Allie Miller – Executive Director
Allie became Executive Director of The Starting Point November 2015 and considers it an honor and privilege to serve in that role. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has seen clients at The Starting Point since 2002. He also has a significant background in business. He first became acquainted with The Starting Point back in 1995 when he joined Vince DiPasquale’s men’s group. He is well aware of the importance that The Starting Point plays in people’s lives to heal, change, and grow and wishes to see The Starting Point continue long into the future. (Allie’s clinical listing is displayed as a separate entry below.)
Vince Di Pasquale, MA – Founder
Vince, a noted lecturer and educator in the tri-state area, has been active in the field of addiction since 1977. He is a founder and the former director of The Starting Point, Inc. of NJ in Haddon Township, New Jersey. The Starting Point is an outpatient counseling center specializing in the areas of dependencies and functions as a support system for each individual’s personal growth.
Wiith his friendly manner and down-to-earth lectures, has assisted many to enter a new sense of awareness and come to realize and accept that the power to institute change comes from within. While sharing his own spiritual and emotional growth, he guides his listeners in increasing their self-esteem and allowing old fears and behaviors to make way for a new and fulfilling lifestyle.
Vincent Austin-Cole – M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Vincent has worked with and advocated for individuals with issues ranging from addiction to mental health challenges. For the past 14 years, he has taught people how to use healthy coping skills in order to alleviate intense emotional discomfort. He uses proven treatment techniques that are based in CBT, DBT, Client-Centered, and Family Systems therapies. Besides working with those who are having difficulty navigating life’s many stressors, Vincent also has extensive experience helping those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered & questioning (dealing with “coming out” issues). Vincent is available to work individually (15 years and older), as well as couples and families. His priority is helping with the process of Paving Pathways to Peacefulness, to cultivate a more hopeful future.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x117
Theresa Barrett – B.S.W., C.A.S., C.L.C.
Theresa has been a counselor at The Starting Point for since 1985. Her background is in psychiatric social work and addictions. She is eclectic in working with clients, using a variety of treatment methods and is committed to providing the highest quality care. Her areas of expertise are addictions, anxiety, depression, and codependency. She works primarily with individuals and couples and those with LGBT concerns.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x107
Bill is an established entrepreneur and business man for over 30 years in the tri- state area Pa/NJ and Del. His primary business is real estate however his real passion is and has been inspiring people and motivating them to do better for themselves by helping others. He is an accomplished author and lecturer for over 20 years as well as instructor for various universities in the tri-state area. His specialty is Life Coaching, setting and keeping goals with a spiritual tinge to help you move forward and be happier. He has been conducting workshops and symposiums on self esteem, goal setting and self realization for many years. He is a sought after speaker on his book “Power For Living Today,” formerly titled “On the Brink of Bankruptcy”.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x170
Rita Bennett – PhD
Rita is a Clinical Psychologist. Rita works with adults and focuses on the emotional problems of living, relationship engagement issues, goal setting, coping skills and the tools for recovery from substance abuse. Various therapeutic approaches are used to address the mental health needs of the client. Each stage of life brings its own challenges. The goal of therapy is for the client to be able to deal with the challenges that exist in their life in an adaptive and personally rewarding manner. She is also a member of the Pennsylvania Behavior Therapy Association.
Maria Brent – M.A., L.P.C.
Maria is a Licensed Profession Counselor and health care provider. Maria works with adults who are troubled by mood disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and/or a poor sense of self. Some clients are facing serious health problems, confusion, or difficulties with family, friends, or co-workers. She uses a variety of techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral & Acceptance and Commitment Therapies. She encourages clients to focus on and to be guided by their values. She relieves suffering and even more importantly helps clients to live life their own way with satisfaction in their outcome.
Tara Brophy – M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Tara is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is experienced in assisting clients navigate some of life’s challenges such as anxiety, depression, anger, relationship issues and/or substance abuse. Skilled at providing psych education, she helps clients identify and address self-defeating thoughts, beliefs and behavioral patterns that negatively impact your sense of well-being and health. Whether you have experienced a sudden change or an accumulation of stressors, question your actions or lack of actions that results in self criticism, or ruminate about the past and/or worry about the future Tara can assist you with developing positive self care, increased insight, healthy boundaries, and strategies to function and feel better. She is compassionate, down-to-earth, straightforward, and believes in the benefits of light, purposeful humor. She is also respectful regarding where you are and allows you to move at your own pace. Ultimately Tara hopes to challenge you and encourage you to face your challenges and grow.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x120
Quit smoking today with laser. The Anne Penman Laser Therapy is a revolutionary process that helps clients to quit the smoking habit for good. Thousands of people have quit using this method. The procedure involves the application of a completely safe and painless “cold” laser to various points of the body while sitting in a comfortable recliner. When employed by an experienced and professional technician, this technique promises to simply “zap the habit away.” Utilizing this unique therapeutic approach, Jackie will work with you every step of the way to a smoke-free lifestyle.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x126
Anne Cavaliere – M.A.
