Jonah Taylor, LSW (Associate Therapist)
Jonah Taylor (he/him) is an associate therapist at The Center for Growth specializing in mindfulness-based therapy for mental health and well-being. Jonah’s therapy practice includes a current focus on couples counseling, relationship issues, men's issues, and sex therapy. No matter the concern, Jonah helps clients develop deeper, more fulfilling connections to others and with themselves.
Whether coming for individual or couples counseling, many clients begin therapy feeling confused about who they are and rigid in the ways they cope with adversity. With kindness and humor, Jonah supports clients to create self and relationship narratives that are more coherent, affirming, and flexible. Clients find a greater sense of freedom for how they face challenges in their relationships and their lives.
Warm, gentle, and interactive, Jonah encourages a safe, trusting therapeutic relationship that also motivates clients to stay accountable to their goals. Clients learn to turn towards their experience with curiosity through free-flowing conversation and mindfulness techniques that repair long-ignored connections to mind, body, and heart. Jonah balances these open-ended approaches with evidence-based tools to replace counterproductive patterns of behavior.
Jonah has experience counseling clients facing:
Anger, anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD (trauma), eating disorders and body image concerns, sleep troubles, breakups, chronic illness and chronic pain, professional transitions, compulsive sexual behaviors, sexual dysfunction, bereavement, and gender and sexual identity exploration, among other areas.
Jonah joined The Center for Growth full-time after spending a year there completing his graduate internship through the Rutgers University School of Social Work. As a graduate student, he focused on grief, loss, trauma, and illness. With a deep understanding for how the wounds one carries—both emotional and physical—can shape their behavior, Jonah guides clients to gain insight into the sources of their current pain. Connecting the dots between past and present, clients uncover hidden capacities for navigating the inner and outer landscapes of their lives.
Jonah’s background includes extensive study and practice in mindfulness meditation and Buddhism. With a therapy style that is contemplative, spiritual, and philosophical, clients gain more conscious awareness, acceptance for what they cannot change, and compassion for self and others.
Prior to joining The Center for Growth, Jonah provided behavioral therapy services to youth and their families. Before that, Jonah worked as a designer in the technology industry. He brings the same curiosity and creativity animating his former work to his counseling approach, and he is very glad to now be working with people instead of pixels.
Outside of being a therapist, Jonah is a visual artist and can often be found hiking the trails of the Philadelphia area.
What Therapy Looks Like with Jonah
Holistic in his approach, therapy with Jonah typically includes an exploration of the mind-body connection, including how one’s physical health and neurodiversity can impact their psychological well-being and vice versa. Recognizing that everyone is more than a diagnosis, Jonah also helps clients to consider how external circumstances, like school, work, and relationships, may be contributing to how they feel and behave. And while clients often enter therapy with specific symptoms like anxiety, depression, or compulsiveness, Jonah provides clients with an invitation to drop down to the existential questions often provoking difficult emotions: Who am I, why am I suffering, and what should I be doing with my life?
By teaching people to pay attention to the present moment without judgment, Jonah uses mindfulness-based therapy to help clients change the way they experience themselves and their lives. Mindfulness-based therapy strengthens clients’ steadiness in difficult moments while simultaneously making them feel more present to the deeper meaning and joy in their lives.
How Mindfulness is Used in Therapy
When working with Jonah, clients learn to increase awareness of their inner experience, including physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions. Importantly, mindfulness-based therapy teaches one to relate to their inner experience from a place of non judgment. With more awareness and less judgment, it becomes easier to impartially observe one’s experience rather than simply reacting to it on autopilot. An increased capacity to observe, rather than react, gives clients more freedom to choose how to respond to challenges in their lives. Ultimately, mindfulness-based therapy can help to interrupt painful patterns of thought and behavior.
To start, Jonah provides basic instruction in mindfulness techniques, like focusing on the breath or sensations in the body, to learn to make space for difficult emotions and harsh, self-critical thought patterns nonjudgmentally. When viewed with curiosity, the intensity of the emotions and thoughts is reduced, and clients gain more space to respond with wisdom and compassion. By observing these inner experiences without running away from them, mindfulness-based therapy helps clients increase insight into the patterns and underlying causes of mental health symptoms like anxiety, depression, or compulsive behavior. With this more profound awareness of their inner world, clients feel steadier, more at peace, and freer to live in accordance with their values.
What Techniques Are Used in Mindfulness-Based Therapy
Jonah teaches clients mindfulness skills drawn from widely-practiced therapies, including Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Intuitive Eating.
Who is Helped by Mindfulness-Based Therapy
Evidence supports mindfulness as an effective intervention for a wide variety of concerns, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, chronic pain, couples counseling, PTSD (trauma), ADHD, and grief.
Mindfulness-Based Couples Counseling
In couples counseling, Jonah uses mindfulness-based skills to help you and your partner to experience each other in a more present and mindful way. Beginner’s mind, a mindfulness concept, stresses a stance towards life that is free of preconception and instead fosters openness and curiosity, like the way that a traveler experiences a new destination. Jonah supports you to practice beginner’s mind in your relationship by teaching you how to communicate with your partner using an open, curious, and attentive presence. In addition to mindful communication exercises, mindfulness-based therapy for couples may include increasing awareness of the thoughts, feelings, and behavior leading to emotional disconnection and mindfulness-based relaxation techniques for reducing conflict during arguments. Importantly, mindfulness-based therapy can also help you and your partner to improve intimacy by having more mindful sex.
Additional Styles of Therapy Used by Jonah
While Jonah is primarily mindfulness based, he also draws eclectically on other theories to meet clients where they are. If clients are presenting with a defined area of stress, Jonah typically begins with mindfulness practices to help clients ground themselves in the present moment and gain emotional awareness. Jonah then often incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) techniques to support behavior change so that clients can interrupt painful cycles that reinforce suffering.
To understand the origins of such cycles, Jonah may then employ approaches—broadly known as psychodynamic or interpersonal—to uncover how relationships may not have met one’s developmental needs, creating imbalances in the way one relates to others and themself. In severe cases, clients may have even developed trauma if their family and community relationships lacked safety, protection, boundaries, and predictability, and if attempts to differentiate and develop autonomy were met with threats of abandonment or guilt inducement.
These sort of relationships often internalize as different parts within one person, subconsciously reinforcing hurtful messages one’s received externally, and continuing the cycle of preventing one from having their needs met. To cope, clients often adopt rigid coping styles and live their lives in ways that can be characterized as being pervasively compliant or pleasing, strident or rigidly controlling, invisible or without needs, detached or demanding, and so forth. To integrate and ultimately grow from these early experiences, Jonah employs internal family systems (IFS) and narrative therapy techniques to help clients to authentically meet their needs with compassion, let go of unhelpful coping styles, and ultimately stand firmly in their power.
- Pennsylvania: LSW: SW139401
- New Jersey: LSW: 44SL06788200
- New Mexico: LMSW: SWB-2023-0505
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