Brian Pollack, LCSW CEDS-S

Brian is double-certified as an eating disorder specialist, a national credentialing supervisor in the therapeutic care of eating disorders (CEDS-S) and a Family Based Treatment for Eating Disorders (FBT) therapist. He is additionally an Adjunct Professor at Yeshiva University teaching Diagnosis and Clinical Applications of Eating Disorders. An expert in the field who has been invited to speak across the country about not only eating disorders, but the co-occurring experiences that come with the struggle, he began Hilltop as the vehicle to support every person who needs help in fighting their most difficult psychological battles. Particularly at the intersection of mind, body, & food. His specialty in empowering individuals to find strength in their life and transform difficult moments into understanding and healing is what continues to guide his work and clinical expertise.

He has seen some of the most complex presentations as he has worked at levels of care from Inpatient, PHP, IOP, to outpatient therapy. His clinical expertise began at Robert Wood Johnson while fine tuning assessment, diagnosis, interventions, and case management. Brian can help resolve behaviors that are repetitive, out of control and worried in nature. No one should ever have to feel stuck, nor paralyzed forever. By offering the right dynamic, clinical expertise, environment, and understanding everything has its time and change became very possible. Anyone can explore what’s important without feeling lost or making the situation feel worse. Together, you and Brian can find out change is possible.

Hilltop came into existence with continual advocacy and strength and has become one of the only eating disorder group practices in the State of New Jersey. Every therapist at Hilltop is also working to become credentialed within the specialization under his supervision. In essence, Brian’s ability to support the experience of discovering where it all seems to have gone wrong is key to securing change and he also recognizes how this is not easy. It’s his goal and Hilltop’s mission to help individuals discover the needle in a haystack and find oneself with their feet firmly on the ground, centered and ready to break through that which is holding them back.

Hilltop has a clinical focus that is always informed by best practices including interventions that require specialized training. As Hilltop’s current Clinical Director, Brian supervises clinical focus and specific intervention processes throughout the practice. With each staff member, he works to make sure sessions are steeped in possibility. So when someone works with a therapist at Hilltop, they essentially are getting more expertise in each session than if they went to a solo practitioner. Additionally best practices have shown that working with the collective expertise in the practice has made the practice what it is known for! He has made sure that every therapist in the practice can be considered an Eating Disorder Specialist alongside their own certifications and expertise. We all adhere to the requirements set forth by The Academy for Eating Disorders and the International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals.

As a therapist, Brian works with careful care, ease, and compassion. He works to enter the room with empathy and constant learning. A non-judgmental, tailored approach for each individual is the only way he knows how to work. His aim is to help individual’s prioritize their needs all the while honoring their time, their concerns and their interests. You are important.

When meaning is lost you can feel unsteady and yet with consistency goals can be achieved. It’s important to understand you can find your place in the world.

This process is about you, your worries, your possibility, your strength, and your hope.

With a career that began in a holistic yoga center, helping people find a connection between their sense of self, emotional pain, and discomfort, Brian’s curiosity towards recovery and healing became a lifetime of inspiration and the roots of a career dedicated to the process. Brian was helping to run the studio and teaching mindfulness through the lens of embodiment – the mind-body connection. With enough patience, experiencing change became very possible in every person he met.

Brian quickly realized that he was witnessing people make incredible strides in their lives. Each person’s vision, their validity, no matter the pain, created an important moment-to-moment experience centering the work they did every day.

Inspired by each person with whom he worked, he created a strong clinical acumen while attending New York University as a graduate student. The value and work of service took shape and the results only provided inspiration every day. An insatiable appetite to learn evidence-based interventions and their implementation delivered consistently positive outcomes. People were beginning treatment and leaving with an empowered sense of self.

Effectiveness happens when we listen, guide your ideas, and help search for change.

After attending NYU, Brian was hired as a Staff Psychotherapist at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital on the Inpatient, Partial, and IOP levels of care.

Strengthening his expertise and helping people get their lives back provided Brian with a strong clinical experience. His motivation to be an Eating Disorder Specialist was fueled by working with some of the most advanced and severe situations one can encounter. He has seen it all – the good, the bad, and those who felt hopeless. You can feel confident that Brian has helped people heal from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, and trauma. He provides child, adolescent, adult, and family counseling.

As the only male who is a double certified eating disorder specialist in New Jersey, Brian honors the responsibility that comes with being a national advocate and passionate therapist. Sharing his insights on issues related to eating disorders across the country, he has been invited to speak by the International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals, NYC Department of Health, Princeton University, Veritas Collaborative (Keynote Speaker) and many other respected institutions as a presenter and trainer.

Brian always utilizes approaches informed by evidence-based practices including dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), family-based therapy (FBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-E), avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) protocols, and mindfulness. His practice includes multiple avenues of clinical interventions, continued contact with experts in the field, and a constant consideration for each person who walks into the office.

Brian’s Protocols and Interventions include:

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy focuses on the conscious and subconscious life that we all experience. The process sheds light on why specific problems repeat by exploring unresolved issues and unconscious feelings. This is what you may be familiar with – talk therapy – in which you talk to find more insight and understanding to your day-to-day experience. Brian brings together therapy and problem solving to help integrate a more tailored experience.

Family Based Treatment (Fbt): Maudsley Approach

A young adolescent may be restrictive, over-controlled, rigid, and unable to express what they are going through, creating a situation that may feel catastrophic and impossible. Even worse, they don’t understand why this is happening. Family-based treatment (FBT) helps empower you to step in with empathy and care and provide immediate help to a potential eating disorder. FBT is an approach that gets to the heart of the matter. With adolescents, the parents take the control back! With the most successful evidence-based approach in eating disorder care, you can be certain that the parameters and limits required in recovery can be met.

Safe and Sound Protocol

SSP is a neural exercise using music to help the nervous system to become more comfortable with shifting states. SSP helps support nervous system regulation, which improves the person’s ability to become more social, engaged, and responsive to their own emotional and physical needs. SSP can be especially helpful for individuals who have sensitivities to sound, light, physical touch, who are in a state of shutdown, and hypervigilance.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (Dbt)

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) focuses on behaviors that are utilized when you consistently feel as though tolerating emotions is impossible, and you may not be able to express them. Brian utilizes DBT informed interventions with many people who may struggle with the ability to identify and verbalize emotions. Emotions often present too intense, leaving trust and relationships are in tatters. Brian can assess your experience and help you find a treatment plan that is informed by DBT to help you gain mastery over these difficulties.

DBT offers the learning you may require to allow yourself to remain safe in a structured skill set. You get to experience life.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Cbt-E)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-E) works to help track and monitor how thinking and mood can influence one another when your defenses are up, either consciously or subconsciously. This allows you to find what is called “automatic core beliefs” and “automatic negative thinking,” which often can lead to more understanding and awareness of present moment experiences and offer strong change. This is all about what the chain of events means to you. CBT-E is based on the premise that you can overcome an eating disorder, with awareness and behavior change. Fears or negative core beliefs are often part of the experience. The goal is to create a new positive view and challenge core beliefs over time.

In addition to practicing the above therapies, Brian routinely studies new and effective techniques in modern therapy and would be happy discuss his views and objectives with you.

Brian is a Professional Member of:

NASW – The National Association of Social Workers
IAEDP – The International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals
AED – The Academy for Eating Disorders

Brian served on the Board of:

The National Association for Males with Eating Disorders

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