Anne works with teens and adults struggling with eating disorders, body image issues, and related depression and anxiety. She believes in the healing power of the therapeutic relationship and considers it a privilege to accompany clients on their personal journeys of recovery. Anne’s goal is to help clients unlock the mystery of their disordered relationship with food and eating and help them begin their passage towards balanced and joyful lives.
Heather Chelton – MSW, LCSW
Heather has been working in the mental health field for over ten years in residential and outpatient settings. She provides a non-judgmental and compassionate environment for her clients so that they can improve their general psychological and emotional well-being. Heather is eager to help children, adolescents, adults, and couples with depression, anxiety, bipolar, anger management, and communication issues. In addition, she helps clients manage impulsive and at-risk behaviors (e.g., self-harm, risky behavior, substance abuse, behavioral and legal issues, and suicidal ideation). Heather utilizes Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Family Systems, Mindfulness and Strength Based treatment approaches. She has helped clients of all ages learn healthy coping strategies and decrease self-defeating behaviors related to trauma, poor self-esteem, and interpersonal conflicts. Everyone owes themselves an opportunity to join with Heather on a supportive therapeutic journey leading to change, understanding, growth, and relief.
Kevin Elsey – M.A.
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.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x122
Lisa Farkas, Psy.D.
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 psychoeducation 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.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x121
Geoff Farnsworth – C.H.C., C.H.T.
Geoff is a Certified Hakomi 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. 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.
Gabrielle Freeman – M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Gabrielle is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who earned her Master’s in Social Work from Temple University. Gabriele is also a Certified School Counselor. She began her career at Family Service in 1994. Gabriele has also been a Care Manager and Supervisor at the Care Management Organization in Camden County. She has recently begun a private practice at The Starting Point. Gabriele has special interests in working with issues relative to trauma, sexual orientation, depression, anxiety, and racial identity concerns.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x104
Kenneth Goldberg – PhD
Kenneth is a clinical psychologist with over 35 years of experience. He offers an eclectic approach to psychotherapy, evaluates and treats disabled adults, provides assistance for school and homework avoidance children and their families, and consults on child protection cases. “Through my years of work in mental health, I have been honored to meet many people: the average person encountering temporary personal problems, the highly impaired individual who is tormented by psychosis, the abused child and the abusive parent, the person who is no longer able to work, and the floundering child who cannot finish the homework. Throughout, I’ve been awed by how our commonalities overshadow our differences. In the end, my clinical philosophy and psycho-therapeutic approach are profoundly defined by a deep respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every human being.”
Anna Marie Hrivnak – M.Ed
Anna is a counselor focusing on the integration of body, mind, and spirit. Working with individuals in private and group sessions her work fosters a foundation for peace and tranquility to the mind, strength to the physical body, along with hope and courage to the wounded spirit. Sessions focus on the recovery process in a way that promotes a balance of emotional honesty and responsibility providing clients with a framework for a healthier lifestyle. With a strong belief in the power of internal wisdom, she nurtures and encourages clients to journey through the transformational phases of their lives in a way that supports and builds their integrity of spirit.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x137
Cort Hrivnak – M.S., M.A.
Cort helps his clients break unhealthy and unhelpful patterns in their lives. He believes that being “stuck” is often due to being caught in a stagnant cycle where thoughts, actions, and feelings reinforce each other in ways that prevent a person from moving in the direction they want in their lives. Cort assists clients in discovering which part of the cycle is most accessible to them, and then helps them to focus their efforts in changing that part of the cycle in order to promote positive results in the others areas. He also helps clients discover their inner narrative, i.e., their story of Self, and works to help clients understand how powerful their story is. He supports his clients in speaking to and about themselves in positive, reaffirming ways. Cort has a Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Chestnut Hill College and is pursuing his Licensed Professional Counselor (L.P.C.) in New Jersey. He also has a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Theological Studies from Boston College and is very comfortable integrating a spiritual perspective with clients if it is their desire to do so. Although his original bachelor’s degree was in psychology from St. Joseph’s University, Cort spent 10 years in the Information Technology field before re-directing himself into counseling.
Erik Jervis – M.S.W., L.S.W.
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 counseling 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.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x130
Theresa Johnson – L.C.S.W., L.C.A.D.C.
