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» Provider Directory » Find a Therapist » New Jersey » Oradell Therapists » Therapist Profile


Joshua B. Lerner, LCSW, BCD, FIPA

Office: Joshua B. Lerner, LCSW, BCD, FIPA
23 Elizabeth St.
Oradell, NJ 07649
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Profession: Clinical Social Work, Psychoanalyst, Psychotherapist, Child Therapist
Services: Psychotherapy/Counseling
Court Ordered Evaluations
Forensic Evaluations
Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy
Forensic Psychotherapy
Marital and Family Therapy
Practice Description: Depressed, anxious, problems in a relationship. These are some of the issues that people bring into therapy. As I see it, therapy needs to provide a non-judgmental, accepting and supportive space to work on the problems one faces. I strive to treat each person as a unique individual, helping them to direct the treatment that will move them beyond the problems that they are now facing to a life that is hopefully more fulfilling and less painful. It is my aim to help each individual to deal with the issues that are affecting them and causing them the emotional pain that has lead them to seek psychotherapy. I seek to truly listen to each person, to deal with them with respect and work with them as the unique individual that they are. No two people are the same and I do not provide a cookie cutter approach to the work that I do. Each person has his or her own needs, pains, strengths and issues that need addressing.

You are here because you want your life to change.

Because you’re likely doing the same things over and over again no matter how hard you try. Perhaps stuck in your career, your relationships, your life, you’re not very happy with where you are, but you don’t know how to get where you want to go. You may be feeling alone, with no one you can really talk to. You may be depressed, anxious, angry, overwhelmed, confused, scared… or a combination of all of these. In response you may be isolating, gambling, over-or under-eating, overspending, or resorting to drugs and alcohol-habits that, almost certainly, are only bringing you greater unhappiness.

I believe that working together, I can help you.

I work collaboratively with you, and by addressing complex issues with openness and curiosity, together we can tackle even your most serious problems. Unearthing the feelings behind self-defeating convictions and repetitive patterns of behavior, I can help you break the grip of hopelessness and despair, ultimately generating new and more adaptive responses to the challenges of your life.

I work to provide a safe and stimulating therapeutic environment in which empathy and inquiry access hidden feelings; then, when those emotions are alive and present, to focus them on the troublesome issues that are the source of so much pain and suffering; finally, through caring, emotional connection and reworking our childhood perceptions, to restructure the underlying pathways to provide for new and more adaptive responses to the challenges of living.

Patients have described me as 'caring, nurturing, gentle, and direct' as a therapist. Through psychotherapy, we can help make sense of what is feeling wrong, relieve your anxiety and depression, heal wounds, sadness and anger from relationships, grieve losses, and help you improve your self-esteem and regain your ability for closeness and intimacy.

I specialize in working with adults with depression or anxiety and difficulties in relationships and with children and adolescents with depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD and behavioral difficulties. Too often the focus is exclusively on the symptoms and the underlying problems are ignored. In that situation, problems will resurface in a short time, as the causes for the difficulties have not been dealt with. While the symptoms obviously have to be addressed, I believe that all too often the causes for the difficulties are not addressed in short-term highly structured therapy. Psychotherapy needs to look at causes and not simply the overt symptoms.

During the 35 years that I have been in practice I have worked with individuals with a wide variety of difficulties. The issues have ranged from depression and anxiety to difficulties in relationships with spouses, friends, and children/parents. I have worked with suicidal individuals and with those facing crises in their home or work situations. I work with children and adolescents with a wide variety of difficulties from ADD/ADHD to oppositional behavior, depression and drug problems. As well I have specialized in treating individuals who suffer from PTSD, and histories of sexual and/or physical abuse. In other words, I work with the variety of problems that people develop as they live, work, grow and develop in our society.

I have a Masters in Clinical Social Work from the University of Michigan. Subsequently to this I studied for 8 years at the British Psychoanalytic Society/Institute of Psychoanalysis in London to become an Adult Psychoanalyst.

I also spent 4 years studying at The Anna Freud Centre In London in their Training program in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis. I am Board Certified and a Fellow of the International Psychoanalytic Association. I am also a Practitioner/Psychoanalyst member of Section 1 of the Division of Psychoanalysis of the American Psychology Association and a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

I provide Individual Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis with children, adolescents and adults. I also treat couples in Marital Therapy and work with families in Family Therapy.

