Ariel Stern, LPC

Ariel Stern View Specialties

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It takes courage to seek therapy. This is one of the main reasons that so many people go through life suffering from psychological pain. A pain that is as real and exhausting as a physical wound.
When you open up to a stranger, trust someone with your deepest thoughts and emotions, it can be frightening.  My goal is to create a safe space that honors your brave and difficult decision and provides you with a place where you feel supported and encouraged to discuss all of your hopes, dreams, concerns and struggles. I respect you and take a collaborative approach. This means we will work together to identify your goals and maintain open communication about how this process is affecting your day-to-day life.

I believe that you are not defined by any one aspect of your life. We are all complicated, with problems and strengths, histories and futures, so I believe in treating you as a whole person. I can also incorporate physical wellness into our work together. No topics are off-limits.

As a working professional, a wife, and the mother of two small children, I offer you the benefits of my life experience,  with the advantage of still being young enough to remember how difficult it can be to plan a path to the future, establishing an identity separate from, yet still connected to your parents and siblings.
To make the process of visiting our office easy we provide online scheduling. You may schedule online by visiting this link.  
 My Approach:

I will offer you not only empathy but also candor and a sense of humor. I will challenge you when necessary, but not until you are ready. A truly therapeutic relationship takes some time to develop, but is, I believe, worth the investment of time, resources and heart.
My approach to therapy is rooted in the belief that most issues stem from problems with self-esteem. I have seen countless people grow more confident, more accepting of themselves and others, as well as more capable of expressing their needs in productive ways. I believe this can be true for you too.

In family therapy, I work with children accompanied by their parents or caregivers, with the goal of making positive changes. My goal is to help parents enjoy the inevitably challenging work of childrearing. The techniques I use are informed by three years of specialized post-graduate training in ESFT - the catchy acronym for Eco-systemic Structural Family Therapy. Although it has a complicated name, this therapeutic approach can be simply explained. Often, the issues underlying most family problems remain relatively constant and follow recognizable patterns. Once we have identified what they are, I will be able to help your family break negative patterns, enhance your family strengths, and rebuild relationships. In addition to my ESFT background, I have also completed levels one, two and three of the Gottman Method trainings and use the Gottman Method in all couples counseling sessions. The Gottman Method supports couples in communicating more effectively, learning to understand one another on a deeper level and turning towards one another during times of conflict. I have watched couples rebuild after extensive periods of upheaval in their relationships and find companionship long after they felt it was lost forever. 

Before working in private practice, I worked for several agencies in Philadelphia and the surrounding area, providing therapy in homes, schools and community-based programs. Most recently, I served as assistant director of an outpatient program in the city, helping families in distress. I understand how difficult it can be to find the time to take care of yourself, while trying to cope with the stress of work, relationships and family. I have a particular interest in helping people who suffer from anxiety and depression. I also have extensive experience in the field of drug and alcohol addiction, having worked with clients who are in the early stages to those who have struggled for most of their lives and survived multiple relapses.  Addiction, of course, does not occur in a vacuum, so I help individuals, couples and families address the issues that have led to drug and alcohol dependence.
Read more about me here. 

Ariel Stern Reaches

Philadelphia PA