mind by design


Coping with Grief:
Why You Should Seek Support

      With the death of a loved one comes a whole host of burdens and losses, from the need to make funeral plans to the loss of companionship, intimacy and shared activities.  Grief counseling helps individuals, families and couples who are coping with grief by helping to understand, express and heal. Mourning, bereavement, anticipatory grief, and standard or common grief are different grief experiences. Therefore, the experience of loss and grief may appear or feel differently when expressed. As a result, personal beliefs, cultural backgrounds, situational loss, and religious practices influence individual grief experiences. Therapy has no one-size-fits-all plan because everyone owns their journey. We’ve put together a list of counseling techniques and approaches used in counseling.

Grief Therapy Quote about grief and loss for grief counseling in New Jersey

How Therapy Helps Individuals
Coping With Grief

Narrative Therapy as a Support in Grief Counseling

  • After a loss, we may find ourselves mentally & emotionally consumed by thoughts and feelings surrounding our loss. When provided a safe and nurturing environment, we can share our story of loss, allowing for us to become more familiar with this strange and apparent emotion. Telling a story, sharing a memory, or speaking about our losses helps us understand our perceptions, feelings and beliefs. Telling our story reflects our values and allows us to face the grief instead of avoid it. These are important components for individuals coping with grief.
man coping with grief in need of support through online grief counseling in new jersey

Grief Counseling: Art Therapy

  • Art therapy allows for creativity and flexibility in the therapy room. Though it may seem less structured, Art Therapy approaches set clear intention for expression, communication and processing. Just as Narrative Therapy encourages verbal processing, art therapy encourages non-verbal processing through traditional art such as painting and drawing, along with other forms of creative expression such as dancing, singing, role playing and poetry writing. Many people seek out Art Therapy to help with healing from loss and grief because it allows for a variety of interventions that can be tailored to individual needs

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • This well-known therapy approach is focused on learning to recognize and restructure thinking patterns that are limiting your growth. CBT is more “action oriented” and allows for clients and therapists to measure progress easier than with other approaches. Another benefit of CBT is the emphasis on learning new skills, called coping skills, to manage difficult emotions that may arise in individuals coping with grief

Coping with Grief Through Group Support

  • Group Therapy is a great support for those experiencing loss, whether that loss be recent or not. The groups are made up of individuals who share similar experiences and can safely connect with others in a nurturing and accepting environment. The main reason that Group Therapy has been so successful as a treatment for grief is because it normalizes the experience of grief that can often feel confusing and strange.


Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • This emerging technique emphasizes the importance of accepting all emotions, thoughts and feelings just as they are, absent from avoidance, over-thinking, or feeding into thought-patterns that slow the healing process. ACT can also be helpful for clients who are not just coping with grief, but may be experiencing “chronic grief” or “complicated grief”, this is, grief that lasts for more than a year after the loss. The reason ACT can be helpful for complicated grief is because complicated grief tends to be rooted in unprocessed emotions and rigid, self-damaging beliefs surrounding the loss. ACT can help break these thinking patterns and introduces a mindful approach to experiencing and processing emotions.

Leave Your Info

We’ll reply within 24 hours
Updated New Client Request

Meet Our Grief Counselor

Kristin Justice, LAC, specializes in grief, loss & healing.  Click here to learn about our grief counseling services or to work with our grief specialist, Kristin Justice, LAC.


Coping with grief doesn’t have to be done alone. Reach out today. 

Kristin Justice specialized therapy Grief counselor , BIPOC and stress

For local support groups, please visit here

“Grief is the last act of love we can give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love.

Cathy Rentzenbrink, Author of The Last Act Of Love and A Manual For Heartache

Reach out to Us

Meet the Team

Marilyn Defalco, LCSW

Marilyn DeFalco, LCSW headshot, online therapist t Mind by Design

Since 2016, Marilyn has been providing clinical services to families, adolescents and adults struggling with trauma, abuse, substance use and gender identity. Marilyn has extensive training and experience in trauma-informed care. As an online therapist, Marilyn primarily works with adolescents, individuals of the LGBTQ community and individuals struggling with PTSD, Trauma and Mood Disorders.

Because of her expertise and  extensive knowledge of treating trauma-related issues, conducting professional trainings and workshops for educators and school staff, medical professionals, law enforcement, and first responders. Included in Marilyn’s accomplishments is the development of the Morris Alliance for Student  Sexual Safety (MASSS) coalition to prevent interpersonal violence and enhance health education in schools.

Areas of Clinical Expertise 

Credentials & Certifications

  • 2019: Licensed Clinical Social Worker, NJ
  • 2018: New Jersey Certified Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate, Girls Circle Facilitator Certification
  • 2016: School Social Worker Standard Certificate, Kean University, NJ, Licensed Social Worker, NJ, Masters of Social Work, Kean University, NJ
  • Bachelors of Psychology & Sociology, William Paterson University, NJ

Research & Publications


Click Here To Visit Marilyn’s Page

Or Here to Request an Appointment

Kristin Justice, LAC

Kristin Justice, LAC online therapist at Mind by Design

Kristin D. Justice is a Licensed Associate Counselor and an Adjunct Professor at Monmouth University. Moreover, she is an experienced counselor, educator and public speaker. Since graduating with her masters, Kristin’s clinical work has focused on empowering women, working directly with children and families experience mental health crises, and providing individual and group therapy. As an online therapist, Kristin focuses on treating individuals struggling with stress, grief and life transitions.

Furthermore, her research includes a focus on the underutilization of mental health services in minority communities, outreach and service to those communities in therapeutic settings, and the role that spirituality plays in minority mental health, social justice and counseling. Lastly, Kristin’s approach to mental health begins with compassion and education, leading to healthy, fulfilling personal transformation.

Areas of Clinical Expertise 

Credentials & Certifications

  • 2021: Adjunct Professor, Monmouth University (NJ)
  • 2020: Nationally Certified Counselor (NJ), Licensed Associate Counselor(NJ). Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • 2012: Masters in Psychology
  • 2009: Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology & African American Studies

Research & Publications

Click Here To Visit Kristin’s Page

Or Here to Request an Appointment

Rebecca Sidoti, LCSW

Rebecca Sidoti online therapist t Mind by Design

Rebecca is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Founder of Mind by Design Counseling. As an online therapist, Rebecca focuses her clinical work on the treatment of Anxiety Disorders, OCD, Panic Disorder & Phobias. In addition to the services of a traditional online therapist, Rebecca also provides Ketamine Therapy, Virtual Reality Therapy, is a Certified Anxiety Treatment Specialist,  & Clinical Supervisor. Rebecca’s passion lies in providing innovative and progressive treatment to individuals and families.


Areas of Clinical Expertise 

Credentials & Certifications

  • 2023: Clinical Supervisor (NJ). Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapist (Journey Clinical)
  • 2021: Completion of Seminar: Virtual Reality (VR) for Anxiety & Phobias
  • 2020: Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Provider, Perinatal & Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Specialist
  • 2019: New Jersey Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Professional Training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Rutgers University, NJ
  • 2018: SIFI Certification, Seton Hall University, NJ
  • 2016 Masters of Social Work, Kean University, NJ
  • 2012 Bachelors Degree in Psychology & Fine Arts, Kean University, NJ

Research & Publications



Click Here To Visit Rebecca’s Page

Or Here to Request an Appointment

FAQ about Online therapy at MBD

How do I get started as a new client?

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

Does my insurance cover my visits?

Uur goal it to decrease stress and anxiety, so we understand that the financial commitment to therapy is something to consider! We provide OON billing for clients who decide to bill their insurance for services. A “Superbill” can be provided to you for potential reimbursement of services. To know if you have to OON benefits, you can call your insurance company and ask about the process of receiving these benefits. 

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

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

See our “Affordable Therapy” Page for info on licensing and costs of therapy.

 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 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.

What is Virtual Reality Therapy (VRT)?

VRT is an immersive tool that helps clients to explore environments that can not be traditionally explored in therapy. Visit our VR page for more info and to watch our infomercial 

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.

How does the process work?

  • Fill out a consult request below or reach out to us directly.
  • our phone number is 609-300-6481, call or text
  • MBD will respond within 24 business hours
  • You will get access to the patient portal to complete the intake paperwork
  • Once the paperwork is submitted and reviewed we confirm your intake appointment
  • Prior to your intake, you will receive a link to access the telehealth session.

Do You Offer Free or Reduced Therapy?

Yes! We offer a sliding scale as well as reduced fee therapy for clients working with out graduate interns. To learn more visit: Reduced Fee Therapy