Finding the Right Therapist: Healthy and Successful Client-Clinician Relationship – Bergen County, NJ


By Laine

While searching for the right psychologist or psychiatrist many people state they are looking for someone they will “click with”. Feeling a connection is very important to develop a trusting relationship with your therapist. In addition to having a strong rapport, there are other qualities to be aware of. In order to ensure you are receiving the most beneficial treatment, there are certain aspects to require from your clinician, and others to avoid.

Although a therapist is someone who is there for you, it is not someone you should become dependent upon. Recognize that your therapist should be teaching you independence, and how to continue improvement on your own once treatment has stopped. Proof of this comes from having a treatment plan—and one that eventually will come to and end due to the learned independence. It should be about learning to take the skills you work on in therapy, and gaining the ability to apply them on your own.

On the other hand there are certain red flags you may want to avoid in a clinician. Signs to be wary of include the following:
– Odd practices that go against scientifically accepted norms and methods
– Pushing of political, religious or social views
– Lack of training or degrees
– Talking down or preaching behavior

Finally, the line between professional relationship and friendship should not be blurry. No matter how close you feel to your counselor in session, the relationship should remain in the office. This of course means no socializing, and also includes keeping communication appropriate.

If you are seeking treatment and are in Bergen County, New Jersey, feel free to call us at 201-368-3700 to make an appointment with one of our own licensed professional counselors, therapists, psychologists, or psychiatrists.


ADHD: Symptoms in Adults – Bergen County, NJ


By Irada Yunusova

Although the visual of a hyperactive kid bouncing around in his seat is the cliché often associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the symptoms of ADHD may prevail into adulthood and arise in different fashions. The subtle signs of adult ADHD may be overlooked because many of the symptoms seem like ordinary inconveniences everyone must face, such as boredom and daydreaming. The extent and frequency of symptoms must be considered in order to diagnose individuals and improve the life functioning of afflicted individuals. Five indicators of adult ADHD are discussed below.

1. Dissatisfaction with Reading

Many adults with ADHD do not draw satisfaction from reading books because books require a lot of attention. They may notice themselves going through the motions of reading without actually taking in the information, causing them to miss details that prevent continued interest. Adults with ADHD may enjoy websites and magazines more because they do not required as much ongoing attention.

2.Interruption during Conversations

Although adults with ADHD understand the proper etiquette of conversations, where individuals take turns in listening and speaking, they may find the balance difficult. Many adults do not have the attention and working memory to hold a thought in their mind while simultaneously listening to someone speak. Interruption may appear to be the only solution to prevent forgetting one’s comment. Some individuals identified challenges with communication as a cause of their marital problems.

3. Hyperactivity

This common identifier may present itself differently across individuals. Adults often times may describe themselves as restless, on edge, or tense. Diagnosing ADHD may be complicated by the fact that not all individuals with ADHD are hyperactive. In addition, those who were hyperactive as children may no longer be as adults.

4. Challenges with Focusing

Individuals with ADHD may find it more difficult to keep their attention on a given task. This may make them reckless drivers, where occurrences of speeding and traffic accidents may be common-place. Adults may also find themselves struggling with career performance because noise and phone calls may be a source of distraction.

5. Difficulty with Organization and Task Completion

Adults with ADHD may have difficulty organizing and balancing responsibilities, such as bills, their job, and children. Individuals with ADHD may have trouble starting a task and often procrastinate both in their home and work environments. Distractibility and inattentiveness may lead to tardiness in the completion of tasks.

Although adults with ADHD may have struggled for years, identifying this problem may improve their chance of finding treatment as adults. A combination of therapy and medication can help improve daily functioning and life satisfaction. If ADHD is causing distress, contacting a mental health professional at Arista Counseling and Psychological Services in Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan, NY may be the first step. Feel free to contact us for a free phone consultation at 201-368-3700 in order to set up an appointment with one of our licensed therapists, counselors, psychologists, or psychiatrists. Help is just a phone call away.



Birth Order – Bergen County, NJ

Birth Order

By Laine Podell

The order that you were born in relation to your siblings can be used as a predictor of traits and characteristics of your personality that are likely to develop.  Each trait suggested aligns with aspects of common family dynamic patterns.

Take the first-born child. They are often given the most responsibilities because as the oldest they are expected to step up into a leadership role. This may include babysitting the younger siblings or cousins. As the oldest they are also the “first” for everything. Being the first child to obtain a license means the first to have to help parents with running errands or carpooling. This natural responsibility falls upon the first born and causes them to become natural leaders. A leadership mentality translates into the workplace and social life.

Next is the middle-child. This child has to manage the influence from the older sibling as well as the responsibility of the younger. Often they become a chameleon of sorts, stuck in the middle and learning to fall into multiple roles. They are often strong at handling mediation and conflict in the workplace and are able to get along with a variety of personalities in their social life.

Finally is the last-born child. Sometimes, the last born can be over-shadowed by the older children’s more pertinent needs—helping a child with high school exams takes priority over playing with coloring books and board games. This creates an attention seeking child, for instance becoming a class clown. More so, the word “charmer” is often mentioned in regard to youngest children. Taking advantage of their position as the baby of the family the last-born child knows what it takes to get their way, even if that means using manipulation.

Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s and the DSM-V – Bergen County, NJ


By Laine Podell

After the release of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders one of the changes most covered by the media was the “disappearance” of Asperger’s Disorders. However, mainstream media portrayed a skewed message. To say that Asperger’s has disappeared, implies those previously classified as having Asperger’s lost their diagnosis, and that is not accurate. Rather, the term has been removed and those with a prior Asperger’s diagnosis are now to be considered on the spectrum for Autism Spectrum Disorder. This merge does not trivialize or eliminate the validity of the diagnosis; it is rather just an edit.

Yet major news sources, including coverage from Fox and CBS, have the public believing this disorder vanished from the world of mental health. For instance one headline read “Asperger’s syndrome will be dropped from the latest edition of the…DSM-5”.  It is important to recognize the distinction; eliminating an illness from the DSM-V is quite different than altering the terminology. The new diagnosis of mild Autism Spectrum Disorder does not change the person behind illness.

It is important to point out that the media was correct to bring attention to this issue. The change does have an effect on certain issues, including insurance reimbursement. Although the news may be coloring their stories in a way that is deceiving, the change did occur and is important to be recognized.

At the end of the day, when debating the changes to the DSM-V, be sure to have the information beyond the headlines.