Marie has been a MSW since 1982 and became licensed in 1994 when licenses were permitted in the field. Marie has been in the field of social work since 1982 and began her private practice in 1989. Ms. Scodari has been trained in many of the modalities offered at Inner Light. Some of Marie's training and certifications include EMDR, NIP (new identity process), Gestalt Therapy, Imago Therapy (couple's therapy), Seimei, the Journey Process and Minuchin Family Therapy. Inner Light Counseling and Holistic Center was born out of her passion for helping clients get the most out of their therapeutic treatment. Marie uses a psycho-dynamic therapeutic approach while incorporating many of the above mentioned action therapies. She believes in treating the whole person - body, mind, emotions and spirit. Marie works with our adult clients.
Eileen Walton is a Board Certified Professional Counselor. She received the distinction as a testament to her professional excellence from the American Psychotherapy Association in May 2008. Eileen has been a therapist at Inner Light Counseling Center since 2006. In her practice, Eileen specializes in individual and couples counseling. She employs an eclectic approach utilizing numerous psychodynamic techniques, which aim at healing developmental wounds. Eileen is certified in Reiki and Journey process. She is also certified in Psychological First Aid and Traumatic Incident Intervention. Additionally, Eileen is certified in Advanced Post Traumatic Stress Management and is an active member of the Essex County Traumatic Loss Coalition. Eileen has extensive experience in dealing with a variety of childhood and adolescent issues.
Irene Guarino is a Nationally Certified, Licensed Professional Counselor with over 40 years experience working with families and children of all ages. Irene graduated from Kean University in 1983 with a Masters Degree in Behavioral Sciences and in 1997 with a Masters Degree in Counseling. She became licensed in 2001 and during that time was a member of the G.O.A.L.S. for a Families Program in Morristown where she conducted group counseling for children and adults who lost loved ones on 9/11. She has extensive experience with issues related to grief and loss, divorce, anger management and anxiety. As a trained crisis counselor she has worked with families who have experienced sudden traumatic loss as a result of suicide, homicide and accidental death. She has also worked with "at-risk" adolescents who had been involved with police issues. In addition, she is also a New Jersey Certified School Counselor. Irene is experienced with a wide range of techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy and play therapy. She offers her clients the security of her knowledge and caring and her down to earth approach to treatment.
Breann D’Alessandro received her Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Monmouth University. She has experience working with a wide range of clients including: persons suffering from depression, anxiety, anger issues, sexual abuse, domestic violence and personality disorders. Breann provides individual, family and marriage counseling. Her practice includes young children, adolescence and older adults. Breann uses a variety of therapeutic approaches including cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, play therapy, strength based and mindfulness techniques. She has a true passion for this line of work, growing a deeper understanding and respect for each individual client that she works with. Breann treats every client with dignity and respect. She provides a safe and nonjudgmental environment to help her clients throughout their journey of becoming a better version of themselves.
Monica is a NJ Licensed Social Worker. She graduated with her Master Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University with a clinical concentration and Violence Against Women and Children Certificate. She received her Bachelor in Social Work from Ramapo College. Monica’s populations of expertise include survivors of sexual or domestic violence, persons with disabilities, pregnant and parenting teens, children and families. She has experience working within preschools, middle schools and high schools as well as with Division of Child Protection and Permanency and Children’s System of Care clients.
When she is not counseling with Inner Light, Monica works at a rape crisis center and volunteers on evenings and weekends as a Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate. Her clinical interventions may incorporate empowerment and solution-focused methods, mindfulness and relaxation techniques, as well as play or art therapy to help her clients overcome anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts, low self-esteem, or other troubling thoughts and feelings. She believes in tailoring interventions to each client’s strengths and ensures a safe and welcoming space. Monica is passionate about what she does and eager to learn new ways to support the emotional growth of her clients.
Hope received a Masters Degree in Social Work from Fordham University, a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, and a law degree from Columbia University. Trained in psychodynamic therapy, she also draws on more interactive modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused problem solving, and Non-Violent Communication. In addition, Hope offers therapies that support the connections between the mind and the body. She is a certified Core Energetics practitioner, a certified medical Qi Gong practitioner, and is trained in EMDR. Her practice includes individuals of all ages as well as couples and families. Hope’s integrated holistic and personalized approach addresses common concerns such as anxiety, sadness, and indecision. She particularly enjoys helping clients improve family, friend, and workplace relationships. She also has years of experience working with survivors of abuse, trauma, high-conflict family dynamics, and addiction-related issues. Hope brings patience, compassion, open-mindedness, and pragmatism to her work. Hope believes therapy is a creative quest leading to enhanced health, fulfillment and aliveness.
