Shannon Albarelli is Striving for Balance…Just Like the Rest of Us

Meet our new contributor and life-coach guru, Shannon Albarelli. Shannon believes that all of us can train ourselves and our family members to live mindfully and harmoniously–and she’s hear to help our Tips readers achieve it.

I’d say she’s one of us because when you talk her, she is totally down-to-earth and shares our self-deprecating sense of humor, but the more you learn about her, the more impressed you become. She’s married; has 2 adorable, energetic little blonds; is the owner of The Bar Method in Montclair a barre-based fitness studio and is a clinical psychologist with a practice in Summit. (She also happens to be truly beautiful–inside and out.) She’s kind-hearted, generous in spirit and radiates an inner-peace and joy for living that all of us wish we could achieve. She’s a person who people gravitate towards because she’s so approachable and easy to talk to. But like most of us, she is juggling a busy life, while trying to maintain her sanity!

Shannon is candid about her own struggles with living a balanced, stress-free life. And as a therapist, she is aware that each one of us isdifferent and therefore, there never is a “one size fits all” cure-all to relieve stress and anxiety. So in her practice, she encourages her patients to try everything from cognitive-behavioral therapy, to yoga-based stress reduction, DBT or Interpersonal Therapy. She also encourages patients to meditate–something that doesn’t come naturally to someone like her (or to us) who is always on-the-go–but she was determined to add to her own daily routine.

“I felt like my mind was going a million miles an hour. It got to a point where I just had to find a way to relax. So I started meditating.” She admits it wasn’t easy to turn off her brain–even for 60 seconds–but convinced me that with practice, it can be done. Now, she begins and ends each day with a few minutes of quiet and it has been life-changing.

“My son Sam is curious and inquisitive, but also quite strong minded. And Will is so vivacious–energy pours from every part of his body!” We all know how our children’s occasional tantrums and lack of disciplinecan nearly send us over the edge! And though her two boys both have truly kind and compassionate sides, she explained that they can be quite willful making it a challenge to stay calm. But she is…at least she tries.

Meditation has made me calmer,” Shannon explained. She says its allowed her to laugh at stress as it pops up rather than react and increase the stress in her lief. “I now relate to myself (and my family) with more kindness and compassion.” She’s also a strong believer in the benefits of yoga; she practices with her two sons even incorporates yoga into her private practice with children.

When I asked Shannon, “What is the most common issue your female patients–people like me and our readers–seem to face?” I wasn’t surprised by her answer: anxiety and finding balance in a hectic life where family, marriage, and/or career often come before time for yourself. 

As a therapist, Shannon’s number one goal is to bring happiness and well-being to her patients’ lives and to help restore their mental balance. Her specialities include the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, stress related illness, relationship problems, and grief counseling.

“I have always been interested in what makes people tick,” Shannon explained, “why they become the way that they are and why they make the decisions they do.” At Brown, Shannon majored in psychology because of her fascination with people. “I was always diagnosing myself and friends!!!” At the time, she had no interest in becoming a psychologist. In fact, she actively proclaimed that she didn’t want to deal with other people’s “problems”. “I actually wanted to become a broadcast journalist.”
But, after working at various news stations in Boston, she decided that journalism wasn’t for her. After doing some soul searching, she realized that she was fighting what was naturally inside of her: “I realized that my path was to be of service and that I wanted to do what I like and like what I do. Once this decision was made internally, everything else followed and I got my doctoral degree in clinical psychology and now have a private practice.”

One of the most influential people in her life is author of”The Power of Intention,” Dr. Wayne Dyer.” I remember the first time I heard his deep, soothing voice in 2002; just the sound of it soothed my soul,” confided Shannon. Dr. Dyer is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the fields of self-development and spiritual growth. “He helped carve my path in life and he continues to inspire me to this day. What I love the most about him was his ability to combine his background in academia with a modern day approach to improving life. His interpretation of the Tao te ching is one of my favorite books!! He has inspired me to live a life to my greatest potential and I couldn’t be more thankful to him!!”

Now as a counselor, Shannon uses this same model combining her background in academia, as well as using yoga and meditation. It’s one of the things her patients love most about being counseled by her.

Stay tuned for more of Shannon’s posts about how to live a balanced, joyful life! Besides writing about what’s on her mind, she available to help you talk about what is on yours. She practices is Summit and can be reached at or visit her website  Or try one of her classes at The Bar Method where she leads group meditations designed to bring peace, clarity, creativity and kindness to those who participate.

Shannon Albarelli, Psy.D., 57 Union Pl , Suite 212, Summit, NJ 07901. 973 544-8067.


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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."


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