Meet the Therapist
Shayan Salar, LCSW
While I identify as a "human" more than anything else, I am a first-generation Iranian-American who was born and raised in New Jersey. Growing up in-between two cultures created several internal and external conflicts, which catapulted me into my own personal healing process. These earlier life experiences in conjunction with my later educational and professional pursuits contributed to my fierce motivation to seek answers about the sources of suffering relative to 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 older adolescents and adults. 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 to the highest degree possible. 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, guiding people through meditative experiences, facilitating integration circles, traveling, staying active, being in nature, and reading.
B.A in Psychology from Kean University
Master of Social Work from Kean University
Current student of a 3-year Somatic Experiencing Program
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 of which I interned, so future MSW students passionate about addiction & mental health could satisfy their clinical internship requirements. There, I learned more about the treatment of, and how the criminal justice system intersects with people experiencing 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 professional experiences grew well-rounded 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 professionals (while I don't necessarily share this view), I have worked with some of the "toughest" populations, such as those with: several overlapping concerns, "personality disorders," different presentations of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) & complex trauma (CPTSD), dire consequences from their actions/inactions, minimal access to resources & people to support them, diverse factors, life circumstances, and unique concerns.