Blog Archives


Melissa Yaeger

Melissa is a licensed professional counselor in New Jersey and Pennsylvania who works with adolescents and adults who struggle in a number of areas. These include depression, anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders, substance abuse, personality disorders, recovery from physical/emotional abuse and the processing of grief. Importantly, Melissa is accessible to those who simply need someone to talk to during a difficult time.

Melissa uses a number of approaches when providing counseling services, but her primary approach is that of client-centered therapy. This allows her clients the room to “open up” and share at their own pace. Melissa helps to provide an empathetic and compassionate environment which aids her clients in their healing. In this way, she endeavors to help others work through current and/or future challenging situations and to achieve goals which they create for themselves through the counseling relationship.

Melissa is an honors graduate of Rider University with her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

 

James Whitaker

James has specialized in the mental health and substance abuse treatment field for over eighteen years. He has seen first-hand how establishing a good therapeutic relationship throughout the counseling process makes treatment a successful experience. Through various strategies and techniques that are evidenced based, patients have been able to raise their own insights and gain a healthier sense of self.  As a result, patients have been able to develop and establish positive coping skills to assist with combating their own self-defeating behaviors associated with anxiety, depression and addiction.

In addition, James is an approved provider able to conduct assessments for individuals who have been found guilty of driving under the Influence (DUI) in New Jersey and surrounding states. If you have completed your required 12 or 48 hour classes or have been identified as a Multiple Offender, he is authorized to complete your evaluation and provide the mandatory treatment needed to comply with your IDRC requirements.

Of particular interest to Camden County Probationers, James is a preferred provider for drug and alcohol assessment and anger management classes. He understands how important it is to have your evaluations completed and forwarded to your Probation Officer especially when this is the last task a client needs done before completing probation. All reports are completed and faxed within 24 hours from the clients initial meeting.

Types of Therapy: 

Gestalt, Mindfulness-Based (MBCT), Person-Centered and Family Systems

Modalities:

Individuals, Couples and Groups

Specialties:      

Substance Use, Dual Diagnosis, Mood Disorders, Early Intervention (EI), Solution Focused Brief (SFBT), Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Strength-Based and Rational Emotive Behavior (REBT)

 

 

                                                                                  

 

 

 

                                                                                                                          

 

 

 

Anita Novembre

Anita is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Mentor/Life Coach with a Master’s in Education. She is comfortable working with Individuals, couples (married and/or partnered) and groups.

Philosophy:  The way to inner peace, balance, wholeness, and healing is to embrace thought patterns and a belief system that lead to an empowered lifestyle.

Specialization:
  Helping to re-frame thought patterns so that clients may create a map of their world that moves from a stuck and painful place to a path of action; action that leads to wholeness and the realization of personal, professional, and /or relationship goals achieved.

Healing Approach:
  Anita provides a safe and comfortable environment that offers acceptance and support to all who come.  She looks at the whole person with the intention of enhancing and restoring well-being by using a combination of the following Cognitive

Therapies:
 Rational-Emotive-Behavioral Therapy (REBT)  and Neuro-Linguistic-Programming (NLP). The focus of each session is to empower clients so that they are not victims to whatever past, present, and/or future circumstance encountered.

Anita works with: 
 Individuals, Couples (married and/or partnered), and Groups

Issues to Resolve:
  Codependency, ACOA Issues, Depression, Relationship Issues (self-esteem, marriage, partner, professional, etc.), Loss (of a loved one, pet, divorce, separation, health, job, etc.), Life Transitions, Stress/Anxiety Management, Communication Skills Enhanced.

 

Barbara Faracchio

Barbara is a Licensed Professional Counselor in NJ and PA, and a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor in NJ.  Barbara earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Temple University and received her master’s degree from Chestnut Hill College in Counseling and Clinical Psychology.  Barbara’s approach is warm, encouraging, and collaborative.  She has experience working with adults in early and long-term recovery.  Barbara practices trauma-informed counseling and has experience working with clients who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse, and neglect. Barbara believes our upbringing contributes to how we interact with others today and working through past trauma may help improve present relationships.  Barbara’s background also includes working with adults experiencing a variety of concerns such as, but not limited to:

  •     Adult children of alcoholics/addicts/dysfunctional family systems
  •     Co-dependency
  •     Communication and intimacy-individual and couples counseling
  •     Compassion fatigue (therapists, medical professionals, animal care workers, etc)
  •     Depression, anxiety, other mood disorders
  •     Grief and loss
  •     Issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity
  •     Recovery from trauma using both talking therapy and EMDR
  •     Relationship and Interpersonal stress/conflict
  •     Situational stress and adjustment

Kevin Elsey

Kevin initially came to Starting Point as an intern while completing a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adams State University, Alamosa, CO.  He is currently on staff as a wellness coach while pursuing New Jersey state licensure as a Professional Counselor. The majority of his professional work has been in the hospice field providing spiritual support and bereavement follow-up.

