Julie Riccio-Lynch is a graduate of the Master of Social Work Program at Monmouth University. She spent two years training at Monmouth Medical Center’s inpatient psychiatry unit for children (CCIS). Upon completing her degree, she was employed as a child study team member and school counselor/special education departments for the Little Silver, Rumson and Middletown School Districts. Julie founded her practice, Brighter Living, LLC in 2008 as a solo practitioner, working with adolescents and teens struggling with anxiety and depression. Since 2008, the practice has expanded to service a wider range of clientele. In addition to Julie maintaining her practice, she has nine associate clinicians who have expertise in multiple areas. Brighter Living offers counseling services for individuals, families and groups.
Jesse obtained her Master of Social Work from Kean University in 2008. She has trained for five years at Ocean Township Department of Human Services, a community based mental health agency where she was a clinician, the Student Assistant Counselor (SAC) at Ocean Intermediate School and supervisor of the therapeutic visitation program. She has worked with children ages 10 and up who are struggling with anxiety, depression, life transitions, family conflict and academic difficulties. She promotes change through solution focused, family systems and cognitive behavioral therapy. Jesse has now become an associate of Brighter Living, LLC to expand her focus and work in the private sector.
Allison obtained her Bachelor and Master of Social Work from Rutgers University. Allison has worked in diverse treatment settings such as inpatient, school social work, residential care, psychiatric emergency screening services and not for profit outpatient programs. As an associate of Brighter Living LLC, Allison looks forward to expanding her work with children, adolescents and young adults in the private sector. Allison utilizes individual and family therapy, in combination with evidence-based treatment modalities, to address symptoms of mood disorders, anxiety, trauma, grief, addiction and relational problems. Allison is also a New Jersey certified clinical supervisor.
Julie is a Licensed Professional Counselor who specializes in working with children and adolescents. She obtained her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Monmouth University in 2011. After graduating, Julie worked at Trinitas Regional Medical Center as part of an Interdisciplinary Team working with adults with developmental disabilities. Julie then took the position of School Counselor at Point Road Elementary School in Little Silver. At Brighter Living, Julie provides individual counseling, runs social skills groups and acts as an educational advocate. Julie utilizes a multimodal approach to treatment by incorporating play therapy, sand tray therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychoeducation. Treatment typically focuses on developing healthy habits for managing anxiety, attention or behavior concerns, grief, and family transitions. Treatment goals are collaboratively determined between the therapist, parent(s) and child. While making the decision to seek therapeutic support, for a child or adolescent, can be a difficult one, Julie's therapeutic rapport and trusting relationship, with both the child and parents, creates a positive, shared experience. Julie often tells her clients and their families "you can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." She takes the approach that in life there will always be difficulties and hardships, but learning how to cope in a healthy way, allows you to negotiate these difficulties and hardships with greater ease.
Jaime obtained her Master of Social Work from Monmouth University in 2010. She has prior experience in hospital, outpatient and private inpatient settings. She has experience with diverse age groups including children, adolescents and adults. For the past two years, as an associate of Brighter Living, LLC, she has expanded her work into the private practice setting, working individually with clients to meet their specific treatment needs while providing ongoing therapeutic services. She integrates Solutions Based treatment and Cognitive Behavioral therapy into her treatment model. She teaches and encourages the use of healthy coping skills in the group, individual and family treatment modalities for optimal outcome. Focuses include substance use disorders, anxiety, mood and personality disorders, depression and life skills. Treatment goals are focused on symptom reduction and positive approaches to long-term healthy functioning.
Adolescent and Teen Services
Lina Jaramillo, MS, LPC, SAC
Lina obtained her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Monmouth University in 2011. After graduation, she worked at a community based mental health agency in Ocean Township for four years where she was a clinician working with all age groups, the Student Assistant Counselor (SAC) at Ocean Township Intermediate School, and supervised a therapeutic visitation program. Lina then went on to expand her experience in the field and currently works at High Focus Centers as a psychiatric clinician in an adolescent program. Lina has experience with individuals of all ages struggling with issues such as anxiety, mood disorders, substance abuse, grief, self-harm, family issues, and relationships. Lina uses her knowledge and skills to help individuals work towards gaining awareness in order to make the changes necessary to reach their goals. She provides a safe and supportive therapeutic environment in order for individuals to feel comfortable as they begin their journey of change and personal growth. Lina has recently joined the Brighter Living team and is looking forward to working in the private sector.
