Christopher J. Barker, Ph.D.
Discovery: I like the name because it speaks to me of finding, uncovering and celebrating that which was already there. We cannot create solutions or new behaviors as easily as we can find our way. I cannot change you, but I will try to help you discover what you need to make your life more enjoyable.
I received a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in assessment from Radford University, a Clinical Psychology Master of Arts from the New School for Social Research, and a Ph.D. from Seton Hall University. My experience began long before I finished my degrees. I was a peer counselor in college and have alwaysbeen the one my friends came to with problems.The way their lives shaped their needs propelled me in the direction I followed to the completion of my studies.
My training was in Clinical Psychology, with a specialty in Child Clinical Psychology and I am a licensed psychologist in New Jersey. I am also a member of the Parnell EMDR Academy. I was raised with an awareness and immersion in my family’s Native American heritage and have always been an advocate for cultural awareness and diversity. I have done extensive research and have presented papers on suicidal behavior as it relates to culture, and organized a panel discussion of multicultural perspectives on children in crisis for the New Jersey Psychological Association.
I have worked in hospitals, mental health centers and universities in New York, New Jersey and Virginia, and taught Psychology and Forensic Psychology courses at a University for seven years prior to developing my dream at Discovery Psychotherapy center. It’s always been important to me to give the people I work with all of my attention and care. I believe they come to see me because they want change, and I will work with them to create change and discovery.
If I may share something personal with you, all three of my children are adopted, two of them from overseas, and all have some degree of special education needs. This has made me more aware of the problems faced by special needs children and the educational and medical resources that are available, which many other parents may not be made familiar with. I have advocated for my own children, and I know something of what other parents face as they negotiate a difficult maze of services and roadblocks.
The therapy services I provide are diverse. I have worked with individuals who have been chronically hospitalized and were in need of readjustment to the community, as well as with children, families, and groups in both inpatient and outpatient facilities. I have addressed issues such as anger management, chronic and acute trauma, anxiety disorders (including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in children and adults), a wide range of phobias, and depression. My experience working with cases of Bipolar Disorder, Childhood-Onset Bipolar Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and abused and neglected children reflect my work with children and young adults.
I have also worked with the emotional aspects of a number of medical disorders, substance abuse treatment and maintenance, and alternative lifestyle arrangements, which include gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and dominant/submissive relationships. Of special interest to me is the work-related stress police officers and Emergency Medical Service personnel face on a daily basis.
I utilize cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, guided imagery and relaxation training, motivational interviewing, Dialectic Behavior Therapy, EMDR, and skills training for parents with children who have severe behavior problems. I provide individual, couples and group therapy to a wide range of people in a variety of life contexts. I hope this introduction has helped you know me a little better, and I look forward to working with you.