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.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x123
B. Frankie Lamborne – M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Frankie welcomes clients from all walks of life. Her particular areas of expertise are depression, addiction, and codependency, couples counseling, gay and lesbian concerns, and adolescents. She has been in private practice for over 20 years at The Starting Point. In using various forms of therapy she establishes a rapport with clients so they can move forward in their lives. Frankie is also a professor and field consultant for Rutgers University in the School of Social Work.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x108
Kevin Lenny – M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Kevin is a Master’s level social worker who provides individual, couples, family, and group counseling. He has helped people with substance abuse related concerns and those who may suffer from various mental health diagnoses. Additionally, Kevin has worked with adolescents and adults, addressed men and women’s issues, and works within a holistic approach. He is also a board member of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP).
Phone: 856-854-3155 x128
Kathy Meline – M.Ed.
Kathy has counseled individuals and couples since 1995. Kathy provides a safe, supportive environment for clients to work through personal growth issues,
including codependency, depression, anxiety, grief and or loss, and other challenging life transitions.
She uses reality and cognitive therapy to focus on what is currently taking place in order to stop dysfunctional patterns of thought, action or feeling.
The goal is to help clients reclaim their lives and make healthy life choices.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x112
Andi Bradin Meltzer – BS, M.A.
Andi is a certified grief recovery specialist. She provides individual and group sessions to guide clients through the actions necessary to resolve loss issues and to move beyond the grief to a richer quality of life. She creates a safe environment in which to examine old beliefs about dealing with loss; to review the losses that have affected the client’s life; and to complete the pain attached to one of those losses. Her program is affiliated with and endorsed by The Grief Recovery Institute.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x172
Allie Miller – M.A., L.M.F.T.
Allie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (NJ, PA and WI) and a Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. He works with individuals, couples, families, and groups dealing with issues such as addictions, anxiety, co-dependency, self-esteem, grief and loss, couples issues, stress management, recovery from trauma, as well as issues and concerns around sex, sexuality, and sexual functioning. He regularly facilitates a group for men who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse. He believes in providing a safe, nonjudgmental, calm environment for his clients to heal, learn, grow, and change. In working with clients who have experienced trauma–both recent and old, he typically employs Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) that helps process the trauma to reduce its damaging and sometimes debilitating effects in clients’ lives.
Kit Miller – MSW, LSW
Kit honors lives lived, and identifies her role as one of helping her clients ease and grow towards functioning wellness. As a Master of Social Work (MSW) graduate of Rutgers-Camden, She also earned their certificate in Violence Against Women and Children.
Her practice serves young adults and adults dealing with issues around oppression, gender non-conformity, sexual orientation, disability and differently-abled, body size and traumatic histories. In the future, she hopes to offer group therapies on these and other issues, especially for greater support for parents of LGBT youth and young adults. She also works with individuals, couples and families dealing with depression, anxiety, grief, trauma recovery, and addiction issues. In her treatment approaches she uses Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Family System, and Relational.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x148
Valerie M. Newman-Freeman – L.C.S.W.
Valerie has a Doctorate degree in Couple and Family Therapy from Drexel University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Rutgers University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Valerie has worked in the mental and behavioral health field since 1994 in various capacities (e.g. family advocate, group facilitator, program supervisor). She has been a field instructor and adjunct professor at Rutgers University. Valerie has been in private practice at Starting Point since 2003 where she provides family therapy to individuals, couples, and families. “At V. Margaret Newman Therapeutic Services, LLC our philosophy is that each life is unique and mosaic-like. We believe our lives are made up of various intersecting parts that inform our life story. Our goal is to help others explore how those parts have been effected by past experiences in an effort to understand its’ impact on the present and to use it as a guide for the future.” While Valerie enjoys working with all individuals, couples, and families, she has a special interest in working with African American same-sex couples and families. For further information or to schedule an appointment call Valerie at the number shown below.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x140
Anita Novembre – M.Ed., M.A., M.S.
Licensed Professional Counselor and Mentor/Life Coach,
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.
Pat Obst – L.C.S.W., L.C.
Pat is a licensed clinical social worker with life coach training. As a case worker, she managed clients’ mental health care and facilitated group classes for those with chronic mental illness. She also managed in home care for the elderly so they could remain in their homes as they aged. As a hospice social worker she facilitated care and support for hospice patients and their families. Over the past 17 years Pat has also managed a thriving private practice as a therapist and life coach, working with adults and couples.
As a therapist, Pat works with adults who struggle with anxiety, depression, codependency, and relationship issues. Her area of specialization is in grief and loss therapy. She has specific skills in working with parents who have lost children. As a life coach, Pat guides clients through major transitions such as divorce, career change and retirement; helps clients manage life/work balance; and works with artists and young professionals to aid them in finding their true potential and reach their goals.
