Couples Counseling: The Benefits

By Stephanie Osuba

According to, there are many reasons why people chose to participate in couples therapy, as well as many reasons they don’t. The common reason couples usually don’t consider counseling is out of embarrassment or the stigma that surrounds the intimate details of one’s personal relationship. The stigma dictates that only people who are in a very broken state in their relationship can benefit from couples counseling. However, no relationship is perfect and sometimes even the most socially competent of us need the help of a professional. Psychologists can help couples identify key problems in the relationship in a structured way that acknowledges the feelings of both parties. Although it’s never easy to reopen past wounds, it is the only way to push through to a place of understanding with a partner. Sessions can also determine whether the relationship needs some fine-tuning, a complete rebuilding, or a separation of ways.

Here are some benefits of couples counseling:

  • Improved communication skills
  • Increase in emotional and physical connection
  • Life plan development
  • Resolving conflicts in a structured way
  • Building a healthy relationship ­– ultimately leading to individual growth as well

Common issues couples hope to resolve in therapy: infidelity, poor communication, financial issues, parenting or co-parenting, work and career, emotional and physical intimacy, separation or divorce, abuse, grief and loss, and life transitions.

If you or someone you know appears to be having marital problems, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit


Sex Anxiety: Why You May be Avoiding a Sex Life


From the moment we are exposed to media and advertisement, sex can be found almost everywhere. Although sex is largely viewed as a solely physical interaction, the emotional aspect of sex is strongly tied to our arousal, too. The idea of being sexual can cause someone severe distress, rather than pleasure, when suffering from sexual aversion disorder.

When people suffering from sexual aversion disorder are confronted with an intimate situation, their body reacts with their sympathetic nervous system using a response called “fight or flight.” This response causes the body to release stress hormones, such as epinephrine or norepinephrine, in a series of reactions that are designed to help someone deal with a threatening situation. By associating sexual activity with a threat, people are not able to properly deal with the underlying cause of this distress, and, furthermore, distance themselves from any form of intimacy. Through this pattern, people additionally reinforce themselves to avoid sexual contact by conditioning the avoidance as a reliever of their underlying distress.

This disorder can be acquired in a multitude of ways. The causes include sexual violence during childhood or later in life, stress, depression, alcohol and drug use, or a lack of a certain substance in the body. To learn more about the specific causes and treatments for sexual aversion disorder, please continue to follow our blog posts at Arista Psychological & Psychiatric Services.

If you believe that you are a loved one has or may have sexual aversion disorder, or sex anxiety, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can help you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices respectively at (201)-368-3700 or (212)-722-1920 to set up an appointment

Visit for more information.

Sources: Brotto, L. A. (2010). The DSM diagnostic criteria for sexual aversion disorder. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39(2), 271-7. doi:

By: Margalit I. Herzfeld


Relationships: Emotional Abuse


Relationships: Emotional Abuse

By: Catherine Ferreira

The typical image of an abusive partnership is often one of violence. It is one of bruises and broken bones; of random angry outbursts and bloodied hands. While not far from the truth, this portrayal can more often than not be greatly misleading.

There is a much deadlier, more sinister form of abuse that is not often talked about. It is not always noticeable, either. It takes the form of emotional abuse, or “any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish one’s sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth”1. Emotionally abusive relationships do not simply consist of dramatic emotional outbursts or random fits of anger. It is so deadly exactly because it is so subtle: something as simple as “You’ve been gaining a lot of weight lately” can be an act of violence because it implies your partner has a degree of control over you.

It can come out in more overt ways, too: manipulation and ultimatums; threatening to kill oneself; unfounded jealousy and a sense of entitlement; constant begging, badgering, stalking—all of these and more constitute what it means to be in an abusive relationship. Worst of all, they are symptoms of a toxic cycle that is hard to acknowledge and harder still to break.

Fortunately, however, guidance from a professional therapist can help you learn how to break out of this cycle. If you or a loved one live in Manhattan or Bergen County New Jersey and are in need of therapy or relationship counseling, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling 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 for more information.


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Online Dating: Tinderella Seeks Prince Charming

By: Kimberly Made

Online DatingIn the age of technology it is safe to say that we use our phones for just about everything. Whether it’s texting, showing the Instagram world what we had for lunch, or live tweeting our work day, we always have our phones in our hands. It was only a matter of time until we started using our phones to help us find love.

Now we have apps like Tinder that use your phone’s GPS to connect you with potential dates in your area. You’re shown a few pictures of someone in your area with a short bio they wrote about themselves. If you’re interested, you swipe the picture to the right of your screen and if not, you swipe to the left. If a person you were interested in swipes right for you too, you’re a match and are given the option to chat. You don’t even have to leave your house to find your prince. It’s as easy as swiping your screen.

We must keep in mind that like most things, there are both advantages and disadvantages to looking for love on your phone. There’s always the fear that the person you match with could be lying or could be some kind of online predator. This is why you should always be careful with the information you give out. You should also be sure that if you decide to take your online flirtations to the next step and actually decide to meet up with your Tinder match, that you do so in a neutral, public area just in case the date does not turn out as planned.

Although these are common fears any person would have, we must also look at the advantages of online dating. Some people are too busy to go out to try to meet people. Dating apps are easy and you can use them anywhere. They also give people who may be too shy to approach someone out in the real world the opportunity to get to know the person they are interested in without any pressure.

As more people start having more success with these kinds of dating apps, more people will definitely begin hopping on the bandwagon and trying to find their soul mates this way. As of 2013, 20% of committed relationship had begun online. According to a new study, by the year 2031, 50% of couples will have met through online dating.

If you or anyone you know is dealing with any kind of issues finding a relationship issues in your relationship or marriage, it may be beneficial to seek marriage counseling with a professional therapist who works with couples that have problems. If you are in Bergen County, New Jersey or Manhattan, New York, feel free to call 201-368-3700 to make an appointment with one of our own therapists, marriage counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists.