I have been going to therapy and seeing psychiatrists for over ten years. I was never satisfied with any of my doctors and felt that they didn’t help me in any way. I was very hesitant when my father said I needed to go back and seek help again. However, my life was in complete turmoil. I was depressed, always angry, had severe anxiety and simply was not myself. I had a mental breakdown. I knew I needed to seek help. I knew my father was right. When I finally gave in, he decided to send me to Dr. Gourdine.

I began to see Dr. Gourdine in early June of 2014. I was very impressed with her extensive knowledge in her field and beyond. This included the effects of diet and the digestive tract which have an affect on brain chemistry and mood. With only one visit, she was able to hit the nail on the head with my diagnosis. She put me on a medication and numerous supplements that have helped me immensely.

She has been a tremendous help and I am very grateful for the knowledge she has educated me with about how to live a happier, healthier life. I feel like my happy, confident self again. I will never be able to thank Dr. Gourdine enough for changing my life for the better.

I have had the pleasure of being treated by Vanessa Gourdine, nurse practitioner at Life strategies. She is prompt with appointment times. She took her time in getting to know me as a person and understand my needs. She is extremely knowledgeable in medications and even side effects. I found her to be kind, caring and friendly which created an easy environment for open communication, allowing me to easily express myself.

She is also knowledgeable of alternatives to prescription medication, sharing information of diet and natural supplements. She treated me as a whole person and I am extremely appreciative and pleased with the care and direction she has helped me find.

In summary, I recommend Vanessa to you without the slightest reservation. She is the type of health care provider that is highly motivated in guiding her patients to wellness treating you as a whole person.

I highly recommend her to any and all of my friends and family members in need.

Nicolina D.
Dr. Gourdine,

I just wanted to let you know how deeply I appreciate the functional medicine work-up you did for me. As you know, when I came in I was feeling tired, not sleeping well, having numerous hot flashes every day and night, difficulty concentrating at times, urinary tract infections and my hair was falling out at a rate I found alarming.

I have never had a doctor do such a comprehensive assessment of my health and symptoms. Generally my primary care physician runs a standard test or two and is done. You ran many tests, looked at results and sent me for more test. Your work up and findings was extensive, detailing not only why I was feeling the way I was, but what my risk factors are for the future as well as for my family.

I have been taking the supplements and made the dietary changes you suggested and feel ENORMOUSLY better. My energy is back, the hot flashes are so minimal that they dont impact my sleep or daily functioning. My hair in no longer falling out and I feel like I can keep up with everything in my life, and more.

I just want to express my deep appreciation again.

Thank you

My parents brought me to see Dr. Gourdine as a child when I was suffering from separation anxiety. I was unable to do anything that would separate me from my parents, such as going to school, without experiencing extreme anxiety. After seeing her for some time, I was able to do things on my own. I took some time off from seeing Dr. Gourdine and eventually realized I was still experiencing some anxiety, so I decided to contact her again. She continued to work with me through my anxiety as I was growing up and helped me face things I never thought I would be able to face. I attended college and lived on campus, something I never thought I would be able to do a few years before. Throughout my time in college, Dr. Gourdine helped me build up my confidence and helped me see that I had accomplished so much already. I am now attending graduate school where I am studying clinical psychology, an interest that was sparked by my time with Dr. Gourdine. I am now able to get through my day without feeling anxious, and it is a great feeling. I am very thankful that I met Dr. Gourdine as a child. Without the great impact she had on my life, I would not be where I am today.
Megan S.
We began treatment with Dr. Gourdine. several years ago. My daughter was suffering from depression, poor self image and suicidal thoughts. Her school work was suffering. Life seemed tough for her. Through careful and thoughtful treatment from Dr. Gourdine my daughter has made incredible progress. She is now medication free, no longer thinks of harming herself, is more focused and less withdrawn. Dr. Gourdine worked with us individually and together to come up with strategies and solutions to a variety of issues. I have confidence that we will continue in a positive direction post treatment.
Robert N.
I was under the care of Dr. Vaness Gourdine for one year. When I first met Dr. Gourdine I had attempted to commit suicide. I was extremely depressed. I was unable to work. Every day was unbearable. Dr. Gourdine recognized immediately that the sleep aid that I was taking had caused a chemical imbalance which deepened my depression and led me to consider suicide. With medication and monthly visits I was slowly able to regain control of my life. I returned to work within the month. Slowly my interests and enjoyment came back. I am happy to report that I am no longer depressed, and I no longer need medication. Dr. Gourdine saved my life.
Kathy F.
I would like to thank Dr. Gourdine for training me to be a better person and making me realize that there are so many options and opportunities in life and that it is too short to be unhappy. I thank her for giving me the courage and wings to pursue my dreams.