Kevin’s goal is to help you to clearly conceptualize what is hampering your well-being, decide on a strategy, and begin to live a healthier, more fulfilling life.  As with most things worth having, wellness require effort, consistency, and accountability. Because each of us is unique and there is no one size fits all approach to wellness, his therapeutic method is tailored to your individual needs.

Brooke Deschenes

Brooke is a Licensed Professional Counselor in New Jersey and has been working in the field of mental health and addiction for over 7 years. Brooke obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Shippensburg University.  Brooke works primarily with adolescents and adults struggling with a variety of issues, including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, relationship conflict, trauma, substance abuse, self-esteem, and stress related issues.

Brooke takes a holistic approach to working with individuals to understand what approach works best for each person. Brooke values the importance of developing a relationship based on trust and understanding to assist her clients in reaching their goals. With Brooke, you will find a warm, safe environment to explore the reasons that brought you to therapy so you can move towards the life you envision for yourself.

 

Maria Brent

Maria is a Licensed Professional Counselor and health care provider. She has had 20+ years experience in helping people get better at navigating what we all have to contend with. Maria’s overall goal is to help people live more peaceful, joyous, rich, full, and meaningful lives.

Maria works with adults who are experiencing suffering related to Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, and/or a poor sense of self. Some clients are also facing serious health problems. Most have difficulties with family, friends, co-workers, and of course difficulties with themselves.

Respect, kindness, and caring form the foundation of Maria’s therapy. Her practice is based on Cognitive Behavioral and Acceptance and Commitment Therapies.These therapies have demonstrated their effectiveness and are currently “the state of the art.” Additionally, she uses a variety of related interventions, ancient and modern. She incorporates mindfulness, spirituality, music and art, and strongly recommends paying attention to physical and mind-body health: sleep, nutrition, exercise/movement, and spending time with Mother Nature.

We humans need meaningful and supportive connections with others. Maria helps clients develop, strengthen and use their communication, relationship, and social skills, enriching their lives.

Maria’s experiences have taught her over and over again that trying to control what you cannot control results in immediate and long-term misery in countless, vast, and various ways. She helps people figure out how to “do acceptance” and helps them cope with the distresses that inevitably arise. She has found that making room for all of our emotions and responses allows us to develop wisdom, self-acceptance and self-contentment, and more peace.

 

Christine Batra

Christine Batra is a board certified and licensed professional counselor.  She is also an honors graduate from the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University.

As a therapist, Christine believes that deep within each individual lies the potential to live a fulfilled and engaging life. However, through the unconscious reinforcement of maladaptive beliefs from childhood along with the rigors and challenges of everyday life,these latent qualities lie dormant waiting to manifest. Utilizing an integrative Psycho-therapeutic approach, Christine helps to remove unhealthy emotional barriers to achieve lasting harmony and balance.

This therapeutic approach employs theory and research from Emotion Focused Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Internal Family Systems Therapy and, when integrated, offers tailored treatment for children, adolescents, adults and couples. Her practice can assist clients who experience anxiety, depression, relationship/marital conflict, addiction, personality disorders, and/or existential inquiry and purpose.

Christine offers a supportive environment where empathy and understanding are paramount. She paces treatment on each client’s unique needs to help them discover emotional freedom and authentic self-expression.

Carol Bakey

Carol has worked as a counselor for nearly 20 years. In community mental health settings, she worked with persons with dual diagnoses of mental illness and substance abuse. She was the creator and facilitator of the center’s first women’s groups and facilitated specific groups for women who suffered with substance abuse issues. She was also able to establish and run a closed group for survivors of abuse to assist them in processing life’s challenges and move them forward toward the status of thrivers. She has worked as an individual therapist as well as an IOP and OP counselor in private and nonprofit settings. She believes that each person has innate value and purpose and respects that every individual has their own perspective of life’s experiences.

Carol is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling. She is also a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She believes in client-centered therapy and uses modalities such as CBT, Schema-Focused Therapy and the 12-Step philosophy while working within the outlines of each client’s specific goals and needs.