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Authentically Empathetic
With the newest Ellie Mental Health location being South Jersey’s first, the clinic is here to help area patients reclaim their mental wellness and rediscover their best selves.

by Madeleine Maccar

Since 2015, Ellie Mental Health has been providing its patients with a safe, accessible place to work through their challenges while also making sure its therapists have the support they need to keep delivering world-class, intensely individualized care.

And Cherry Hill has the distinct honor of welcoming not only South Jersey’s first Ellie practice but also the nationwide clinic’s 200th location. It’s a debut that Clinic Director Tasha Jackson, PhD, LPC, has painstakingly positioned to ensure the most advantageous rollout—and successful long-term mission—possible, emphasizing that Ellie welcomes everybody.

“Anyone can come to us,” proudly affirms Jackson, who brings more than two decades of hands-on field experience to Ellie. “When putting this initial team together, it was really important to me that anyone in the Cherry Hill and surrounding areas that came to our Ellie would find someone who could meet their needs. And so we have a pretty diverse team in terms of backgrounds, experiences, licensure types, problem types that we work with and the types of therapy we do, whether it’s individuals, couples or families.”

After all, she was drawn to the Ellie model for how closely it aligned with her own personal patient philosophy, as well as its deep respect for the therapists it employs.

“When folks come to our Ellie, they can expect a team of therapists who love the work they’re doing, are providing quality care and are doing it in an environment where they’re really supported,” Jackson says. “We support our therapists so they can be at their very best and can provide the very best care for the clients they work with: We keep relatively low caseload sizes and productivity expectations so our therapists aren’t burning out.”

Clinical Supervisor Rebecca Miller Murphy, LCSW, is part of Cherry Hill’s “Ellie fam” and wholly embraces its “Live authentic” motto. Her 24-year career has seen her wearing multiple hats but those many roles have always underscored one critical constant: Patients respond best to a therapist who’s honest, open and not afraid to be vulnerable.

“I truly believe in being your authentic self because when you’re who you are, your patient sees that and it makes that human relationship so much stronger so you have a better relationship overall with your client,” she says.

Jackson, too, agrees that patients have the most success when their therapist leads with authenticity.

“We talk a lot about showing up as ourselves but we demonstrate it, too—it’s ‘come as you are,’” she explains. “We model that for our clients because so many folks come to therapy and feel like they can’t be themselves. We want to make it so that when they come to us, they feel like they can be themselves, and that who they are will be celebrated and appreciated.”

The Ellie team is also working to reduce the stigma around receiving mental health treatment, though both Jackson and Murphy note that COVID did start chipping away at the undeserved taboo of seeking or speaking about needing help.

“Our sessions together aren’t me telling you what to do, it’s us processing things together,” Murphy says. “We’re trying to take away that stigma of mental health and mental illness. Sometimes we tend to wrap up those two terminologies together, when it’s really one big continuum. We all have mental health issues, we all would benefit from talking to somebody. … Just because you want to talk about your mental health doesn’t mean you have a mental illness, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have medication requirements. Some people will but it can fluctuate, and it’s OK to not be OK!”

In its effort to eliminate traditional barriers to access, Cherry Hill’s Ellie team accepts most major insurance; Jackson notes they’re working to accept Medicaid, too. They also offer affordable rates for those without insurance, a willingness to provide either remote or in-person sessions based on patient preference, and the flexibility to “meet people where they are”—and not just during business hours.

“You can get in to see us!” Murphy promises. “I’ve always had this tagline on my wall that says, ‘To the world you’re one person but to the one person you’ve helped, you’re the world.’ And that’s the purpose of our field: You’re not a chart, you’re not a number: You’re a person who came to us to join you on your journey.”

No matter what brings someone to South Jersey’s first Ellie location, its team is ready to rise to the occasion.

“There’s a lot of collaboration amongst our team, a lot of working together to make sure that we’re giving clients the best care possible,” Jackson says. “We’re really focused on building a strong therapeutic relationship with our clients before we really start to dig into the particular challenges they’re coming to talk to us about. Those relationships we get to build are the real ‘magic’ of therapy.”


Ellie Mental Health
Cherry Hill
(856) 522-4061