Welcome to the Team – Meet: Larry Zimmerman,  Licensed Social Worker

December 7, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — embracepwc @ 4:28 pm

We are happy to welcome LSW (Licensed Social Worker) Larry Zimmerman to the Embrace Psychiatric Wellness Center team!

After growing up being trained and working as an actor, Larry decided that he wanted to use his life experiences to help others. This eventually saw him graduate from Montclair State University and Rutgers University as well as training at the Identity House Counseling Center in NYC. He also has experience serving in psychiatric units at Trinitas Hospital.

Larry deeply enjoys meeting and working with new people and helping them get the care they need to achieve their goals and live fulfilling lives. Not forgetting his past, his main passions beyond his work are music and theater.

Larry is currently accepting new patients at our Westfield offices and via telehealth appointments.

At Embrace Psychiatric Wellness Center, we are committed to providing our patients with a peaceful, comfortable, and inclusive environment. We are:

  • Currently accepting new clients for therapy
  • Offering both in person and telehealth sessions
  • In network with many prominent insurance plans

Call 908-233-8065 or visit: embracepwc.com to request an appointment with Larry or one of our other caring and compassionate practitioners. 

October is ADHD Awareness Month

October 16, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — embracepwc @ 9:19 pm

This year, the ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Awareness Month Coalition is partnering with Embrace Psychiatric Wellness Center, along with other mental health organizations worldwide, to achieve the common goal of: “Moving Forward with ADHD” by sharing reliable information about ADHD and its treatments.

Suffering from a lack of focus is a common issue faced by many people in the fast-paced world we currently live in. But for those living with the challenges of ADHD – if not diagnosed and treated by medical professionals – ongoing hyperactivity, impulsivity and/or inattention can have crippling effects on their quality of life. 

What is ADHD?

ADHD – also sometimes called ADD – is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with this condition generally have trouble staying focused or paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, or might seem overly active in general. In adults, it may manifest differently. For example, hyperactivity might present as extreme restlessness.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people with ADHD suffer from severe and reoccurring instances of:

  • Hyperactivity: Constant movement often at inappropriate times including excessive fidgeting and talking
  • Impulsivity: Acting without thinking or having a lack of self-control
  • Inattention: Difficulty staying focused on the task at hand or being organized

Diagnosing ADHD

Because many common symptoms of ADHD can also be caused by other issues, it can be challenging to diagnose. These symptoms can include:

  • Squirming
  • Forgetfulness
  • Taking risks
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Inability to resist temptation
  • Difficulty getting along with others

ADHD is often diagnosed during childhood, but since the symptoms are often confused with disciplinary issues or bad behavior, they can be overlooked and therefore continue into adulthood.

Causes of ADHD

Scientists are still studying the possible causes for ADHD in an effort to find better ways of managing it. Current research indicates that the following risk factors may play an important role:

  • Genetics
  • Brain Injury
  • Exposure to Environmental Risks
  • Nutrition
  • Alcohol/Tobacco Usage During Pregnancy

Treatment Options for ADHD

A primary care physician or mental health professional will make the diagnosis of ADHD based on ongoing behavioral patterns.

Once accurately diagnosed, someone with ADHD will benefit from working with a psychiatrist and/or clinical psychologist to create a treatment plan that will most likely include a combination of medications along with behavioral therapies and stress management techniques. A good treatment plan always includes close monitoring, follow-ups, and adaptations if necessary.

Here’s a closer look at some of the available ADHD treatment options we offer at Embrace Psychiatric Wellness Center:

