About our New Jersey Therapy Practice

Empowering Your Journey Towards Emotional Well-Being.

Our therapy practice offers a safe, supportive environment where we empower you to heal from life’s challenges. Specializing in anxiety, trauma, and serving LGBTQ+ communities, our experienced therapists provide compassionate care tailored to your unique needs and goals.

Our Approach: Guiding You Towards Healing & Empowerment

By utilizing evidence-based techniques such as EMDR, somatic work, and CBT, we help you connect the puzzle pieces of your experiences and develop positive resources to overcome future stressors.

A Safe Space for Exploration and Self-Discovery

Our welcoming & inclusive space provides a safe environment for you to explore your inner world and discover the tools to overcome obstacles.

Our Team: Empathetic Support for Your Unique Journey

Our team of experienced therapists offers compassionate and non-judgmental support, guiding you through your healing journey with respect for your unique background and lived experiences. Get to know our amazing team below!

Samantha J. Smith (She/Her)

Owner & Clinical Director, Therapist, LCSW

Samantha is a licensed clinical social worker with a Master’s degree from Fordham University. She’s been running a successful private practice since 2017, specializing in diverse client needs.

She initially focused on serving the LGBT+ community but later expanded her expertise to a broader client base. Samantha teaches Gender Theory at the college level and consults with healthcare practices to improve inclusivity.

Samantha’s compassionate approach encompasses various therapeutic techniques, including EMDR, CBT, and Parts Therapy. She’s also well-versed in creating a welcoming environment for individuals with diverse lifestyle preferences.

Kristen Failla, LAMFT (she/her)

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

Kristen is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist working towards full licensure in the state of New Jersey, who provides mental health care for individuals, adolescents, couples and families. Intensively trained in Structural and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Kristen supports individuals coping with difficulties like anxiety and depression, in creative ways that transcend therapy sessions.

Kristen is also experienced in helping couples navigate relational concerns involving boundaries, emotional, physical and sexual intimacy and the communication of needs, desires and expectations.  By using a strength based approach that focuses on present efforts and skills, Kristen aims to hold a hopeful, validating and safe space for all who strive to achieve growth. 

Leah Cunningham, LSW (she/her)

Therapist, LSW

Leah Cunningham obtained a Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers University and is a licensed social worker in New Jersey. She has dedicated her career to giving back the compassionate care she has received over the years from the assistance of her own therapy. Leah uses a range of tools that combine mindfulness and cognitive work which promotes self-acceptance and the ability to process feelings in a safe and empathetic space. Leah specializes in working with adults who struggle with anxiety, trauma, difficult life transitions, relationship challenges, mood disorders, and ADHD.

In her free time, Leah is an artist, writer, and avid traveler. Her current book project will address personal and professional insights on breaking destructive relationship patterns that often emerge from traumatic childhood experiences. It recounts a journey out of a space of radical independence into one of mindful interdependence not only in romantic love, but also in accepting the support of an extended community of chosen family.

The primary message of this book, as well as in her therapeutic approach, is not that love will make you whole. It is that being whole will create the space for love. The working title for the book is “In Fertile Soil.”

Interesting in joining our team?

We’re currently hiring licensed clinical therapists & office staff!

Are you a dedicated therapist looking to make a meaningful impact in the field of mental health? Ascending Wellness is seeking talented therapists to join our team. As a part of our dynamic and inclusive practice, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a diverse range of clients and contribute to their well-being. 

Our Mission: Compassionate Care for Mental and Emotional Well-Being

Our mission is to provide compassionate care for your mental and emotional well-being, utilizing an integrative approach that empowers you to develop the tools and resources necessary to overcome life’s challenges. We strive to create a supportive and inclusive environment where you can explore your inner world, heal from trauma, and achieve personal growth and fulfillment.