Fatuma Lalugba MSW LSW
Fatuma is first generation American, raised by parents who immigrated here from Liberia. She first began working in the social services field in 2002. She graduated from Essex County College in 2006 with an Associate’s Degree in Human Services and a concentration in Alcohol Studies. She went on to Kean University in Union, NJ and graduated from there in 2008 with a Bachelor of Social Work degree. Continuing her pursuit of higher education, this time at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, she received her Master of Social Work Degree in 2010 with a concentration in Direct Practice.
Fatuma enjoys working in her specialty areas of children, adolescents and families. Her practice modalities include: cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and strengths based perspective, but her preferred treatment modality is motivational interviewing. Populations whom she works with include: victims of abuse, immigrants, women and men in the criminal justice system, individuals struggling with chemical dependence and LGBTQ adolescents. Fatuma holds the believe that a collaborative and nonjudgmental approach is necessary for the change process to begin and produce positive results. She additionally believes that everyone has the ability to do good but at times, situations come across their paths that deters them from this. Therapy should be an experience and an outlet for the individual to feel free and be comfortable with discovering and embracing their true self. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, reading and discovering new places to visit. (Practicing in Jersey City).
Erica Realpe, MA-MFT
Erica Realpe received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Rutgers University with a concentration in Spanish and holds a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Alliance Graduate School of Counseling at Nyack College. Erica works with couples, families, individuals and groups coming from both English and Spanish speaking backgrounds. Erica's passion is to provide counseling for the well being and restoration of family relationships. She is an active member in her community and in her church and has volunteered to lead various community, children and youth outreach programs. Erica enjoys teaching and participating in various forms of artistic expression while at the same time balancing her love of being a wife and mother. (Practicing in Westwood).
Felicia Davis, LSW, MHS
Felicia is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in New Jersey. She has worked in the social work field for over 20 years. She has experience working with adolescents, children, adults and families. Felicia obtained a Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology from William Paterson University, a Masters degree in Human Services from Lincoln University and a second Masters degree in Social Work from Monmouth University.
Felicia’s areas of specialization include providing treatment for children, adolescents and adult victims of child abuse and neglect, secondary trauma, early childhood mental health issues and crisis counseling. Felicia also has experience working with severely emotionally disturbed children as well as adults and families in community-based and therapeutic settings. Felicia is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and is committed to ensuring ethical and culturally competent interactions with every individual whom she serves. Her clinical areas of focus include a strengths-based perspective for individuals with Depression, Anxiety, secondary trauma, Bipolar Disorder and behavioral issues. She utilizes therapeutic interventions that focus on the needs of the individual as well as the family to assist in facilitating progress toward peace and a sense of control in life. (Practicing in Westwood).
Call Us: (201) 666-2400
Rocelyn Tiozon, MA-MFT
Rocelyn has always wanted to help people as long as she could remember. She has found the path of being a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist the best means to achieve this life goal. Her educational background includes a Professional Diploma in Marriage and Family Therapy and an MA in Psychological Services from Kean University. She also has a BA in Psychology with a minor in Health Education from Kean University
Her professional philosophy includes the following: Throughout a person's lifetime, everyone eventually experiences one or more life altering events and stressors. Different people experience these major life events differently and sometimes a significant life event can cause someone’s life to start to become unraveled. "I see my mission as helping heal and restore balance to a person's life. I believe that everyone heals in their own way and their own time. I help my clients, who include couples, families, adults and children, to find inner strength and understanding of themselves in order to heal and fortify their relationships. This eventually helps individuals get on a path of their choosing and achieve their goals in life." Rocelyn strives to serve others by using a client-centered approach because she believes that each person is their own expert regarding what is best for them in their own lives and how to attain such. Her role as therapist is simply to facilitate bringing that out. (Practicing in Westwood).
Kathy Waehler, LCSW
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a Certified School Social Worker and belonging to the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW), Kathy's strengths are reflected in her efforts to help her clients improve their effectiveness with planning, reaction and decision-making concerning the circumstances of their lives. Employing a variety of treatment methods, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Kathy celebrates each person's uniqueness.
Graduating from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. with a degree in Sociology and receiving her Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Illinois in Chicago, Kathy has experience counseling individuals, couples and families. She has also led parenting groups, ran interpersonal skills groups, worked with child study teams and served on community service boards. Kathy has worked with children, adolescents and adults challenged with attention deficit problems, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, bipolar disorder, relationship problems, stress, grief, job issues, school problems, adjustment disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has a warm sense of humor and is grateful that people allow her to gain insight into their lives so that she may be able to serve them. (Practicing in Westwood).
