Specialties:

Click below for additional information on each

Anxiety
 

My belief about anxiety is that it is a perceived fear about a future that has not yet happened. It presents itself as worry and panic and can cause physiological changes in the body such as racing heart rate, sweating, racing thoughts, and irritability.  Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.  

 

Anxiety disorders often involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks). These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger, and can last a long time. You may avoid places or situations to prevent these feelings.  

 

Anxiety can actually be a good thing, however, and when we learn how to work with our anxiety, rather than fighting with it, we can find that symptoms begin to go away on their own. My approach to treating anxiety is by utilizing a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to examine anxious thoughts, figure out ways to readjust our thinking, and develop better coping skills.  Together we can work on how to manage this feeling so that you can take back control of your life. 

 
Depression

Depression can wreak havoc on a person’s life and can leave you feeling unfulfilled with things that once brought you joy. It is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think, and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn't worth living. More than just a case of the blues, depression isn't a weakness and you can’t simply "snap out"—it becomes a distorted way of living. 

  

Talk therapy is a highly effective treatment for depression, even though it may be the last thing you’d want to talk about. A lot of individuals don’t like the idea of talking about feelings and emotions. That’s okay – talk therapy can still work, because there’s a lot more to depression than feelings. Thoughts, behaviors, and lifestyle issues all play a role in depression. My approach to the treatment of depression involves utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to address the root causes that are leading to depressive episodes. We then find ways for you to manage the symptoms of depression and to slowly begin the journey out of the pits of darkness. 

 
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

A therapy that has been shown to be effective in over 2,000 research studies. It is a time-sensitive, structured, present-oriented therapy that helps individuals identify goals that are most important to them and overcome obstacles that get in the way. CBT helps people get better and stay better.

CBT is based on the cognitive model: the way that individuals perceive a situation is more closely connected to their reaction than the situation itself. In other words. If a person can change the way they think, they can begin to change the way they feel, and ultimately change their behavior.

One important part of CBT is helping clients figure out what they most want from life and move toward achieving their vision. They learn skills to change thinking and behavior to achieve lasting improvement in mood and functioning and sense of well-being. Lenny is listed as part of The Academy of Cognitive Therapy’s referral Therapist network.

 
Comprehensive Behavioral Interventions for Tics (CBIT)

CBIT is a powerful technique that has been demonstrated to reduce tic severity. CBIT is a non-drug treatment consisting of three important components:

  • Training the patient to be more aware of tics

  • Training patients to do competing behavior when they feel the urge to tic

  • Making changes to day to day activities in ways that can be helpful in reducing tics.

 

CBIT is a highly structured therapy that typically takes place in a therapist’s office on a weekly basis. The standard treatment is 8 sessions over 10 weeks, but can be longer or shorter depending on the needs. The first step in CBIT is to teach the patient to become more aware of his or her tics and the urge to tic. Next, the patient is taught to perform a specific behavior that makes the tic more difficult to do, as soon as the tic or urge appears. The final step of CBIT, the functional intervention (FI), is based on the fact that certain situations or reactions to tics can make them worse than they might otherwise be. The goal of FI is to identify these situations and have the patient and family attempt to change them so the tics aren’t made worse unnecessarily. To learn more about this therapy. Please feel free to contact me.

+PLEASE NOTE+ If you haven't been formally diagnosed with a "tic disorder," prior to seeing me for this service, it is recommended that you contact a neurologist who specializes in movement disorders to evaluate your symptoms. There are numerous reasons for why people can have tics and it is recommended that you rule out other conditions before seeking to correct them with behavioral therapy. 

 
LGBTQ+ Issues

Despite rapidly growing cultural acceptance of diverse sexual orientations and gender identifications—oppression, discrimination, and marginalization of LGBTQ+ community persists. Coping with discrimination and oppression, coming out to one’s family, and sorting out an “authentic” sense of self in the face of social expectations and pressures can lead to higher levels of depression, anxiety, substance use, and other mental health concerns for LGBTQ+ people. Furthermore, today's LGBTQ+ individuals are facing new challenges that can be sources of distress. Together, we can navigate through these new challenges and find the best way to address them. 

 
Trauma

Trauma is the experience of severe psychological distress following any terrible or life-threatening event. Sufferers may develop emotional disturbances such as extreme anxietyanger, sadness, survivor’s guilt, or PTSD. They may experience ongoing problems with sleep or physical pain, encounter turbulence in their personal and professional relationships, and feel a diminished sense of self-worth due to the overwhelming amount of stress.

 

Traumatic experiences often arouse strong, disturbing feelings that may or may not abate on their own. In the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event, it is common to experience shock or denial. A person may undergo a range of emotional reactions, such as fear, anger, guilt, and shame. Feelings of helplessness and vulnerability are also common. Some may experience flashbacks and other signs of PTSD. Traumatic memories fade naturally with time. Persistence of symptoms is a signal that professional help is needed.

