Therapy for children, adolescents and adults is available from the Nomad Center For Counseling


HELP AND HOPE: “We are grateful to be able to have a positive impact on a person’s life, to help them develop their resilience and to give them strength and confidence. It is so important to give them support and hope. They have more inner strength than they think. Josée Graybill LCSW, founder and director of the Nomad Center For Counseling, left, and her colleague Magdalena Zilveti Manasson LAC, ATR-P help clients struggling with anxiety and depression, and other difficult conditions.

By Jean Straton

JThese are troubling times for many people, in particular, according to health care studies and mental health professionals, adolescents and young people.

Stress is on the rise for various reasons, especially since the advent of COVID-19. The uncertainty in so many areas of life today adds to the general malaise felt by so many people.

More and more people, including young people and children, are seeing therapists who can help them understand their problem and its causes and hopefully guide them to a positive outcome.

The Nomad Center For Counseling at 166 Bunn Drive, Suite 108 offers help for children, teens, and adults, as well as the expanding French population in Princeton. In fact, 60 percent of the practice is focused on French clients.

Helping people

Founder and Director Josée Graybill, Certified Clinical Social Worker and psychotherapist, opened the practice in 2013 after working in psychotherapy in Brooklyn, NY and Manhattan.

Born in Montreal to a French-Canadian family, she moved to the United States to pursue her studies. “At first I wanted to study drama,” she recalls, “but then I became more aware of human suffering and wanted to find ways to alleviate it. I wanted to help people.

She earned a master’s degree in social work from New York University and continued her postgraduate training, earning a certificate from the New York Institute for Psychotherapy Training in Infancy, Childhood, and Adolescence.

Before coming to Princeton in 2006, Graybill worked in school mental health programs and mental health clinics in Brooklyn. She also maintained a private practice in New York, while caring for patients in psychiatric centers in Brooklyn. At Princeton, she worked at the Carrier Clinic in a mental institution, then joined the clinical team at Alexander Road Associates as a psychotherapist while establishing her private practice.

She has devoted the past 15 years to her private practice with children, adolescents and adults, serving the French and American community of New Jersey.

Having herself gone through the process of acculturation and adaptation helped shape her identity, allowing her to gain a deeper understanding of the “nomadic” experience. It also helped to name his practice.

mental health crisis

Initially, the name of her solo practice was Josée Graybill Psychotherapy, she explains. “In December 2021, the Surgeon General issued an advisory, declaring a youth mental health crisis that existed before the pandemic, but was coming to a devastating spotlight during COVID-19.

“His report and the increased need of both the people of New Jersey and the Francophile expatriate community of New Jersey was the main inspiration for my decision to expand the practice and create the Nomad Center For Counseling, Inc., which is now officially a group practice.

“Magdalena Zilveti Manasson joined me this year. She holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of France and obtained a master’s degree in counseling, with a specialty in art therapy, from Caldwell University when she came to the United States. Her credentials are a Certified Associate Counselor, also known as LAC-ATR-P.

After working in California, including as a life coach, for 13 years, Manasson moved to the East Coast and completed post-college training. She has received certificates in several therapeutic disciplines, including the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy and Technological Addition and Digital Health.

She has worked as a coach and therapist in daycares, school programs, hospitals and businesses in France and the United States. In California, she founded her coaching company, Intelligence Nomade, to help individuals navigate life’s transitions and crises. . She has extensive experience providing therapy and coaching services to international populations in French, Spanish and English.

In addition to a book, she has written numerous articles on adaptation and emotional management during expatriation. As the child of South American refugees in France, then emigrated to the United States with her family, Manasson has a first-hand understanding of the complexities and challenges of living in a new country.

Root causes

Both Graybill and Manasson have seen an extraordinary increase in the number of people seeking therapy, especially since COVID-19, and it’s not just in the United States, they point out. “Rates of anxiety and depression have doubled around the world since COVID-19. Overall, in our practice, we are seeing many, many more cases of mental health issues than in the past.

His toll on young people is striking, adds Graybill. “Young people are increasingly struggling with feelings of helplessness, depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. These rates have increased over the past decade. Some of the root causes of this increase have been attributed to the state of the world – specifically climate change – racial injustice, increased use of social media and academic pressures.

The pandemic has exacerbated existing problems and caused new ones, she reports. “In our practice, since the pandemic, as I said, there has been an increase in anxiety, depression, and also feelings of isolation and loneliness. The focus of my work has changed as the state of the world has become more pervasive in youth and adult therapy settings that I see – although it affects young people in a more powerful way.

There can also be family issues, peer pressure and self-esteem issues, she observes. Children and young people face many problems, both environmental and personal. Parents can divorce, which causes anxiety and depression in children. Sometimes they blame themselves for the breakup.

When a client comes in for help, it’s very important to gain their trust, therapists explain. “We help them feel safe and comfortable, and we focus on psychotherapy, which can include conversation, play therapy with children and art therapy.

“Our approach is based largely on the fundamentals of psychodynamic psychotherapy, Jungian thought, relational and attachment-based theory, as well as mindfulness and art therapy. Our modalities are individual, family and couple therapy. All therapies are offered in person or virtually through our secure Simple Practice telehealth platform.

group therapy

Individual sessions are more appropriate for some patients, but others may do well in group therapy, they note. “With the group, there is a common denominator: everyone has the same type of problem. They realize that others have similar problems, and they are not alone. It can be helpful and comforting. There are usually four in a group.

Graybill and Manasson do not prescribe medication, but if psychotherapy alone does not bring enough progress, access to a psychiatrist, who can prescribe medication, may be offered.

“We can refer the patient to a psychiatrist, and we’ll work together,” says Graybill. “If medication is prescribed, this can be coordinated with psychotherapy.”

Regarding the therapy for the French population, she says it is an important part of the practice. “They may have particular situations as expatriates. Perhaps they have just arrived and need to learn English, trying to manage this in a new school setting. It could be a marriage between an American spouse and a French spouse. There is a need for cultural adaptation to a new country, and this can lead to anxiety and depression. Sessions in English, French and Spanish are available.

Nomad sees clients of all ages, but with a focus on children and teens. Patients as young as 4 years old have been treated and therapists emphasize that it is never too early to seek help.

Positive result

It’s also important to know how to tell when anxiety and depression are a serious cause for concern and not just having a bad day or worrying about an upcoming test at school.

If an individual’s daily life is affected, it’s time to worry, therapists note. Not interacting with friends or co-workers, not sleeping or eating, and being afraid to leave the house are all signs to take seriously.

“What schools and parents can do to help is empower young people and families to recognize, manage and learn from difficult emotions,” says Graybill. “The need for increased mental health screenings in schools and pediatricians’ offices can be a huge positive predictor of positive youth mental health outcomes.”

“Destigmatizing mental health can also be a big step forward in making young people feel more comfortable reporting their need for help,” she continues. “Unfortunately, even though it’s being talked about more openly now, there’s still a stigma around mental health. Patients realize that too and think there’s something wrong with them.

Sessions at Nomad typically last 50 minutes for individual therapy and 60 minutes for couples and family. Clients are generally seen once a week and the total number of visits depends on each individual case. There really isn’t a specific schedule.

gRaybill and Manasson look forward to helping more clients gain confidence, self-confidence, and the ability to move forward in their lives. As they say, “Our mission is based on the belief that every person has an innate ability to heal and that all individuals, regardless of country or culture, deserve someone to help illuminate the way forward. Our goal is to provide a compassionate and creative therapeutic setting where a relationship of trust can be established between therapist and client, allowing the journey of growth and healing to unfold.

For pricing and appointment information, call (609) 293-6399. Visit the website at


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