Christopher Robinson, LCSW
Chris is an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) in New Jersey and New York and has his ACSW (Academy of Certified Social Workers) national certification. He received his Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) from Rutgers University in 1992 and has been practicing in the field ever since. He is a certified field instructor for graduate school interns and is a certified clinical social work supervisor. He is the owner of Relief & Solutions Counseling Center and typically is involved in the intake process, assuring that individuals coming in for help are matched up with the therapist who is the "right fit" for them, according to their needs, preferences and availability. He is also the father of two sons and a daughter in their early 20's.
His professional experience includes providing inpatient medical, sub-acute and psychiatric social work services, home care, nursing homes, working with AIDS patients, crisis intervention for individuals who might require involuntary commitment and working as an adjunct professor at both Yeshiva and Stony Brook Universities' graduate schools of social work, teaching Psychopathology. Additionally, he works part time at St. Peter's Prep H.S. in Jersey City as their school social worker. He currently provides counseling to adults and adolescents, working with individuals and couples. He provides Christian counseling, has expertise in treating people with depression, various types of anxiety disorders, PTSD, OCD, occupational problems, substance abuse, individuals with emotional problems related to medical issues, bipolar disorder and family issues. (Practicing in Westwood & Jersey City).
Meet the Therapists
Stefanie Santiago, MS-MFT
When it comes to therapy, Stefanie views those challenging moments in life as an opportunity to grow in a more meaningful direction. She uses her professional skills and personal background to connect clients to the objectively thought-provoking, yet affirmative atmosphere needed at such times. Specially trained under the Structural Family Therapy model, Stefanie is experienced in working with individuals, couples and families of all ages as they face unique challenges affecting work, school and family/relationships. She has a particular interest in working with LGBTQ+ clients and parent-child issues. In her approach, she utilizes everyone’s gifts and strengths, taking into account family of origin/family of choice. In doing so, it is her goal to help clients live lives that reflect their own values while addressing behaviors contributing to their issues. Earning a Master’s Degree from New Jersey’s only accredited Marriage & Family Therapy program at Seton Hall University, Stefanie has developed a strong passion for applying a Systems Approach to her work. Viewing her clients as individuals, going through personal life experiences, rather than people with labels of diagnoses, Stefanie seeks to treat each individual whom she works with and offer tools that maximize their individual strengths to achieve personalized solutions. (Practicing in Jersey City).
Sarah Friedland, LPC, ACS
Sarah sees the counseling experience as something which can be similar to solving a jigsaw puzzle. An individual enters her office with a box of pieces, maybe they have a partial picture, and maybe some of the pieces seem lost. She sees it as her responsibility to provide a safe and nurturing environment that allows the individual to explore the most difficult aspects of themselves so, together the missing pieces can be found and create the whole picture they are seeking.
With over 15 years of experience in the mental health field; including five years of experience in educational settings, and five years of experience as a clinical supervisor, Sarah has developed the skills necessary to assist a wide variety of populations on their quest toward self-discovery. She has knowledge of the Special Education field, crisis intervention, substance education, and remains current with trends in the LGBT community. She has experience working in a variety of mental health facilities including hospital programs, private practice, schools, residential facilities, and with the DCP&P/CSOC/DD populations. She is also an Approved Clinical Supervisor and has aided other professionals in meeting their goals of becoming independently licensed practitioners. Her goal with her clients is to provide an individualized approach for each person entering her office, seeking help.(Practicing in Westwood).
Abraham Weiss, MA-MFT
Abraham earned his Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northcentral University and brings a rich experience as a relationship counselor and psychotherapist.
Abraham lived in Israel for over ten years where he served as an educator, guidance counselor and student activities coordinator at a post high school institution for young men studying their gap year abroad. He also served as a staff therapist at the Family Institute of Neve Yerushalayim, one of the premier mental health agencies servicing the English speaking population of Jerusalem and it's environs and was a member of their Domestic Violence Unit where he treated affected families.
Abraham's combined experience as an educator, school administrator, guidance counselor and foster care case planner, as well as a community based in-home therapist, enables him to work effectively with families experiencing disharmony and discord. He also works with individuals suffering from anxiety, depression and other forms of distress. He is trained in the practice of Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (E&RP) for the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as well as Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples experiencing relationship difficulties. He is a clinical member of the Emotionally Focused Therapy Center of New Jersey. (Practicing in Westwood).
Maryanne Van Note, LMFT, LCSW
Maryanne is both an LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) and an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) in New Jersey. She is certified by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists as a supervisor and is certified by the state of New Jersey as a Clinical Social Work Supervisor. She received her MSW (Masters Degree in Social Work) from Rutgers University School of Social Work. In her many years of experience as a mental health practitioner, she has worked as a counselor and family liaison for the Jersey City Public Schools. She has worked at the Women's Project of Christ Hospital, the Seton Center for Mental Health in Jersey City, as well as at Bayonne Community Mental Health Center. She has developed skills and experience in working with a varied, multicultural clientele and working with individuals with serious mental health issues.
Maryanne's professional expertise includes working with adults in individual, couples or family modalities. Her clinical areas of focus include helping clients cope with Depression, Anxiety Disorders, Bereavement/Grief, Domestic Violence, physical, verbal and/or sexual abuse, Bipolar Disorder and parenting issues. She is strongly committed to professional development and adding to her knowledge base of mental health issues and treatment techniques. Toward this end, she prioritizes attending at least four continuing education conferences per year. In practice, she assists her clients in navigating the messiness that life issues can sometimes bring. She helps people "sort it out in order to figure it out" so they can eventually find peace. (Practicing in Jersey City).
Natasha Lewis, LSW
Natasha is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and Certified School Social Worker in the state of New Jersey. She works with children, young adults and families; using treatment modalities that are tailored to the unique needs of each client. Natasha obtained her Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology from William Paterson University and a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from Monmouth University.
Natasha believes that change happens when people are given the guidance they need to draw on their own strengths and realize their potential to live fulfilling, healthy lives. She is passionate about providing an environment of support to help individuals and families overcome obstacles to move forward and come to live in a better place. (Practicing in Jersey City).
Sarah Manges, LSW
Sarah graduated from the School of Social Services at Fordham University and is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in the state of New Jersey. Social work is a second career for Sarah. She spent more than twenty years as a writer and editor. She specialized in the areas of marriage and family therapy, and was a ghost writer for numerous, prominent authors, including one on The New York Times best seller list.
Sarah currently works with individuals and couples. She works to help them make sense of their experiences and explore new possibilities for leading more satisfying and authentic lives. While at Integrity House she discovered a passion for working with people with trauma and substance abuse issues, helping them work through their unmanageability to get to a place where they have peace and a sense of control over their lives.
Marc Ackerman, LSW
Marc is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in New Jersey. He obtained a Master’s degree in Social Work from Monmouth University in 2013. Prior to that, Marc received his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). Marc began his extensive clinical experience working in outreach and crisis diversion. He transitioned into counseling through working in the substance abuse field as well as with clients with dual-diagnosis in outpatient, intensive outpatient, and residential settings. Marc has also spent considerable time working outreach with the homeless community. For the past several years, Marc has been working in leadership and consulting positions at organizations such as Integrity House and Pinnacle Treatment Centers.
Marc uses a holistic, mind-body, strength based, motivational approach. He brings passion, energy, dedication and commitment to his work. He has found this approach most helpful in supporting and assisting his clients as they move towards achieving their goals in life. (Practicing in Jersey City).
We are a practice of professional psychotherapists who specialize in different areas including depression, anxiety, marital issues, relationship problems, family issues, grief, substance use, eating disorders, academic problems, issues surrounding chronic medical illness, OCD and other problems. Services are commonly provided on an individual basis, but marriage/couples counseling, family counseling and group therapy is also offered.
Christopher Robinson founded Relief and Solutions Counseling Center in 2005.
Our therapists use treatment interventions depending on the needs of our clients including CBT, psychodynamic, play therapy and family systems approaches to psychotherapy. Our offices provide a warm, safe space that is offers easy access to those living in Bergen and Hudson Counties and the surrounding areas.
We offer day time, evening and weekend appointments All Major Insurance Plans are accepted. We also accept payment on a private pay basis and sliding scale. Contact us today at 201-666-2400 to get started! We look forward to working with you.
Jessica Cofone, LCSW
Jessica L. Cofone earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Monmouth University in 2008. She has been working in the field with individuals, families, and communities ever since. She earned her certificate to supervise graduate school interns as well as professional LCSW candidates. Her years of experience working with clients include a specialty in Solutions Focused Model. According to her clients' needs she also utilizes other modalities including CBT. Problem areas she specializes in include: anxiety, depression, postpartum mood disorders, grief and work related stressors. (Practicing in Westwood).