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We all benefit from having someone in our lives who can have real, honest conversations with us where we face life's challenges. Having someone do this, without judgment or criticism, can be just what we need get through whatever life has thrown at us. 

But empowerment, transformation or healing comes from connecting to things that can sometimes be emotional - that's why we believe our counseling services are a work of heart.  Our therapists are committed to joining you on your journey towards a deeper understanding of self and others. It takes courage to embark on that journey and confront life's problems.  Whether you are a child, teen, young adult or parent, you don't have to confront them alone. We invite you to embark on that journey towards achieving your personal goals with us so that you may live a life where you feel empowered, heard, and wholeheartedly connected to those you love. 

Teletherapy Available

Our Therapists

 Kara Kushnir, MSW, LCSW, CSSW

Founder & Psychotherapist



Welcome! My name is Kara Kushnir and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, as well as the founder of A Work of Heart Counseling Center. I feel it is a privilege to empower individuals and families to cope with life's stressers, heal emotional wounds, and feel empowered to overcome whatever obstacles they face.

My approach is down to earth, genuine, and supportive. To me, modern therapy is about real people having real conversations; so while I I use evidence-based clinical practices, I make therapy feel like coffee with a good friend who helps guide you towards solutions to your problems for the world we live in today. I don't believe in a "one size fits all" approach to therapy, so while I am trained in a number of clinical modalities including CBT, DBT, exposure and response prevention (EXRP), psychodynamics theory, and family systems therapy, I use an eclectic and person-centered approach to each client. I am committed to treating mental health issues, relationship issues, school issues, parent-child conflicts, child behavior issues, and other difficulties that arise in life in a collaborative manner so that my clients feel seen and heard. Together, we can work to identify solutions that will reduce anxiety and negative behaviors, lift depression and improve self-esteem. My focus is on helping you discover the obstacles that are keeping you and your family from enjoying life, and taking them down together!

Some of my specializations include working with children/teens with anxiety or depression, OCD, ADHD, mood disorders, life transitions, self-esteem related issues, LGBTQ youth, parent coaching, future planning for families of children with disabilities, family therapy, counseling for young adults and engaged couples, school related issues, and changing family dynamics. I am a graduate of Rutgers Graduate School of Social Work and have pursued advanced training in working with children and adolescents. I am also a member of the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities and have experience as a school social worker on a child study team, as well as prior experience in geriatrics and in-home counseling through Perform Care.







Hi! My name is Kristen, I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and I love working with children, teens, young adults and families to help them lead fulfilling and successful lives. I look forward to helping you with whatever concerns or questions you look to address in therapy.

My approach to therapy is down to earth, genuine and humanistic. I believe that a feeling of comfort walking through the door helps create a place where you can spark great transformation. I do not believe in a one size fits all model, and I use an eclectic variety of evidence based practices from CBT, DBT, play therapy, structural family therapy, as well as mindfulness based strategies. In addition, I also have specialized training in Exposure Response therapy to treat specific phobias or OCD and behavioral training to help target unwanted behaviors children may display. My approach to modern therapy means that instead of being an authority sitting across from you, I am another human being helping you connect the dots in your life one conversation at a time.

I specialize in the clinical treatment of diagnoses such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, phobias, OCD and Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorders. I also help individuals with concerns around self esteem, social skills, life transitions, future planning for young adults with disabilities, school related issues, changing family dynamics and young women navigating modern dating. I am a graduate of New York University's Silver School of Social Work, and have experience working on a child study team as well as prior experience in outpatient services with children and adults. Likewise, I have worked with children through in-home counseling services through Perform Care. 











Hello! My name is Amanda and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. My favorite part of being a therapist is empowering the individuals I serve within a safe and supported environment. I have a passion for helping children, teens and adults cope with their difficulties and life challenges, resolve problems or conflicts, and enhance their quality of life. I graduated with an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University and received my Master’s of Social Work from Rutgers University. My work ranges from treating children, teens and adults with varying clinical diagnoses included but are not limited to anger management, trauma, anxiety, grief counseling, ADHD, low self-esteem, and stress management. I recently completed a New York University’s Post Master’s Certificate Program in Child and Family Therapy. 

In addition to having experience working in various outpatient settings offering psychotherapy to teens and adults, Amanda works as a school social worker in an urban elementary school as a school social worker. Amanda offers flexible appointment times including weekend appointments.

