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

AM i the problem?
Understanding Toxic Behaviors in Relationships

     Toxic behaviors such as manipulation and not taking accountability can significantly affect our relationships with others and ourselves. It is essential to identify the signs of toxicity to help us change our behavior and improve our lives.
     Do you ever find yourself thinking- “am I the problem?” when things go wrong in your relationships repeatedly? It might mean that you have toxic traits. Toxic traits can cause conflict in the lives of those around you, but recognizing these behaviors and changing them can help improve your life and relationships. Identifying the signs of toxic behavior is the first step to a positive change.

signs of relationship anxiety and anxiety therapy in new jersey for toxic behaviors in relationships and control issues

Clinical Implications of Toxic Behaviors

The Diagnostic Manual (DMS-5) used by therapists does not categorize “toxicity” as a menta health condition, however, individuals with personality disorders, trauma, etc, may display traits and behaviors that are seen as “toxic”. If you need support, consider speaking with a mental health professional who can help you develop healthier behaviors that strengthen your relationships.

Here are the some signs that you might be showing toxic behaviors:

Avoiding discussions

 A person with toxic behavior may not want to engage in important discussions. Issues can often go unresolved, and they may resort to making the other person feel less confident in themselves.

NOT taking accountability

It can be challenging to acknowledge your mistakes or blame others for any shortcomings you experience. If you can’t reflect on how your behaviors may contribute to issues that arise, it can affect your personal growth. Reflecting on your decisions can positively impact how you identify yourself.

Refusing to apologize

If you engage in toxic behaviors, you may twist the truth to make it seem as though you’ve been victimized or displace blame. If confronted with an issue, you may likely become defensive to the feedback and offended by critiques. Toxicity can also make it difficult to listen to the perspectives of others, leading to not apologizing when necessary.

Manipulating others

Toxic behaviors can include manipulating others for personal gain and control. This includes lying, exaggerating or leaving out information to persuade others or to influence others. Manipulation can include insults, joking about someone’s sensitivities, and withholding affection. Another form of manipulation that may be used is “gaslighting”. Gaslighting is when someone attempts to make another person question themselves, their beliefs and their reality.  If you have toxic traits, you may be more likely to do what makes others distrust themselves and their personal experiences.

Not respecting boundaries

Not respecting boundaries impacts a person’s feelings of safety and trust, ignores the needs of others and creates tensions, stress and anxiety in relationships. Boundaries are helpful in relationships as this often increases equality, respect and transparency. 

Being inconsistent

Everyone can be inconsistent at times, but if you frequently exhibit inconsistent behavior, people may see that as “toxic”. Depending on the reason for inconsistency, this can lead to a lack of trust from others, and  can affect how you others see you in their lives.  

If you recognize Toxic Behaviors in Yourself.....

If you recognize these signs in yourself, there are steps you can take to change. A positive change will improve your relationships with loved ones and acquaintances. Here are some things to consider:

Improve your Own Mental health

 If you notice that unhelpful behaviors affect your mental health and relationships with others, consider practicing mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing and meditation. 

Improve Your Communication Skills

Toxic behavior can stem from a lack of communication skills. If you find it difficult to express your emotions and thoughts effectively, it can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. Learning effective communication skills, such as active listening, empathy, and assertiveness, can help you communicate in a healthy and productive way.

Practice self-care

Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally can help reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. Practicing self-care can involve things like exercise, getting enough sleep, spending time with loved ones, and engaging in activities that bring you joy.

Surround yourself with positive influences

Those you surround yourself with can have a significant impact on your behavior, perception and mindset. If you spend time with people who exhibit toxic behavior, it can be challenging to break away from those patterns. Instead, try to surround yourself with people who uplift and support you, and who encourage positive behavior.

Getting Help to Break Toxic Behaviors & Patterns

In conclusion, it’s essential to recognize and understand the signs of toxic behaviors in yourself to improve your relationships and overall well-being. No one is perfect, and everyone can make mistakes, but taking accountability, respecting boundaries, improving communication skills, practicing self-care, and surrounding yourself with positive influences can help you make positive changes in your life. Remember, it’s never too late to start working on yourself and becoming the best version of yourself. If you need support, reach out to a mental health professional who can guide you through the process.

How do I get started as a new client?

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






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.