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Featured Therapist Interview
Erica Lander Miller, Psy.D. is the Founder and Clinical Director of the Behavioral Care Center of New Jersey, in Florham Park, New Jersey, and is licensed to practice psychology in New Jersey and New York. Dr. Lander Miller specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing, and acceptance and commitment therapy with children, adolescents, and families.
Dr. Lander Miller graduated cum laude from Tufts University, with a BA in clinical psychology and English, and received her masters and doctorate in School Psychology from Rutgers University. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and accrued her post doctoral hours at Montefiore Medical Center’s School-Based Health Program. In collaboration with Dr. Alec Miller and colleagues, she has contributed to the adaptation of DBT for elementary school-aged children and their parents. Dr. Lander Miller was formerly the Director of Mental Health Services at the Montefiore School Health Clinic at PS 8 and was an Instructor of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Dr. Lander Miller has extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and trauma. She works with children, adolescents, and adults in individual therapy, family therapy, parenting, and group therapy. Dr. Lander Miller has been intensively trained in DBT and received specialized training working with parents and their toddlers through Parent Child Interaction Therapy. She is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and has trained other health care professionals in the evidence-based treatment approach.
First, we would like to know a little about your practice.
Behavioral Care Center of New Jersey (www.behavioralcarenj.com) is a group practice in Northern NJ that focuses on providing evidence-based care to children, teenagers, and adults. We specialize in providing CBT and ACT to all ages, and DBT to children and adolescents. I feel fortunate to go to work every day and collaborate with such a dedicated, warm, and insightful group of clinicians.
What are your personal strengths as a practitioner?
It is incredibly important to me to provide a non-judgmental space in which clients can feel both accepted for who they are and motivated to make the changes that will help them better live their values and engage in a life worth living. I am inspired by my clients’ strength every day and feel lucky to be able to do this work.
What “tips” can you offer to colleagues just opening a practice?
I believe that if you focus on providing quality and compassionate care and spend time ensuring that your clients feel validated and heard, your practice will grow organically.
How do you remind your patients of their strengths during the therapy process?
It is important to provide a mirror to my clients and accurately reflect back their strengths, values, and reasons for making change. Affirmations and validation are all ways to draw out the strength that already resides within the client and can help to remind them of their abilities and the values that drive them in meaningful directions.
Are you involved in other types of professional activities in addition to your private practice?
Because so many clients come to us with long histories of attending therapy that has not helped them to make change, it is important to educate my local community about CBT and to support clinicians in their ongoing training in evidence-based therapies. I offer lectures at hospitals, schools, houses of worship, and at local doctors’ offices to help families deepen their understanding of mental health difficulties as well as evidence-based treatments. I and my staff offer trainings in various evidence-based therapies to other practitioners and I also help to bring experts to New Jersey to offer in depth trainings in evidence-based treatments. Clinicians from around the country have come to participate in some of the wonderful training opportunities, and it is wonderful to be a part of a thoughtful network of clinicians who are invested in life-long learning.
We would also like to know a little about you personally.
Who was your mentor?
I was very luck to work with Alec Miller for several years. What I most appreciate is how he balances incredible talent with humility, strength with a soft touch, compassion and warmth with honesty and a radically genuine approach. He helped me to understand how to take an evidence-based process approach and to always engage in the dance between acceptance and change.
When not practicing CBT, what do you do for fun?
I have always loved to explore the world both through travel as well as via a good book. Most of my time outside of the office, however, is spent with my husband and my incredibly curious and wonderfully energetic children.
Finally, we would like to know your opinions about ABCT.
How long have you been a member of ABCT?
I first joined ABCT as a graduate student and it has been my professional home since then. ABCT has provided an easy to way to stay connected to a like-minded network of professionals who believe in providing effective treatments. I always enjoy going to the yearly convention and seeing friends from across the country who share a passion for the work that we do.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions!