Meet the Therapist

About

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Shayan Salar, LCSW

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While I identify as a "human" more than anything else, I am a first-generation Iranian-American born and raised in New Jersey by parents who left Iran during the 1979 revolution. Growing up in-between two cultures created several internal and external conflicts. Stressful and traumatic earlier life experiences prompted the need for me to undergo my own healing process. This process led me to want to further my educational and professional pursuits, only fueling my desire to seek knowledge and answers about the sources of suffering connected to things like history, intersectionality, trauma, culture, systems, environment, relationship, biology, and behavior.

Now I am a holistic psychotherapist who utilizes a combination of different modalities when conducting individual & group therapy for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, Gen Z, Millennials, college students, and young professionals. My therapeutic style has been described as authentic and attuned; I do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach -- instead, I value offering flexibility, options, and choice throughout the therapeutic process (within boundary). My approach is uniquely tailored to each therapeutic relationship that's established. Putting people in a box is never my objective; allowing all parts of them into the room is.

When I am not helping others, I am adamantly partaking in my own process by honing my craft through continued education, training, and consultation; guiding people through meditative experiences, facilitating integration circles, traveling, staying active, being in nature, reading, and giving myself full permission to be a human outside of my role.

Qualifications

  • B.A in Psychology from Kean University 

  • Master of Social Work from Kean University 

  • Current student in 3-year Somatic Experiencing Program

  • Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) MDMA-assisted psychotherapy student (Fall 2021 Cohort).

During my baccalaureate pursuit, I spent several years implementing behavior intervention plans for people with Autism and their families. These experiences served as inspiration for me, helping me understand my own ability to truly make an impact for individuals and their families. At Kean University, I helped facilitate their Master of Social Work (MSW) program to becoming affiliated with two separate substance abuse and co-occurring facilities in Middlesex County, both in which I interned, so future MSW students passionate about addiction & mental health could satisfy their clinical internship requirements. There, I learned more about treatment approaches within addiction services, harm reduction, and how criminal justice system intersects with people who experience substance use and co-occurring disorders. During my tenure, I was well--regarded for my research titled, "Contributing Factors to Spiritual Competency Among Social Work Students.

Thereafter, my professionally licensed experiences continued to grow from having worked in arguably some of the most comprehensive and trauma-informed mental health & addiction centers in New Jersey; ones with wrap-around services, focusing on treating the whole person, all while under the training & supervision of some of the most experienced supervisors in the state. Furthermore, I've had the opportunity to gain perspective working in historic facilities notoriously known for operating on more traditional models of helping. These experiences were essential to assist me with discerning which models, frameworks, and perspectives felt most resonant for me. Environments I have worked in to date are: in-home, after-school programs, harm-reduction & medication-assisted recovery, high-intensity inpatient residential, intensive outpatient, non-profit outpatient, community mental health centers, and now private practice.

In the eyes of many (while I don't necessarily share this view whatsoever), I have worked with some of the "toughest" populations - those with several overlapping and complex concerns, like "personality disorders;" different presentations of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) & complex trauma (CPTSD), people who have experienced dire consequences from their actions, inactions, compulsions, modes of being, identification/existence; people who have minimal access to resources & support systems; people that express many diverse factors, life circumstances, and unique concerns.