Therapy for Adolescents, Adults, and Couples
Thank you for taking the time to visit my website. Here you will find some information about my practice, my experience, my qualifications, my areas of specialization, and how I can help you with your therapy needs.
As a licensed psychologist for over 25 years, I practice in a comfortable, warm and spacious office in North Brunswick, NJ, located on the corner of a residential street within easy driving distance to most major highways.
Whether you are suffering from depression, anxiety, marital distress, loss or infertility, seeking the professional services of a psychologist is an important first step in improving the emotional quality of your life. Choosing a therapist with highly developed skills and experience is critical. However, the relationship and level of trust that evolve between a psychologist and a client can be just as important to successful treatment.
Please take the time to explore my website and feel free to contact me with any questions.
I have a general practice and enjoy working with adolescents, adults and couples. While I do not work with young children directly, I do consult with parents about their child rearing concerns and help them develop effective strategies in parenting. Should a child need to be seen individually, I can make an appropriate referral. I have extensive training and experience working with the following issues and populations.
General Practice Specialties
Planning to have a family, for many, begins early in life. For others, having a baby is the next logical step in the life cycle, often, but not always following finding a mate and establishing a career. When becoming pregnant does not happen easily, many women and couples enter the difficult world of intrusive medical procedures, a social life filled with the babies of friends and family, and an emotional onslaught of depression, anxiety, anger, despair and envy. Through my personal and professional experience over the last 2 decades, I have been able to develop a safe and supportive therapeutic environment to help those struggling with this life crisis.
We can address:
Going through infertility need not be an isolating and lonely time. Emotional resources are available.
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As a parent through biology and adoption, as well as a frequent lecturer in the field of adoption, I have extensive experience working with adults exploring this option in building a family. Aside from navigating the numerous choices in adoption (domestic vs. foreign, open vs. closed, agency vs. private), counseling will focus on the myriad of emotions in both the adoptive parents and the future child.
These issues include:
Parenting through adoption is lifelong and the accompanying joys and challenges continue long after your child joins your family.
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Miscarriage | Stillbirth | Neonatal Loss
Unfortunately, not all hard-won pregnancies result in full-term healthy births, despite the skilled care of physicians and the hyper-vigilance of a healthy pregnant woman. Loss of a planned for baby can be devastating and traumatic for all involved. Yet, few know how to respond and there are no established rituals for grieving and mourning. I have run many groups for women who have miscarried and often counsel these women through subsequent pregnancies, which may evoke great anxiety. I have also helped those parents who have held their babies in their arms for all too brief a time. There is no time-line for grief and no predictable pattern of recovery. Therapy can provide a space to be sad, cry and eventually heal. Husbands and wives may grieve differently. Therapy can validate feelings, while providing an environment to work through painful emotions without avoiding, ignoring, minimizing or denying them.
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“When I can freely feel the sense of being a separate person, I can go much more deeply into understanding and accepting him, for I am not fearful of losing myself.” - Carl Rogers
Our relationship with our partner typically faces and endures more stress than any of our adult relationships. When our partnership is solid, we can more easily handle most crises, whether they involve: family, children, work, finances, illness, loss and even death. When we are in conflict with our significant other, however, life becomes much more difficult and, often, unmanageable. The repercussions can be wide-spread.
Seeing a highly trained and experienced couple’s therapist is an important step in assessing and improving the health of your union. It is helpful when both partners want to work on the relationship. However, typically, one partner may be more invested in the couple staying together. As a couple’s therapist, I do a thorough assessment of your relationship and delve into the personal and family history of each partner. I look at your patterns of relating, supporting one another, arguing, problem solving, parenting, and even making love. I try to understand and support how each individual functions as a separate fully evolved person. I explore who has the power in the relationship and who makes decisions. I help couples understand the ineffective ‘scripts’ they use with each other and help them develop new, healthier ways of relating. I work on having each partner understand the feelings and motivations of the other and look beyond the content of their disagreements to what might be maintaining or escalating the conflict.
Sometimes, jealousy can be insidious in a relationship and may reflect one’s own insecurities and need for control. At other times, however, the reality of past or present incidents of infidelity can be the crisis which leads to couples work. Therapy allows a safe place to process the affair, along with the messy feelings of anger, grief, shame and mistrust which can be part of the aftermath of infidelity.
Admittedly, there are those relationships which may no longer be able to endure, despite the investment in therapy. Couples counseling can also function as a way to ensure a break-up where both members are heard and able to part ways without inflicting more damage on each other and on family members.
A skilled therapist does not function as a referee who sides with one partner or another. Neither is a therapist a judge, deciding who is right and who is wrong. As your therapist, I will work to support you as a couple and help you to come to the best decision concerning the future of your relationship. This is not easy work and cannot be accomplished in a few sessions. Yet, the payoff of a healthier partnership can be life-long.
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Problematic behaviors and feelings often arise from unresolved conflicts from childhood. Consequently, we develop defenses to protect us from painful feelings and help us cope with difficult relationships. When these defenses are no longer effective and are causing more harm than good, we may seek the help of a mental health professional. I practice Insight-Oriented Psychodynamic Therapy. My goal is to help the client gain self-awareness and understanding of the past on present behavior and to develop strategies for change.
The key elements for a successful therapy experience are
Because neurochemistry can also contribute to the inability to manage difficult anxiety, depression, impulsivity, compulsions or obsessions, I work closely with a psychiatrist and may make referrals to explore whether medication may facilitate treatment.
Do you take Insurance?
While I do not participate on any insurance panels, except for Value Options, I do provide a detailed statement with a diagnosis, at the end of each month, which you can submit to your insurance carrier. If you call your insurance carrier, you can find out your insurance coverage for mental health services. Payment is expected at the time of service.
What is your fee?
Currently my fee is $200/hr. for the initial consultation and for Couples work. For Individual Therapy, I charge $175 for a 45 minute session. Payment is expected at time of service. Cash, check or charge is accepted.
Do you provide a sliding scale?
For a limited number of clients who present a financial hardship, I may provide services for less than my normal fee.
What can I expect during my initial appointment?
For the first session, which will last an hour, we will discuss what brought you to therapy and your past counseling history. We will explore what you hope to gain from therapy and how I might be able to facilitate that process. Most importantly, we will determine if you are comfortable working with me and if I believe I am the right therapist to help you with your concerns. Should we decide to proceed, I will schedule weekly appointments (twice weekly, if necessary) at a mutually agreeable time. If you should need a different level of care or a different therapist, I will make an appropriate referral.
Is our relationship confidential?
Your confidentiality is protected by state law and by the rules of my profession. All information concerning patients is held confidential and is released only through procedures consistent with the law and professional ethics.
Who will answer my phone or email message?
I will personally return all calls and emails within 24 hours. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions you may have.
Education & Work History
- Ohio University Ph.D. Clinical Psychology
- Cornell University B.S. Human Development and Family Studies
- Part-Time Faculty, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (present)
- Counseling Center Director, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ
- Staff Psychologist, Newton Memorial Hospital, Center for Mental Health
As an experienced New Jersey Licensed Psychologist who enjoys working with Adolescents, Adults, and Couples, I am effective in developing strong working alliances with my clients to ensure a therapy experience which leads to emotional growth and well-being. Passionate about the work I do, I am constantly working to develop and strengthen my skills through attending workshops, seminars, classes and supervision groups. At the same time, I enjoy teaching and supervising at the graduate level.
Copyright © 2015 Paula Kaplan-Reiss PhD. All Rights Reserved.