If You Haven’t Already Done So, Forgive Yourself

By: Dariana Taveras

Relationship Problems: Why Forgiving is the First Step

For thinking that you could be the one to save the pieces of whatever is left of your relationship…for holding on tightly despite the currents that are attempting to knock you down…for not taking responsibility for whatever it is that you felt like you did to ruin your relationship. Most importantly, forgive yourself for YOURSELF.

You may think that you want to forgive yourself for the sake of your partner. However, the reality is that the only way to work through your current issues is by acknowledging what went wrong and concentrating on repairing it. The idea is to shift away from self-inflicted excuses and punishments. Your relationship still has an opportunity to be saved if you are willing to be accountable for your actions and wish to work towards a common goal. If your goal is to remain by each other’s side, then the first inevitable step is forgiveness. Satisfaction within your relationship may significantly improve if you begin to have fewer negative feelings towards yourself and your current situation.

If you are concerned that you or anyone you care about may be having relationship issues, the licensed professionals at Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy can assist you. They have successfully helped many with marriage, pre-marital, and relationship issues. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.


Don’t Turn Your Back, Offer Your Help— How You Can Help Someone With Depression

By: Dariana Taveras

We tend to be so engaged in the countless facets of life that we often unconsciously neglect when someone we love is fighting an uphill battle. Our own daily affairs lead us astray, as we fail to consider that perhaps someone very near and dear is sadly conflicted. Perhaps they were energetic in the past and experienced difficult circumstances that lead to their feelings of hopelessness, lethargy, tiredness, lack of motivation, and unexplainable sadness. Although we may not be trained professionals in dealing with depression, there may be several actions we can actively pursue to help our loved ones feel seen, heard, cared for, valued, and understood.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you think your loved one may be enduring symptoms of depression:

  • Empathetically address your concerns with your loved one
  • Emphasize your willingness to support them
  • Offer your help— This may help you gain insight into how to effectively discuss any options your loved one may be open to trying
  • Be there for your loved one, do NOT give up on them!
  • Reassure your loved one that they ARE capable of making the necessary changes that can lead to a happier and healthier life
  • Whatever you do, do NOT blame yourself for your loved one’s depression

The most important thing to remember is that you alone cannot save anyone from their depression. All you can do is try to lend supportive ears to listen and a compassionate heart to understand them the best that you can.

If you are concerned that you or anyone you care about may be suffering from depression, the licensed professionals at Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy can assist you.  Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Domestic Violence: Are You In Danger?

Domestic Violence: Are You In Danger?

Domestic Violence: Are You In Danger?

By: Paula Roa

When we think about violence, we believe it to exist in the streets and outside the walls of our home. It is hard to picture domestic violence in our own home because the home is a safe haven and a protective environment where we seek shelter. But the reality is that violence in the home is a prevalent occurrence and happens more often than we would like to believe.

Domestic violence is most common towards women, but men are not immune. Women and men can both be the aggressors and the victims. When violence enters the home, the victim has options and should never feel abandoned or helpless.

A great place to start finding help is to analyze the danger and risk of leaving. If the danger level is too high and there is a possibility of triggering more violence, find a safe way to escape to a safe house for domestic violence. Reporting the aggressor is a MUST. It is important to have the violence of the aggressor on record so that when needed, the police will have a better opportunity to protect the victim.

The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act from the Domestic Violence Law of New Jersey:

Applies to you if you are: a person 18 years of age or older, or an emancipated minor, subjected to domestic violence by a spouse or former spouse, a present or former household member or someone with whom you have a child in common. This law also applies to you if you are subjected to domestic violence within a dating relationship, regardless of your age (under or over 18). You do not have to be married or living with the abuser in order to be protected.

The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act states:

You are a victim of domestic violence if you have experienced:

  • beatings or physical attacks such as kicking, slapping, punching or hair pulling;
  • threats that make you fear serious injury to yourself or your children;
  • threats that make you fear for your life;
  • imprisonment within your own home or at another location;
  • forced sexual contact or rape under threats of harm to yourself or someone you care about;
  • embarrassment or alarm because of lewd or shocking behavior;
  • damage to your personal property;
  • forced entry into your home, with or without a weapon;
  • threats with a weapon such as a gun or knife;
  • repeated verbal humiliation and attacks


Finding help and therapy after a traumatic event such as domestic violence is important for the well-being of the victim. Some disorders that may arise after domestic violence can include but are not limited to: PTSD, severe depression, phobias, anxiety, and panic attacks.  There are many times when helplessness is inevitable, however with a little motivation and a lot of courage, a bad situation can see its end.

