I am a Clinical Psychologist specializing in psychotherapy and trauma therapy for individuals and couples. I maintain private practices in Westfield, NJ and New York City.
With over 17 years experience as a psychotherapist and trauma therapist, I have also taught graduate level courses in the treatment of trauma, and published articles on childhood sexual abuse trauma. I am currently on the faculty of the Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis of New Jersey (CPPNJ), where I teach a class on Clinical Process. I also teach in the Supervision Training Program at CPPNJ, and I am on the Faculty of CPPNJ's New Jersey Couples Therapy Training Program.
Because no two people respond in exactly the same way to trauma or other life experience, and we each have particular ways in which we can more readily accept and make use of help in therapy, I have pursued training in a number of different modalities so that I can tailor treatment to fit your particular needs in therapy with me. So, my 'toolbox' includes psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis (contemporary, relational psychoanalysis), EMDR, Internal Family Systems (IFS), cognitive-behavioral trauma therapy, somatic therapies and couples therapy based in both Emotion Focussed Couples Therapy (EFT) and theories developed at the Tavistock institute for Marital Studies.
In our work together, it is my hope to offer you a safe place to be in touch with feelings that have been too hard to bear, that have had to be buried due to shame or fear, or hopelessness about finding help. You may have tried talking about your difficulties in the past, without experiencing the change you are seeking. Advances in psychotherapy research have made us aware of the importance of focussing on your emotions and bodily experience as key places in which trauma is stored. Together, we will gently open up shut-down places and calm reactive ones, so that your energies can be re-directed into living.
1997 PhD Clinical Psychology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
2005 Certificate in Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, ICP, NY
License & Certification/Training
New Jersey: #35S100457800
New York: #013518
2006: EMDR Levels I and II
Faculty, Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis of New Jersey (CPPNJ)
Faculty, CPPNJ Supervision Training Program
Faculty, New Jersey Couples Therapy Training Program
Member, American Psychological Association Div 39: Psychoanalysis
Member, New Jersey Center for Emotionally Focussed Therapy
Member, International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focussed Therapy
Member, Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute
Heffernan, K. (2003). Book Review: Najavits, L.M. (2003). Seeking Safety: A treatment manual for PTSD and substance abuse.(NY: Guilford Press). In Psychotherapy Research, 13: 125-126.
Heffernan, K. & Cloitre, M. (2000). The relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder: Etiological predictors and clinical characteristics. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 188: 589-595.
Heffernan, K., Cloitre, M., Tardiff, K., Marzak, P., Porter, L., & Leon, A. (2000). Childhood trauma as a correlate of lifetime opiate use in psychiatric patients. Addictive behaviors, 25:797-803.