Teal Paynter, LCSW
Teal Paynter profile picture

Teal Paynter

Psychotherapy, LCSW

Teal Paynter specializes in relationship issues, depression, anxiety, trauma, mood disorders, grief, and loss. Her approach is grounded in a deep respect for the resilience that lives within each of us—and a strong belief in the therapeutic relationship as a tool for developing insight and healing trauma. Teal has advanced training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy and only sees clients based in New Jersey.
Specialties
General Mental Health
Relationship Issues
Trauma & PTSD
Finances
$ $ $ $ $
$80-140
Sliding Scale
A sliding scale is a range of out of pocket fees that providers accept based on financial need.
UnitedHealthcare
Oxford Health Plans
Oscar
Out-of-pocket
portrait photograph of provider
Provider
Profile
“You have your own story, your own strengths, and your own needs, so we will work together to develop treatment goals unique to you—ones that draw from cutting-edge, scientifically proven therapeutic models.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have always tried to make sense of my own internal experiences, as well as those of the people I love. As a child, I was curious about why the adults in my world acted the way they did, even when it caused them pain. After college, I began a career in journalism, fueled by the desire to understand people and help those facing difficult circumstances. But the profession felt limiting, so I pursued a second career in counseling individuals, couples, and families. I've since developed a passion for working with couples trying to reach deeper levels of connection. I have received advanced clinical training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, an empirically validated model proven to help couples stuck in cycles of conflict.
What should someone know about working with you?
I believe we all do our best to cope with what's before us. But some chapters in life are harder than others. Maybe we aren't connecting with the people we love or we feel dissatisfied with our relationships. The coping skills we've developed are no longer working. Life may have thrown us an unexpected curveball and we’re overwhelmed, struggling to regulate our emotions, or stuck in negative cycles. As hard as these times can be, they present us with opportunities for growth and change. Therapy is a collaboration toward that change. You have your own story, your own strengths, and your own needs, so we will work together to develop treatment goals unique to you—ones that draw from cutting-edge, scientifically proven therapeutic models.
Teal Paynter photo 1
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
I believe collaboration with other clinicians is essential to effective mental health treatment. We cannot work in a vacuum—we need each other's unique skills, experience, perspectives, and knowledge. If another clinician could benefit a client, we will explore that together. Over the years, I have connected with a range of providers, including psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, nutritionists, intensive outpatient treatment centers, residential treatment programs, and others. On a personal level, being connected to a strong community of providers is an essential part of my practice. I participate in two peer-supervision groups which provide me with critical support and feedback. Finally, I value learning and attend professional conferences as often as possible to enhance my own knowledge and skills.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
It’s normal to be nervous about starting therapy. You may feel vulnerable about opening up or skeptical that talking to a therapist will change anything. How can you trust this person to understand your personal struggles? I get it. Most of us are taught to avoid or repress emotional pain, not to face it head on or get curious about it. But science proves that talk therapy works. I believe our painful emotions contain important messages about where we are in life and where we need to go—they are clues for charting a path forward. So, while hesitancy makes sense (as with any unknown), a good therapist will have the training, skills, and personality to ease your concerns so you can start feeling better.
What approach do you use in your work with couples?
I believe our worlds revolve around the quality of our relationships, and our most basic needs are to be loved, known, and connected to others. That’s why it’s so painful when our relationships aren’t functioning the way we want them to. As tough as these times can be, they present the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of our cycles of conflict and a deeper connection to our loved ones. I use Emotionally Focused Therapy with couples because studies show that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery after EFT treatment, and about 90% show significant improvement. My goal is to empower couples by increasing awareness of their cycles—and improving their sense of safety, trust, and connection.
“I believe our painful emotions contain important messages about where we are in life and where we need to go—they are clues for charting a path forward.”
Interested in speaking with Teal?