Amber Rukaj, M.A., MFT - Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Clinical Approach

In my practice, I work collaboratively with clients to create the best treatment plan tailored to fit their individual needs. I act as a guide who will help clients navigate through the problems and relationships that are causing stress in their life. In my work with children I meet them at their developmental level and utilize play, art, and creative therapy techniques to best meet their needs. My style is empathic, genuine, and non-judgmental. I work with clients to help them gain insight and understanding about their lives and their relationships. I work from a culturally and gender sensitive perspective and I take a strength-based approach to help clients realize their own potential and strengths and feel empowered over their own lives.
 
I have specialized training in the treatment of perinatal mood disorders, transition to parenthood, early intervention, zero to five population, attachment, childhood behavior problems, parent coaching, and reproductive psychology.  Additionally, I have extensive experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and families treating depression, anxiety, ADHD, social skills, special healthcare needs/chronic illness, disruptive behavior disorders, divorce & family transitions, trauma, teen parenting, and grief/loss.


How I became interested in working with perinatal mood disorders and pregnancy related concerns:

My interest in working with women and their families during pregnancy began after years of working with children and observing the major impact that the parents' depression and other mood related disorders had on their children. I focused my training and concentration on preventative mental health, specifically with pregnant moms and their families. The multiple adverse effects of maternal depression and other mood related disorders can result in long-term negative outcomes, not only for mothers and their partners, but also for their infants. Specifically, the effects on infants can lead to the development of behavioral, educational, social and emotional issues. It is my belief that focusing on the early relationship between caregivers and their infant is crucial to the developmental pathway that their child will ultimately take, and lays the foundation for the adult relationships they later develop in life. 





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