Maria Flax, PhD

Licensed Psychologist
License#: PSY 24642

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” -Brene Brown

Maria Flax, PhD

The cornerstone of my therapeutic approach is captured in the above quote. As a psychologist with over 20 years in practice, my experience has taught me that, it is when we let go of who we think we “should” be and take off our psychological armor, that we have the opportunity to be truly known and experience genuine, deep and fulfilling connections. The above quote highlights the idea that to be vulnerable is not a weakness, but rather and, most importantly, is a strength. While there are inevitable psychological injurious and difficult life events that we all endure, when we permit ourselves to be vulnerable, we free ourselves to enjoy truly honest and meaningful relationships. Unless brought into our awareness, unhealthy relational patterns will repeat. I will help you to identify the barriers that stand in the way of reaching your authentic self and achieving a deep sense of well-being. I can help you to learn to let go of feelings of shame and choose to allow your true self to be seen, foibles and strengths, alike.

My approach to therapy is genuine, respectful, and incorporates both insight and action-oriented interventions. I strive to create a warm, validating, and truly non-judgmental therapeutic setting in which you can feel safe, accepted, appropriately challenged and truly understood. Through commitment to therapy, you can overcome emotional challenges that have been barriers in the past. Together, we will explore, navigate, and come to understand cycles of unhealthy behaviors. It then becomes possible to learn new ways of managing stress and painful or uncomfortable emotions. You will be better able to hear your true/authentic self. My approach is to guide you on your journey, providing a compassionate voice, and healthy tools, so that you can more successfully resolve painful conflicts, improve self-esteem, embrace healthy coping and communication skills and enjoy more satisfying relationships,

I am a licensed psychologist with over 20 years of experience, specializing in treating children, adolescents(behavioral and emotional difficulties) and adults struggling with anxiety, depression/mood disorders, eating disorders/body image concerns, addictions, co-dependency, marital problems/dilemmas and life transitions. I have trained and worked in a variety of settings (inpatient psychiatric hospital, outpatient crisis/triage clinics, group homes, schools and private practice). I bring to my practice expertise in the fields of attachment, grief and loss, trauma and parenting. Earlier in my career, I was the Director of a dual diagnosis mental health program, in which I was responsible for development, quality assurance and training of staff and interns. And, as a psychologist, when clinically indicated, I can offer psychological assessment and testing for diagnostic purposes. My clinical background also includes extensive experience in the field of Complex Trauma. I have provided seminars and trainings to professionals on the most current research, theory and clinical interventions known to be successful.

My career path has also involved providing advocacy services for adult/geriatric clients to aid in managing psychological difficulties and medically related social, emotional and financial challenges. I devised and monitored appropriate programs of treatment, including counseling, residential care, hospitalization and case-management. My work involved collaboration with Assisted Living Staff and medical personnel. I assessed patient progress and modified treatment plans accordingly in order to meet the unique needs of each of my clients and families.

Later in my career, I provided comprehensive therapeutic services to adolescents residing in a residential, school-based program. In this setting, I worked with a treatment team comprised of teachers, counselors, behavior specialists, parents and other therapists, all focused on identifying student/family areas of need as well as student/familial strengths. I conducted biopsychosocial assessments and substance use histories, worked with addictions, and co-occurring diagnoses. I worked with multiple agencies to effectively guide/educate and train staff regarding techniques of strategic diagnosis, treatment, and program criteria. I participated in the development and coordination of in-service trainings, and informational seminars to community service providers.