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GARDEN STATE PSYCHOLOGY

Alyssa Austern, Psy.D.

Welcome!  I’m Dr. Alyssa Austern, a licensed psychologist in Chatham, New Jersey.  In my private practice, I see patients across the lifespan, specializing in couples and family therapy, parenting skills, and child and adolescent therapy.  My areas of expertise include child mental health, relationship and interpersonal difficulties, family and/or peer conflict, behavioral concerns, adjustment difficulties, and life transitions.

I received my doctorate in psychology, with a concentration in couples and family therapy, at Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology.  I have worked in hospitals, community mental health clinics, college counseling centers, elementary and high schools, and private practices.  In addition to my work at Garden State Psychology, I serve as the Kindergarten Admissions Consultant at The Pingry School in Short Hills.

ABOUT ME


In my practice, I work with patients struggling with a variety of life events and stressors.  I have significant experience providing therapy to children and families, struggling with their relationship and interactions.  I also treat children with a range of presenting problems including behavioral concerns, peer conflict, family conflict, attention and academic difficulties.  Additionally I have extensive experience in working with tweens, teens, and adults, struggling with stage-of-life transitions, depression, anxiety, and loss.  Furthermore, I have expertise in treating couples who present with issues ranging from lack of communication to infidelity, as well as in family therapy, for issues of communication, and difficulty adjusting to changes in roles.


I typically practice from an insight-oriented frame work and focus on one’s interpersonal interactions and relationships.  I aim to provide a trusting and nurturing environment, in which you can feel safe and comfortable to explore and process difficult thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

 

SERVICES I OFFER

 

FAMILY THERAPY / PARENT-CHILD DYADIC PSYCHOTHERAPY

Parent-child therapy facilitates the development and nourishment of healthy attachment and communication between family members.  Parents may have concerns about anxiety or depression, inter-generational family conflict, behavioral concerns, difficulties adjusting to changes and life transitions such as separation/individuation, divorce, as well as role confusion.

INDIVIDUAL CHILD/ADOLESCENT THERAPY AND PLAY THERAPY

Children often struggle to express themselves and to explore issues verbally.  Therapy can be an outlet to explore emotions and thoughts.  Children may participate in therapy for a variety of reasons, including behavioral concerns, family or peer conflict, attention struggles, and anxiety.  In addition to my working with your child, I will collaborate with caregivers and other important adults in the child’s life, including teachers and school personnel, as well as other providers, in order to provide the best treatment.  Parents may also be encouraged to attend their own sessions with me, in order to help understand your child’s struggles and to help implement important changes.

COUPLES THERAPY

Couples may wish to attend therapy for many reasons.  These include improving communication, managing expectations, infidelity and trust, adjusting to role transitions, and parenting.  I will work to provide a therapeutic environment in which both members of the couple can feel heard, validated, and supported.  In addition to gaining a better understanding of both members' perspectives, skills will be taught to improve the relationship.

INDIVIDUAL THERAPY FOR ADULTS AND PARENTS

I offer therapy services to adults and parents, who are struggling with a variety of issues, including relationship and family stress and conflict with children, difficulties with self-esteem and self-identity, anxiety, and difficulties adjusting to major life transitions.  I can help you explore important parenting questions such as how to discipline, how to support independence and growth, address behavioral concerns and child mental health issues, as well as help you understand development.

PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT

Psychological assessment can help you to understand your child's strengths and areas for growth.  Assessment of children often involves the family and the school. I will advocate for your child to ensure that he or she is receiving appropriate accommodations and services.  I have extensive experience consulting with child study teams on Individualized Education Programs (IEP), and can also review and offer second opinions on evaluations completed at your child’s school.


Assessments Offered:

-Cognitive/Intellectual Functioning

-Psychoeducational (including Cognitive and Academic Achievement)

-Social/Emotional/Behavioral

-Personality

-Neurodevelopmental (Screening for Executive Functioning and ADHD)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WHEN I CALL TO SCHEDULE AN INITIAL CONSULTATION?

During our first phone call, we will briefly discuss your interest in therapy to determine if we should meet for an initial consultation.  For child therapy, the initial consultation typically involves meeting exclusively with the parent.  However, for adolescent or teen therapy, the initial consult may include the child as well as the parent.  For couple’s therapy, both members of the couple will attend the initial consultation.  For individual or parenting treatment, you will attend the initial consultation on your own.  The initial consultation typically lasts approximately 50 minutes, while follow-up sessions typically last 45 minutes.

WHAT DOES THE INITIAL CONSULTATION CONSIST OF?

During the initial consultation, we will review Garden State Psychology’s policies, including confidentiality.  We will explore your reasons for seeking treatment, and gather information about various aspects of your life.  We will discuss goals and hopes for therapy and will determine a schedule.

If we determine that your needs may be best served elsewhere, I will work to assist you in the process of finding a therapist who is a better fit.

HOW FREQUENTLY WILL WE MEET?

Patients are typically seen on a weekly basis.  However, depending on your needs and current situation, semi-weekly therapy may be considered as an option as well.  As our work progresses, we can determine the appropriate frequency of sessions.

HOW LONG SHOULD I EXPECT TO BE IN THERAPY?

The length of treatment will depend on preferences and goals.  Throughout treatment, we will regularly discuss your progress towards these goals.  If we determine that you are no longer in need of therapy services, we will discuss a plan for terminating the therapeutic relationship.

DO YOU ACCEPT MY INSURANCE?

Currently, I do not participate in any insurance panels.  However, if you are interested in utilizing your out-of-network benefits, I will provide you with a receipt which you can submit to your insurance company in an effort to receive reimbursement.  I can also provide you with the potential billing codes to assist you in this process.


I strongly recommend contacting your insurance company prior to the start of treatment in order to receive clarification regarding your out-of-network mental health benefits.  Your out-of-pocket payment may also be applied to your deductible.

 

CONTACT ME

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