Psychotherapist & Consultant

Psychotherapist & Consultant


our therapists specialize in the following areas:

Anxiety Disorders

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder & Exposure Therapy for Phobias

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Mood Disorders

Parent/Child Conflict

Autism Spectrum Disorders

LGBTQ Youth & Families

Therapy for Empaths & Helping Professionals

Women's Issues

Parent Coaching

Adolescent Therapy

Life Transitions & Young Adult Needs

Kristen Sellix, MSW, LCSW, CSSW

Amanda Shaw, MSW, LCSW


Modern Therapy for Modern Families

Parent Coaching

Young Adults

Do you experience difficult behaviors with your child? 

Is he or she struggling in school or with friends?

Do you feel your relationship with your child is suffering or you've been shut out?

Maybe you've noticed your relationship with your child change recently as they enter adolescence, or are struggling with learning issues, mental health challenges or negative behaviors.

You're not alone. These experiences, and more, are common reasons parents seek out therapy for their child or themselves. 

At A Work of Heart, we're committed to helping parents identify the ways in which they can connect with their kids more effectively, while also building up their own tool box with strategies to establish healthy boundaries with their children to improve the parent-child relationship. 

Likewise, our clinicians are experienced child-study team members, whose experience working with children in schools, in homes, and in outpatient settings provides parents with holistic strategies they can use to support their children's growth socially, emotionally, and academically. 

Are you worried or struggling with the transition to college, living away from home for the first time, or navigating the modern dating world? 

Frustrated with swiping, scrolling or "liking" profiles to try to make a connection?

Do you have difficulty stopping negative thoughts, find yourself attracting or picking the "wrong" type of person over and over? 

Or maybe, you feel stuck in your career or on what move to make next? 

Sometimes, you may feel stuck, lost and like nothing in life is going right. Working with the right therapist can help you identify your strengths as well as barriers you face to personal growth and success in your relationships, career, or feelings of fulfillment. Working with us, you'll connect with a therapist who actually gets the modern world of job searching, dating and all of the influences millennials face without making  assumptions about you - because our therapists truly understand what you're up against.

Young adults seek therapy for a wide array of personal challenges such as anxiety, depression, dating/relationships, friendships, life Transitions, emerging adulthood, low self-esteem, or personal growth. 

Are you ready to be the best version of yourself? Give us a call!


Individual Therapy


Individuals seek therapy for a wide array of personal challenges such as:



- Mood Related Challenges


-Lack of personal fulfillment


-Life Transitions

-Negative Self-Image or Low Self-Esteem

-Personal Growth

Our work together will lead to you feeling empowered, more connected to yourself and those you love, and more self-aware.

You'll begin to see going to therapy as an opportunity to connect with yourself and someone who can truly listen to you, free of judgement. It will become the "me time" you so need and deserve to emerge a more empowered, confident and connected person who gets more enjoyment and fulfillment out of life. 

It takes courage to get started, but once you come in, you will realize that coming to therapy doesn't have to feel so intimidating, uncomfortable or "clinical", but more like connecting with an old friend who truly wants to support you on your journey towards personal growth and wholehearted living, because that's what we're all about! 

Family Therapy

When families face difficult times or challenges, their ability to work together and openly communicate are key to resilience and growth. Family therapy can help all family members find their voice in the family system so that all can be head, seen and find solutions to working through whatever problem or adjustment the family faces. 

Perhaps your family is changing due to a marriage, the birth of a child, difficulty finding balance in work, relationships or with yourself. Divorce impacting relationships and parenting,

a teen going off to college or moving out of the house, or empty-nesting are all reasons a family or couple may seek counseling to adjust to new family dynamics and living arrangements. 

Family therapy opens the door to families learning how to heal, rebuild or overcome. 

Families seek therapy for a wide array of challenges such as:

-Parent/Child or Sibling Conflicts 

-Child, Teen, Adolescent/Young Adult Needs

-Families of Children with Disabilities/Mental Health Conditions

-Fighting within the family



-Death of a Loved One

Contact us for a free consultation


Many clients have questions about our services- here are a few commonly asked. Don't see one you have? Please just call or e-mail us to ask!

Q: What are the fees for services?

A: Fees depend on the service provided and duration. Call or email us for a free phone consultation to discuss your needs so we can best answer this question!

Q: Do you accept insurance?

A: A Work of Heart Counseling works with most insurance companies as an out of network provider. Contact us so we can help you verify your coverage and options!

Q: Do you offer any consulting services?

A: Yes! We offer workshops and presentations for non-profit organizations, schools, and other programs. 


862-283-0828     kkushnirlcsw@aworkofheartcounseling.com

1 De Mercurio Dr. Ste 2A Allendale, NJ 07401 

©2019 by A Work of Heart Counseling, LLC