Justin Croak, MSW, LSW
About Justin (he/him/his)
Welcome! I am a licensed social worker experienced working in the substance abuse and mental health field. In addition, I am experienced with family/relationship issues, codependency, life transitions and stress management. I utilize motivational interviewing, solution focused, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, person-centered and inner-child work to guide clients towards their path of healing. I believe this journey is personal and unique for each individual and view the therapeutic relationship as a team effort to collaborate on identifying and challenging barriers towards desired change. Through a non-judgmental approach I aim to motivate you to recognize strengths and implement life skills to facilitate self-improvement and reach your true potential. I am a huge advocate for self-care and making time for activities that allow you to invest into your wellness. My personal self-care practices include spending time in nature, biking, running, meditation, music/dance and cooking.
- Stress management
- Life Transitions
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Motivational Interviewing
Monmouth University (2020)
Master of Social Work (MSW)
Starting the process of self building after self destruction from addiction.
Addiction comes in the form of substances, food, shopping, exercise, relationships etc. Battling addiction creates wounds that require healing to recover from. Navigating this process can be challenging at times and can feel overwhelming. I offer those on the path of recovery support and guidance to alleviate some of the difficulties that present. I view addiction as a coping mechanism to escape from undesirable thoughts and feelings. Therefore, recovery is an opportunity to learn to cope with feelings in a new way. Providing emotional regulation skills, cognitive reframing and self soothing techniques are some of the methods I offer.
Creating wholeness within to break unhealthy attachments.
We often develop unhealthy attachments towards external sources to cope with an internal dilemma. A common form of an unhealthy attachment many people develop is within our personal relationships. Whether with friendships, family or romantic partners, codependency and dysfunction show up when we are neglecting our own emotional needs. Interrupting the pattern of unhealthy relationships starts by looking within. My role is to walk with you along the journey of showing up for yourself to lessen the need to seek for the solution from others. Through self esteem building, inner child reparenting, and development of communication and boundary setting skills, relief from the shackles of codependency is possible.
Embracing your pain to facilitate change.
The answer to your healing from your past already exists within yourself. I show up to guide you towards accessing it. Our childhood, adolescence and adulthood are filled with events that shape our views of the world and ourselves. These learned ways of thinking and behaving often keep us safe but can also prevent us from growth and change. Processing past traumas and any unresolved feelings attached to them is a step towards healing. I also guide you in identifying the "rules" that you have learned and operated from based on the past and begin to restructure them in a way that can be more helpful. Although it can be uncomfortable at times, setting new agreements for yourself allows greater freedom from the past and the potential to embrace the present.
"You cannot think your way into a new way of living, but you can live your way into a new way of thinking."