I appreciate the wonderful conversations we had during our sessions. I was always excited to hear her point of view and advice which was something I looked forward to every week. I will definitely miss those times and although she may not be around, I know that I will hear her voice in my head that will help me find the positive side of things.

Dr.Gourdine will always be a very special person in my life; a person who changed me for better by guiding me through the steps of a healthier and positive mindset. I feel that I have grown so much in that respect but there is never an end to correcting yourself. I hope to keep in touch with Dr.Gourdine in the future; it is definitely not the end of my story.

Fidan B.
I write to express the joy I experienced in meeting you and seeing your excellent practice. I am a perennial critic of clinical psychology, particularly in New Jersey, but I do not always relish this role. Thank you for the respite.

I saw my first patient as a psychologist in 1965 at the Child Guidance Clinic at Columbia University. I was tenured at GSAPP in 1985. I have been a trial lawyer for almost 15 years. I have been around. I want you to appreciate my praise. My standards are high, my professional experience is long, and my compliments are given sparingly. Grow your practice and keep up the good work!

I have been going to Dr. Gordine for over a year now and she has helped me understand and try to rationalize and cope with my diagnosis.

I am very lucky to have found a place that offers a full ranges of service to meet all of my individual and family’s needs. I have been to many places looking for the right combination of treatments and I have finally found one. There should be more practices that offer a full range of services: psychotherapy, medication, nutrition, counseling, group and marital therapy, and Life Coaching you name it and Dr. Gourdine can provide it! I can not emphasize enough how great it is to have an all in one package.

I believe everybody can benefit from Dr. Gourdine and her staff, you don’t have to come just because you have a diagnosis you can come for life coaching for everyday challenges and learn how to deal with them. Take it from me, I have been to plenty of Dr.’s and Therapist who do not communicate with each other about your treatment. At Dr. G’s practice you don’t have to worry about that, there always seems to be communication between her and my Therapist.

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to say how lucky I am to have found Dr. Gourdine!

I want to thank you, Dr. Gourdine, for your help and guidance. Through your counseling and coaching, I was able to problem solve a series of difficult but major life decisions. With your techniques, I was able to generate a solution to my serious financial issues. If I had not examined the various options you provided, it would have had serious negative effects. The experience has given me financial savvy and negotiation skills that I will use throughout my lifetime.

Your approach is thought provoking with a focus on acquiring the necessary life skills. Whether the focus is on practical issues, such as finance or personal issues, such as relationships, you provide the helpful strategies to achieve the outcomes that are best.

I want to provide heartfelt thanks to you for your thoughtful guidance and coaching and I highly recommend your services to anyone seeking assistance with their personal lives or practical matters such as financial issues, negotiations, career or major life decisions.

As you know I sought your help because my business was going downhill and I was having a lot of problems with my staff. AS the owner and CEO of a large company, I was overwhelmed with debt and employee complaints.

I didn’t realize how much my problems were due to my leadership approach. I was able to overcome a lot of problems associated with business when I learned how to strategically lead my employees and business out of troubled times.

I enjoyed your approach as you helped me to see my way of thinking was counterproductive to managing my staff. I learned how to apply different styles in various situations. If it were not for the coaching I received, my business would not have survived.

