New Jersey licensure allows me to see clients anywhere in the state and I will continue to provide virtual therapy after the pandemic ends. I also have some in-person time slots available in my Boonton and Livingston, New Jersey locations.
Hi! I’m Christine.
I’ve always had a deep curiosity about people. Hearing people's stories and helping them with their problems has always energized me. It recently occurred to me that in the second grade, a teacher gave me a cardboard cut-out of Lucy from Peanuts, sitting behind her booth, offering Charlie Brown advice for five cents. As an adult, it’s made me wonder if I were listening even then. Perhaps we could read more deeply into the less-than-flattering facets of Lucy’s personality. But I can say, with confidence, that I wasn’t pulling footballs away from any little Charlie Browns back then.
Becoming a therapist didn’t happen through a conventional path. There were lots of things I wanted to be when I grew up and I tried on a few of them before committing to a career in social work. Being a therapist and working as a musician are two of the things I’ve tried on that I continue to do. Working as a therapist allows me to exercise my love of conversation and practice my belief that therapy can heal us. And I also tap into my creativity as a freelance church musician when not with clients. The life experiences that were challenging at the time now help me understand more fully the twists and turns my clients experience in their own professional lives.
Clients also come to me to work out difficulties in various types of relationships. Sometimes clients embark upon therapy in hopes of fixing their partner, only to find that they’re not completely sure why they’re feeling the way they do. Why does their behavior upset you so much? Or why does this particular comment from your partner anger you? Gaining understanding about why you might have anxiety and persistent worry, for example, or withdrawing and checking out of your relationships can really turn your life around.
You might have noticed an emphasis on infidelity in various parts of my website. My interest in this area comes from a realization in a previous work setting, that many of my clients were impacted somehow by infidelity. Not only were clients involved in relationships outside of their primary relationship, but they may have been on the receiving end of infidelity. Or they were affected by infidelity committed by their parents or other significant people in their lives.
These people were as regular as can be. They didn’t look or act any differently from anyone else. They had careers and families and pets and they took out their recycling. Like anything, people have strong reactions about this topic. Opinions of other people only have importance when they impact our feelings. I approach all clients with a compassionate approach, without judgment on their behavior.
This might also be where I mention that I only work with individuals at this time. While much of my work centers around difficulties in romantic relationships, I do not currently see couples. I can help you locate someone if that is specifically what you need.
Curious and intelligent creative types are my favorite people to work with. Bonus points if you don’t mind that we might laugh in sessions sometimes.
Your comfort is important to me. I’ve got a giant ottoman for your feet, pillows to lean on, and a table for your coffee. (This applies if you come to my office when covid is behind us!)
If we're meeting by way of a computer screen, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that we could establish a connection this way, too. We might have some technical glitches now and then but I've found that virtual therapy has so many benefits. I'll suggest you read my blog posts about virtual therapy to get a sense of what the advantages are as well as a page with some additional information. I use a secure online platform that you've likely used if you've seen your doctor virtually in this last year.
As of September, 2021, I have limited in-person appointments available in Livingston and Boonton as well as virtual (or online or telehealth or however you may refer to it. It’s been the “I say to-may-to and you say to-mah-to” type thing since lockdown began.) appointments. My New Jersey licensure allows me to see clients anywhere in the state. Please call me at 201-248-5552 or email me at email@example.com if you’d like to explore working with me.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I be sure you understand what I'm going through?
No one can ever know your exact life experience, except for you. A therapist does not have to experience the same things you do in order to understand you. Treating you with kindness, compassion, and empathy is always the starting point because you may not have felt those things in relationships with others. It’s important for me to hear how you express the things you have been through. My ear is always listening for your choice of language or your tone of voice. And I’m also picking up on your nonverbal cues.
Most clients I work with suffer with anxiety. If it makes you feel better to know that I have been there, I can assure you that I’ve experienced paralyzing stage fright while performing improv and working as a musician. Whatever works for me may not work for you. It’s about us working together to find solutions. Sometimes the answer is not about learning skills; it's about developing a relationship with the anxiety itself. We might want so desperately to try to get rid of it before we even know what it's trying to tell us.
How can I be sure you know what you’re doing?
Besides undergraduate degrees in sociology and music (University of Pittsburgh and University of Massachusetts, Boston), I completed a master in social work degree in 2004 from Rutgers University in New Brunswick and received my New Jersey clinical license in 2006. An interest in pregnancy-related issues inspired me to complete a certificate program in perinatal mood disorders through Postpartum Support International. Presently, I take courses at the Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis of New Jersey and participate in regular consultation with a group of peers. There’s a great deal of emphasis put on fancy degrees and letters after our name, but it’s most important that you and I connect with each other. No amount of education can teach that.
What sort of approach or modality do you use to help clients?
Psychobabble and jargon isn't the way I roll, but I work through a psychodynamic and psychoanalytic lens. You might wonder why I'm so interested in your family life or looking so closely at your relationship patterns. Therapy should never feel like a mystery, especially since you are paying with your money and time. It is always my aim to be as transparent with you about why I'm asking certain questions. The bottom line is, I want you to succeed and get what you need out of this experience.
I don't live in New Jersey. Can you be my therapist?
Unfortunately, I need to be licensed in the state where clients are located. I am only licensed in New Jersey at this time.
Do you take my insurance?
My practice is no longer in-network with any insurance companies. My fee for a 45-minute session is $200. If you would like to use your out-of-network benefits, we can discuss how to submit those claims. If you don't know what I'm talking about when I say "out-of-network benefits", give your insurance company a call. I can also help you decipher the insurance company language that seems unnecessarily confusing. In some cases, I am able to submit an out-of-network claim for you.