Please contact our Bergen County NJ or Manhattan NY offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists for an evaluation and treatment at Arista Counseling and Psychological Services (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920.





Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-How to Transform Negative Thoughts into Positive Thoughts!- Bergen County, NJ

By: Michelle Dierna

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.”

-William James

 Life can consists of day to day challenges that most people can’t control. However, one thing we can control is how to adjust and alter our mind. While reading this one might think; well how am I supposed to adjust my mind to think positively, when I can’t control the negative feelings that come first? Some might say well, I don’t have this issue I wake up and I feel grateful and look forward to the day and tasks ahead. The people who positivethoughtswake up with negative thoughts tend to try and justify them, from observation. For example; “It’s raining today so it’s going to be horrible day at work” or “my mom said I was not allowed to use the internet all day today because I am being punished, so today is going to be the worst day ever at school!”. When negative thoughts control someone’s mind to this extent the individual automatically unconsciously starts their day with a negative attitude. They already have pre-conceived notions on of how their day is going to play out. This negative attitude may be caused by anxiety, depression, family issues, stress, and external factors.

A significant, thought to keep in mind is; not everything in life is black and white. Thus, “all or nothing” approaches are detrimental to our mental health. “Well if lose my job I will lose everything, it will be so hard to find another job and it’s not fair” – this correlates with negative thinking. Hypothetically inserting the “grey” in this context; is almost like a silver lining when it comes to positive thoughts. This could lead to potentially giving anyone a new outlook on the options they actually have and can control. Thus, change negative thinking into positive thinking. Life is ever changing; therefore, to lead an emotionally healthy life we need to have balanced emotions, even when life takes us on emotional roller coaster rides when we least expect it.

There are a few tips on how to switch negative thinking to positive thinking; No one is alone! When you change negative thoughts to positive thoughts it can lead to a more fulfilling life and a more positive perspective on your lifestyle, which hopefully leads to lifestyle changes. Here are some words of advice to change the” black and white” mentality and dive into the grey areas! It will help you have a more positive way of facing issues on a daily basis; which reduces the negative thoughts and produces positive thoughts.

Some tips:

* Try not to use words such as always, never, impossible, flawless and dreadful because all these words leave no room for flexibility. Words that have more room for explanation lead to balance.

 Some examples of negative thinking turned around:

• “I can be an intelligent person and still do something stupid.”

• “There are parts of my life I enjoy and there are parts of my life that create stress.”

• “My children bring me joy and they sometimes drive me crazy.”

• “I can love my wife, and still be angry with her sometimes.”

*“The most important word in each sentence is and. The word and suggests a balance, it paints a shade of gray in our lives.”

It is important to realize when negative/toxic thoughts come into your mind and have the ability to be aware and dive into those grey areas and change the thought patterns; before they ruin your day, week and months! Stay open- minded and explore the other options your mind can dwell on, this is what will enhance your overall mental health. Always look for the positive, sometimes it will be hard to find but the silver lining but it is there. Mind over matter!

If negative thoughts are controlling your life, therapy may help.  Feel free to contact the Bergen County, New Jersey or Manhattan offices of Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy at (201) 368-3700or (212) 722-1920.  Visit www.acentertherapy.com for more information.


1. Blackwill, Alex. “10 Steps for Transforming Negative Thoughts into Positive Beliefs.” The BridgeMaker 10 Steps for Transforming Negative Thoughts into Positive Beliefs Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2008.thebridgemaker.com/10-steps-for-transforming-negative-thoughts-into-positive-beliefs/

2. Bundrant, M. (2014). How I Turned My Miserable Life Around. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 16, 2014. blogs.psychcentral.com/nlp/2014/05/how-i-turned-my-miserable-life-around/