Meet Meredith & Gina
Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Psychotherapist
LCSW, MSW, RYT
At Light Street Psychotherapy we work with adults, adolescents and their families who suffer from trauma, anxiety, depression, relationship issues and anger management. Meredith's therapeutic approach helps clients learn the skills to stay centered in a stressful and fast paced world. She finds appropriate solutions to problems and enhances interpersonal relationships.
Meredith graduated with honors from Rutgers University where she received her Masters in Social Work. She merges eastern psychotherapy approaches with traditional western psychology to create an innovative, holistic approach toward healing.
Meredith uses EMDR and interpersonal therapy which helps individuals who have been sexually/physically abused, experienced grief, or witnessed domestic violence.
In addition to private practice, Meredith also works with Brown Psychological Services, and Short Hills Psychiatric Wellness Center.
Gina Totino, LCSW graduated with honors from Rutgers University where she received her masters in social work. Gina’s therapeutic approach is simple: she believes balance in one’s life leads to clarity and inner peace. She uses a strength-based approach, and evidence based modalities to assist her clients to achieve their goals and appreciate the value of their lives.
Using the foundation of mindfulness, Gina collaborates with clients to improve interpersonal relationships and helps them to understand how to implement skills that provide long-term results. These skills include: emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and mindfulness. The development and strengthening of these skills opens clients to reach their goals. In addition, Gina advocates for children, adolescents, and teens with special needs. She assists in helping families navigate the chaotic world of Special Education (IEPs, section 504 plans, and garnering the support and testing these clients need.)
Gina’s therapeutic approach is informed by Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT is a cognitive behavioral treatment originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals. Since then, DBT has expanded to treat other populations. Research has shown that DBT is effective in treating emotion dysregulation, substance dependence, depression, and eating disorders. Gina trained with Behavioral Tech, a training institute created by the founder of DBT, Marsha Linehan. Gina takes the foundation and strategies of DBT and uses an informed approach to help clients reach their goals; this is not a comprehensive DBT approach to treatment, which would include skills group among other elements.
Gina uses a wide variety of treatment modalities and interventions that are client specific which include:
Informed DBT therapy
Short-term solution focused therapy
Parent coaching & training
Assistance with understanding and navigating Special Education Services
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
2115 Millburn Ave. Suite 100-4
Maplewood, NJ 07040
“Meredith brings the “real life” into therapy, not just the book answers."
-JD Clark, NJ
“EMDR has not even fully begun yet and I am already feeling a sense of empowerment which motivates me to better care for my well being. Because therapy in the past has been an unsuccessful wast of money? I have learned more in a few months with Meredith than I have in almost 10 years of on/off psychotherapy. I love the waiting room, with the tranquil music, M &M’s and warm inviting vibe. Keep up what you are doing!!!”
-SF Union, NJ
“It has helped clarify things and let me see a different perspective from my daughter’s point of view. Meredith is very perceptive and patient. This is the only waiting room I know of with coffee and snacks and I love the Bulletin board with pithy sayings.”
Father of Adolescent Patient
"As a family member and a patient, therapy has helped us see problems and issues more clearly in a better light. Therapy is beneficial we get more insight and have learned how to approach issues and problems in different ways. Resolutions can come!!! We are all works in progress. Meredith always sees us in a timely manner and is easy to talk to.
MG Roselle Park, NJ
Legal Guardian of Adolescent
I just wanted to thank you for all that you have helped me overcome this year and all the wonderful tools you have provided me with to cope with my difficulties. Ever since I started the chants and mantras my life is finally taking a turn for the better, I have more abundance in my friendships, family and soon to come money. Im stepping in the right direction and thought you would be happy to hear.
LG Clifton, NJ
"Therapy with Meredith has helped me handle daily life better than I used to. I've been shown tools and how to use them. I like the waiting room and I am always seen in a timely manner. "
DB Scotch Plains, NJ
Light Street Psychotherapy does not contract with any insurance companies. Services are provided on a private pay basis, and therefore, we are considered “out of network.” Most health insurance plans provide some form of coverage for outpatient psychotherapy. In-network benefits cover psychotherapy with professionals who sign contracts with the insurance company to provide services at a set rate. The insurance company oversees the treatment, authorizing the number of sessions allowed for a particular condition. The total number of sessions covered is usually limited to 20 or 30 sessions.
Out-of-network benefits cover psychotherapy with the professional you choose. Most plans require the patient to pay a deductible, and then reimburse a certain percentage of the fee after that, typically 75 or 80%. Some plans limit the number of sessions or the dollar amount that are reimbursable each year. The psychotherapy is not managed, and authorization is usually not required.
Although you are free to submit claims to your insurance company yourself, please be aware that Meredith Strauss, LCSW does not become involved in this process. As a courtesy, Ms. Strauss will provide you with the necessary billing and diagnosis codes in order for you to receive the benefits you are entitled. It is very important that you find out exactly what mental health services your insurance policy covers. Even if you submit the claims yourself, you may not be reimbursed for services. In addition, once an appointment has been scheduled, you will be expected to pay for the time allotted unless you provide 24 hours advance notice of cancellation.
Call your insurance company and tell them you would like to go out of network for behavioral health. Some questions to consider:
1) What is your current yearly deductible?
2) How much of this deductible has currently been met?
3) What is the reimbursement rate for an out of network provider (once your
deductible has been met)?
4) How do I to submit reimbursement?
5) Are there are any limitations of amount of sessions or amount paid out?
6) What are my mental health benefits?
7) What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
8) How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
9) Is pre-approval required from my primary care physician?
Although obtaining psychotherapy on an out-of-network basis may seem more expensive, there are many benefits. Insurance companies require regular treatment plans to be submitted by their network providers in order to continue to authorize sessions. There can be a lack of clarity and/or after-the-fact decisions about what they will cover, resulting in surprise balances billed to patients. Finally, insurance companies can and do audit in-network psychotherapists’ records, further compromising confidentiality.
Obtaining psychotherapy on an out-of-network basis avoids all of these issues that compromise confidentiality and autonomy of treatment. All treatment decisions are made solely between patient and therapist, including the type of therapy used, its length, and who should or should not be consulted.
Light Street Psychotherapy currently accepts Checks, Cash or Credit cards (Visa/Mastercard). There is a 3% fee on all credit card transactions.
Please note that we do not contract with any managed care plans or accept payment from insurance companies. We will do our best to help you obtain reimbursement through your out of network benefits, but payment is due at the end of each session.