 

Although the instigating event may overpower coping resources available at the time, it is nevertheless possible to develop healthy ways of coping with the experience and diminishing its effects. My approach to treating trauma is to work up towards re-exploring the traumatic events so that the narrative and thoughts that we tell ourselves can slowly change over time.

 
Exposure Techniques

Exposure therapy is a modality that was developed to help people confront their fears. When people are fearful of something, they tend to avoid the feared objects, activities or situations. Although this avoidance might help reduce feelings of fear in the short term, over the long term it can make the fear become even worse. In such situations, I recommend a program of exposure therapy in order to help break the pattern of avoidance and fear. In this form of therapy, we create a safe environment in which to “expose” you to the things you fear and avoid. The exposure to feared objects, activities or situations in a safe environment helps reduce fear and decrease avoidance. We work our way up to confronting the fear. 

Exposure therapy has been scientifically demonstrated to be a helpful treatment or treatment component for a range of problems, including: 

  • Phobias 

  • Panic Disorder 

  • Social Anxiety Disorder 

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder 

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder 

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder 

 

People can have mixed feelings on exposure therapy because it can sometimes be seen as too invasive. My approach, however, is to always begin with making you comfortable as we SLOWLY begin to work towards the goal of confronting the fear. We only move closer to the feared object or event as you are ready and I make sure to thoroughly examine each step along the way. In my experience, people ultimately feel empowered when they are finally able to confront the objects or situations that have long held them back.  

Teletherapy
 

Teletherapy is the delivery of mental health counseling via the Internet. People also know it as e-therapy, online therapy, distance therapy, Internet therapy and web therapy. Therapists and online therapy networks use a variety of mediums such as apps for texting, video chatting, voice messaging and audio messaging.

While online therapy is not for everyone, studies have found that e-therapy can be a viable alternative and supplement to in-office therapy. Please note that Lenny only offers online therapy to those individuals residing in New Jersey, New York, and Illinois. This service is only offered to those who meet the criteria, and is generally non-reimbursable through insurance. Please contact Lenny if you are interested in learning more about this type of therapy and if it can benefit you. Check out the FAQ section of this website to find out if you're a good candidate for this service.

Creative Arts
 

Actors, dancers, musicians, painters, other performers, and athletes are vulnerable to a variety of challenges that are unique to those who choose to make their living in these fields. These careers are often unpredictable and unlike many other professions, there is no clear-cut path to professional success or advancement. Studies suggest that artists and athletes face higher rates of depression and anxiety as a result of their careers. While managing through the highs-and-lows of these professions can be daunting, you need not do it alone.

Anger Management
 

Anger can be thought of as a secondary emotion or a mask we often put on to give ourselves the illusion that we are in control of a situation. Getting angry at someone, acting or lashing out at individuals, or keeping our frustration built up inside of us, is just a symptom of something deeper inside of us that we may not fully understand. Oftentimes what lies beneath the mask of anger is fear, sadness, disappointment, and an array of other emotions that we never learned to handle or express appropriately. We express these feeling as anger to try and take back control of the situation, but often with negative consequences. If you find yourself getting angry all the time or those around you are starting to point out your anger, it might be time to examine this emotion on a deeper level. My approach to addressing anger is to begin to understand the root causes of what makes us angry, and look for healthier ways to express what lies beneath.  

+PLEASE NOTE+ I cannot see people who are currently involved in legal disputes as a result of their anger. If you currently have a restraining order against you, are in the middle of a custody dispute, have pending charges against you, or you are anticipating being involved in court proceedings, my services will not be appropriate for you at this time. When your legal issues are resolved, you may contact me then.

Furthermore, my services are not considered a substitute for traditional anger management courses that will that will suffice for court mandates.

Men's Issues
 

Research has taught us that men don’t often seek out therapy on their own. There are beliefs of “therapy is for the weak” and “l can handle my problems on my own” that keep men from seeking out help. Often men seek therapy when something or someone has prompted them to go and things in their life have gotten worse (if you’re reading this and you are seeking out therapy on your own, give yourself a pat on the back). Still, this can be a good place to start the process.

 

Men have a complexity of issues that often remain unaddressed. While it may not be discussed as much, men suffer from issues that can lead them to feeling angry, discontent, and lonely to name a few. The most common issues men come to see me for are anger management, sexual performance issues, marital and extramarital concerns, life changes, feelings of inadequacy as a provider, body image issues, and work related concerns. Having a non-judgmental environment with which to examine these issues can lead to a greater sense of self-empowerment. If you’re ready to come to therapy or are on the fence about whether you need therapy, feel free to give me a call and we can discuss your concerns. 

Lenny Gallo, LCSW, LCADC, LMT, ACT

3 Overhill Rd.
Verona, NJ 07044

Lenny@LennyGalloLCSW.com

Phone: 973-559-3669

Fax: 973-415-1275

Contact Me:

© 2020 by Lenny Gallo, LCSW, LCADC, LMT, ACT.

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