Ashley is delighted to continue her journey at Inner Light. Ashley is a Licensed Social Worker, and earned her master’s degree with honors from Rutgers University in 2010, and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Ramapo College of NJ in 2007. During school, Ashley had extensive education in mental health, gender/LGBTQ issues, and loss and bereavement. Ashley has also earned a certificate in An Introduction to the Hakomi Method, based on Mindfulness and Somatics in Experiential Psychotherapy. In addition to her education, Ashley has experience working with children and families that have been referred to Child Protective Services, adults and adolescents in out-patient hospital settings, and individuals with mental and physical limitations. Ashley seeks to create an environment for people of all ages and backgrounds to feel connected, safe, and honored as the divine and unique person they are with kindness, compassion and non-judgment as a means to do so.
Ashley has found her way to successfully customize a client’s journey based on the client’s needs and goals, while recognizing that in order to get well- we have to focus on not only the mind, but the body and spirit as well. With that notion, Ashley blends a variety of techniques and modalities when working with others (mindfulness and meditation, art, cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, solution focused, and Gestalt therapy) in this way, clients are receiving the most from their counselors experience . Outside of Inner Light, Ashley is pursuing her yoga teaching certification and is an avid supporter of many environmental and animal welfare organizations. “You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself”- Buddha.
Virginia Blakeman is a licensed social worker with a master’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in social work from The University of Southern California. Virginia uses an eclectic theoretical base with interpersonal therapy. This includes “standard” psychotherapy as well as CBT, trauma therapies, motivational interviewing and problem solving therapy. She focuses on abuse, trauma, addictions and codependency, family systems, anxiety and depression, as well as general psychological issues that may arise for clients. Virginia has vast experience and training in working with members of the military. Virginia works with all age groups and treats each client on an individual basis. She views the client holistically to help clients align themselves to their “best self.”
Judy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University, a Master’s in Education from the College of New Jersey and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the College of New Jersey. Judy has 30 years of experience in the behavioral health field and has learned that regardless of our outer differences, we all cope with many of the same feelings, fears, anxieties and life concerns on the inside. One of her guiding priciples is “To make the unspoken – spoken” and in doing so we ease the power of our fears and worries by working through them openly and with courage. She also believes “A good cry is worth a thousand words”. Judy has extensive experience helping others recover from loss and trauma and has worked with victims of major disasters like Sept 11 and Hurricane Sandy. Judy utilizes a mind/body and person centered approach with the goal of empowerment and recovery. She specializes in women’s issues, recovery from trauma, addiction and codependency, personal growth and enhanced self awareness. “We are mind, body, feelings and spirit and all must be engaged in this journey for a fulfilling life”.
Jacqueline Crocker, LSW, is a NJ licensed social worker. She obtained a Master’s Degree in Social Work form Monmouth University. Jaqi has worked in New Jersey Children’s System of Care (CSOC) helping youth with chronic mental, behavioral, and developmental challenges and their families, including school issues, youth involved with the juvenile justice system, and families with DCPP (formerly DYFS) involvement. She has experience in counseling children, adolescents, families and adults. Using an individualized approach, Jaqi practices compassion and non judgment when working with clients through their struggles. Her approaches may include psycho-education, psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused approaches, and mindfulness techniques. She is also a Certified Yoga instructor and believes in the balance of mind, body and spirit.
Margaret Huettenmoser joined the staff of Inner Light Counseling in June of 2015. Ms. Huettenmoser graduated from Rutgers UMDNJ with honors receiving a dual Bachelor Degree in Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Psychology going on to receive her Master’s in Social Work from Kean University. Ms. Huettenmoser has experience working for various populations with a focus on mental health, individual, marriage and family issues. She has specialized in work with individuals, couples and families to begin to heal trauma from mental illness, addiction, depression, grief and loss. Ms. Huettenmoser uses an eclectic approach with techniques that include mindfulness relaxation, anger expression and cognitive/behavioral therapy. She takes a holistic approach to implement strategies and therapy focusing on deepening relationships, a positive sense of self, the healing of mind, body and spirit. Ms. Huettenmoser assists individuals and couples to recognize and utilize their full potential to heal. She provides a safe and supportive environment to enhance and promote the well-being of individuals and families.
