression. In addition Barbara treats mothers and daughters wishing to improve their relationships, and individuals and couples in marital crisis. She also treats people suffering from depression, anxiety, grief reactions, and job loss.
While specializing in the psychotherapy of loss, which includes death of a loved one, miscarriage, end of a close friendship, separation and divorce, and “empty nest syndrome;” Barbara also treats individuals faced with the challenge of becoming new parents, and balancing the demands of career and family life.
She received her undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University and graduate degree from Simmons School of Social Work, and has been in practice as a licensed clinical social worker since 1976.
Laura Kushner is a clinical psychologist specializing in individual and group psychotherapy for adolescents, adults, and seniors. With an approach to therapy that is centered on developing a trusting, warm relationship with each of her clients, she is an expert at helping people with relationship problems, trauma, depression, anxiety, behavior problems, and ADHD. She is also interested in promoting healthy living habits, especially for those individuals and families trying to manage their eating habits and weight, including the evaluation and treatment of eating disorders.
Dr. Kushner has worked with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. She has extensive training in psychodynamic, interpersonal, cognitive behavioral (CBT), and humanistic modes of therapy. As a warm, enthusiastic and caring therapist, she brings hopeful, comforting, and empowering perspectives to any therapeutic issue, helping her clients create and maintain positive, fulfilling lives. She has worked in settings that have included private practice, college counseling centers, community mental health centers, and renowned research and teaching hospitals.
Because therapy is a process and not an endpoint, Laura seeks to fully understand her clients’ reasons for seeking help. In this way, she treats her clients holistically and in context, as opposed to focusing solely on the troubling symptoms. As she and her clients progress through therapy together, she encourages her clients to explore how past experiences and interactions may contribute to the current problems. To do this, she guides her clients to uncover relevant patterns, feelings, and behaviors, fostering her clients’ self-awareness in order to make more fulfilling and healthier choices.
Having grown up near D.C., Laura is familiar with the unique culture of the area, including the types of pressures that area residents are likely to encounter. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in psychological and brain sciences and received her Ph.D. from American University in clinical psychology. Her interests include cooking international foods, travel, and running.
As Director of Marketing for Potomac Psychiatry Terry is responsible for continuously improving a number of aspects of patient care to improve levels of patient satisfaction, and for creating and implementing traditional and Web-based marketing initiatives. Terry also oversees all of the daily operations for the practice and aspires to keep company morale at its highest possible level. Terry works to enhance the relationship with outside referral sources and also maintains the practice’s online presence. Terry grew up in Potomac, MD and went on to attend Pennsylvania State University where he received his undergraduate degree in Labor studies and Employment Relations while also completing minors in Business and Psychology. Terry enjoys developing new marketing concepts and operational procedures for Potomac Psychiatry to provide exceptional levels of patient satisfaction. In his free time, Terry enjoys spending time with his wife Bree and traveling.
Ellis leads Potomac Psychiatry’s patient relations initiatives. He is a Montgomery County native and attended Winston Churchill High School. From there he received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Neuroscience from The University of Colorado at Boulder. In his role as Director of Patient Relations, Ellis has been charged with developing and upholding the highest standard of administrative support for all patients. He serves as expert liaison between the doctors and patients, ensuring that all non-medical requests are carried out as efficiently and expeditiously as possible. He works closely with patients and outside resources to augment and optimize our non-clinical patient services. Ellis feels most gratified when he directly helps patients as they progress through their treatment and feels a part of transforming their lives in a positive direction. Outside of the office, Ellis enjoys spending time outside with his Boxer, Kona and staying fit.
Salina works to maintain positive patient relationships. Her warmth, caring nature, and can-do attitude are deeply appreciated by patients and clinical staff alike. Salina received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside. Formerly a resident of California, Salina moved East to further her career path. Salina continuously strives to uphold the highest degree of patient satisfaction by serving as the liaison between patient and physician. Her greatest satisfaction comes from her role in optimizing patient care and administrative support operations for the practice. When not in the office, Salina enjoys spending time with her nephews. She also frequently visits the city to sightsee and find new, delicious restaurants.
Kate Fletcher, having grown up in the Potomac area, began interning at Potomac Psychiatry in February 2014 while studying psychology at University of Maryland. She intends to pursue a career in child and family counseling. This internship has been a great opportunity to be mentored and gain experience working with patients, doctors and the career field fundamentals. She enjoys traveling, camping and other outdoor activities.
Vanessa Camelo is an intern at Potomac Psychiatry. She is the newest member to the team and wants to absorb as much as she can out of this experience. She works hard to make sure every patient feels at home and is well taken care of. She is currently studying at the University of Maryland as a senior majoring in psychology. Vanessa plans on completing the clinical graduate program offered at the University of Maryland after undergrad. Her goal is to obtain her Ph.D. in clinical psychology within the next 5 years.
Vanessa looks forward to learning more about the fields of psychology and psychiatry and experiencing first-hand what it is like to work in these fields. She wants to broaden her experience with different types of therapies, as well as focus on building and improving herself to become a better psychologist in the future by observing and immersing herself in the practice.
In her spare time Vanessa likes to spend time with friends and family. She also likes to read, go to local music shows, and snowboard in the winter, as well as go to the beach in the summer.