  1. Behavior & Cognitive Therapy: Working with one of our patient and compassionate therapists can help a person suffering from ADHD to change their action patterns through monitoring, as well as receiving feedback from those around them, and offering self-praise and/or reward for a job well done. Therapy can also:
    • Help to improve focus and concentration
    • Help ease the needed life changes to accommodate for ADHD treatment
    • Promote being more self-aware and accepting of the realities of living with the condition
  • TMS Therapy: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is an innovative, non-invasive approach that utilizes gentle magnetic waves to stimulate brain activity. This can have pronounced effects on brain function and behavior, and for many people with ADHD, the treatment works absolute wonders. This procedure can be carried out within a single visit, and following the treatment, patients experience no fatigue or interruption to their day.
  • Spravato: Spravato is a nasal spray medication that contains a safe, FDA-approved derivative of ketamine called esketamine. It’s been found to be effective in managing ADHD symptoms as it can impart benefits such as improved focus and attention, reduced impulsivity, and better emotional processing. During the appointment, the spray is administered, and the patient is closely monitored. Some grogginess and other mild side effects are possible; however, compared to other treatments which can sometimes take time to kick in, the spray begins working within a few hours.

At Embrace Psychiatric Wellness Center, we understand the challenges you might face if you or someone close to you is living with ADHD. We’re determined to work with you to find the perfect treatment plan that allows you to stay focused, productive, and positive moving forward so that you can achieve more than you’ve ever dreamed of!

Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation:

Author: Sara Magnola Taner is an online marketing and communications specialist and co-founder of Pearl St Services. She has over 20 years of experience creating and editing clear, compelling content on diverse topics across a wide range of mediums.

Spotlight On Our Team Members – Meet: JoAnne Piaggio, Nurse Practitioner

September 22, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — embracepwc @ 3:59 pm

“Embrace Psychiatric Wellness Center has been fantastic, understanding, compassionate and supportive. Their staff is always friendly and go out of their way to help. Joanne P. is who I see every month. She has been a guardian angel to me. She has helped tremendously with my mental illness and is always available in a pinch. She takes her time with you and listens. Overall I can’t say enough about this facility and the employees! I highly recommend this practice to everyone! Thanks for everything!!” – Patient, Danielle

JoAnne has been a part of the healthcare field for multiple decades, starting out as an operating room nurse in 1989, which was a position she held for 20 years. However, a family tragedy changed the trajectory of her work. She decided to undergo the post master’s Certificate for Advanced Practice Nursing program at Monmouth College, graduating in May of 2019 – and the rest is history!

Today, JoAnne loves being able to provide essential mental healthcare to people all over New Jersey, changing lives for the better. She takes the time to understand her patients and truly get to the bottom of what is going on mentally. Her compassion for her work is what makes her an outstanding APN. 

Outside of working hours, she enjoys reading, putting together puzzles, learning how to crochet, and spending LOTS of quality time with Natasha, her fur baby! 

JoAnne is currently accepting new patients for medication management at our convenient Brick, NJ location.

Call 908-923-3483 or visit: embracepwc.com to request an appointment with JoAnne or one of our other caring and compassionate practitioners.

Effective Coping Skills for Social Anxiety Disorder

August 30, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — embracepwc @ 6:37 pm
woman with social anxiety

Social anxiety is a common challenge that many of us face at some point in our lives. It’s that familiar knot in the stomach before a social event, the racing heart during a conversation, and the persistent worry about being judged or embarrassed. However, with the right coping skills, managing social anxiety becomes not only possible but empowering. In this blog post, we’ll explore effective strategies to help you navigate social situations with confidence and ease.



August 25, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — embracepwc @ 7:33 pm

At Embrace Psychiatric Wellness Center, we are proud to offer SPRAVATO® – the only FDA-approved nasal spray for Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD). We are the largest certified SPRAVATO® treatment center in the Westfield area.

SPRAVATO® esketamine nasal spray, is an innovative prescription medication, that when taken along with an oral antidepressant, may offer greater relief from depression symptoms for adult patients suffering from TRD or Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

One of the caring and compassionate members of the diverse team of medical professionals at Embrace Psychiatric Wellness Center, can help you to understand if SPRAVATO® might be right for you.

If you or someone you love is suffering from TRD or MDD and may benefit from using SPRAVATO®, read these frequently asked questions to learn more:

Who is a good candidate for SPRAVATO® nasal spray?

