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Rena Essrog 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Post Master's Certification in Couple and Family Therapy

Certified Sex Addiction Therapist   

I am a licensed clinical social worker and a certified sex addiction therapist with 25 years of experience working with adults, young adults, adolescents, couples and families. I treat anxiety, depression, addictions, relationship issues and trauma.  I believe finding the right therapist is based on feeling safe, accepted, supported and understood.

I became a therapist because I want to help people make their lives better despite the pain and losses they may have experienced growing up. I made this decision after working at a residential treatment center for teenage girls. The girls ranged in age from 12-17 and were placed in the facility through the legal system. Most of the girls came to the center because they ran away from home, were truant from school, got into trouble stealing or were using alcohol, drugs and/or sex in destructive ways. When I spoke with the girls they relayed to me the traumas they had endured such as emotional neglect, physical and sexual abuse, growing up with only one parent, or living with a parent who was an addict. The girls’ pain really stuck with me, and I felt passionate about wanting to try to make a difference in the world.

I attended Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, earning my Master of Social Service in 1995. I initially worked with children, which often led me to work with entire families and later with couples. I did not have a lot of training in working with couples, so I went back to school to develop my skills in couples counseling. I completed a post-master’s program in marriage and family therapy at the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia, Pa. in 2007. While working with couples, infidelity and addiction issues often came up. I wanted to learn more about pornography and sex addiction, as this was in the early 2000’s when the internet was starting to gain popularity. I then went to study with Patrick Carnes, the pioneer of sex addiction treatment, Stefanie Carnes, Alex Katehakis, among many other experts in the field. I completed my certification as a sex addiction therapist from the International Institute for Addiction and Trauma Professionals (IITAP) in 2011.  

I approach therapy as a partnership. I have expertise in treating anxiety, depression, addictions, and relationship issues, but you are the expert on your life. I want us to work together to uncover the key to your happiness. In addition, I believe to be an effective therapist you must have the experience of being a client, and have a solid understanding of your own vulnerabilities so that you do not let them interfere with the work. I have completed my own therapy and continue to seek out treatment when issues come up for me.

To find out more about my work please visit my website at

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