Pat has presented lectures and workshops at The Starting Point, Inc. of New Jersey, on topics of grief and loss, and embracing self empowerment. Currently she is co-founder and co-facilitator of Afterwards, LLC, a program designed for those 1-5 years out from a significant loss who want to re-build their lives after loss.
Education: MSW – Master of Social Work, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ; BA – Sociology, Eastern College, St. Davids, PA;
Phone: 856-854-3155 x141
Pat O’Connor – M.S.W., L.S.W.
Pat has been working with helping families to lead healthier lives by offering programs such as, Active Parenting, Active Parenting for Teens, and Co-0perative 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.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x142
Dr. 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.
Margaret Palagye – RScP
Reverend Margaret, an Ordained Minister (RScP) has been a spiritual counselor for more than twelve years. Her beliefs are based in a deep non-denominational spirituality. She facilitates many spiritual classes, lectures and workshops. Rev. Margaret lovingly guides people of all ages into transforming their limiting beliefs and blocked emotions with honest and compassionate listening, clear guidance and affirmative prayer. She allows others to move into self-acceptance and self-love by helping them realize they can create a life of new choices, healthier living and freedom as they deepen into their relationship with their inner divinity.
Joanne Toback – M.S.W., L.S.W.
Joanne, a graduate of Rutgers University with a Masters degree in Social Work, Joanne is trained in a variety of therapeutic models to help facilitate change based on your specific needs. Together, you will identify your strengths, establish goals for positive change, and develop ways to redirect any dysfunctional patterns of thoughts and/or actions. With compassion and acceptance, she will support you through your journey to a better you. In addition to depression, anxiety and other mood disorders, Joanne also works with those dealing with grief, loss, and other life-changing events. She specializes in treating veterans and their families, in helping to redesign life post-deployment. She is a provider on the Give an Hour website and is affiliated with the Wounded Warrior Project. Feel free to contact Joanne and leave a message.
James Whitaker, MA – Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, LCADC
James has specialized in the mental health and addiction treatment field for over 15 plus years and strongly believes in the patient / therapist counseling process. He has seen first-hand the positive outcomes and effects that therapeutic relationships has had on those struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues. James patients are able to develop positive coping skills to combat any self-defeating behaviors that were producing negative emotional outcomes and replace those negative outcomes with a more positive emotional experience.
Margaret (Maggie) Worthington
Margaret (Maggie) Worthington is a licensed and insured HypnoCounselor using creative visualization (CV) and hypnosis to assist in reducing or even eliminating stress. Stress is the underlying cause of many illnesses and diseases. Teaching her clients how to take back their lives and live stress-free is one of her primary goals. With years of practice in mastering her techniques, she has learned that each situation is unique and cannot be learned from a textbook on the subject. Recently Margaret trademarked her technique, “MegaVision,” and uses it as another powerful tool that can be used in conjunction with CV or hypnosis.
Margaret is certified with the National Guild of Hypnotists, the oldest National and International Hypnosis Guild in the World that just celebrated its 65th Year. She is also a Certified Hypnosis Instructor of the National Guild’s 100-Hour Approved Course. The course is approved so that some professionals can receive continuing education credits. Margaret offers classes three times a year so that so MSWs, nurses, psychologists, doctors, and even massage therapists and medical assistants can become certified to use these powerful techniques.
In 2012 Margaret set up a not-for-profit agency called The Cancer Care Center of New Jersey. Doctors are able to refer to her some of their most difficult cancer cases—free of charge to the patients. She will work with these patients either pre- or post -operative.
Margaret accepts referrals from physicians of patients dealing with addictions and/or anxiety with or without co-morbidities. She teaches these patients self-hypnosis which can greatly assist them in learning self-control and self-regulation. It helps them to remain positive thinkers and generally to improve their mood.
Melissa Yaeger – M.A., L.A.C.
Melissa is an honors graduate of Rider University with her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She has passed The National Counselor Exam qualifying her for a state counselor license. Melissa has experience working with adolescents and adults who are struggling with: depression, anxiety, self-harm, disordered eating, substance abuse, personality disorders, those who are victims of physical/emotional abuse, grief, and those just needing someone to talk to for help during a difficult time. Melissa follows a couple theories of counseling; her main one being, client-centered therapy which allows clients the room to open up and share at their own pace. Melissa helps to provide an empathetic and compassionate environment, which aids clients to do this. Providing this empathetic and positive environment Melissa hopes to help current and future clients to be able to work through any current and/or future negative situation, as well help them achieve goals they create for themselves within the counseling relationship.
Phone: 856-854-3155 x129