Starting therapy can feel overwhelming and scary, yet you are making the choice to live a better life by investing in getting help. In our work together, we will spend time getting to know your story, understanding the ways in which your thoughts, behaviors, and environment are getting in the way and holding you back from the health and happiness you deserve. Deciding to start therapy is not an easy decision, but it can be a choice that gives you emotional freedom.
In my private practice, I specialize in providing individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals who struggle with eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse/addictions, trauma, and self-harm behaviors. I use a variety of treatment approaches drawing from Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Family Systems. I offer therapy services to adolescents and adults in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The obsessive thoughts about weight and thinness that seem to take over every living, breathing moment, the unrelenting quest for perfection, and the need for control and at times feeling out of control, are some of the few characteristics of having an eating disorder. Eating disorders are psychological disorders that strip joy and happiness away from people’s lives and influence people to engage in restricting, binging, purging, over-exercising, and diet pill/laxative abuse in order to control aspects of their lives. There is no one sole cause of an eating disorder, and in fact it is typically a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors that create this “not so perfect” storm. Eating disorders can at times pop up during a stressful transition or maybe are a result of a traumatic experience that has been unresolved. What’s most important to know is that with the proper help, people can recover from eating disorders, no matter how long they have been suffering.
Having spent time helping many people with different eating disorders (Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, and Eating Disorder Not Other Specified are the most common ones), we will first take a thorough assessment of your life and learn what factors are contributing to your eating disorder. While it matters to both you and me what has caused your eating disorder, I focus heavily on helping you learn skills to change negative thoughts, cope with distressing emotions, and create new behaviors so you can live a life unchained by your eating disorder!
Anxiety disorders can be some of the most paralyzing disorders that are becoming more and more a problem in today’s busy world. The constant worry thoughts about the past and the future keep people stuck from really enjoying life and being present in each moment. A lot of us consider anxiety to be the “new normal,” and yet these disorders truly take us away from being happy with what we have in the moment. We may be feeling exhausted and have been avoiding social situations to try and cope. The more we ignore our anxiety, the worse it often becomes.
While some anxiety can be helpful, many of us fall into a place where it no longer is serving a positive function, and we need to seek help in order to live a better life that we deserve. Using a variety of therapeutic techniques, I will help you better understand your anxiety, learning what has caused your anxiety, what factors are continuing to maintain your anxiety, and realistic ways you can begin to take control of your anxiety, rather than your anxiety taking control of you.
Depression can be one of the most emotionally and physically painful experiences that many people do not fully understand. Sometimes it can feel like an overwhelming cloud of sadness that has come over for no apparent reason, or at times it has started after the loss of a loved one or a relationship. You may feel completely depleted of energy, wanting to stay in bed all day, and having intense difficulty thinking about anything positive. Your depression may be taking a toll on your relationships with family and friends. You may even be experiencing suicidal thoughts.
While depressive symptoms can make sense at times due to life circumstances, I am here to help you realize that life is worth living. In therapy, we will talk about what is contributing to your depression, what thoughts are keeping you stuck from living a more positive life, and how you can make small steps toward health and happiness. I am here to help you realize you have way out and that you can feel better.
Self-harm is one of the most misunderstood, yet increasingly common behaviors that people engage in to help cope with their emotional pain. Many times self-harm is a behavior linked with another disorder, such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. People often use self-harm as a way to cope with intense feelings of self-hate, numb out from certain emotions, or attempt to feel certain emotions. Self-harm can also be a way to manage guilt or shame as a result of emotional or sexual trauma.
There are many effective treatment interventions for self-harm behaviors, and therapy is an incredible resource that can help you uncover why you are struggling with self-harm and learn ways to cope safely and effectively with painful emotions. I can help you understand why these behaviors have helped you manage for so long and assist you with developing ways to use alternative thoughts and safe behaviors to replace harmful ones.
While substance abuse is more widely known and talked about in today’s culture, the underlying causes of substance abuse are often misunderstood and not discussed. People are more and more using drugs and alcohol to deal with life’s stressors and painful emotions. You may have tried to use drugs and alcohol out of curiosity to see if it would help ease the pain, or maybe you have been using drugs and alcohol as a normal part of your daily routine. When drugs and alcohol interfere with daily functioning and make it difficult to go to work, school, and complete normal everyday tasks, it is critical that one seeks treatment for this often life-threatening condition.
I am here to help you better understand what has lead you to use drugs and/or alcohol to cope with difficult emotions and life’s stressors. In learning about you, I will help you look at how drugs and/or alcohol have become a way for you to cope and help you develop strategies to manage physical urges, painful emotions, and make changes in your environment so that you can live a better life. Substance abuse is a serious issue that can take control of your life and cause legal, emotional, and physical consequences, but there is help in finding a new way of living.