Today things are going well and my life has even improved. I want to thank you very much for your help.

Rich T.
I am writing this letter to thank you for your professional counseling and support. Your expert guidance has helped me more than I ever expected. I approached you in November regarding four college courses that I needed to complete to earn my Bachelor’s Degree. I was having difficulty concentrating and I could not focus on my reading, research and writing assignments. When I did put pen to paper, I began to fear that my work wasn’t good enough and then I began to avoid the assignments altogether. I fell behind and thought that I would never see the light at the end of the tunnel. During our sessions, you provided the tools that I needed to work through my fears and complete the work. Thanks to your patience and care, I did finally see the light.

I am happy to say that I have finished all four courses (I received straight A’s) and I have earned my degree thanks to your quality care. I am certaint hat I would have remained stuck in a place if not for your skill and experience. Your practice helped me achieve a personal goal that I believed was beyond my reach. I highly recommend the services of Life Work Strategies and Dr. Vanessa Gourdine and I again I cannot thank you enough.

I first called Life Strategies because I noticed that I was beginning to repeat negative behaviors from former relationships in my current one. During our first session, Vanessa and I discussed my history and she asked me if I had heard of anxiety disorders (I hadn’t). We talked about what that meant, and we decided on an appropriate course of action.

We began exploring some of the reasons I had anxiety, and as importantly, ways that I could learn to cope with it. We talked about things that worked and things that didn’t; about places I had succeeded and places I had failed; and about good stuff too. Funny stuff, happy stuff, things that made me cry and then laugh at my tears. Through it all, Vanessa was steadfast. A constant source of understanding, wisdom and an amazingly perfected “go-on” nod. She guided me to discover ways to strengthen weak areas in my life, and taught me to discover areas of strength I had never known I possessed.

As the end of my time with Vanessa approached, we turned our attention towards the future. She gave me homework–books to read, things to think about–in preparation for my moving to a new country. She spoke candidly and kindly about my relationships and my own thought patterns about changes–both in dealing with them and in making them.

I sometimes dreaded my Tuesday afternoon appointments, trying to find excuses not to go, thinking of ways to talk myself out of going, but I always went. I knew it would be hard–excruciating, sometimes–and it would hurt. But after every appointment, and in the days that followed, I found myself clearer-headed, more aware of myself and my feelings, and more in the moment. Able to focus on the important things, instead of the worrisome things. My time spent with Vanessa was tough, rewarding, and has not only helped me to grow, but has taught me how to continue growing.

Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.” –General John Stark

For the past four years I have worked as an Assistant Director for Dr. Vanessa Gourdine and it is my privilege to nominate her for the prestigious Peterson Prize for her contribution to the practice of psychology in our community.

While interviewing for positions as psychologist in the group practice setting four years ago, I was very impressed with the organizational development that Dr. Gourdine has created with Specialized Therapy Associates, an organization that I eventually had the privilege of joining in order to deepen my practice in psychotherapy. I was impressed by the organization in the way that the company functioned as a successful and efficient provider of psychological services within the realities of the current managed care climate. It had been my experience in interviewing other company’s that many group practice organizations tended to perform weakly in the business aspects of functioning while interacting with the realities of accountability, reimbursement, billing and professional development for psychologists.

Specialized Therapy Associates is current and functioning with a business model that is efficient, imaginative in vision and leadership and hence my experience with Dr. Gourdine as CEO of this company over time has proved financially successful for myself and other psychologists involved in the group. This is no small achievement and I believe Dr. Gourdine provides a model for professional delivery of psychological services in the managed care environment that should be emulated. She is able to achieve this feat without sacrificing the development and growth of the highest standards of psychological services presented ot the public.

