Help Starts From Within, LLC
- United States
- Marlboro, NJ
- Help Starts From Within, LLC
Providing individual, group, family and marital therapy, as well as community presentations, staff e I am confident that I am, and I feel you DESERVE a new you.
Happiness, peace of mind, gratitude, motivation and satisfying relationships with others are things that all people strive to have in their life. Stress, depression, anxiety, divorce, trauma, addiction, abuse (physical, verbal, emotional, and/or sexual), domestic violence, dysfunctional family relationships, unexpected medical crises, and life changes are just a few of the obstacles that can keep
people weighed down, stressed and lost. In order to overcome these obstacles, you must first start with a therapist whom you can develop a trusting relationship- someone who creates a safe, comfortable, nurturing and non-judgmental environment where you can begin to rejuvenate, reconnect and renew. My name is Marisa Montalvo Stefani and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. My counseling is based on understanding, compassion, trust, respect, and honesty- I have a commitment to help, and the ability to deliver. Allow me to assist you in achieving the results you are looking for through self-awareness and self-knowledge. If you or someone you know is experiencing problems, don't treat all therapists alike. Working with individuals and families is a challenging craft that takes a long time to master and few have received the kind of education, experience and savvy guidance necessary to deal with the range of tough issues that life can present us with. I encourage you to navigate through my website to learn more about my services and determine whether I am the therapist for you. If you have any remaining questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. Be Well,
Operating as usual
Courtney at HSFW on TikTok
Courtney at HSFW on TikTok
Are You A Procrastinator? Here Are Some Tips To Help!
Courtney at HSFW on TikTok
The holidays can be a stressful time of year. Watch Courtney’s tips on how to prepare. We wish all of you a beautiful holiday season, with as little stress as you can make it!
Four Ways to Conquer Holiday Stress
We are on TikTok!
Last call for group sign ups! Please reach out if interested. www.helpstartsfromwithin.com
We have an awesome new group forming right now with our talented therapist Anjelica! Please fill out the online form of you are interested.
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Help Starts From Within is excited to announce our new Emotional Support Animal Evaluation service! Most pet owners would agree that their furry friends provide a sense of comfort and joy that can help reduce their stress, anxiety, or depression on their toughest of days.
With a prescription for an ESA, you will be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Fair Housing Act, allowing you to house your ESA without discrimination or “pet rent.” In simpler terms, you cannot be denied housing for your pet’s breed or weight, nor can you be charged additional fees for having an animal.
There are many websites out there that hand out counterfeit letters and do not properly evaluate and educate their clients. At Help Starts From Within, your friends, families, and clients will work with reputable NJ licensed therapists to obtain an ESA through the appropriate channels.
Please pass this along to any interested parties! For more information, please reach out to us at www.Help Starts From Within, LLC
We have an awesome new group forming right now with our talented therapist Anjelica! Please fill out the online form of you are interested.
This is so important! 🙌
📷 Parents with Confidence
Happy Mother’s Day 💗💐
A hand written letter of gratitude from an incredible client 🙏🏼
“Just so you know…
I see you taking your kid to therapy while your friends take their kids to football or ballet.
I see you sneak out of the conversation when all your friends boast about achievements and exam notes.
I see you juggle events and meetings.
I see you sitting on the computer for hours investigating what your child needs.
I see you make a bad face when people complain about what looks like nonsense.
I see you disappear little by little but you keep going beyond for your family.
I see you pull strength from weakness with a force you didn't even dream you had.
I see you showing respect for teachers, therapists and medical professionals who help your child and help you.
Watching you wake up early in the morning to do it all again after another chaotic night.
I see you when you're on the edge of the precipice struggling to live.
I know you feel invisible, like no one notices.
But I want you to know that I see you.
I see you push forward always. I see you choose to do everything you can to give your child the best care at home, school, therapy and the doctors.
What you do matters. It's worth the struggle.
On those days when you wonder if you can make it one more minute, I want you to know I see you.
