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    • Bergen County Therapist & Marriage Counselor Improving People's Quality of Life & Relationships

       
      You currently seek a uniquely qualified Bergen County therapist  and marriage counselor to help you overcome crisis or simply improve your quality of life. Your objective may be to: cope more effectively with current life stressors, experience more satisfying relationships or cultivate greater emotional stability and resilience.
       

      Choosing the right therapist or marriage counselor is critical since chemistry and rapport is essential to achieving success in counseling. I pride myself on being warm, insightful and empowering. My style is compassionate, intuitive, optimistic and collaborative. You will find me to supportive and motivating, offering my perspectives and opinions, yet in a non-pressuring way. 

       
      Please feel free to look through my site to learn more about my work as a Bergen County therapist and marriage counselor. I serve residents of Bergen County along with those living in the greater Clifton area (including Nutley, Rutherford, Lyndhurst, Wayne and Montclair).
       
      My areas of specialization include:
      Relationship Counseling
      Major Life Transitions (Death of a Loved One, Loss of a Job, "Mid-Life Crisis", End of a Marriage, etc)
       
      What you should know about me:
       
      I am a solution-focused and insight-oriented therapist. In my Bergen County practice, I use hands-on teaching methods and problem solving techniques to impart practical skills. My goal is for you to accomplish your objectives as rapidly as possible.
       
      I pride myself on being easy going and approachable. I have a keen sense of humor which I use to make the learning process more enjoyable.

       

      THERAPIST FOR DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, MOOD DISORDERS AND ADDICTIONS

       

      Starting counseling with a therapist can be exciting yet scary. I provide gentle support and guidance to smoothly acclimate you to the therapy process. 

      Working together, we will identify the internal barriers that are preventing you from experiencing genuine happiness and success. Whether in the realm of your self-esteem, emotions, or behaviors, I will teach you practical strategies to improve your functioning in these areas. Depression, anxiety, and guilt will subside as you becoming more accepting of yourself. Over time, you will begin to feel a heightened sense of empowerment and self-efficacy as you take on new challenges. 
       
       

      Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

      I characterize myself largely as a cognitive behavioral therapist. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of counseling or psychotherapy that helps a person become aware of negative or distorted thinking processes. Once these detrimental thoughts are identified the person can challenge them and thereby not become emotionally triggered by life's stressors.  

      Cognitive behavioral therapy is effective for emotional emotional problems such as panic attack, anxiety, depression, OCD, and bipolar. However, it also can be used as an effective stress management tool for anyone seeking to become more resilient in the face of life challenges.   

      Cognitive behavioral therapy is seen as the most efficient form of psychotherapy because it involves applying concrete tools and strategies to overcome specific issues. It generally requires a shorter period of time as progress is measured in terms of the ability of the ability of the client to identify faulty thinking and replace it with positive affirmations.  The anticipated result is a shift in mindset is will allow the client to prevent negative thinking patterns from triggering negative emotions.  

      Modifying counterproductive thinking patterns takes time and can evoke feelings of fear and inadequacy. You may feel at times that changing your thoughts is a difficult and almost impossible task. However, it is important to realize that negative thinking is simply an ingrained habit. Like any habit, it can be unlearned through greater self-awareness and the conscious implementation of healthier thoughts. 

      Cognitive behavioral therapists sometimes use what is termed "exposure therapy or "desensitization therapy".  In my role as therapist, I may gently and gradually coach you in confronting people or circumstances that have intimidated you or prevented you from being successful and enjoying life.    

      Cognitive behavioral therapy can be performed with individuals, couples and families. In the first session, I will conduct a comprehensive assessment, asking you about key milestones in your life where you encountered adversity and developed symptoms. I will also seek to identify your areas of strength and accomplishment. My goal early on is to ascertain the quality of your coping mechanisms. I will also ask you if you want to consider medication (if you are struggling with a mood disorder).

      Medication is an optional, yet oftentimes effective adjunct to cognitive behavioral therapy. Medication can make it easier to learn new modes of thinking, since when the person's mood lifts, it is easier to absorb and apply new information.

      Typically after the second session, I am able to present to my client my understanding of the core issues along with a detailed plan of action as what specific thinking patterns need to be modified.  

      In the first session, I will conduct a comprehensive assessment, asking you about key milestones in your life where you encountered adversity and developed symptoms. I will also seek to identify your areas of strength and accomplishment. My goal early on is to ascertain the quality of your coping mechanisms. I will also ask you if you want to consider medication (if you are struggling with a mood disorder).

      Medication is an optional, yet oftentimes effective adjunct to cognitive behavioral therapy. Medication can make it easier to learn new modes of thinking, since when the person's mood lifts, it is easier to absorb and apply new information. Typically after the second session, I am able to present to my client my understanding of the core issues along with a detailed plan of action as what specific thinking patterns need to be modified.  

      Confidentiality is a key ethical guideline within the counseling profession. Therefore, client disclosures are always kept private. The only exception exists when the client discloses that he or she is at risk for serious self-harm or harming others. 

      What's It Like to Be In a Therapy Session?

