New Jersey's Premiere Intensive Mental Health Program Specialist

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Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and Partial Care Programs (PHP) provide short term, intensive treatment for various mental health conditions. Anyone suffering from moderate to severe anxiety or depression, mood disorders, OCD, bipolar, behavioral issues etc. may want to consider a program. Most programs such as those at Innerspace Counseling include several components, creating an all-inclusive mental health treatment experience. These programs are designed to provide strong support in reducing symptoms, to ease the burden of going to multiple providers for different services, as well as to simplify billing and insurance issues. Let’s walk through the process of getting started.


Parenting an Anxious Child by Melissa Maranzano, MA

Parenting a child with anxiety is challenging. When our children are anxious, we often become anxious ourselves. Our minds race with questions like, “Do I let my child stop doing everything that makes them feel anxious? Do I push them to keep going and just get over it? Is this my fault? At what point should I seek professional help?”

First, you should take a deep breath and try to be a calm presence for yourself and for your child. An anxious parent will not calm an anxious child.

Next, here are some things you should know:

  • It is not your fault. According to the CDC, over 7% of children ages 3-17 have a diagnosis of anxiety. That is 4.4 million kids.

  • There is help and advice available from school counselors, pediatricians, and mental health professionals. Reach out and ask for help. Professionals can provide children with skills to help them manage their symptoms and improve their lives.

  • A...


Self Care is Knowing Who You Are & Your Limits

Written by Angelina Colon, MS, LAC, NCC

What is self-care?

Self-care in essence is the mindful taking of time to pay attention to you, but in a way that ensures that you are being cared for by you. Self-care means knowing who you are and your limits.

Self-care means recognizing when you are doing more than you are used to handling and trying to figure out what can be done to slow down. Try to find a way to decompress throughout your day. Ask yourself, what helps you tune out the noise of your day, how can you rest your mind during and after a stressful day. Trying to integrate mini breaks throughout your day helps to refresh the mind and body. For example, try stretching or taking a walk, drinking some water, and talking to a friend.

Self-care means identifying...


Practicing Gratitude

The practice of gratitude provides us with perspective, appreciation, and guides us toward hope. It has positive effects on our physical and emptional health and costs nothing to do and takes little to no. Taking stock in the positive and good that surrounds you can be grounding, making it possible to move and find joy.

2020 was a year like no other in our lifetime. We experienced a global pandemic, lockdowns, and civil and political unrest. Lives were upended by school closures, job loss, financial strain, and toilet paper shortages. How do we move forward with hope and gratitude when much of the issues of 2020 have followed us into the new year?

Some days the good is easy to find, other days it takes some work to see. Many can find gratitude by looking toward their families, their surroundings when their basic needs are met, or toward their spirituality. Keeping a journal or photos of the things that you are grateful for can help you on the days you are having difficulty finding the good. Keep these lists and...


Written by: Lindsay Sowder, MA, LAC, NCC

Setting healthy habits keep you feeling motivated, create a sense of accomplishment for each day, and increase your confidence overall!

You might want to start off by asking yourself these questions:

  • What about your current routine do you dislike?
  • Why do you want to start a healthy habit?
  • How will your new habits help you achieve your long-term goals?

Here are 3 tips for starting a healthy habit:

  1. Start small!
    • It’s important not to overwhelm yourself with too much at once. Choose something small to start with and stick to it!
  2. Be patient with yourself!
    • When it comes to starting a new habit or routine it’s easy to get stuck in what we call “All or Nothing thinking”. In other words, if you miss one day you fall off the wagon completely. This is a MYTH that we tell ourselves that gets in the way of us being successful! If you miss one day, that’s alright! Every day is a new day, get...

Written by: Melissa Maranzano, MA

Social media posts can serve as warning signs of a person in a mental health crisis. We have seen the stories of suicidal individuals posting feelings of sadness, loneliness, or even posting goodbye messages. We have also seen news stories where shortly before committing a violent crime, the perpetrator posted messages of hate or rage to their social media accounts. Facebook now utilizes algorithms to flag these posts and alert authorities to conduct wellness checks.

Until now though, the mental health indicators have been quite general and could not identify any specific diagnosis. A study published in Nature Partner Journals Schizophrenia found that we may be able to utilize social media algorithms to identify signs of schizophrenia or mood disorders as much as a year before a psychiatric hospitalization. The study found notable differences in the use of language and images in those with schizophrenia and mood disorders compared to a healthy population. Certainly, social media posts can not be a basis for such a diagnosis, but with...


Innerspace Counseling is honored to have been voted Best of the Best 2020 in Central Jersey for Holistic Wellness. Thank you to all who voted. Innerspace Counseling strives to provide the highest quality care possible using a caring and empowering approach to help our clients regain the balance in their lives. Our team appreciates this acknowledgement and will continue working to improve the mental health of our community.

