The therapist is smiling and sitting in a chair in her office holding a cup of coffee.

Rachael Freni, LCSW


I specialize in working with pregnant and postpartum mothers, parents of young children, and blended families.

I work with new parents struggling with the transition into parenthood, parents of strong-willed and highly sensitive children, and caregivers dealing with anxiety and self doubt.

My clients often feel as though they’ve lost their sense of self in caregiving and struggle to set healthy boundaries for themselves. 

About Me

Licensure & Education
  • NJ LCSW #44SC05938900
  • PA LCSW #CW023913
  • Masters of Social Work, University of Pennsylvania, 2018
  • Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, Temple University, 2013

I am completing certification for my Perinatal Mental Health Certificate (PMH-C) through Postpartum Support International for my specialization in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. I will be completing an Externship this fall in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) to complement the attachment-based work I do with couples and blended families.

I practice from a trauma informed lens. I have postgraduate certification in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). I screen all of my clients for trauma history at intake, and believe it is important to discuss the potential implications of trauma throughout treatment. 

I am a neurodiversity affirming practitioner. I have completed the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-II) Clinical Workshop and Toddler Module Training at Drexel University. I am especially interested in the presentation of ADHD and autism in girls and women, 2E individuals, and late life diagnosis of these neurotypes.

I bring compassion and authenticity to my sessions. I react genuinely when stories are shared with me. I enjoy laughing with my clients and encourage the use of humor as a coping tool. I will provide a safe space for you to be vulnerable and take time to get to know your unique set of needs. We will take into consideration your priorities, interests, and abilities, and set therapeutic goals together. I want to learn what an ideal life would look like for you, and help you move towards making that your reality. 

Working with me, you will learn how to heal through self-compassion and break cycles of generational trauma. You will learn to identify your attachment style, emotional triggers, and unmet needs. You will develop a unique parenting style that works best for you and your family. You will learn to trust your inner voice and become confident in the decisions you make. You will start to notice unhelpful patterns of behavior and challenge negative thoughts and internalized beliefs. You will learn to self-soothe in times of distress. You will be able to set healthy boundaries and hold them. You will become empowered enough to ask for what you deserve.

I am not the expert on you. I learn alongside my clients as I help them solve their own problems. Therapists are not here to give you advice. The role of a therapist is to ask thought-provoking questions and gently guide you towards self-motivated change. Think of a therapist as a mirror. We will reflect back at you different ways to look at your reality, which will help you discover new ways to walk through life.

  • Unpacking conventional and new age parenting styles, such as gentle parenting, attachment parenting, conscious parenting, etc.
  • Typical and atypical child development
  • Conflicting information in society about how to feed infants and support them with sleep
  • Societal expectations of motherhood
  • Balancing responsibilities as a parent working outside of the home
  • Role confusion of becoming a new stepmom
  • Processing your birth stories and fertility journeys
  • Bringing an “ours” baby into a blended family
  • Adjusting expectations for parenthood
  • Obtaining services for children with mental health needs in schools
  • Using connection over correction to manage problematic behavior.

I live in New Jersey with my husband, daughter, and stepson We are outnumbered by our animals; two dogs, two cats, and two frogs. I was a stepmom first, biological mother second, and my experience of being a mother has been viewed through this unique lens. Here are a few things about me that are not related to work or parenting: I love to wear floral print and bamboo pajamas. I love indie music and live shows. I love writing and editing videos. I get very enthusiastic about karaoke. I’m great at staying hydrated. My favorite household items are my Google speaker and smart bulbs. I love the beauty of the beach and sound of the ocean. I love hiking, specifically when I can go leaf-peeping in the fall. Once I stop being so tired, I’d love to get back into running again.