      I will encourage you to keep a log of thoughts and feeling that trigger your anxiety, depression, anger, guilt and fear. Together we will discover what people or circumstances create the context for your negative thinking and unpleasant emotions. Initially, it might be hard for you to discuss your most private and vulnerable thoughts and feelings. Opening up to a stranger can be uncomfortable at first. However, as a trained therapist, I have honed the craft of being warm, accessible and supportive. In a short period of time you should feel more at ease being candid with your thoughts and feelings.

      The Phases of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

      Cognitive behavioral therapy consists of several sequential phases:

      • Identifying problem issues or areas which constitute barriers in  your life. These may include health issues, mood problems, feelings of loss or bereavement. 
      • Become more attuned to your beliefs, opinions and emotions as they relate to these these problem issues. As your therapist, I will help you develop what is called meta-awareness.  What this consists of is the ability to step out of yourself to observe what you say to yourself about your experiences. This internal dialog is referred to as "self-talk" and comprises your interpretation of particular circumstances and people in your life. I might ask you to keep an informal diary whereby you can record your self-talk as it emerges during stressful situations. This will better enable you to engage in the following:
      • Recognize negative and distorted thinking. In order to understand the contribution of your thought process in maintaining and exacerbating your problems, I guide my clients in cultivating "body mindfulness".  Body mindfulness entails attuning oneself to internal physical stimuli (upset stomach, muscle tightness, increased rate, perspiration, headache) that signal anxiety, anger or fear.  Developing skills in mindfulness, coupled with awareness of self-talk enables the individual to see the connection between life circumstances, thinking patterns, physiological reactions, and emotions. With this depth of self-awareness, the person can begin to change unhealthy ways of being. 
      • Challenge and replace unhealthy thoughts. As you therapist, I will challenge on whether or not your perspectives on a given situation are reasonable and accurate. With my coaching, you will, on your own, come to recognize and replace faulty thinking with more constructive ways of looking at things.  

      How Long Will The Therapy Last?

      CBT is short term, usually occurring weekly and lasting several months.  Because it is a very focused and concrete form of therapy, once the client acquires the necessary tools, he or she can resolve the issues that brought them into treatment.  

       

      RELATIONSHIP THERAPY

       
      People are most content when they are in a gratifying, committed relationship. I can help you get to that place.
       
      If you are single and desire to be in a relationship, we will examine your relationship and communication patterns. I help you identify and transcend any internal obstacles to intimacy. I will then help you seek out and cultivate meaningful connections with prospective mates. 

      If you’re currently in a committed relationship and your significant other refuses to attend couples therapy, don't worry. You and I can make much progress without his or her presence.  I can help you better understand the dynamics in your current relationship, identify what's lacking, and take steps to fill the void. When you, yourself, take the first steps to initiate positive changes, your partner will follow suit.

      Finally, if you’re trying to work through a breakup, you may be experiencing grief, depression and anxiety. I will help you process these feelings, heal from them and move on to your next loving relationship.

      COUPLES / MARRIAGE COUNSELOR

       

      People seek couples therapy to improve communication, emotional intimacy and the sexual component of the relationship. They also desire to resolves conflicts over money, gender roles and contrasting parenting styles. Sometimes, a couple needs to work through the pain of an affair and the loss of trust that ensues. 

      As your therapist, I will facilitate the discussion of these sensitive issues by providing a safe and supportive environment. I will teach you and your partner how to become more empathetic and understanding. As you both demonstrate increased sensitivity to each other's needs, feelings of acceptance, forgiveness and love will spontaneously emerge.
       

      FAMILY THERAPIST AND PARENTING SKILLS TRAINER

       

      Families, like individuals, possess characteristic ways of solving problems. Every family is composed of a unique constellation of relationships that create a specific dynamic. This dynamic is either healthy and growth-promoting or dysfunctional and stifling. When dysfunctional, families are paralyzed and cannot move beyond feelings of helplessness, guilt and anger.

      Oftentimes, boundaries within the family are not strong enough to maintain clear hierarchies of authority.  For instance, in contemporary American society, parents oftentimes behave more like friends to their children than the authority figures they need to be.  As a result, children can feel unsafe, unprotected and lacking in  self-confidence.  Moreover, they do not develop sufficient respect for their elders both within their family and out in the community.  As they became teenagers, these unstructured youth frequently "act out" their frustration in terms of reckless and rebellious behavior.

      Another phenomenon presents itself prominently in today's family life. This occurs when abuse or addiction creates distortions in the family structure.  In such families, members sacrifice their individuality and assume the role of either "scapegoat", "hero", "enabler", "lost child", or "mascot".  Within the context of this enmeshed and co-dependent system, a culture of secrecy and shame inevitably develops. Problems are swept under the rug and never adequately addressed.

      As a family therapist, my initial objective is to develop trust and rapport with each and every member of the family.  In doing so, I enhance my position as an expert consultant to guide certain members in adopting alternative roles and behaviors.  My ultimate goal is to disrupt prevailing destructive patterns so as to cultivate a healthier family dynamic. I seek to promote an atmosphere that emphasizes mutual support and love without sacrificing the emotional autonomy of its individual members. 

      Please feel free to peruse the website and call me with any questions. If you are looking for an experienced and compassionate Bergen County therapist or marriage counselor, I would be glad to discuss how I might help you.