Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment in Monmouth Junction, NJ
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Monmouth Junction

Behavioral Health & Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Mental Illness & Behavioral Health

Mental Illness and Behavioral Health are two terms often used to address the same situations: when things are not going well in the psychological realm of the mind, and various issues related to our thinking, understanding, and expression are influencing our behaviors, interfering with our efforts to live successful lives.

The term Mental Illness is more common and well established, and is the basis of many of the support systems (medical and societal) available to those suffering. Professionals treating mental illness may address everything from mild anxiety to severe, crippling psychosis. It is all "mental health", and when disorders prevent successful independent living, the patient may be classified as "mentally ill".

Behavioral Health is a more modern term. Considering behavioral health instead of mental illness can sometimes be more positive for the patient, and may avoid some of the stigma associated with being deemed "mentally ill". It is often considered "evidence-based" treatment, due to some research already performed on its effectiveness.

A Clinical Assessment is needed in all cases, to determine wellness, and to establish a basic understanding of the potential for treatment, whether considered mental health or behavioral health.

Behavioral therapy involves therapists working with clients to study, understand, and address certain behaviors that interfere with living life successfully, amplify other negative factors, or may precede the behaviors we want to stop or avoid. Treating mental illness and improving behavioral health will likely involve a collection of treatment methods, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, or any of many types of counseling and therapy.


The term "dual diagnosis" is used when there is mental illness as well as substance abuse. This is very common. Many people with mental illness have ongoing substance abuse problems, and many people who abuse drugs and alcohol also experience various forms of mental illness.

In many cases individuals have turned to alcohol or drug abuse as a way of "self medicating" a mental illness they have not recognized, or not accepted, or which has not been acknowledged. The relationship between substance abuse and mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental health disorders is complex. The treatment of people with co-occurring substance abuse (or substance dependence) and mental illness is more complicated than the treatment of either condition alone.

The counselors and staff at The Counseling Center at Monmouth Junction, NJ are all well trained in recognizing and dealing with clients suffering from substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. All outpatient treatment is assigned after an initial Clinical Assessment, which is an essential tool for understanding current status, including the need to recognize and treat a dual diagnosis.

All of our counselors are trained, certified, and appropriately supervised to ensure we can give our clients the treatments they need to regain control and go on to live healthy, happy lives.

Start with a Clinical Assessment. We answer our phone at all times, so just call 732-605-6353.

Group Therapy at The Counseling Center

In the Intensive Outpatient and Outpatient programs, you receive services primarily through group therapy, with generally small groups of 10 people, allowing for a safe environment. You are also assigned an individual therapist you will meet with on a weekly basis while in treatment.

Many different topics are covered in the IOP. Everyone is introduced to the following areas while in the IOP at The Counseling Center at Monmouth Junction, NJ:

Awareness Training

  • Awareness: Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome Or PAWS
  • Awareness: Relapse Prevention Skills
  • Awareness: How to Manage Urges and Cravings
  • Awareness: Understanding the Brain Chemistry of Addiction
  • Awareness: Progression of the Disease of Addiction
  • Awareness: Introduction To the Twelve Steps
  • Awareness: Spirituality
  • Awareness: Stages of Change

Educational Training

  • Education: Focus On Co-Occurring Disorders and the Effects On Addiction and Recovery
  • Education: The Family Education Program
  • Education: Individual, Marital, Couples, Family and Group Counseling
  • Education: Addiction/Abuse Education
  • Education: Depression/Anxiety Education
  • Education: Anger/Stress Management
  • Education: Life Transitions Education
  • Education: Self Discovery Education
  • Education: Co-Dependency Education

Other Training

  • Other: Psychiatric Care
  • Other: Introduction to the 12-Step Recovery Program
  • Other: Introduction to the Adult Children of Alcoholics Program
  • Other: Compulsive Behaviors Education

To schedule an appointment or to arrange for a clinical assessment for the intensive outpatient program, please call 732-605-6353

Group Therapies

The following Group Therapies are part of treatment, depending on the individualized Treatment Plan and recognized clinical needs:

Anger Management Group Therapy

Successful communication is essential within the home environment, at work or in school, or when interacting with the public or public authorities. The Anger Management group therapy helps individuals learn appropriate ways to express and react to anger, in a structured and safe atmosphere, facilitated by trained, licensed, and certified counselors.

Assertiveness Group Therapy

Why are some people so effective at getting along and getting ahead, while others struggle? Certain behaviors support success in social environments, while other behaviors can seem threatening to others. In Assertiveness Group therapy, clients learn about behaviors that contribute to social effectiveness. Behaviors which enable us to express our feelings, preferences, and needs to others without seeming to be threatening or punishing.