I want you to know that you are beautiful.
I want you to know it's worth it. I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know that love is the most important thing, and that you are the best at it.
And in those days when you see an improvement, those moments when hard work has its reward, and you can taste success, I'll see you then too.
And I'm proud of you.
Whatever day today.....you're doing it right.
And I see you. ❤”
✒ Alethea Mshar
📷 John Walker / Flickr
Wishing everyone a very happy Father’s Day!
Help Starts From Within is so excited to share all the incredible new journeys our staff are experiencing right now: Two of our staff are newly engaged, two staff are under contract on new homes, and another staff member is actively house shopping for her dream home. Lots of new adventures! Keep dreaming and achieving team 🥰
Let’s talk! There are 4 main communication styles, and while each style may lead to your desired outcome, only 1 style is rooted in the well-being of all parties: Assertive communication.
Unlike the other forms of communication, assertive communication helps to PRESERVE connection and relationship.
How Meghan Markle Has Already Changed the Way We Talk About Su***de
Meghan’s decision to speak openly about her suicidal thoughts challenges a culture of secrecy that has stopped many people from seeking or offering help.
We can create that safe place for you to talk about the things that you never felt safe enough to talk about before.
732-380-7449 or www.helpstartsfromwithin.com ￼￼
Happy Mother’s Day!
The staff at Help Starts From Within is thinking of all of you and hoping you all have a beautiful day￼ 🌻
MENTAL HEALTH WELLNESS TIPS FOR QUARANTINE
1. Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time, write a schedule that is varied and includes time for work as well as self-care.
2. Dress for the social life you want, not the social life you have. Get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes, wash your face, brush your teeth. Take the time to do a bath or a facial. Put on some bright colors. It is amazing how our dress can impact our mood.
3. Get out at least once a day, for at least thirty minutes. If you are concerned of contact, try first thing in the morning, or later in the evening, and try less traveled streets and avenues. If you are high risk or living with those who are high risk, open the windows and blast the fan. It is amazing how much fresh air can do for spirits.
4. Find some time to move each day, again daily for at least thirty minutes. If you don’t feel comfortable going outside, there are many YouTube videos that offer free movement classes, and if all else fails, turn on the music and have a dance party!
5. Reach out to others, you guessed it, at least once daily for thirty minutes. Try to do FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, texting—connect with other people to seek and provide support. Don’t forget to do this for your children as well. Set up virtual playdates with friends daily via FaceTime, Facebook Messenger Kids, Zoom, etc—your kids miss their friends, too!
6. Stay hydrated and eat well. This one may seem obvious, but stress and eating often don’t mix well, and we find ourselves over-indulging, forgetting to eat, and avoiding food. Drink plenty of water, eat some good and nutritious foods, and challenge yourself to learn how to cook something new!
7. Develop a self-care toolkit. This can look different for everyone. A lot of successful self-care strategies involve a sensory component (seven senses: touch, taste, sight, hearing, smell, vestibular (movement) and proprioceptive (comforting pressure). An idea for each: a soft blanket or stuffed animal, a hot chocolate, photos of vacations, comforting music, lavender or eucalyptus oil, a small swing or rocking chair, a weighted blanket. A journal, an inspirational book, or a mandala coloring book is wonderful, bubbles to blow or blowing watercolor on paper through a straw are visually appealing as well as work on controlled breath. Mint gum, Listerine strips, ginger ale, frozen Starburst, ice packs, and cold are also good for anxiety regulation. For children, it is great to help them create a self-regulation comfort box (often a shoe-box or bin they can decorate) that they can use on the ready for first-aid when overwhelmed.
8. Spend extra time playing with children. Children will rarely communicate how they are feeling, but will often make a bid for attention and communication through play. Don’t be surprised to see therapeutic themes of illness, doctor visits, and isolation play through. Understand that play is cathartic and helpful for children—it is how they process their world and problem solve, and there’s a lot they are seeing and experiencing in the now.
9. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and a wide berth. A lot of cooped up time can bring out the worst in everyone. Each person will have moments when they will not be at their best. It is important to move with grace through blowups, to not show up to every argument you are invited to, and to not hold grudges and continue disagreements. Everyone is doing the best they can to make it through this.
10. Everyone find their own retreat space. Space is at a premium, particularly with city living. It is important that people think through their own separate space for work and for relaxation. For children, help them identify a place where they can go to retreat when stressed. You can make this place cozy by using blankets, pillows, cushions, scarves, beanbags, tents, and “forts”. It is good to know that even when we are on top of each other, we have our own special place to go to be alone.
11. Expect behavioral issues in children, and respond gently. We are all struggling with disruption in routine, none more than children, who rely on routines constructed by others to make them feel safe and to know what comes next. Expect increased anxiety, worries and fears, nightmares, difficulty separating or sleeping, testing limits, and meltdowns. Do not introduce major behavioral plans or consequences at this time—hold stable and focus on emotional connection.
12. Focus on safety and attachment. We are going to be living for a bit with the unprecedented demand of meeting all work deadlines, homeschooling children, running a sterile household, and making a whole lot of entertainment in confinement. We can get wrapped up in meeting expectations in all domains, but we must remember that these are scary and unpredictable times for children. Focus on strengthening the connection through time spent following their lead, through physical touch, through play, through therapeutic books, and via verbal reassurances that you will be there for them in this time.
13. Lower expectations and practice radical self-acceptance. This idea is connected with #12. We are doing too many things in this moment, under fear and stress. This does not make a formula for excellence. Instead, give yourself what psychologists call “radical self acceptance”: accepting everything about yourself, your current situation, and your life without question, blame, or pushback. You cannot fail at this—there is no roadmap, no precedent for this, and we are all truly doing the best we can in an impossible situation.
14. Limit social media and COVID conversation, especially around children. One can find tons of information on COVID-19 to consume, and it changes minute to minute. The information is often sensationalized, negatively skewed, and alarmist. Find a few trusted sources that you can check in with consistently, limit it to a few times a day, and set a time limit for yourself on how much you consume (again 30 minutes tops, 2-3 times daily). Keep news and alarming conversations out of earshot from children—they see and hear everything, and can become very frightened by what they hear.
15. Notice the good in the world, the helpers. There is a lot of scary, negative, and overwhelming information to take in regarding this pandemic. There are also a ton of stories of people sacrificing, donating, and supporting one another in miraculous ways. It is important to counter-balance the heavy information with the hopeful information.
16. Help others. Find ways, big and small, to give back to others. Support restaurants, offer to grocery shop, check in with elderly neighbors, write psychological wellness tips for others—helping others gives us a sense of agency when things seem out of control.
17. Find something you can control, and control the heck out of it. In moments of big uncertainty and overwhelm, control your little corner of the world. Organize your bookshelf, purge your closet, put together that furniture, group your toys. It helps to anchor and ground us when the bigger things are chaotic.
18. Find a long-term project to dive into. Now is the time to learn how to play the keyboard, put together a huge jigsaw puzzle, start a 15 hour game of Risk, paint a picture, read the Harry Potter series, binge watch an 8-season show, crochet a blanket, solve a Rubix cube, or develop a new town in Animal Crossing. Find something that will keep you busy, distracted, and engaged to take breaks from what is going on in the outside world.
19. Engage in repetitive movements and left-right movements. Research has shown that repetitive movement (knitting, coloring, painting, clay sculpting, jump roping etc) especially left-right movement (running, drumming, skating, hopping) can be effective at self-soothing and maintaining self-regulation in moments of distress.
20. Find an expressive art and go for it. Our emotional brain is very receptive to the creative arts, and it is a direct portal for release of feeling. Find something that is creative (sculpting, drawing, dancing, music, singing, playing) and give it your all. See how relieved you can feel. It is a very effective way of helping kids to emote and communicate as well!