If you are an adult (over the age of 18) who is suffering from TRD and/or experiencing symptoms of depression after having taken two or more oral antidepressants, you may be a good candidate for SPRAVATO®.  It is also used to treat adults suffering from MDD who may experiencing suicidal thoughts. According to Healthline, symptoms of MDD include:

  • Persistent low mood
  • Little interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Fatigue (low energy)
  • Trouble focusing
  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
  • Having a hard time completing daily activities
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors

What makes SPRAVATO® nasal spray effective?

SPRAVATO® contains the drug esketamine, which is included in a group of drugs called NMDA receptor blockers. While it is unknown exactly how SPRAVATO® works to help ease symptoms of depression, studies published by the National Library of Medicine show that it blocks the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors proteins in the brain.

SPRAVATO® will be prescribed along with at least one other antidepressant that you will take by mouth. Examples of these drugs include (but are not limited to):

  • Venlafaxine (Effexor)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Are there any side effects of using SPRAVATO®?

The most common side effects, are:

  • Dissociation
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sedation
  • Spinning sensation
  • Reduced sense of touch
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of energy
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling drunk

If these common side effects occur, they usually happen right after taking SPRAVATO® and go away the same day. These are not all the possible side effects of SPRAVATO®.

SPRAVATO® can cause interactions when taken in combination with certain other prescription drugs. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you are taking, including prescription and over the counter, as well as any supplements or vitamins.

How is SPRAVATO® nasal spray administered?

When administered by an experienced Embrace Psychiatric Wellness Center team member, SPRAVATO® is safe and effective. The amount of medication you will be prescribed will be tailored to your specific needs and medical history. You will receive your SPRAVATO® treatment at one of our offices under direct supervision to ensure you are as safe and comfortable as possible.

You will administer the SPRAVATO® nasal spray yourself under the guidance of a healthcare professional at a certified SPRAVATO® healthcare facility. Your treatment schedule will depend on the medical condition it’s being used to treat. Your doctor will explain how much and how often to use the nasal spray.

Because of the risks for sedation, dissociation, abuse, and misuse, we will enroll you in the SPRAVATO® Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) Program as part of your treatment process.

At Embrace Psychiatric Wellness Center, we offer all our new SPRAVATO® patients a complimentary bag filled with a few custom items to help ensure all the things you will need and want during your treatment appointments are available to you.

Our bag includes:

  • Fuzzy socks
  • A cozy fleece blanket
  • A supportive neck pillow
  • A reusable water bottle

Ready to Get Started? Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation and learn if SPRAVATO® might be right for you:

  • Call: (908)-923-3483
  • Visit: embracepwc.com

Author: Sara Magnola Taner is an online marketing and communications specialist – with a website development and editorial background – who has over 15 years of experience creating and editing clear, compelling content on diverse topics across a wide range of mediums.

Spotlight On Our Team Members – Meet: Edwin Bonilla, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

July 24, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — embracepwc @ 8:17 pm

Edwin is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) who has a deep passion for providing patient-centered empathetic care to all of those who suffer from a myriad of mental illnesses.

Edwin is skilled in managing and treating a comprehensive range of mental health concerns including depression, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, and insomnia. As your PMHNP, Edwin’s comprehensive role would include: educator, mental health advocate, therapist, and medication manager.

Life can be full of hardships and unfortunately, there are some who suffer more than most. Having access to high-quality, compassionate, and empathetic mental health services is very important and at times life-altering. Edwin understands that the relationship between client and provider is an important partnership and strives to meet his patient’s established mental health goals.

Edwin obtained his MSN from LaSalle University and is currently a member of both the Neuroscience Education Institute, and the National Institute of Mental Health. He has been studying and working in healthcare since 2006. Having experienced multiple hardships in his own life, he understands how difficult it can be for people to access affordable medical and mental health care. He loves to use his medical knowledge and skills to help people in need. 

Outside of working hours, Edwin enjoys spending time with his loving family and trying out new BBQ recipes and techniques.

Edwin – a first-generation immigrant from Honduras – is bilingual and specializes in treating 19–70-year-olds suffering from anxiety, ADHD, depression, and mood disorders. He is able to accommodate patients for in-person and telehealth appointments.

Edwin is currently accepting new patients for medication management at one of our convenient New Jersey locations and via telehealth.