Behavior Therapy

What are appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, and how to we recognize them in difficult situations? What forces drive our own behaviors?

In Behavior therapy, clients learn to recognize common behaviors and their consequences in common situations. Behavior therapy encourages individuals to accept responsibility for their lives and actions, which begins with awareness and understanding.

Communication Skills

Communication skills training includes structured training (instruction from a trained communications counselor) and experimental learning using situations and examples. Communication Skills group therapy is often combined with Assertiveness training, conflict resolution training, and relationship group work.

Coping Skills

Life is full of stressful moments and difficult situations. We cannot avoid them all, yet we may not be prepared to deal with them successfully. In Coping Skills group therapy, clients learn healthy methods of dealing with stressful situations. With coping skills training, clients can learn to avoid negative consequences of inappropriate or uncontrolled responses to challenges, such as confinement, expulsion, or re-hospitalization.

To schedule an appointment or to arrange for a clinical assessment for the intensive outpatient program, please call 732-605-6353

Goal Group Therapy

Every treatment program includes an individualized Treatment Plan, and treatment plans always include personal goals. Are these goals being met? Are they leading to the desired outcomes? In Goals Group, clients review goals, discuss progress towards goals, and learn from each other and counselors how to recognize and address failures in positive ways. As treatment progresses, the Goals Group is an excellent resource for participants to assess their own progress towards recovery objectives.

Individual Therapy

Individual Therapy is available in The Counseling Center for clients as part of a Treatment Plan, and as recommended by the Treatment Team. The Program Therapist provides individual psychotherapy during scheduled sessions, typically with scheduled 45 minute appointments.

Substance abuse recovery is a highly individual activity. From the first assessment, through Outpatient or Intensive Outpatient, and Group therapy, individual therapy is available to help address any behaviors, beliefs, family or personal situations which may present a threat to success in recovery.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal Skills training is a compliment to Assertiveness training and Communication Skills training. In Interpersonal Skills therapy, clients engage in structured tasks designed to help improve communication skills, with an emphasis on assertiveness.

Life Skills Therapy

Life Skills are the skills needed for success with the activities of daily living (sleep routines, proper nutrition, personal hygiene, interpersonal activities, etc). We discuss these essentials, their contribution to substance abuse behaviors (using), and the often unrecognized importance certain simple behaviors can have on recovery success and relapse. With life skills training, clients learn to improve social interaction, decrease isolation, and improve functional levels that support successful recovery.

To schedule an appointment or to arrange for a clinical assessment for the intensive outpatient program, please call 732-605-6353

Mental Health Group

Mental Health Group therapy is designed to help clients express their own personal experiences with various common mental health topics, including stress, self-esteem, depression, death, and suicide. Within the Mental Health group therapy, clients learn of common issues as well as individual experiences of group members, which may include medications, specific mental illnesses, and other real topics that are important to individuals in the group.

Problem Solving Group

The Problem Solving group work is a forum for members to relate problems they have encountered, and encourage group members to step outside of themselves to help others. Through education, and witness of the experiences of others, we each may learn more effective means of dealing with the problems we encounter in daily life.

Relapse Prevention Group Therapy

Relapse is a part of recovery, and must be acknowledged. Relapse prevention is an important component of substance abuse treatment. The Relapse Prevention Group addresses the symptoms of various disorders, and explores real-world experiences with relapse. Clients gain important insights into relapse-related stressors ("relapse triggers"), and learn about strategies for relapse prevention, from experienced counselors and peers.

Self-Defeating Behavior Group Therapy

Self-defeating behavior may be a factor in substance abuse, and may hinder recovery even during treatment. Self-defeating behavioral patterns can cause symptoms that interfere with recovery, or worsen existing symptoms supporting drug or alcohol use. These are unnecessary obstacles to recovery.

What is self-defeating behavior? How do you know when it is happening, and how can you prevent it? Clients will learn techniques to challenge and change self-defeating behavior patterns.

Self Esteem Building Group

Building a positive regard and positive self esteem is the goal of the Self Esteem group. Through group interaction on exercises led by professional counselors, the Self Esteem group participants learn to recognize self esteem issues, and understand their impact on our lives and behaviors.

Stress Management Group

How do we deal with stressful situations? Often combining the skills learned in various group therapy sessions during treatment, including Anger Management and Communication Skills training, participants in Stress Management Group learn appropriate ways to manage difficult situations. With exercises and handouts, clients are led to explore challenging situations and especially those involving stress, and the consequences of stressful environments.