The success with which she manages the business aspects of psychological practice is matched only by Dr. Gourdine’s success in developing and promoting the art and science of psychotherapy interventions for the clients of Specialized Therapy Associates. Her deep commitment to the public health and well being of others is evident in her personal comportment and in the way her company is esteemed within the community. Dr. Gourdine implements and models a commitment to new learning, innovation, increasing competency in the empirically valid practice of psychotherapy that benefits not only the clients but presents to the community the highest level of practice that psychology has to offer. She is able to do this by demonstrating her own continuing education as a model for junior staff, promoting ongoing learning within the clinical setting for the staff and demanding a high level of accountability and competency for both her senior and junior staff in the company.

Robert James Miller, II PhD
My daughter was going through stress and anxiety. While attending a magnet high school in NJ, she became stressed to the point of school avoidance.

You helped my daughter overcome anxiety and get back on track. Thanks to you my daughter got accepted into an Ivy League college and is doing really well.

I was worried that my daughter wouldn’t be able to adjust and I was right. If you hadn’t provided her with the ongoing coaching, I don’t think she would have stayed in school.

Because of the coaching my daughter was able to make a good adjustment in a challenging environment. Thanks to Dr. Vanessa Gourdine, my daughter went from a small high school to a large university and is performing very well.

I highly recommend Dr. Gourdine’s method of coaching.

Ms. J
I want to thank you for your assistance in building my private practice. AS you know I had difficulty with growing the practice. Your business and executive coaching helped me to identify important processes and to build an infrastructure that allowed me to capture important data to grow the practice.

AS an executive coach, you provided me with leadership training, I was able to develop a more effective leadership role with my employees. I learned very useful hiring techniques. I learned how to streamline the practice and leg of employees that were not helping me towards my goals. If it were not for your coaching, I am not sure that the practice would still be here. Your approach made it easy to identify and implement the most essential steps towards success.

Your strategic method is a winner!

I would recommend Dr. Gourdine and Life Work Strategies for anyone pursuing to build a practice or business.

I wish you continued success.

I was having a hard time in school. I was experiencing a lot of pressure interfering with my ability to perform. I was fortunate to meet Dr. Gourdine. She coached me on how to tackle difficult subjects and overcome my anxiety. She provided me with learning and memorization techniques that raised my test scores. She taught me short-cuts to handle large volumes of work. If it were not for Dr. Gourdine, I don’t think I would have finished school. I was stressed and stopped going at one point and she got me back in it.

AS a result of her training, I brought my GPA up to a perfect score. I was accepted into an Ivy League university as a Penn Scholar. She helped me through my senior year of High School and through my first year of college. I had some difficulty adjusting to a new environment having come from a small school. I was facing challenges at a very demanding University and she helped me to succeed.

I am very pleased with the results. I learned how to work efficiently and productively. My self esteem improved with my performance.

I would highly recommend the academic coaching program to anyone who wants to achieve academic success and to overcome their anxiety and performance issues.

I am grateful for the support and guidance you have provided. I had serious concerns about my career longevity with my company last year. AS a salesman, my numbers were way down. I felt I was trying everything that I could and as an experienced salesman, I thought I was. With your insightful guidance, I was able to see alternative approaches and to amend my style. Your coaching helped me to see my approach could be improved. As a result within a few months, I was in the top ten. At the present time, my company considers me to be one of the their top salesman. My career path at my company has opened up.

In addition to providing assistance with my sales, you have provided me with new knowledge and skills for my leadership style. In the past, I had issues with my management style and was not sure how to manage people with performance and/or personality issues. AS a result I have learned to deal with people differently and to achieve improved performance and a more cohesive team.

You provide skills that are useful, practical and insightful. I strongly recommend your services to anyone seeking to advance their careers and acquire the necessary leadership skills.

Joe T.
I am writing this letter to express my thanks for focusing my mind on the business of practicing law. Since 1995, I have worked as a lawyer and failed to recognize that I am actually running a business. By reviewing my current practice, you were able to make me realize that I needed to make significant changes to better my business and personal life.

Thank you.

Local Attorney
Through your counseling and coaching, I was able to problem solve a series of difficult but major life decisions.
Joshua W.