Nancy is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and Board Certified Art Therapist who has worked in the field for 24 years. She began her career as a clinician in a homeless shelter in East New York Brooklyn in 1996 where she worked with women and families dealing with substance abuse and co occurring disorders as they transitioned into permanent housing. From there she Directed the Expressive Therapy Programs for both Housing Works in the East Village of Manhattan and Harlem United day treatment programs for people living with HIV/AIDS, substance use and chronic mental health issues. Nancy also served as Clinical Director of Detox Services at North General Hospital in Harlem, and clinician at St. Vincent’s Behavioral Health Inpatient facility in Manhattan. Before moving to the area Nancy had a private practice in Hoboken and later worked at Monmouth Medical Center’s Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital. Now, at Brighter Living, Nancy believes that the rich diversity of her background and experience has been a gift to her in terms of her ability to be able to truly see and accept each individual where they are and as they are, from the moment that they come in to see her. She believes in each persons innate ability to heal from trauma, past or present, by learning new skills and tools with which to cope and more importantly from which to view themselves. Because Nancy practices what she preaches, she will passionately infuse sessions with tried and true evidence based techniques to bolster self awareness and inner strength such as mindfulness through EMDR and DBT and breath work (yes breath work, informed from Nancy’s daily yoga self-practice and prior experience as a yoga teacher). Lastly, If you are the creative type (or even better if you are not) you can also ask Nancy about art therapy!
My practice has two focuses. First is working with young children ages 3-7 where issues related to anxiety, behavior and familial stress are addressed using a variety of modalities. These modalities include but are not exclusive to Cognitive Behavioral Treatment, Anxiety workbooks, animated anxiety computer program, art and play therapy. Because every child is different, the course of treatment is always guided by the child's personality and temperament and the issue that they are struggling with. Parents are always included in the process whether it is in joint sessions with their child or separate appointments where parenting issues are addressed. I always make myself available by phone, text or email to guide parents while they are implementing change. My second focus are is with teens and adults. Depression, anxiety, relationships, change, etc are addressed using a variety of modalities. Whether a teenager leaving home for the first time, the loss of a job, the ending of a relationship; my non-judgmental solutions-focused approach will be helpful.
Ashley earned her Masters in School and Community Psychology and her Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology from Seton Hall University and her Doctorate of Psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Ashley is a certified school psychologist and holds a permit from the State Board of Psychological Examiners to practice psychology under the supervision of Dr. Margaret Young. She has worked as a school psychologist for the past nine years and specializes in assisting school-aged children in areas such as: self-regulation, anxiety, anger management, coping skills, social skills, and depression. Additionally, she specializes in assessing cognitive strengths and weaknesses for the development of academic and social-emotional intervention strategies.
Marisa obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from New York University in 2002 and began her career in a hospital setting providing support, education, and advocacy for patients and families. She obtained her school counseling certification from Monmouth University in 2006 and has been working as a school counselor for the last 13 years. Marisa has over 9 years of experience working in private practice as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and specializes in working with children and adolescents with stress and anxiety, depression, attention/behavioral issues, low self-esteem, grief/loss, and family changes.
Marisa utilizes different treatment modalities including solution-focused therapy, problem-solving, and cognitive behavioral therapy. She is also trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, which is shown to improve cognitive outcomes, social-emotional skills, and overall well-being. She provides a supportive and safe environment for children and adolescents to express their feelings and assists them in developing healthy behaviors and coping skills.
Erin earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Muhlenberg College, and then she went on to Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP) to receive her Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD) in School Psychology. Erin is a certified school psychologist and holds a license from the State Board of Psychological Examiners to practice psychology in the state of New Jersey. She also is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She has worked as a school psychologist for the past six years and specializes in assisting school-aged children in areas such as: managing anxiety, anger management, coping skills, self-regulation, and depression. Erin is able to use eclectic theories while providing therapy but most often utilizes Cognitive Behavioral techniques. Additionally, she specializes in assessing cognitive strengths and weaknesses for the development of academic and social-emotional intervention strategies, as well as behavior management.
