Maria Spada, LPC, ACS
Founder & Holistic Treatment Specialist
Bi-lingual: English, Italian
In session with Maria, individuals can expect an integrative, mind-body based approach that results in an ability to manage thoughts, feelings and improve overall mental health. Clients develop an understanding of how to modify automatic thought processes that often lead to distressing experiences and behaviors. Strategies for managing overwhelming emotions and improving relationships lead to a greater sense of peace and confidence. An increase in self-awareness helps with reaching one’s true potential and having a more authentic, meaningful life experience.
Maria has taken special interest in treating individuals who have suffered catastrophic loss, paralyzing life changes, or chronic stress resulting in a variety of physical health issues. She is inspired and driven to honor a holistic philosophy in her practice where integrative treatment is not limited to incorporating nutrition, neuroscience education, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness practices. Maria empowers her clients to take a deep look inwards and reconnect with their natural powerful ability to heal. Patients are active participants in their own treatment which, is driven by results and leading a more joyful life.
Maria has expanded her clinical practice in a variety of settings including, non-profit agencies, major NJ hospitals and private group practices. She has extensive experience in working with children, families and adults. Maria is also well versed and certified in the energy healing practices of Reiki II, Transcendental Meditation (TM) and is in the process of completing training as a Certified Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider (CMHIMP.)
David B. White, LPC
Adolescent & Family Specialist
In session with Dave you can expect to have an authentic experience of connection and understanding. Dave has a down-to-earth approach to counseling that includes both the science and art of therapy. In one session you may learn the brain science that explains the biological connections between your bodily sensations and the feelings you are having, in another you may practice in-the-moment skills for handling your overwhelming emotions, and in still another you may find yourself chuckling at a dorky, yet timely, dad-joke. However; the foundation for all of this is Dave’s ability to help his clients feel genuinely heard, taken seriously, understood and accepted.
As a therapist, Dave has an extensive background in mental and behavioral health, walking alongside families and individuals, providing support and healing for well over a decade. Dave is an experienced family therapist, specializing in the treatment of adolescents and young adults. He utilizes a person-centered, trauma-informed approach to help families navigate the difficulties of dealing with issues such as depression, anxiety, suicide, self-harm, substance abuse, attachment and adoption, LGBTQ+ concerns, school refusal, lack of motivation, family conflict and many other behavioral health concerns.
Dave has a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of New Jersey. Additionally, he has in-depth training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Dave has been a husband and father for 19 years. He has three children: 20, 16, and 6 and has navigated the challenging demands of uniting a blended family, adoption, and fostering at-risk children. Dave and his family enjoy spending time in the outdoors: hiking, biking, running, and simply taking in the beauty that nature has to offer.
Emily Hudak, LAC
In session with Emily, individuals are warmly invited to feel understood, collaborate, connect, and cultivate the opportunity to heal and flourish. Emily operates from a whole-person approach, considering all facets of one’s life as it relates to the treatment goals. She understands the vast differences in each of our human experiences and appreciates the importance, and intricacies of each. In essence, one size does not fit all therefore, an integrative approach to counseling allows for the tailoring and individualizing necessary in meeting clients’ different needs; ensuring the client can achieve optimal wellness. Emily incorporates and prioritizes guiding self-care; helping individuals understand and apply their capability to overcome life challenges and unhealthy patterns. Her focus is working with teens and young adults who feel overwhelmed by the pressures and transitions of early adulthood struggling in relationships, or in need of space to feel comfortable exploring and adjusting to their emerging identities.
The client will explore, understand and embrace their ability to cope with stressors and heal from painful past experiences. Clients develop skills necessary to navigate and work through difficult emotions and are shown steps in alleviating the variety of symptoms associated with being stressed, overwhelmed and confused. Moreover, by expanding their ability to communicate effectively and enhancing self-esteem, clients work toward improving relationships with others and themselves. Improved confidence and empowered self-exploration leads to clarity in decision making and refined judgement. Emily aims to establish a collaborative relationship with clients; fostering a safe non-judgemental environment in which one can expand their self-awareness, harness their strengths, and learn to overcome, grow and thrive. Emily foundationally incorporates the mind-body connection into practice, while integrating aspects of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Strengths-Based Therapy as well.
Emily received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University, earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at The College of New Jersey, and is a Licensed Associate Counselor in the state of New Jersey. Emily is a Board-Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and the American Fitness Professionals Association. Emily’s background demonstrates her profound interest in mental health’s connection to our physical well-being and nutrition’s impact on mental health. Through this lens, the client will become empowered to take control of his or her wellness from a variety of different lifestyle avenues. Emily is passionate about health in all forms, has a four year old golden retriever and enjoys spending her time cooking, reading, and getting active.