Office Hours

Mon 7:00 am 10:30 pm
Tue 7:00 am 10:30 pm
Wed 7:00 am 10:30 pm
Thu 7:00 am 10:30 pm
Fri 7:00 am 10:30 pm
Sun 11:00 am 3:30 pm
Practice Specialties or Interests:

(Strengths are
in bold text)
Anxiety Disorders/Phobias
Adjustment Disorder
Adoption Issues
Anger Management
Bipolar Disorder
Child Abuse
Conduct Disorder
Dissociative Disorders
Impulse Control Disorders
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Parenting Issues
Personality Disorders
Relationship Issues
Sexual Abuse
Sexual Dysfunction
Stress Management
Women's Issues
Age Specialties: Children
Session Formats: Individual
Treatment Approaches: Cognitive/Cognitive-Behavioral
Object Relations
Play Therapy
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
Additional Demographic Expertise: Jewish
Education: B.A, Oakland University, 1971

M.S.W., University of Michigan, School of Social Work, 1979

Qualified Psychoanalyst ( MBPAS)
British Psychoanalytic Institute, 1996
License #: 44SC05161300
License State: LCSW in New Jersey
Additional Licenses/ Certifications: Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work
Fellow, International Psychoanalytic Association
Professional Affiliations:
International Psychoanalytic Association
The Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis of New Jersey
American Psychoanalytic Association
New Jersey Society for Clinical Social Work
Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work
Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers
National Organization of Forensic Social Workers
International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy
Fee Schedule: My standard fee is $200 per session.
I have a limited sliding scale dependent upon the individual's financial situation
Accepted Insurance: Any PPO (with Out-of-Network Benefits)
Any Out of Network Plan
Insurance and Billing Instructions: I accept cash or check in payment. I accept most PPO and Traditional Master Medical insurance and also provide sliding scale rates for individuals who are uninsured, if there are financial issues. However, due to the intrusion of managed behavioral health companies in the delivery of appropriate treatment, I am no longer accepting insurance contracts which restrict the quality of care I can provide.

As an LCSW in New Jersey, all insurances that have out of network benefits must reimburse for my services.
Driving Directions: Nearest Major cross streets are Kinderkamack and Midland Ave.. From Route 17 take Midland Ave. Towards River Edge. Turn Left on Bogert Rd. go 2 blocks, road turns into Elizabeth St. I am second House on Left. My office is at the back of my house. Drive to the end of the driveway and go to the back door. If you hit Kinderkamack on Midland Ave. you have gone two blocks too far.

View Map for Joshua B. Lerner, LCSW, BCD, FIPA View map
Additional Comments: I have practiced as a Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychotherapist, serving the people of Bergen County for years. I have experience with the differing and diverse population in this area and would like to be able to help you in your time of need.

In my work as a Marital Therapist I find that most couples are attempting to save their relationship and make it work. Try to imagine how your relationship was in the beginning. I will help you build on those feelings, so that you can find the love that you have lost.

I work with traditional and non traditional couples who are: dating, in long term relationships, living together, engaged, newly weds or couples who have been married for years.

Some people say to me "Are you in favor of saving the marriage?" My answer to them is:" Yes, as long as it is not physically and/or emotionally destructive to either of you." Relationships are one of the most important things in our lives and it's not always easy to get along with so many difficult situations that arise.

During my 35 years of being a marital therapist, I have learned that there are many things we can do to help couples with problems. I can teach you how to: improve communications; deal with emotional pain, and anger.

Together we can figure what has gone wrong and what it takes to rebuild your relationship. Not attempting to hide the problems, but instead facing them and working them through. I will help you to find answers to difficult problems in your relationship.

How to choose a Psychotherapist

A psychotherapist is a professional who is trained in the area of mental health and whose job it is to treat mental and emotional disorders. Usually this is done through talk therapy.

Psychotherapy is a form of treatment for mental and emotional problems. It can be used to help people with many kinds of difficulties, from fairly common ones (such as having trouble coping with stress) to less common, more severe ones (like being unable to leave the house because of crippling anxiety).

A psychotherapist helps people understand their problems from a new perspective by offering an objective point of view, helping to understand the underlying problems that are causing difficulties and new ways of thinking about and responding to problems. Going through the therapy process tends to change people's feelings about themselves and their situations, and they become happier, more self-confident, and more effective in dealing with life's stresses.

Types of Available Psychotherapy

The most common type is one-on-one psychotherapy, which involves an individual client meeting with a therapist to talk about his or her problems. This type of therapy tends to be intrapsychic and focuses on the person's mind and emotions.

