mind by design counseling online therapy in new jersey for anxiety, grief, women teens and adults NJ online therapist near me

Online Therapy in New Jersey

Mind by Design Counseling

Brain Food:
The Science Behind a Brain-Healthy Diet

We’ve all heard the term “brain food”, but it seems like diets, nutrition and wellness routines are always changing! One thing that has remained consistent is how certain foods impact mood, energy and attention. Foods can have a positive impact on brain health and memory, and it’s important to know how to incorporate those foods into your everyday eating habits. Some of the most promising “brain food” items includes fish, berries, nuts, and leafy greens.

  • Fish, such as salmon and tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve memory and cognitive function.
  • Berries, such as blueberries and strawberries, are high in antioxidants, which can protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, contain healthy fats and antioxidants that can improve brain function. And leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, are packed with vitamins and minerals that support brain health.

Brain Food in Research Studies

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2017, found that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and fish was associated with better cognitive function and a lower risk of cognitive decline in older adults. Later, in 2019, another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association which found that a Mediterranean-style diet was associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline and a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Brain food seems to have a lot of great research to back up the claims of higher cognitive function, but what about mood-food?

Mood Food

Just as certain foods can support brain health and memory, there are also foods that can boost mood. Some of the best mood-boosting foods include chocolate, nuts, and fermented foods.

    • Dark chocolate, in particular, contains a compound called phenylethylamine, which can stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.
    • Nuts, such as Brazil nuts and cashews, are rich in magnesium, which can help to regulate mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety.
    • And, fermented foods, such as yogurt and kefir, are rich in probiotics, which can improve gut health and boost mood.

Mood Food in Research Studies

A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2015, found that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods was associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety. Following this, the Journal of Affective Disorders reported that participants who consumed a diet high in chocolate and nuts had lower levels of stress and improved mood compared to those who did not.

A Balanced Brain starts with a balanced Diet

        In theory, it should be pretty easy to maintain a good balance between brain food and mood food and all the healthy things, so why is it so hard? The temptations of sugars, sweets and processed foods can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to balance our diets, NOT restrict our diets.

 A brain-healthy diet is not just about consuming certain foods, but also about maintaining a balanced and varied diet. For instance, a diet that is high in processed foods, sugar, and saturated fats can have a negative impact on brain health and overall well-being. Processed foods and the-like should be in moderation. Restricting certain foods or being overly rigid can cause other issues, and is not recommended.

        A balanced brain diet should include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. When your body is being fueled with these healthier, heartier foods, you’re more likely to take in less processed foods, sugar, and saturated fats. In addition, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and to always consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional to ensure that your diet meets your individual needs. This is especially important for individuals with dietary restrictions, allergies, or chronic health conditions.

In short, it’s important to pay attention to the foods you consume as it can have a significant impact on your brain health, memory and mood. Therefore, incorporating brain-healthy foods like fish, berries, nuts and leafy greens, and mood-boosting foods like chocolate, nuts, and fermented foods into your diet can support optimal brain function and improve your overall well-being. Consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional to ensure that your diet meets your individual need.

How do I get started as a new client?

New Clients can reach out to us directly via call, text or email here:




Or, you can complete a new client form and we’ll reach out to you within 24 hours here:

new client contact form request contact

What is your cancellation policy?

We ask that clients provide at least 24 hours notice in the event that they need to cancel to avoid the 50% cancellation fee. we understand that life happens and do our best to be flexible & reschedule.

Does my insurance cover my visits?

We provide”Courtesy Billing” for clients who are using the Out-of-network insurance benefits.

Our Insurance Page shares a small blurb about Why We Left Insurance Panels

Do you offer traditional talk therapy?

of course! though we have some unconventional therapy approaches, we are rooted in evidenced based practices. Talk therapy is a major player in the therapy room! See What we Treat and Integrative Services for more information

Is Online Therapy As Effective As In-Person Therapy?

Online therapy is essentially face-to-face counseling, just conducted remotely. Studies show that teletherapy is as effective as traditional counseling. Professional organizations and state governments recognize its benefits and have set regulations for it. However, like any therapy, its success in achieving your goals isn’t guaranteed. It’s important to discuss with your therapist whether teletherapy is working for you.

Can I Change Therapists If I'm Not Happy?

Yes, you can switch therapists to another provider within the practice, or we can provide you a referral if preferred. We want to ensure that your time and effort are well spent, and that you are getting the relief you need, that’s why we work collaboratively with each other in the practice, as well as outside therapists who we know and trust.

How Do I Know If Therapy Is Helping?

