Dr. Aster is a clinical psychologist, who is licensed in both New Jersey and New York. She specializes in treating adults suffering from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse difficulties. Dr. Aster works from an evidence-based framework, with an emphasis on mindfulness practice, acceptance of difficult internal states, and valued-based living to increase quality of life. This approach to treatment is otherwise known as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), which is a newer, more contemporary, or “third wave” type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Dr. Aster graduated magna cum laude from Seton Hall University in 2010, where she received her B.A. in Psychology. During her undergraduate training, she focused her education on abnormal psychology, psychological development across the lifespan, psychological research and practice, and the role of attachment in the development of severe emotional distress. She co-authored and co-conducted a qualitative research study titled “Adult children of gay and lesbian parents: Religion and the parent-child relationship” which was published in The Counseling Psychologist in May of 2013. In 2010, Dr. Aster was awarded the Seton Hall University Department Service Award, the Seton Hall Experiential Education Award, and was awarded Phi Beta Kappa membership for her academic achievement.
Dr. Aster received her doctoral degree at Kean University, an APA-accredited educational institution, in Union, NJ, where graduated summa cum laude with an M.A. in Educational Psychology and Psy.D in School and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Aster’s doctoral training concentrated on the research and implementation of mindfulness skills and the reduction of intense emotional distress among individuals who have experienced chronic complex trauma. Her doctoral dissertation was entitled “Mindfulness as a mediator of post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive symptom change in trauma-exposed adult females.”
Dr. Aster completed her predoctoral internship, as well as her post-doctoral fellowship, at the Brattleboro Retreat, in Brattleboro, VT. Here, Dr. Aster provided psychotherapy to patients on a full continuum of care, from traditional outpatient psychotherapy to the partial hospitalization level of care. A majority of her clinical work took place in a specialized Trauma and Addiction treatment center for active and retired Law Enforcement, Fire, Military, Veterans, EMTs, and Corrections Personnel. Dr. Aster’s work in this program consisted largely of running ACT-based psychotherapy groups, leading Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Nidra, and leading Mindfulness Groups. Most notably, she provided intensive trauma and recovery-focused therapy from a unique blend of evidenced-based treatment interventions including ACT, cognitive processing therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy.
Dr. Aster is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), the New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA), the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), the Association for Contextual Behavior Science (ACBS), and the Morris County Psychological Association (MCPA). She is an active member in the NJ and NY Chapters of ACBS as well, and currently serves as the Manager of the NYC Association for Contextual Behavior Science Board of Directors. Dr. Aster is also an adjunct professor at Kean University in the Combined School and Clinical Psy.D Program, where she teaches Adult Psychopathology and Group Psychotherapy. In addition, she provides clinical consultation to the Fire Department of New York Counseling Services Unit.
973-257-9000 ext. 224