Marital or couples therapy is designed to help people resolve relationship problems. Both partners attend therapy and the focus is on the relationship, rather than on the individuals. It has been my experience that marital therapy is most effective when the partners are still on relatively good terms. Often times, people go to couples therapy as a last resort when it may be too late for them to resolve their differences. Couples who receive marital counseling early on improve their chances of success.

Family therapy is designed to help families resolve problems that affect everyone in the family unit. Family members attend the sessions as a group and work on understanding their differences from each other's perspectives. The goal is usually improved communication, less conflict, and greater empathy and cooperation.

What Kind of Training do Psychotherapists Have?

Psychotherapist is a generic term describing anyone who practices psychotherapy. There are several different academic degrees that allow people to become psychotherapists.

Clinical social workers typically receive about two years of graduate training in mental health during which they develop expertise in psychotherapy and in personality and diagnostic assessment They typically have two years of three days a week in an internship. Clinical Social workers who are psychotherapists must have a LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) degree. This degree means they have received more than 3,000 hours of psychotherapy training and have passed a licensing exam.

Psychiatrists are MDs whose medical specialty is psychiatry, the branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders. They receive the same medical training as other doctors, and then complete a four-year residency in psychiatry. Because they are MDs, the primary focus of their training and practice is intervening medically by evaluating patients and prescribing medication. While psychiatrists are legally allowed to perform psychotherapy, they usually have little training to do so and most choose not to do it.

A clinical psychologist has a doctorate (PhD or PsyD) in the field of clinical psychology, which is the scientific study of all forms of human behavior. Clinical psychologists' training includes an average of five years of graduate training (including a one-year, full-time internship), during which they develop expertise in psychotherapy and in personality and diagnostic assessment. They also have extensive training in personality theory, methods of psychotherapy, and psychological research. The psychologist you work with should be licensed and from an accredited program.

In New Jersey, there are therapists with a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. People with these degrees typically have about two years of graduate training in psychology and have attained Master's degrees. They have experience in practicing psychotherapy with an emphasis on working with couples and families.

Psychoanalysts are usually either clinical social workers, clinical psychologists or psychiatrists who have had an additional five to eight years of further training in a particular type of psychotherapy called psychoanalysis. This typically involves three to five years of course work and additionally two to five years of intensive clinical work with individuals while under weekly supervision for each patient on a weekly basis. The psychoanalyst may see the patient “on the couch” or sitting up. In addition recently Psychoanalysts are receiving further training in less intensive types of therapy as well.

Child therapists can be members of any of the above group of mental health clinicians. Typically the child therapist will have additional years of training and experience in work with children and adolescents.

A survey of psychotherapy patients published in Consumer Reports showed that as a group, patients had no particular preference for psychotherapists from any of these different fields. Their satisfaction with their therapist was most affected by the level of experience the therapist had, not by his or her academic background. This study suggests that it may be important for you to find out not only about your therapist's credentials, but also how long he or she has been practicing. One of the key issues in the success of treatment is the level of experience the therapist possesses.

Recent Review of Research Showing Effectiveness of Psychoanalytic Therapies

Psychodynamic therapists have received some welcome support from the scientific community documenting the benefits of psychodynamic treatment. A recent paper in the American Psychologist by Jonathan Shedler (Feb. 2010) looks at dozens of studies all showing that psychodynamic therapy has the same or greater effectiveness when compared to other evidence based treatments. Importantly results from a large group of well crafted studies involving over 2,000 patients showed that improvements from psychoanalytic and psychodynamic treatments increased significantly after termination. This effect was not shown for other types of psychotherapy. Follow-up intervals were anywhere from one to five years (Shedler, 2010).

Shedler tells us that the “active ingredients” of all therapeutic approaches is apparently related to what is essentially psychodynamic methods, namely, the therapeutic alliance (how well therapist and patient understand one another) and “experiencing” (becoming aware of and articulating emotions in the therapy session). Sessions may be once, twice or three times weekly with face to face contact.

"People who undergo psychodynamic therapy continue to make gains after the therapy ends, perhaps because it addresses underlying psychological patterns that affect many areas of life." From Scientific American Mind, Dec. 2010

You should be aware that in New Jersey, it is legal for anyone to call him or herself a psychotherapist without having training or a license in one of the accepted fields. Before you start to work with a therapist, find out what degree he or she has and whether it is from an accredited institution. To verify that a therapist's license is up-to-date and in good standing, consult the state board that oversees licenses of mental health practitioners.

How Do I Know if I Would Benefit From Seeing a Psychotherapist?