Christopher Sales graduated from Kean University in 1999 with a Master’s Degree in Counselor Education. He has been licensed as a Professional Counselor since 2005. Christopher has supported adolescents and their families at the highest levels of community-based care. He has experience in long-term residential treatment programs, intensive outpatient and partial care programs, psychiatric community residences, intensive in-home counseling, and in a university counseling center. As an Adjunct Professor, Christopher has taught practicum and internships at the graduate level, as well as professional ethics at the post-graduate level. Christopher directed the Training Department for a large mental health organization focused on providing services to those recovering from severe mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. He has been certified as a crisis prevention trainer for fourteen years. Conceptually a family-systems based clinician, Christopher uses Cognitive, Behavioral, Cognitive-Behavioral, Solution-Focused, and Interpersonal techniques to support clients through difficult periods.
George Asfendis is a licensed psychologist in New Jersey and has been a certified school psychologist for 18 years. Dr. Asfendis has an extensive background in the assessment and remediation of school learning and behavioral problems.
Dr. Asfendis has been in private practice for 8 years and works with children, families, and adults. Dr. Asfendis helps school-aged children and their families overcome problems related to anxiety, depression, and adjustment to the increasing demands of today’s schooling. Dr. Asfendis also coaches parents to be leaders of children. His therapeutic work addresses a variety of concerns and he employs a cognitive-behavioral model of therapeutic problem-solving.
Jan Waters is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Play Therapist (RPT) specializing in individual and family therapy for adults, adolescents, children, and families, and maintains a private practice in Red Bank, New Jersey.
Jan earned her Masters of Arts (M.A.) in Psychological Counseling from Monmouth University in 2005 and Masters of Education (M.Ed.) from Rutgers University with a concentration in Learning, Cognition, and Development in 1996. In addition, Jan holds a certificate from Rutgers University as an Infant/Early Childhood Specialist from Rutgers University. Jan completed a practicum at St. Peter's University Hospital where she was subsequently employed providing developmental testing for children, age’s six-months to seven years, in the Neonatal Clinic.
She completed her counseling practicum and internship at Ocean Township Human Services and was hired as a full-time counselor, providing individual, couples, and family therapy, as well as, crisis intervention services for adults. Jan provided outpatient and school-based individual and group counseling to children for more than seven years. Jan continued to build her expertise in child therapy by completing advanced training at The Play Therapy Training Institute in Monroe Township and attained the credentials of Registered Play Therapist.
In her work with children and families, Jan utilizes a strength-based approach and includes the parents/caretakers in the child's treatment. She provides directive and non-directive play therapy and parent-child relationship therapy utilizing techniques from developmental attachment models, as well as trauma focused-cognitive behavioral therapy. With her extensive training background, Jan is able to assist children as young as the age of 3 express themselves and work through any concerns in a fun and creative way.
I have been a practicing Board Certified Psychiatrist for more than 35 years. I offer patients an empathetic and personalized assessment such that each patient will receive a treatment plan with the best possible options for success.
My primary area of expertise is general psychiatry. I also have become extremely interested in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of Bipolar Disorder, as well as mood and anxiety disorders. I have an in-depth knowledge of psychotropic medication, specifically in the recent advances in combination, augmentation, and supplementation strategies, including the use of light therapies and vitamin supplements as well as biological additives.
I specialize in treating the long term effects of traumatic life experiences through an evidence based therapy called EMDR. Additionally, I have experience treating the eating disorder spectrum and relationship issues. I welcome the opportunity to walk through the hard parts of life with you from a warm a holistic approach.
About Brighter Living, LLC
Thank you for taking the time to visit our site!
Finding the best therapist to meet your clinical needs, as well as a professional and confidential setting, are all important components of a successful therapeutic experience. At Brighter Living, LLC we welcome the opportunity to assess your needs with an initial consultation over the phone prior to scheduling an appointment with one of our clinicians.
We have Licensed Clinical Social Workers who pride themselves on providing high-quality care, promoting positive growth and strategies for change.