You should feel like you’re making progress. Signs it’s working include:

Feeling comfortable talking to your therapist
Your therapist respects boundaries
You’re moving towards your goals
You feel listened to
You’re doing better in life
Your self-esteem is getting better

Is Online Therapy Easy to Use for Non-Tech-Savvy People?

Yes, it’s pretty simple to access sessions. You’ll need basic internet skills, such as opening and visiting the patient link sent to you via email. It’s similar to video chatting like Facetime or Zoom. We can also walk you through it on the phone the first time to ensure a strong connection

What Questions Should I Ask My New Therapist?

Feel free to ask anything. Some good questions are:

  • How often will we meet?
  • What do you specialize in?
  • What experience do you have with my issue?
  • What outcomes can I expect?
  • How will I know I’m progressing?
  • How long do you usually work with clients?
  • How will we set my treatment goals?

How Should I Prepare for My First Session?

Showing up is all that you need to do! But if you really want to get the most out of session, it could help to take some time to think about what you want from therapy. It helps to write down your goals, questions you have or things that you feel are important to share. 

What is the difference between associate therapists & fully licensed therapists?

Our Qualifications:

Our founder, Rebecca Sidoti, is a highly qualified, state-licensed therapist and supervisor with extensive training in anxiety related disorders and innovative treatment such as Ketamine Therapy. Mind by Design Counseling adheres to standards set by the our governing counseling boards.

To see each providers credentials, training and licenses, visit our “Meet the Therapists” Page to learn more.


  • LAC/LSW are therapists who may practice clinical work under the supervision of a fully licensed therapist.
  • LPC/LCSW are therapists who have completed the necessary clinical hours post-graduation under supervision and can practice clinical work independently.

What Geographic Areas Are Served?

Currently, we serve clients in New Jersey and are expanding to other states as telehealth laws evolve. While telehealth offers the convenience of attending sessions from anywhere, state laws require clients to be in-state during their session.

Is Virtual Counseling Suitable for Everyone?

Online therapy might not be as effective for individuals with chronic suicidal thoughts, severe trauma, significant mental health history, or those recently in intensive care. Such cases often benefit more from traditional, in-person counseling. We’ll help you decide if our online services are right for you during your intake and evaluation.

What Equipment is Needed for Online Therapy?

To join a session, log in using the credentials we provide. No downloads are needed. Our platform, compatible with both individual and group sessions, requires:
A computer or mobile device with a webcam and internet access.
We’ll help you test your setup before your first appointment to ensure a reliable connection. iOS users should use the Safari browser for mobile and tablet sessions.

What Questions Will Therapists Ask Me?

It depends on your goals. Expect questions about your thoughts, feelings, relationships, work, school, and health. They’ll ask to understand your therapy goals.

How Do You Keep Client Information Secure?

Security and Confidentiality of Sessions:
Your privacy is crucial to us. We use TherapyNotes, a HIPAA-compliant platform, ensuring secure and confidential teletherapy sessions. This platform’s security features include encrypted video connections, secure data transfers, and encrypted databases, ensuring your information is safe at all times.

What is VRT used for?

we use VRT to support Exposure Therapy, a long standing traditional therapy modality to treat phobias, anxiety and stress. we send a headset directly to your home so you can access VRT from anywhere.

VRT not only helps with exposure therapy for phobias, but is great for ADHD, mindfulness, PTSD and social anxiety.


  1. Smith, P. J., & Blumenthal, J. A. (2017). Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease. Circulation, 135(15), e867-e884.
  2. Devore, E. E., Kang, J. H., Breteler, M. M., Grodstein, F., & Stampfer, M. J. (2019). Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline. Annals of Neurology, 76(1), 145-153.
  3. Scarmeas, N., Stern, Y., Tang, M. X., Mayeux, R., & Luchsinger, J. A. (2006). Mediterranean diet and risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Annals of Neurology, 59(6), 912-921.
  4. Jacka, F. N., O’Neil, A., Opie, R., Itsiopoulos, C., Cotton, S., Mohebbi, M., … & Pasco, J. A. (2017). A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the ‘SMILES’ trial). BMC Medicine, 15(1), 23.
  5. Jacka, F. N., Pasco, J. A., Mykletun, A., Williams, L. J., Hodge, A. M., O’Reilly, S. L., … & Berk, M. (2010). Association of Western and traditional diets with depression and anxiety in women. American Journal of Psychiatry, 167(3), 305-311.
  6. Akbaraly, T. N., Brunner, E. J., Ferrie, J. E., Marmot, M. G., Kivimaki, M., & Singh-Manoux, A. (2009). Dietary pattern and depressive symptoms in middle age. British Journal of Psychiatry, 195(6), 408-413.