Call 908-233-8065 or visit: embracepwc.com to request an appointment with Edwin or one of our other caring and compassionate practitioners.

7 Tips for Confronting and Coping with Workplace Anxiety

July 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — embracepwc @ 5:08 pm

Workplace anxiety is a common challenge that many individuals face, impacting their well-being and professional performance. It’s crucial to acknowledge and address these feelings, as they can hinder personal growth and success. Read on to learn about effective strategies to confront and cope with workplace anxiety, creating a healthier, more productive work environment.


Protect Your Mental Wellbeing This Summer

June 23, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — embracepwc @ 9:19 pm

With the school year coming to an end, temperatures rising, and fireflies starting to come out at twilight, the summer season has officially begun.

While the long hot days of summer often conjure up visions of relaxation and fun times in the sun, for many people the reality is that this season can also have a negative impact on their mental state. The expectation that you “should” constantly be having a great time, can create a lot of pressure. Rest assured, that even though it may seem like everyone else is living their best, Instagram-worthy lives this summer, many people are also feeling the undesirable effects of the season as well.

Here are some features of summertime that can make the living not so easy and a few ways to proactively protect your mental wellbeing:

Create a Summer Schedule

For many people, the summer months wreak havoc on their normal routine.  Children being on summer break from school or college, can result in fuller, noisier homes and extra demands. Going on vacations also results in regular schedules being disrupted. Backyard barbecues and pool parties can lead to later bedtimes and needing to sleep in. Sweltering midday temperatures can require us to switch things up, so we don’t overheat on our lunchtime walk for example. For many people, a disruption to the norm can result in feelings of stress, agitation, anxiety, and depression. This year, take time to assess how the shift to summer will affect your schedule and routines.  Then come up with a summer schedule that can become your new norm for the next few months.

Protect Your Sleep

Extended hours of sunlight and disruptions to your regular schedule can result in not getting enough quality sleep. According to the National Institute of Health: “Sleep deficiency can cause trouble learning, focusing, and reacting. It can also make it hard to judge other people’s emotions and reactions. Sleep deficiency can make you feel frustrated, cranky, or worried in social situations.” To ensure you are getting enough sleep during the summer, stick to your regular bedtime and nighttime routine as much as possible. It can also be helpful to check the window coverings in your bedroom to make sure they are blocking out most of the light from the earlier sunrise or later sunset.

Stick to A Summer Fund

Pressure to splurge on vacations and fun summertime activities like concerts, trips to the water park, frequent visits to the ice cream parlor, etc. can lead to worry about over-spending. Adding to the financial demands of the season are pricey summer camps and child care for parents when school is not in session. To help mitigate the anxiety worrying can cause, try setting a “Summer Fun” budget. Allocating a predetermined, responsible amount of money to spend during the summer months, can help you maintain a sense of calm and alleviate stress.

Beat the Heat

While some people love the hot summer sun and can soak up its rays all day every day, for others, sweltering summer weather can take a toll on their physical and emotional health. Spending too much time in the heat can lead to dehydration, feeling tired, and a lack of appetite, which is why a study by the American Physiological Society found that people are more likely to have higher levels of stress hormones in the summer than in winter. Additionally, the summer heat makes it more challenging to spend time exercising outdoors, which can be incredibly beneficial to your physical and mental health. It’s important to resist the urge to stay inside an air conditioned home all day, by finding ways to still get the benefits of being out in nature without overheating. Getting out early or later in the day for your walk or workout, will ensure you do not roast in the strong midday sun. Spending time by a body of water, such as an ocean, lake, or pool, when possible, allows you to cool off when you get too warm.

This summer, keep your cool by protecting your mental health.  If you are struggling with anxiety or depression due to summer stress, the team at Embrace Psychiatric Wellness Center can help! 

Contact our compassionate staff today to learn more:

Author: Sara Magnola Taner is an online marketing and communications specialist – with a website development and editorial background – who has over 15 years of experience creating and editing clear, compelling content on diverse topics across a wide range of mediums.