21. Find lightness and humor in each day. There is a lot to be worried about, and with good reason. Counterbalance this heaviness with something funny each day: cat videos on YouTube, a stand-up show on Netflix, a funny movie—we all need a little comedic relief in our day, every day.
22. Reach out for help—your team is there for you. If you have a therapist or psychiatrist, they are available to you, even at a distance. Keep up your medications and your therapy sessions the best you can. If you are having difficulty coping, seek out help for the first time. There are mental health people on the ready to help you through this crisis. Your children’s teachers and related service providers will do anything within their power to help, especially for those parents tasked with the difficult task of being a whole treatment team to their child with special challenges. Seek support groups of fellow home-schoolers, parents, and neighbors to feel connected. There is help and support out there, any time of the day—although we are physically distant, we can always connect virtually.
23. “Chunk” your quarantine, take it moment by moment. We have no road map for this. We don’t know what this will look like in 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month from now. Often, when I work with patients who have anxiety around overwhelming issues, I suggest that they engage in a strategy called “chunking”—focusing on whatever bite-sized piece of a challenge that feels manageable. Whether that be 5 minutes, a day, or a week at a time—find what feels doable for you, and set a time stamp for how far ahead in the future you will let yourself worry. Take each chunk one at a time, and move through stress in pieces.
24. Remind yourself daily that this is temporary. It seems in the midst of this quarantine that it will never end. It is terrifying to think of the road stretching ahead of us. Please take time to remind yourself that although this is very scary and difficult, and will go on for an undetermined amount of time, it is a season of life and it will pass. We will return to feeling free, safe, busy, and connected in the days ahead.
25. Find the lesson. This whole crisis can seem sad, senseless, and at times, avoidable. When psychologists work with trauma, a key feature to helping someone work through said trauma is to help them find their agency, the potential positive outcomes they can effect, the meaning and construction that can come out of destruction. What can each of us learn here, in big and small ways, from this crisis? What needs to change in ourselves, our homes, our communities, our nation, and our world?
704 Ginesi Drive
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Send a message to Help Starts From Within, LLC:
Happiness, peace of mind, gratitude, motivation and satisfying relationships with others are things that all people strive to have in their life. Stress, depression, anxiety, divorce, trauma, addiction, abuse (physical, verbal, emotional, and/or sexual), domestic violence, dysfunctional family relationships, unexpected medical crises, and life changes are just a few of the obstacles that can keep people weighed down, stressed and lost. In order to overcome these obstacles, you must first start with a therapist whom you can develop a trusting relationship- someone who creates a safe, comfortable, nurturing and non-judgmental environment where you can begin to rejuvenate, reconnect and renew. My name is Marisa Montalvo Stefani and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I have a small psychotherapy group practice with several talented therapists, and our counseling is based on understanding, compassion, trust, respect, and honesty. Collectively, we have a commitment to help, and the ability to deliver. Allow us to assist you in achieving the results you are looking for through self-awareness and self-knowledge. If you or someone you know is experiencing problems, don't treat all therapists alike. Working with individuals and families is a challenging craft that takes a long time to master and few have received the kind of education, experience and savvy guidance necessary to deal with the range of tough issues that life can present us with. I encourage you to navigate through our website to learn more about our services and determine whether we are the therapist for you. If you have any remaining questions please don’t hesitate to contact us Be Well, Marisa
Nearby government services
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Kozloski Road, Freehold
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Puerto Rican Association for Human Developmen1st Street, Perth Amboy
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Meals on Wheels in Greater New BrunswickLivingston Avenue, New Brunswick
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Other Marlboro government services
National Eagle Scout & Alumni Associations ofGinesi Drive
Library Court & Wyncrest Drive
Marlboro Township Police DepartmentTownship Drive
Marlboro First Aid and Rescue Squad, Inc.Wyncrest Road
Marlboro Township Recreation & SwimRecreation Way