Christina Corso, LAC, NCC
LGBTQIA+ Affirmative Care
Christina’s approach to therapy is rooted in a strong sense of advocacy for her clients and her passion for fostering deep healing. She believes that self-compassion plays a significant role in the growth and healing journey. Christina is committed to helping her clients identify and draw upon their personal strengths to empower their own meaningful change. In session with Christina, clients experience a purposeful and genuine process of discovering the root causes of distress. They are encouraged to explore the challenges that led them into therapy in a space that is secure and free from judgment. She prioritizes developing trust and connection as the relationship between client and therapist is critical to fostering emotional safety and progress toward resolution. Since each person is unique, Christina works with her clients to identify goals and develop tools that meet their specific needs. She partners with her clients as a guide on their journey to discover their power and helps shed light on invisible barriers. With newfound insights and training in various skills, clients address the difficulties they face in life with more confidence. Through mindfulness practice and empathy, clients learn and integrate ways of being that foster self-acceptance. With Christina, clients are led to gently explore and repair the layers of self that may inhibit their ability to live a more true and satisfying life.
Christina has taken a special interest in working with individuals dealing with LGBTQIA+ concerns, trauma history, marginalization, unwanted disturbing thoughts, social anxiety, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and body image challenges. In working with children and adolescents, parents are incorporated into treatment as a powerful asset in the healing process via parenting sessions. With Christina, clients find their voice, embody self-worth, improve relationships, overcome personal barriers and learn how to regulate their emotions. They develop a deeper understanding of their challenges and the underlying mechanisms that lead to undesirable behavior patterns. Together with Christina, clients create a new life narrative by drawing on new meaning, insight, and self-awareness from their lived experiences. In the client’s quest to feel self-assured and confident, Christina employs a highly collaborative holistic approach based on the Client-Centered and Mindfulness-Based Somatic Therapy models. By generating more awareness of emotional states in the body, clients are empowered to develop tolerance and the ability to stay grounded in times of stress. Christina holds a safe space as they learn the importance of moving through uncomfortable emotions and how they may manifest physically. Through this mode of self-acceptance, fear diminishes and emotional pain is confronted and released. Treatment with Christina also incorporates an eclectic combination of evidenced-based practices not limited to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, Play, and Art based interventions.
Christina has experience working in a variety of clinical settings including Private Practice, Partial Hospital programs, Nonprofit Mental Health Service Agencies, and Eating Disorder Treatment Centers. Christina received both her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Immaculata University. Christina is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) by the National Board of Certified Counselors and a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC). Christina is actively working toward attaining certifications in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and ongoing competency training in the evolving LGBTQIA+ affirmative care.
Shannon plays an integral role at Awakened Path as our valued Office Manager and Insurance Specialist. She is the bearer of the warm, welcoming voice that will greet you each time you contact our office. Responsible for a wide range of duties, Shannon ensures our administrative operations run smoothly and efficiently. She has developed a passion for working in the field of mental health and derives a sense of fulfillment in pairing clients with a therapist who can help them achieve their goals. Shannon enjoys supporting her team members, learning about their strengths and anticipating their administrative needs.
In line with our company’s efforts to ensure treatment is accessible, Shannon is tirelessly committed to verifying our clients receive proper reimbursement and insurance coverage through meticulous record keeping and regular audits. Her consistent support, assistance and advocacy safeguard our clients’ right to affordable care. Eager to assist in any way, Shannon is readily available to clients to help via phone or through email on a daily basis.
In her free time, Shannon enjoys reading, yoga, cooking, spending time with family and engaging in philanthropic activities. During her tenure at Awakened Path, she has also discovered the healing power of meditation along with its connection to maximizing the mind’s potential. Shannon has enjoyed it’s impact in enhancing her overall functioning and goal realization. She looks forward to continued personal and professional growth within the company’s nurturing holistic culture.
“Meditation opens the door between the conscious and subconscious minds. We meditate to enter the operating system of the subconscious, where all of those unwanted habits and behaviors reside, and change them to more productive modes to support us in our lives.”
-Dr. Joe Dispenza
Awakened Path Counseling proudly provides quality transpersonal and traditional psychotherapy at their offices in Middlesex County, New Jersey, and online. Their experienced therapists specialize in serving teens, children, adults, couples, and families. The experienced clinicians at Awakened Path Counseling are passionate about their holistic approach to mental health, addressing your emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual needs.