Rachael Osetkowski received her Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from New York University. Rachael specializes in child and family therapy. In addition, she has experience working with a wide range of clients including couples and individuals. Rachael uses many different therapeutic techniques based on client’s needs including: psychodynamic therapy, psychotherapy, play therapy, and art therapy. All of these techniques coincide with keeping to her practice of structural family therapy. Rachael is dedicated to her work and is continuously educating herself in the field of social work and therapy.
Allison has worked in the field of mental health for over 20 years. She has a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Allison also has a master’s degree in social work form Columbia University with a focus in health, mental health and disabilities. She has had extensive experience working with individuals and their families coping with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and personality disorders. Allison is very passionate about helping individuals to develop the tools necessary for living a rich and meaningful life. She utilizes psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, mindfulness-based stress reduction and play therapy approaches in working with individuals.
Micki is a NJ Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a member of the National Association of Social Workers. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Boston University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Simmons College School of Social Work in 2003. Micki is a recent transfer from Boston where she has worked with at-risk youth involved in the legal system. She has experience working with individuals, couples and families. Micki is also certified in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. In addition to DBT, she also utilizes cognitive behavior therapy, psychodynamic therapy, strength based and solution focused therapy, as well as art and play therapy. She specializes in working with clients of all ages struggling with depression and anxiety, addiction, anger management, relationship issues, trauma, behavioral disorders, ADHD, ODD, and general everyday stress. Micki’s approach is supportive and goal oriented to help each individual reach their full potential and a sense of inner peace.
Liz is a Licensed Social Worker in both New Jersey and New York with a Master’s degree in Social Work from Rutgers University. She is also certified as a substance abuse counselor in New York and is a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor Candidate in New Jersey. Additionally, Liz is receiving advanced certification in Sexual Addiction Treatment through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals led by Dr. Patrick Carnes.
She has experience in such areas as depression, anxiety, grief and relationship issues. Through compassion, empathy, and insight-oriented reflective listening and mindfulness tools, Liz helps clients and their families stabilize amidst crisis to improve wellness. Liz assists individuals in building genuine connection to themselves, others and to the world by reconstructing meaning according to their own experience and priorities.
Christina earned a Master’s of Social Work degree from Rutgers University with an emphasis in Children, Youth and Families. She is a NJ Licensed Social Worker. She has worked with a diverse range of clients who have experienced loss, post-partum depression, depression, anger management issues, stress and anxiety, amongst other concerns. She has worked in different settings including outpatient, private practice and a school setting. Christina also has experience working with children to address behavioral changes, anxiety, family stress. Her focus is to help them gain a greater sense of self, build assertiveness as well as coping skills.
Heather Foerch, MA, LPC, LMFT
Heather is a licensed professional counselor as well as a licensed marriage and family therapist with over 15 years of clinical experience. She received her graduate degrees in the Behavioral Sciences and Marriage and Family Therapy from Kean University. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Seton Hall University.
Following graduate school she worked predominantly with children, adolescents and families from a systemic approach. In addition to working with children and families, she worked with individuals and couples. Her specializations include the treatment of trauma and anxiety based disorders. In addition to providing a safe and nonjudgmental environment for healing and growth, she offers a wide array of treatment modalities, depending upon the strengths and needs of her clients. These include several evidenced-based approaches including: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), an effective modality for the treatment of trauma, with several applications for use with children as well as adults. Heather is also trained in several systems based approaches such as Narrative Therapy, which emphasizes the significance of externalizing the problems clients are encountering from their concept of their own identity, thus separating the problem from the person, empowering them to create a more constructive discourse for shaping and reshaping their own lives.
Karen Kreitz, M.Ed, MSW, LSW
Karen is a NJ licensed Social Worker who graduated Rutgers University with both her Masters in Education in Counseling Psychology and her Masters in Social Work. She is a current member of the National Association of Social Workers. In addition, she is certified in non-violent crisis intervention. She has over 16 years of experience working with various populations including adults with chronic and acute mental health conditions, substance abuse, the aging out DCP&P population and most extensively, military veterans.
