Jenna MercadantePsy.D.

Headshot of Jenna Mercadante Psychologist

Availability

In Eastern Time

How do you determine therapy goals with clients? What does that process look like?

More times than not, during the first session with a therapist, you will be asked “what are your goals for treatment?” This is often a harder question than it would appear. If a person is depressed, then a reasonable goal would be to reduce depressive symptoms, or simply put, “feel better.” Because psychological wounds are not visible such as a broken arm, and finding the language to describe your inner experience is needed to develop clear and meaningful goals. Thus, determining a client’s goals is a fluid, ongoing process that is reevaluated throughout the course of therapy. Most importantly, goal setting is driven by the client and working toward one’s goals is a collaborative process between therapist and client.

What do you view as a key component of the therapeutic relationship?

Based on scientific evidence, my values, and my own personal feedback from clients, I believe therapy is most effective when the therapist is genuine, open, and nonjudgmental. Therapy should be a place where clients feel safe to share difficult thoughts, experiences and feeIings. I have a warm therapeutic style which tends to put people at ease quickly. I view therapy as a partnership; client and therapist are a team on a quest to alleviate psychological pain. I consistently ask for feedback and attempt to reduce the “mystery” sometimes involved in therapy by having an open dialogue about the plan for treatment and providing answers to the question “how will this help me?”. Every person should feel empowered to have a voice and input on his/her treatment.

What is your style/approach to therapy?

When working with individuals seeking treatment, I take a person-centered, holistic approach, focusing not only on diagnosis, but also exploring other areas of a client’s life they seek to improve. In other words, I encourage personal growth & recovery while also treating the symptoms causing distress. I approach therapy with each client in an open, curious, and non-judgmental manner. More specifically, I tend take a cognitive-behavioral therapeutic approach (CBT),, which helps people recognize unhealthy thinking patterns that are causing problems in their life. Through CBT, these thoughts are identified, challenged, and replaced with more objective, realistic thoughts. Secondly, I focus on increasing positive experiences in the persons life and thus improving quality of one’s life. In addition to treating what’s “wrong” with the client, I like to focus and increase client self-awareness by focusing on what’s “right” in your life. This includes identifying your character strengths and values, which allows each client to look at areas of their life he/she may want to improve. The goal is to find ways to increase each clients subjective experience of happiness and also reducing psychiatric symptoms. I will monitor progress (complete short self-report measures) to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment in order to make adjustments if needed. Treatment is tailored to each persons specific needs and preferences. I have extensive experience working with our nation’s Veterans and encourage those in need to schedule a session.

Specialties

General Expertise

Fees

$100

First Session

$80

Family Therapy

$80

Individual Therapy

Types of Therapy

Family Session

Individual Session

Clientele

Adults (25-65)

Treatment Approaches / Modalities

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Strength Based Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Integrative Therapy

Motivational Interviewing

Psychological Testing and Evaluation

Licensure

PA, Psychologist, PS017488

Education

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D), Clinical Psychology, Wright State University

Work History

In 2012 I completed my post-doctoral residency at a VA Medical Center, specializing in psychiatric rehabilitation of veterans with severe mental illnesses. After completing my residency, I accepted a position at another VA Medical Center working in the mental health outpatient clinic. In this setting, I worked with veterans with wide-ranging difficulties which included severe depression, bipolar disorder, addiction, and PTSD. I am considered a subject matter expert on severe mental illnesses. Because I had been at the VA Medical Center for most of my training, I decided to familiarize myself with a different mental health setting and began work in private practice. Examples of commonly presented concerns included mild-moderate depression, anxiety disorders, grief/loss, improving self-esteem, etc.

Location

Brandywine Rd, Malvern, 19355, PA