May 19, 2024
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May 19, 2024
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Hope Therapeutic Services Puts Clients’ Needs First

Shlomit Liz Sanders, LMFT, CCTP, a clinician at Hope Therapeutic Services in West Orange, has a message for anyone struggling to find a therapist with whom they connect.

“Finding a therapist is a lot like dating,” she said. “Sometimes you have to go through a lot of people who aren’t for you before you get to the right one.”

Sanders acknowledged that all people have different personalities and therefore different needs. There is no one-size-fits-all approach in psychotherapy; goals must be tailored to the individual client, and not all clinicians are a good fit for all clients.

Sanders brings five years of experience and a following of clients from her previous practice in Staten Island. She does individual, couples and family therapy, and sees clients of all ages. She treats patients with many diagnoses and issues including anxiety, depression, self-esteem, grief, family conflict, infertility, infidelity and others. She also offers premarital education. She uses art therapy with children who may be best able to express themselves through art and play. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and also a certified clinical trauma professional.

Hope Therapeutic Services is a trauma-informed center, where everyone is sensitive to the impact trauma has on individuals and families. Sanders referred to two types of truama: “Trauma with a little t and trauma with a big T. Trauma with a little t are those situations that are unresolved, like when a child feels unloved or left out. Trauma with a big T are the big ones that we are all familiar with: abuse, rape, traumatic events like that. We help clients process both types.”

Particularly in the case of trauma with a big T, after which people often do not seek therapy for several months, therapists have to be sensitive to the issues that may have resulted. Sometimes, that is the therapeutic starting point. While she does not prescribe medications, if necessary and warranted she will refer the client to a psychiatrist. Before they reach this step, however, Sanders feels it is important to try a more holistic approach using principles of neuroscience. She believes it is vital to help clients learn to deal with and manage the symptoms resulting from the trauma first—sleeplessness, lack of confidence, lack of trust in others and more—before she works with them on the trauma itself.

A distinguishing feature of Sanders’ practice is that she tries to include humor in her treatment of clients whenever possible. “I believe it is important to try and find humor in whatever we do,” she said.

Sanders believes that to gain clients’ trust, it is important for the clinician to understand their goals, and it is equally important for clients to understand that the clinician will work with them to achieve their goals. “I believe in a collaborative approach to therapy,” she said. “We are a team and we have to work together. I don’t believe people should necessarily be in therapy for 20, 30 years.”

Sanders and the rest of the team at Hope Therapeutic Services are available for consultations and appointments. Some insurance is accepted. They can be reached at 973-337-6519, 862-505-9191 or [email protected], or visit their website at http://hopetsllc.com/. They are located at 500 Prospect Avenue, suite 300, in West Orange.

By Jill Kirsch

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