Health & Wellness

Treating Trauma and Addiction with Humanity and Professionalism

People struggling with mental health issues often don’t know where to turn for a solution. Whether you are trying to overcome trauma, fight addiction, seek relief from mood disorders or confront the stress
of marital tensions, there are so many treatment options, it’s hard to know which will be right for you.

Some patients either go through several therapists before finding one whose approach is suitable for them, or give up in the process. When you’re struggling with mental health it can take a colossal effort to simply pick up the phone and book an appointment; let alone walk into a stranger’s office and reveal your most vulnerable self.

One thing about psychotherapist Alfred Borrelli that all his patients know, is that he cares. A seasoned professional with five decades of experience, he’s a therapist who teaches therapists: Mr. Borelli served on the faculty of NY Medical College, taught psychotherapy and psychology to psychiatrists at UMDNJ (University of Medicine & Dentistry) and Bergen Regional Medical Center, and counseled psychology students from Columbia University and Hunter College as Vocational Rehabilitation Division Head in the Psychology Department at NYMC. He’s also the author of The Match: Academic/Applied Psychology and the Chemical Dependence Field (Full Court Press, 2017), a textbook for mental health professionals about the treatment of chemical dependency and other mental health problems.

His membership in the American Psychotherapy Association (APA) is as a Fellow—the highest status they confer. He has presented at national and international conferences and on TV regarding chemical dependence, assessment and treatment. For example, he was the guest expert on the Montel Williams Show for the Hollywood Child Actors & Drug Abuse segment following the death of actor River Phoenix. In addition to graduate-level training in psychology and his experience working as a clinical psychologist, he is a licensed professional counselor in NJ and a licensed mental health counselor in NY.

Alfred began his career in the late 1960s as a clinical psychologist and clinical director at an inpatient chemical dependence program. The program had a patient population of 250, all of whom spent an intensive 12 to 18 months in the program before fully reentering society. Unsatisfied with the inpatient therapeutic community model that existed at the program, Alfred adapted it to reflect a more humane and effective approach, and his model was adopted by other programs around the country.

Aside from his expertise in addiction, Alfred specializes in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) therapy. EMDR is a relatively new, groundbreaking approach that was developed to treat PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), but can also treat lesser traumas of historic abuse incidents and everyday anxiety. EMDR utilizes eye movements or other bilateral stimulation to help the patient’s brain process traumatic memories. Its effectiveness is believed to be connected to the biological mechanisms involved in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. During this process, the patient is able to transform his emotional responses to the memory in a remarkably short amount of time: studies have shown that an overwhelming percentage of cases of PTSD can be completely cured in as little as 3 90-minute sessions.
EMDR is recognized as a highly effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the APA, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense. Alfred is a certified EMDR practitioner and full member of EMDRIA (International Association) and achieves excellent results with his patients using this approach.

In addition to EMDR, Alfred offers a wide range of approaches to help his patients thrive including: classic psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family and marital counseling, and clinical testing and evaluation.
While he may sometimes recommend supplementing the treatment he offers with chemical therapy to address severe levels of addiction, Alfred prefers drug-free approaches for lesser levels of addiction and symptomatology whenever possible.

Alfred’s practice also includes case interventions with affect disorders and learning disorders. He counsels individuals, couples and families as well as CEOs and other corporate personnel, regarding peer and self-report issues.“The therapeutic sessions allow them a safe place to not only examine their personal issues,” says Alfred, “but also to reflect on their business ideas in a completely confiden- tial environment. CEOs and other managers may have concerns about exposing their ideas to their peers for fear that they might adopt them and pose competition—don’t need to worry. Everything that is discussed in the office remains strictly confidential.”
While many psychotherapists and psychiatrists use answering services to let their patients contact them indirectly, Alfred makes himself available 24 hours a day by phone. He explains, “I believe a therapist needs to be available to his patients when they are having difficulties, not only during office hours.”

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Information provided by Alfred Borelli
Alfred Borelli is a licensed professional therapist with 50 years of experience, specializing in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), EMDR therapy, and addictions counseling.
He can be reached at 201-947-7353 or www.alfredborrelli-emdraddictions.com

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