Colleen M. Cavanagh LCSW Biography

as Mentioned in


Colleen is a gifted psychotherapist specializing in issues relating to families, couples, and children. She has been working in the social work field for more than 10 years; first, as a case supervisor and advocate for foster children with Court Appointed Special Advocates, and then as a clinical social worker providing counseling to families and individuals suffering from substance abuse, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, marital discord, and unresolved grief and loss.

Adolescent Therapy Experience

Colleen most recently held the position of Program Director for an Intensive Residential Treatment Services (IRTS) Unit in Paterson, NJ, a safe therapeutic residence for adolescents ages 14-18 presenting with severe impairment of social functioning, and generally having a history of multiple hospitalizations and difficulty with functioning in home and community environments.

In this position, Colleen facilitated treatment for adolescents struggling with severe issues, such as: self-injurious behaviors, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, homicidal ideation, assaultive behaviors, adolescent-onset schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. 

Colleen also specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents with sexual behavior problems. She developed and coordinated a client-centered, emotionally-restorative, empathy-building, rehabilitative program at Trinitas RMC that emphasized development of emotional intelligence and healthy personal empowerment, for juveniles who were adjudicated of a sexual offense. This program assisted adolescents and their families with the delicate issue of sexual behavior problems, sexual abuse education and prevention, and Basic Boundaries for younger children.

A Proud Ally and Supporter of LGBTQ

In May 2011, Colleen presented a workshop at the NASW NJ state conference entitled "The Importance of Cultural and Gender Sensitivity in the Treatment of Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse". The workshop focused on utilizing couples therapy to assist men and women struggling with the after effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse. She demonstrated how couples can learn to heal emotional wounds by providing comfort, reassurance, and empathy to one another as part of the healing process.


Colleen received her Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University.  She received advanced training from the Minuchin Center for Family Therapy in NYC and is presently working towards her certification in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, as well as, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  Colleen is currently in the process of completing her application for Licensed Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor in the state of NJ. 

NJ LCSW License Number: 44SC05496700