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)

 

 

                                                                                  

 

 

 

                                                                                                                          

 

 

 

Donna Pucci

Donna believes that one’s past informs, but does not define who a person truly is. A lyric Donna cites which succinctly underlines this idea was penned by singer\songwriter Holly Near; “The past has brought me brilliantly to here.” 

Drawing on over 25 years of experience in the field of addictions and mental health, Donna is a multi-faceted practitioner who meets each client in the present moment, creating a working partnership to address each individual’s specific needs and concerns. Using a client-centered approach which respects an individual’s personal perspective, beliefs and preferences, she assists clients in understanding how one’s beliefs influence one’s behavior.

Donna offers her unique skills and perspective to all those navigating the journey of healing, recovery and life.

Marie Olwell

Marie is a clinically certified Individual, Marriage and Family Therapist, Reiki Master and Emotion Code Practitioner which is a simple but powerful method of finding and releasing negative trapped emotions stored in the subconscious. She believes in a holistic approach to life and preventative health care as a basis for dealing with daily stress. She has an extensive background in energy work and offers workshops and retreat experiences focusing on spiritual growth and development.

 

Pat O’Connor

Pat has been working with helping families to lead healthier lives by offering programs such as:

  • Active Parenting,
  • Active Parenting for Teens, and
  • Cooperative Parenting and Divorce.

She also helps partners and families heal from the effects of Trauma and Sexual Addiction. Pat believes that, hope can be regained, lives can be rebuilt, and meaningful change can be created within a caring environment.

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.

 

Kathy Meline

Kathy is a marriage and family therapist with many years of experience counseling individuals, couples, and families. She is a genuine, compassionate, and non-judgmental therapist who offers a safe and supportive space for clients to be authentic and work towards their personal goals. She strives to help clients increase emotional security and strengthen connections within the family unit and intimate relationships.

Kathy has a Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychology from Temple University and recently completed the Post Graduate Certificate Program in Marriage and Family Therapy at Council for Relationships. She is currently pursuing her LMFT. Her areas of expertise include building healthy relationships, developing effective communication skills, addiction and recovery, codependency, anxiety and depression, grief and loss, and healing from trauma. To increase self awareness and emotional connection to self and others, she uses an integrative approach, which typically includes interventions from the Emotionally Focused, Bowen Family Systems, Internal Family Systems, Structural, Attachment, and Mindfulness models.

Kevin Lenny

Kevin is a licensed clinical social worker who provides individual, couples, family, and group counseling.

He has counseled and advocated for people with substance abuse related concerns and those who suffer from various mental health diagnoses, such as depression, anxiety, and Bipolar Disorder, etc., for more than 25 years.

Additionally, Kevin has worked with both adolescents and adults, addressed men’s and women’s issues, and works within a holistic approach. He uses an empathetic client-centered model that “meets the person where they are”. Kevin believes in providing a safe and nonjudgmental atmosphere for people to mend, increase their strengths, and evolve to be the person they choose.

He has been in private practice at The Starting Point, Inc. for more than 10 years and accepts a variety of insurances.

Theresa Johnson

Theresa is a licensed clinical social worker who began her career in 1992 working with caregivers of elderly and disabled people.

She has since counseled elderly people in their homes and worked with the severe and persistent mentally ill in a partial care setting.  She earned her clinical license in drug and alcohol counseling while working with individuals with co-occurring disorders.

She has built a reputation in the community as a client-centered therapist who focuses on “unconditional positive regard and the client’s unique world view.”  She has experience with various populations and mental health disorders.  Her social work background has taught her that people are predisposed to illnesses and that one’s environment plays a critical role in how these illnesses impact an individual’s life.

Theresa works with individuals, couples and families suffering from trauma, self-esteem, family crisis, and anxiety and mood disorders.  She accepts private insurance and private payment.

 

Erik Jervis

Erik received his graduate degree in Social Work from Rutgers University and is a Licensed Social Worker in the state of New Jersey. He studied and is interested in working with vulnerable populations. He initially served as an intern at The Starting Point and chose to remain after his graduation to start his own practice.

Erik works with children, adolescents, and adults who are seeking help with issues such as self-esteem/worth, anxiety, sexuality, recovery from trauma, feeling stuck in life, codependency, and relationship issues. He offers his services in individual and family sessions, implementing various therapeutic approaches catered to the client’s needs. He is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for his clients.

Erik’s philosophy is that the role of the counselor is to take the journey of healing with the client, not lead the client.

Susan C. Finley

Susan is a seasoned, licensed clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist who has worked for over three decades with a wide range of clients, including young adults, couples, families and children. Her modalities of practice include both traditional and alternative therapies, including (but not limited to) Behavioral Cognitive Therapy, relaxation therapies, talk therapy, family therapy and developmental psychology.

She has worked with child protective services (and other related services) in both agencies and in private practice. Notably, she spent 15 years working on child study teams in both public and private school systems.

Susan works with most of the regional insurance providers, including Aetna, Magellan, Tricare, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Medicare and many local unions Health and Welfare plans (to name but a few.)

Geoff Farnsworth

Geoff is a Certified Hakomi Mindful Somatic Therapist (CHT), life & relationship coach who helps people who are feeling stuck, struggling with relationship issues or just want more out of life.

He specializes in assisting people to free themselves of unresolved emotions and limiting beliefs so they are free to make new choices for a happier and more fulfilling life and create vibrant, loving relationships that last. He specializes in codependency and ACOA issues. Geoff draws from his studies of mindfulness, psychology, compassionate communication, addictions, spirituality and life coaching. He provides coaching in person at his office in Haddon Township, New Jersey or by telephone or Skype call. Geoff offers a wide range of programs and services from individual and couples coaching to webinars and workshops.

Lisa Farkas

Lisa is a licensed psychologist who works with children, adolescents, and adults of all ages.  She recognizes that at times anyone can experience anxiety and/or depression as they navigate through life’s challenges, whether it is struggles with school or career, relationship difficulties, parenting challenges, or coping with illness, trauma, loss, and aging. These challenges can sometimes lead to detrimental behavioral changes, especially for children and adolescents. In an atmosphere of collaboration and empathy, Dr. Farkas aims to help clients find joy in their lives, using a variety of empirically based treatment techniques.  She employs psycho-education to help clients identify negative thoughts and beliefs that create barriers to their own happiness and fulfillment. She firmly believes that most issues can be addressed in a short-term therapy model when both the client and therapist are motivated to affect change.

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

Gary Dock

Gary has over 25 years of experience managing and providing various mental health and addiction services. He has been responsible for the coordination of reentry services for individuals returning to the community from correctional settings and State/County psychiatric hospitals. These services include the supervision of individuals diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness, substance abuse disorders, Megan’s Law, domestic violence and other criminal offenses.

In private practice Gary utilizes a client-centered, evidenced-based approach to provide services. Gary works with individuals, families, and groups to address the negative impact addiction can have on these systems. He utilizes interventions such as (CBT) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, motivational interviewing, and brief solution-focused interventions. Gary provides training on various topics such as trauma and addiction, stages of change, medication assisted treatment and anger management. His work is guided by the belief that each day brings with it new opportunities of hope and redemption.