Karen assists individuals with developing and utilizing coping skills related to depression, anxiety, anger and trauma. She employs a variety of evidence based practices including cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and psychodynamic theory to assist each client in accomplishing the goals they set for themselves. By using these practices incorporated with a strengths based, person centered, holistic approach to her practice, she believes that it is possible for each individual to reach their full potential.
Monique Pearlman, M.S.W, L.S.W
Monique Pearlman received her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Rutgers University with a specialization in Children and Families. Monique is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Monique has 15 years’ experience working with children, adolescents and adults, focusing on domestic abuse and sexual violence. She also has extensive experience working with issues ranging from anxiety to trauma, PTSD, relationships, grief, self esteem and coping with every day stress. Monique is highly knowledgeable with violence against women in the area of interventions and trainings. She shares her expertise by facilitating a workshop for Rutgers University, Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) certification program.
Monique utilizes a client-centered approach while using cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, mindfulness and trauma- informed care to help her clients heal. She empowers her clients to recognize their inner strengths and supports them as they begin their healing journey. She provides a safe, warm and nurturing environment where her clients can process and move towards growth and stability.
Monique was a coordinator for a violence prevention program for 10 years where she developed and presented violence prevention curricula. She is a certified school social worker and a strong advocate for the rights of domestic violence and sexual violence survivors.
Mary Giovinazzo, MSW, LSW
Mary Giovinazzo is a Licensed Social Worker who obtained a clinical Master’s degree in Social Work from Rutgers University after working in the social services for over 10 years. Mary has worked extensively with individuals, couples and families from diverse backgrounds and age groups. Mary has training and experience treating individuals with depression and anxiety, grief and loss, trauma and abuse, chronic illness and caretaking, autism spectrum disorders, gender identity and LGBTQ issues, and divorce and family transitions. Mary is certified in grief support facilitation, crisis intervention and school social work.
Mary utilizes a strength-based and interactive approach to meet clients “where they are” in a nonjudgmental and collaborative way. Mary believes that clients build empowerment and self-confidence by processing past trauma, analyzing relationship patterns, and developing coping skills and distress tolerance in daily life. Mary utilizes client-tailored approaches including psychodynamic and motivational interviewing, cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapies, and family systems.
Gina Bellifemine, MSW, LSW
Gina Bellifemine is a NJ Licensed Social Worker. She graduated from Rutgers University with her Master’s Degree in Social Work, as well as an Addiction Counselor Training Certificate. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Rowan University. Gina has experience working with groups and individuals suffering from substance use addiction, codependency, and co-occurring issues such as anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. She views addiction, and related issues, as a family disease that influences the entire family system.
Gina believes in using a combination of various therapeutic approaches tailored to fit the unique needs for each individual she works with. She seeks to empower children, adolescents, and adults and assist them in recognizing positive growth in all areas of their life.
Sharon Sarno, MSW, LSW
Sharon Sarno is a licensed social worker, who has worked in the field since 1984. She has a graduate degree in clinical social work from Rutgers University. Sharon believes in a holistic therapeutic approach and focuses on biological, psychological and social factors that contribute to mental well being. Her greatest level of experience lies with treating such issues as depression, anxiety, loss, grief and coping strategies revolving around chronic illness and divorce. Through cognitive therapy and mindful strategies, Sharon helps individuals to change patterns in distorted thinking and faulty learning experiences. Sharon is warm and welcoming. She understands and empathizes with individual’s pain and difficulties. Sharon believes therapy leads individuals to happier, healthier and more productive lives.
Vanessa Cholish, MSW, LSW
Vanessa Cholish is an LSW with her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University. She is a certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. Vanessa also has been trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).Vanessa uses a wide variety of other techniques to suit each clients individual needs.
Vanessa has experience working with clients suffering from panic disorders, OCD, other anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, trauma, gender identity issues, as well as relationship/marital issues.
Vanessa provides a non-judgmental, confidential space in which to explore thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Her goal is to help identify maladaptive patterns and improve communication, coping skills, decision making skills and relationships.