Navigating the Physical Symptoms of Depression

June 3, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — embracepwc @ 7:26 pm
a depressed man holding his face in his hands

Even though it’s sometimes difficult to detect, depression is one of the most common mental illnesses out there and can profoundly impact a person’s life. But when many of us think about depression, we associate it with mental, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. However, depression can also manifest a wide variety of physical symptoms that are sometimes quite challenging to manage. Here’s a closer look at some of these symptoms, along with a few useful ways for handling them.


TMS – Effective Depression Treatment

May 26, 2023

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a depression treatment that is non-invasive and doesn’t involve the use of any drugs. In TMS therapy, the prefrontal cortex of your brain is stimulated with a magnetic field. This helps brain cells function and regulate your mood more effectively. It gently stimulates the areas of the brain that are under-active with depression.

At Embrace Psychiatric Wellness Center, we offer safe, effective, and FDA-approved treatments that are designed to help patients feel like themselves again. We are a certified TMS treatment center, with locations in Westfield and Freehold, NJ.

During your appointment, one of our certified, personable, and trained team members will help make your mental health treatment experience comfortable and enjoyable throughout each session.

One of our highly trained TMS technicians, Renee, provides all the answers to your questions about this treatment:

What is TMS?

TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) uses a highly focused series of magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which tends to be under-active in individuals with depression. 

Who is a good candidate for TMS?

TMS is FDA-approved for adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) and/or anxiety. Most insurance companies require a patient to have failed traditional antidepressants prior to approving TMS treatment. TMS can be used in conjunction with medication, or as an alternative to medication. TMS is safe for individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

What are the contraindications for treatment?  

Contraindications for TMS include the presence of metal implanted in or around the head (such as cochlear implants, stimulators, or drug pumps, etc.). Individuals with seizure disorders or a history of seizures would need to be considered on a case-by-case basis and may require clearance from a specialist.

What are the common side effects of TMS?

TMS is a generally well-tolerated treatment with few relative side effects.  Some common side effects are minor scalp discomfort at or around the treatment site, facial twitching, and headaches during the first few treatments.

How long does it typically take for TMS to be effective in treating depression?

Some patients see a decrease in depressive symptoms within the first few weeks of treatment, for others it may take until week four or five to see results. Everyone is different so if it takes longer to notice symptom relief, it does not mean the treatment is ineffective. TMS is designed in such a way that results continue even after the 36 sessions are complete. 

What is the difference between TMS and ECT?

TMS is non-invasive and is not to be confused with Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). TMS uses magnetic impulses to stimulate specific regions in the brain that play a role in depressive symptoms.  Unlike ECT, TMS requires no recovery period or long-lasting side effects, such as memory loss, making it easy to resume your daily activities after a TMS session.

How to prepare for your first TMS session?

Feel free to bring anything that will make you comfortable during treatment.  You may want to bring water and keep some OTC medicine on hand in case of a headache.  Some individuals use earplugs during their sessions, which our office can provide if preferred. 

What happens during a typical TMS session?

During a typical TMS session, we will have you sit or recline in the chair while the technician positions the machine in the correct spot (which is determined for each patient during the TMS mapping). Once treatment begins, the technician will be in the room with you for the duration of your session.  Feel free to relax in silence, listen to music or a podcast (without headphones), or chat with your technician – whatever makes you feel most comfortable!

How long is the course of treatment?

TMS sessions occur daily for approximately 20-30 mins a session, Monday through Friday, for 36 consecutive sessions. 

Will missing a session do anything?

We understand situations arise that may prevent patients from attending a session or two, which will not impact the overall effectiveness of TMS. However, we strongly encourage patients to attend sessions on a consistent basis to get the most out of TMS.

Is TMS covered by insurance?

TMS is covered by most major insurance companies. 

What do I do to begin?

If you feel you are a good candidate and could benefit from TMS contact us today – call (908)-233-8065 or visit embracepwc.com – to learn more about if TMS Therapy may be right for you!

Author: Sara Magnola Taner is an online marketing and communications specialist – with a website development and editorial background – who has over 15 years of experience creating and editing clear, compelling content on diverse topics across a wide range of mediums.
Older Posts »