My perspective on therapy was really changed when I heard someone refer to therapy as "something really nice to do for yourself" and now I like to think about therapy as an important way to take care of yourself. I think a lot of people have anxiety about what therapy will be like and what it "means" to go to therapy, but at the end of the day, therapists are fellow humans, who have been trained to create safe and welcoming spaces for others to process struggles, build skills, and share their stories. One of the most important things I try to remind people is that you are in control when it comes to therapy: if it isn't working for you or you do not like the direction it's going, you always have the option to try something else or share your thoughts about the direction you would like to move in or things you would like to focus on in sessions. A therapist is someone who is there to collaborate with you as you work toward the goals you have for yourself or, especially when it comes to relational/family therapy, a therapist is someone who can look at things from the outside and help you get unstuck from patterns that are frustrating or not serving you. Ultimately, many people worry that going to therapy means something is "wrong" with them or they worry a therapist might "discover" something about them that will negatively impact, label, or force them to do something they do not want to do, but this is not the case. We don't always see the best representations of therapy on TV or in movies and books, so it can be scary to not know what it's like. If you have any questions about what to expect, I am always more than happen to talk with you about this before our first session!
My approach to therapy is very collaborative and client-centered, so we will work together to determine treatment goals. Together we will explore current interaction patterns in these relationships and work together to improve communication, connection, and collaboration. My goal is for everyone to feel heard and seen and for families and partners to come together to create new patterns that best serve their needs. we’ll work to solve current problems and improve resilience and confidence to tackle future challenges. I will help you “re-frame” your reactions and support you in learning tools to cope with life’s obstacles. Together we will explore your story and the meaningful relationships in your life to help get you on the path to a happier, healthier you. Although I take an integrative approach to therapy, Narrative (transforming problem stories into new stories that align with your values, based on meaning-making and reframing) and Contextual (exploring on multi-generational patterns, past hurts, a multidimensional understanding of self and others, and not carrying negative parts of the past with you into the present and future) models are at the core of my work. Particularly when working with partner relationships, I also tend to use Emotionally Focused and Gottman-based techniques, which focus on attachment, turning toward one another, and building shared meaning.
Yes! The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in so many ways. I have recently been seeing a lot of people who have shared that the slowed down pace of pandemic life has allowed them to reflect on and notice patterns in their life that they would like to change. Also, many people have been experiencing an increased level of stress during this time of uncertainty. Many youth and teens have been struggling with remote schooling challenges, including a lack of motivation and feelings of being overwhelmed. Other people have been having a hard time with the lack of connection they feels, as they are not able to engage in social activities or spend time with peers, friends, and loved ones. To meet these needs, I have been adapting my practice to address some of these contextual challenges and I am also in the process of starting therapy groups that are open to clients who are navigating these struggles. To stay up to date on group offerings, please visit: https://joyandsuccessnj.com/group Additionally, I know how difficult these overarching challenges can be for individuals who may already struggle to access community connections or to find therapists who provide inclusive and affirmative services. That said, I have made it my mission to stay up to date with trainings and stay connected in the community to best serve LGBQIA+, trans/NB, and poly/ENM clients. I am a member of a number of these communities and providing accessible services in these areas is a core value of my practice. Please know that I am here amidst the uncertainty :)
Refers relationship issues with a partner or spouse. Can include issues related to relationship distress, relationship satisfaction, communication, intimacy, etc.
Premarital counseling is a specialized form of therapy that helps prepare couples for marriage. Although it is helpful for struggling couples, it may be useful for anyone looking to build a stronger foundation moving into marriage. Couples may explore considerations around healthy communication, merging families, where to live, children, occupation, finances, maintaining a sense of self, supporting one another, and the wedding itself.
Provides couples therapy/counseling
Provides family therapy/counseling
Depression often causes people to feel sad, empty, or hopeless, and can cause a lack of interest in life. It can also affect a person's thinking patterns and physical health.
Anxiety can mean nervousness, worry, or self-doubt. Anxiety disorder is a mental health disorder that entails excessive, repeated bouts of worry, anxiety, and/or fear.
Self-esteem is the degree to which a person feels confident, valuable, and worthy of respect. Feeling low self-esteem can influence overall well-being and be linked to anxiety and/or depression.
Sexuality Based Issues
Sexuality refers to habits and preferences in terms of sexual behavior, which people express in many ways. Issues in this area may be related to confusion or distress about sexuality or sexual identity.
Adolescent mental health
Adolescent mental health focuses on adolescent-specific experiences including physical and cognitive development, social and environmental factors, sex, sexual identification and orientation, emotional processing, and substance use. Given the influence that parents/guardians have on adolescents, home life is a particularly important consideration.
Young Adults (18-24)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Strength Based Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Culturally Sensitive Therapy
Emotionally Focused Therapy
Family Systems Therapy
Marriage and Family Therapy
The Gottman Method
NJ, LAMFT, 37FA00001000
Doctoral Candidate (ABD)- Antioch University of New England (PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy)
M.S. Marriage and Family Therapy- Seton Hall University
B.A. Psychology- Ramapo College of New Jersey
I have been working in the therapy field since 2010, when I started as a group aide in social skills groups for children, teens, and adults on the autism spectrum. I started seeing my own clients in 2013 as part of my clinical internship during my master's program at Seton Hall University. Over the course of my clinical experience, I have worked as an in-home therapist, at a small town therapy clinic through my PhD program, at two community mental health centers, a Family Crisis Intervention Unit, and now in private practice. I specialize in providing relational and systemic therapy for individuals, intimate partners, & families who are in search of guidance and support through their life challenges. This may look like couples therapy, play therapy with young children, conflict resolution, working on communication, sibling work, or helping individuals navigate personal struggles. I am continuously receiving training and learning skills that will help my clients. I have worked with individuals on the autism spectrum for a number of years & have specific experience working with children, partners, & families, as well as LGBTQIA+, trans/NB, & CNM/poly clients. In addition to partner & family issues, I also work with individuals who are having difficulties managing stress, anxiety, depression, & other challenges.
59 E. Mill Rd., Suite 3-201, Long Valley, 07869, NJ