Vote Here


Written by Melissa Maranzano, MA

When the COVID 19 outbreak hit New Jersey in March 2020, mental health providers had to scramble to learn virtual platforms, establish procedures and protocols, and get immediately up and running so no patient was left behind. The clients of Innerspace Counseling and other intensive mental health facilities generally have difficulty functioning at home or in school or have emotional and/or behavioral concerns. Patients diagnoses range from bipolar and schizophrenia to anxiety, depression, and ADHD. Not only would it be unethical to leave patients at this level of care without treatment during this crisis, but it would have created a flood of psychiatric emergencies at ER’s and hospitals across the state who were already overwhelmed with COVID 19 patients.

Innerspace Counseling was at the forefront of the abrupt shift to teletherapy. Our Founder & Program Director Ajita Shah, MA, LPC, NCC, ACS and our Board-Certified Psychiatrist, Dr. Jennifer Platt, D.O., advocated with New Jersey Assemblyman Ronald Dancer for an amendment to NJ...


Founder/Program Director at Innerspace Counseling, LLC., Ajita Shah, MA, LPC, NCC, was recently interviewed by Betsy Wurzel and discussed the need for mental health treatment, stigma, and the differences in the levels of mental health treatment available. You can listen to the interview here: Click Here


A new Teen Partial Care Program helps teens find balance through care and empowerment.

September brought in a new school year filled with uncertainty. Few schools in NJ are fully open, many are a hybrid of in-person & virtual learning, while others have fully virtual learning plans in place. While no one can answer the question of when it will all go back to normal, it was important for our team to meet the needs of this unique moment in time for teens and families requiring mental health treatment.

The need for mental health services has increased through the pandemic & Innerspace Counseling has continued to be there by pioneering safe, effective treatment for higher levels of mental healthcare through telehealth. We have gone a step further with our Teen Partial Care Program by incorporating free daily tutoring services.

The Teen Partial Care Program is for teens ages 12 & up dealing with anxiety, depression, school refusal, mood disturbances, self-harm behaviors, & more. Since...


Medical and scientific communities help you understand the complications of mental health, depression and addiction related issues. Innerspace Counseling, LLC in Old Bridge, NJ makes is a point to keep our readers updated about the latest news and findings. Please read below the latest news from the medical community.

• Exercise to Adjunct Antidepressant Treatment:

Exercise is a great option for treatment-resistant depression. Individuals in the study felt significant improvement including exercise into their lives to assist with depression.

Reference: Greer TL, Trombello JM, Rethorst CD, et al. Improvements in psychosocial functioning and health-related quality of life following exercise augmentation in patients with treatment response but nonremitted major depressive disorder: Results from the Tread Study. [Published online ahead of print May 10, 2016]. Depress Anxiety. doi:10.1002.da.22521.

• Parenting With and Without Depression:

An analysis of over 2,000 individuals showed that parents with and without depression have different ways of...


Counseling Services Old Bridge

Signs You May Have Anxiety

July 17, 2020

Anxiety is a common mental disorder that affects approximately 18.1% of the population every year, according to the...more

The Benefits of Teletherapy

May 18, 2020

Teletherapy is a unique service that allows therapists and counselors to provide counseling services via a HIPPA-compliant video conference. This type of therapy is very similar to…more

The Benefits of Group Therapy

February 5, 2020

When most people picture therapy, they are most likely picturing individual counseling. However, there are many different types of therapy, and you may find that some…more

Signs It's Time to Seek Therapy

October 23, 2019

As sad as it is, many people don’t care for their mental health the way that they should. Eating healthy foods and exercising is a great way to care for your physical health, but what…more

Healthy Ways to Cope With Stress

September 5, 2019

Between work, school, and family, stress can affect many different areas of your life. Stress is an emotion that can be difficult to handle if you don’t use the right methods, and it can…more

Individual Counseling Services Old Bridge

Signs It's Time to Seek Counseling

April 10, 2020

It’s important to give your mental health the proper care it needs, whether that means exercising regularly to help cope with stress or making sure you’re getting enough sleep at night…more

How to Talk to Your Loved Ones About Your Mental Health

May 30, 2020

Talking to others about mental health isn’t always the easiest conversation to start. In an ideal world, everyone would be well educated on mental wellness. However, if you disclose…more

What Is Mindfulness?

January 15, 2020

Mindfulness is a word you may have heard used if you have looked into therapy in the past or participate in activities that utilize meditation, such as yoga. You may have also just heard…more

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Explained

January 2, 2020

Those who have sought individual counseling in the past may have quickly realized that there are a variety of different therapy treatments, and it’s important to find the type that works…more

Family Counseling Services Old Bridge

How to Talk to Your Child About Therapy: Part Two

October 10, 2019

Therapy is beneficial for just about everyone. Many people believe that only those who have serious problems or mental health concerns need to attend therapy, but that’s not the…more

How to Talk to Your Child About Therapy: Part One

October 10, 2019

Therapy has a certain negative stigma that may prevent people from getting the help that they need. As an adult, you can understand that the help you will receive far outweighs…more