Should you choose to contact us we will be happy to provide you with further information and guidance as you explore your options for treatment.
Compassionate, Professional and Knowledgable
We discovered Brighter Living, ironically, at the darkest hours of our lives. Both of our children worked with Julie and Jesse. The care, compassion, thoughtfulness and quite frankly, love, that was shown to our children is something that if I lived to 200 I couldn't thank them or repay them enough. They are both intelligent, insightful and learned women. Women of strength, yet gentle enough to help begin to lead our children through a very trying, fearful and uncertain time. They still do. I admire both of them immensely and will be forever grateful.
Julie is a terrific listener and provides tremendous insight into a wide range of circumstances and situations. She is flexible with scheduling and methods of communication. I highly recommend Julie and her practice for individual, couples and family therapy!!
Wonderful, helpful experience!
I started working with Julie at Brighter Living a little over a year ago. I'm a 27-year old lawyer, and I was going through a lot of change at the time--personal and professional (I had just moved cross-country, graduated law school, taken the bar exam, gone through a break up), and I really needed to talk with someone professionally who was a neutral third-party to help me process and address the big changes that were going on in my life. My sessions with Julie were incredibly helpful. I don't live in New Jersey anymore, and she even does phone sessions and emails from across the country with me whenever I need to talk to her. I just felt that she "got" me right from the beginning, and she was able to provide insight and tools I could use to help with big changes that I might be facing, both in my professional and personal life. She listens without judgment, is patient, even when I'm sounding like a broken record, and is just what I needed to have someone to talk things out with. She is a great sounding board and helps me manage anxiety I have in regard to relationships, specifically, in a constructive way. I always joke with my family that Julie is my personal Yoda, and when I moved, I never would want another therapist to talk to--and Julie is always available to make time whenever I feel like I am in "crisis" mode. Her schedule is flexible, which is great given my schedule as a lawyer. I would recommend Julie to anyone, especially people my age, who is looking for a therapist! I won't be going to anyone else's practice, even being all the way out in Minneapolis!
When your child needs help THIS is where you go!
My daughter, who's nearly 11 now, started showing signs of anxiety around age 7. We were confused as to how to help her and how this happens to a healthy child from a loving home. We started therapy with a therapist in my insurance network right away and saw minimal changes in her. Behaviors slightly improved and she didn't want to go anymore so we stopped. Shortly afterwards she started to get anxious again. Her major issue was a fear of dying primarily at bedtime. It got so bad we brought her back to the same therapist begging her to help us. She immediately suggested medication. Medication! for an 8-year-old? I was not comfortable with that and started looking for a new therapist. I knew Julie Lynch professionally and was not sure she would be comfortable seeing my daughter so I asked her for help. She recommended Jesse Kauffmann. Meeting Jesse was LIFE CHANGING! My daughter LOVED her! She continued to see my daughter for a few months and gave her the techniques she needed to help herself. She didn't placate her or allow her to be a victim of her own mind. She got out in front of the issues, comforted her without coddling her and led her to success. My daughter in now thriving. Have no doubt that the anxiety rears it's ugly head from time to time and my daughter is now equipped to work through her issues and concerns. When our children hurt, we hurt! I shed many tears along with my daughter and Jesse understood that and helped us too in order to help our daughter.
We call her Fun Julie.... Of all the recommended therapies for my 11 y/o son (who has several disorders) social skills was the one I least wanted to pursue. But he is actually happy and excited to go to Julie's weekly social skills group. He loves it and never balks when I tell him its appointment day. Julie is wonderful with these kids. They like her, and she somehow makes this important therapy fun for the group. Often I will txt or call Julie before the appointment to ask her to work on an issue that has occurred. And she will incorporate that into the session so my son is learning valualble skills on real-life situations. I highly recommend Julie.
