Erik “Pema” Norman, LPC

**IMMEDIATE OPENINGS** Online Only: Tues. – Fri. (mornings & afternoons); contact Pema direct to schedule (see below) 

Pema is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia and in the District of Columbia. His drive to help others live their best lives led him to pursue the counseling profession and to craft his own path to thriving as a therapist. Erik Norman is his official name, but he goes by and prefers Pema (PAY-maah).

Clinical Specialties

Pema works online with individuals, aged 12 and up.  He supports clients seeking assistance with areas such as: life transitions, young adult life, military life, college life, LGBTQIA+ support, relationship issues, self-esteem, motivation building, stress management, grief/loss, anxiety disorders, anger, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, substance abuse, trauma, and co-occurring disorders.

Counseling Approaches

Pema integrates tools and techniques from Person Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Self-Esteem building, Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), Art Therapy, Holistic Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR),  and Transpersonal Psychology.

Professional Philosophy       

According to Pema: “I am here because I care. About you, about everyone. I focus on creating a safe and non-judgmental space to support your self-discovery, feeling better, and developing inspired, practical dreams.  I believe in helping clients become more self-accepting and self-compassionate. I see therapy as a chance to be like a healthy plant, growing in the direction of the sunlight that nourishes you. I can be a catalyst to help you create the optimal “soil conditions” in your life to generate sustainable transformation and wellbeing. It’s an honor to walk alongside you and encourage you on your journey to thriving and living your best life in all areas.”

Educational Background

Pema earned a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California – Davis, School of Medicine. He then completed his Master of the Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from SOFIA University (FKA The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology).

Professional Experience

Pema brings over 5 years of experience working with individuals, adolescents, children, groups, families, and couples in community mental health, in-home, and outpatient settings. His experience also includes supporting individuals with complex diagnoses, neurodivergence, and judicial-connected care needs.  His willingness to learn and grow serves as a key asset in helping patients improve.

Fun Facts About Pema

  • Pema loves strength training while grooving to EDM and Japanese Progressive Rock.
  • He also loves to watch anime, play Genshin Impact, practice yoga, and spend time with his partner and cat Meowy.
  • He is from Sunny California and looking to bring some sunshine with him to the East Coast!
  • You’ll find him eating at one of his favorite foodie spots: Thai, Mexican, Mediterranean, and Japanese top the list.
  • His favorite color is Turquoise of any shade.
  • He enjoys relaxing while listening to Indie and Yoga music; his favorite music performers include Tiesto, Romix, The Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Blink-182, BTS, Black Pink, and Erthlings.
  • The background you see in Pema’s photo is from our office “The Forest” here at Free Spirit.



Contact Pema directly to schedule an appointment at or 757-744-2203.


**SPECIAL NOTE on Insurance/Co-pays – Pema is currently in network with: Anthem BCBS,  Anthem HealthKeepers+, Optum/UBH/UHC and UHC Community Plan; he is certified out of network with Tricare (can see dependents of active duty with an authorization, reservists and retirees).

He is processing with Aetna (and Aetna Better Health), Evernorth (formerly Cigna) and Sentara Health Plans.  While processing for these insurances, Pema can be seen for negotiable cash fees; contact Pema for details at or 757-744-2203.