All of us experience painful feelings at one time or another. Sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, and distress are examples of natural feelings that arise in the course of living. It is normal, for instance, to feel grief when a parent dies. Most students feel anxious before taking exams. In some cases, however, these feelings can begin to overwhelm you, making it hard for you to function normally on a day-to-day basis. If you are crying more than usual, having trouble sleeping or eating, drinking or using drugs excessively, fighting a lot with your spouse or children, having trouble controlling your temper or getting along with other people, then you should seriously consider seeing a therapist.

Most people experience intense emotional reactions during times of particular stress: after losing a job, getting divorced, or becoming widowed. Others, however, find that they have chronic problems adjusting to life, even when they are not in periods of extreme stress. They may have patterns of bad relationships, trouble holding onto jobs, and habitual difficulty getting along with others. Psychotherapy can be helpful for people with these chronic kinds of problems, too.

There are also specific kinds of symptoms that should alert you to the need for professional attention. Hearing disturbing voices of people who aren't present, seeing things that aren't there, feeling terrorized because you believe people are plotting against you, having periods of extreme highs and lows are all signs that evaluation and intervention by a mental health professional would be helpful.

What Qualities Should I Look for in a Psychotherapist?

Once you have decided that you would like to begin psychotherapy, the issue arises of how to choose a therapist who will be able to help you. You will find that therapists vary a great deal in their approaches to problems and in their personal styles.

Good chemistry between patients and their therapists is extremely important. Feeling comfortable talking to your therapist is necessary because to get help, you must share private thoughts and feelings. Therefore, you should look for a therapist who listens closely to what you tell him or her and who responds openly and nondefensively. It is part of a therapist's job to evaluate how well the therapy is working for you, so any concerns or questions you have about how your therapy is progressing should be open for discussion. If you feel that your therapist is not being responsive, point that out. One sign of a good therapeutic relationship is a therapist's ability to adapt to the unique concerns of different patients. If the therapist cannot do this, you may want to consider whether he or she is the right one for you.

When choosing a therapist, look for someone who has the ability to express how he or she approaches the therapy process. This would include an articulation of how change occurs and how the two of you will go about working together to bring change about. If you don't understand the process and how your therapist works, it will be more difficult for you to use the therapy effectively.

Another important characteristic to look for in a therapist is high standards for ethical and professional behavior. Generally speaking, psychotherapists who behave professionally keep their personal issues and problems out of the therapy. They avoid dual relationships with their patients, which means that they have only one kind of relationship with the patient-the therapeutic one. They do not have patients who are also students, employees, or personal friends because having other kinds of relationships with patients interferes with the therapist's ability to remain objective.

Therapists start and end sessions on time and scrupulously maintain confidentiality. Ethical therapists give patients clear information about office policies, fees, and what they can expect from therapy. They are up-front and above-board about their rationale and motivations and respond openly to any concerns their patients have. This kind of behavior is essential to having trusting relationships with patients. Without it, psychotherapy cannot be successful.


The most common type of psychotherapy is when one individual meets with a single therapist, although couples and family therapy also are practiced. The term psychotherapist can refer to several different types of professionals: clinical social workers, psychiatrists or clinical psychologists. Psychotherapists can help clients deal with stressful changes in their lives. They also treat more long-term, chronic difficulties of adjustment to life. A good match between you and a psychotherapist is crucial.

I have 10 years of training as a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst and 30 years of experience. Let me bring this training and experience to help you deal with the problems that you are facing so that together we can work to make your life more fulfilling less stressful and more satisfying.

Most of the patients that I see come for psychotherapy and not for psychoanalysis..However, my understanding of how each person comes from a psychoanalytic perspective of human growth, development and functioning. Please see the additional pages for a brief explanation of psychoanalysis.

Joshua B. Lerner, LCSW, BCD, FIPA, Clinical Social Work, Psychoanalyst, Psychotherapist, Child Therapist in Oradell

 Other Offices
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

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 Additional Information
In Practice Since:  1977
Gender:  Male
Accepting New Clients:  Yes
Sliding Fee Scale:  Yes
Prescribe Medication:  No
Wheelchair Accessible:  Yes
Public Transportation:  Yes

Summary of CV of Joshua B. Lerner
Summary of CV of Joshua B. Lerner

Professional Papers Presented and Courses Taught
Professional Papers Presented
Courses Taught

Child Psychotherapy and Q & A
Child Psychotherapy
Q & A

How to Choose a Psychotherapist and About Psychoanalysis
How to Choose a Psychotherapist
About Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalytic or Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

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Last Modified: 2/21/2014  

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