Julie is a warm, compassionate, real and effective therapist. She leads sessions to productive discussions and very often offers solid think out of the box guidance. She has a large professional network. I've "tried" therapy on and off my whole life but always found it tedious and awkward. Julie leads a very natural process and I no longer fear my appointments. I would recommend Julie without hesitation. Very very happy to have Juie on my team
Julie Riccio-Lynch was an outstanding therapist. I was 17 at the time we began working together and I was very resistant to therapy. Julie spent time talking to me instead of letting the room fall silent, which was much appreciated. She grew up and studied in this area and shared with me some of her experiences, which invited me to open up and share with her, mine. She maintained professional boundaries without being stiff. Julie is the reason that I trust the therapeutic process. Without her, I wouldn't be as successful as I am today.
My high school aged daughter was reluctant to visit with Julie, but after the first meeting she couldn't wait to go back. Julie was able to help my daughter navigate through the rough waters of high school and how to especially deal with a group of girls who were giving her a hard time. She gave her the tools and confidence to take control of the situation rather than let it control her. Her meetings with Julie went from twice a week to once a week to now once a month or so just to "touch base" I am grateful that my daughter has someone in her life who she can talk to without worry of judgement and who can help her make good decisions. She already plans to continue "skype-ing" with Julie once she goes off to college.
Julie's practice is one of the most professional highly recommended practices in the Monmouth County area. Her staff is highly educated and extremely helpful. I have used other therapists in the past in Monmouth County and in Ocean County and by far would say Brighter living would be the best practice hands-down. They are very accommodating and flexible with scheduling and personal needs. The most important thing when someone's life is interrupted with high stress and drastic change, to get back to it somewhat of a normal and functional life can sometimes be impossible. I can deathly say working with Jess for over two years has completely changed my life for the better. The bottom line. The sun is brighter, the grass is greener and the birds you can actually hear chirp again. I can definitely say I feel normal again! I highly recommend their services to anyone of my friends and or family members.
I work in a school community and I often am asked for referrals for mental health. There are many great therapists in our area, but I particularly like Julie Riccio Lynch's group for many reasons. First off, you are able to get an appointment quickly and for many,time is of the essence. Secondly, within the group of therapists, there are special strengths. Julie is able to suggest a therapist who specializes in a certain area. Thirdly, there is a psychiatrist in their building with whom they work. Plus they are located in a beautiful, old Victorian in Red Bank. They run groups based on the needs of the clients and also take suggestions from the community about what is needed. Follow up and communication are key with this group. As long as the client signs a release, the therapists are very helpful in providing feedback so that everyone is on the same page. I really can't recommend them enough!
Quality care and commitment
Julie and the Brighter Living staff have helped my family get through both very difficult times and even more routine life events. She and her colleagues are selfless, sensitive, and caring. They go the extra mile to ensure they are doing all they can to enhance one's well-being. I highly recommend Julie and Brighter Vision - committed professionals, great people.
Taking my child to speak with Julie was gift I was happy to give my child. From the first visit to the last Julie helped my child feel comfortable and supported while at the same time challenging them to think deeply and honestly. My child learned and developed skills to cope with future stress and anxiety and has learned to express their emotions rather than bottle them inside. Our relationship and family overall grew stronger because of Julie's positive and proactive approach. Thank you!
Working with Julie has truly been an amazing experience for me. I honestly wouldn't know where I'd be without her guidance and ability to understand myself and the situations in which I encounter. Wouldn't trade this experience for anything. I would highly recommend her service for anyone else in need.
I know I can always count on Julie Lynch to give me good advice and lead me in a positive direction. I always feel comfortable talking to her and she has helped shape me into the best version of myself.
Professional, kind, considerate, flexible, and relentless in pursuit of care!!
Julie Lynch treated my daughter on and off for the best part of her adolescent years. My daughter had severe social anxiety. Her condition was often debilitating. Julie gained my daughter's confidence and helped her navigate the toughest years of growing up. My daughter now has a wonderful sense of herself and her own self worth. I am forever grateful to Julie. I recommend her highly.
Top of the line
The key to successful therapy has to depend most of all on the relationship between therapist and patient. The care my daughter receives at Brighter Living has been, without exaggeration, life altering. She has felt comfortable speaking candidly, has been encouraged and supported and challenged and is enormously grateful for the insight of her therapist and the tools she has helped my daughter develop. I should campaign for a sixth star--Brighter Living has been that good.
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- Psychology Today
- National Association of Social Workers