We pride ourselves on being inclusive, approachable and empathetic. Finding the "right" clinician, where you feel a genuine sense of connection, is one of the most significant variables in treatment success.
Dr. Bolona is a compassionate bilingual psychiatrist, in private practice in Short Hills and Florham Park, New Jersey and serves as a consulting psychiatrist for several local school districts. He is Board Certified by the American Academy of Psychiatry and Neurology, in both General and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. He earned his medical degree from the Universidad Catolica Santiago of Guayaquil, Ecuador and completed his General Psychiatry Residency, and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. While there he was contracted to teach medical students and psychiatry residents on various topics related to child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Leopold Bolona is an active member of the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and has received several awards such as America's Top Psychiatrist and NJ Family Magazine's Top Child Psychiatrist. He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of Psychiatry and is contracted for various speaking engagements.
Dr Bolona has extensive training in the assessment and treatment of complex psychiatric conditions in both children and adults. In addition he is experienced in managing patients with dual-diagnosis, or co-occurring substance and mental health disorders. During his residency at Bronx Lebanon Hospital, he worked as a medical liaison and became skilled at collaborating with various providers. This experience has shaped the way he works with patients today in private practice. He believes that a multidisciplinary approach is paramount to providing comprehensive and effective treatment. What makes Dr Bolona unique is his commitment to comprehensive and individualized care.
Dr Bolona takes the “management” of medication management seriously, and believes that treatment doesn’t end when the appointment is over. He will coordinate with your other healthcare providers and family members, when appropriate, to ensure you are receiving the best care possible. In addition to being comprehensive, Dr Bolona places individualized care as one of his top priorities. He works from a holistic model of care, and understands that human behavior is shaped by multiple interrelated systems. He evaluates each person within the context of their own unique lives, and provides person-specific care. As an MD first, he will take any medical concerns, diet, exercise and lifestyle choices into consideration when developing your treatment plan. Patients report feeling uniquely supported, which can be difficult to find in mental health care.
Medical Director and Founder
Dr. Leopold Bolona, MD
As a Licensed Professional Counselor, Lauren is committed to helping individuals acquire skills and strategies for coping with difficult life stressors. Additionally, Lauren has extensive experience working with individuals dually diagnosed with mental illness and an intellectual or developmental disability. She assists parents navigating the world of special education and provides parent coaching to manage or modify behaviors of concern. As a Certified Clinical Trauma Therapist, she works with individuals with varying experienced traumas and utilizes a trauma informed lens in the therapeutic relationship. Additional areas of specialty include depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, substance use and overall emotional distress.
Lauren engages her clients in active problem solving to facilitate understanding and her therapeutic approach is individually tailored to meet client’s needs to reduce symptomatology. She utilized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) -- helping individuals change their unhelpful thinking and behavior to enduring improvement in mood and functioning -- to inform her practice along with other evidence-based treatment modalities. By leveraging the foundations of mindfulness as well as a wellness approach, Lauren provides holistic, person centered and creative treatment for each client.
As an Approved Clinical Supervisor(ACS), Lauren is able to provide clinical supervision for Licensed Associate Counselors who are completing their provisional hours for eligibility for full licensure.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Lauren Ritz, LPC, ACS, DRCC
Sylvana Garcia is a certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner by the American Nurses Association.
She holds a master’s degree in nursing from Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. Before attending graduate school at FDU, Sylvana worked for 6 years as a psychiatric registered nurse for Clara Maass Medical Center and Jersey City Medical Center. Also, Sylvana has worked with children ages 5 to 13 y/o as a school nurse for the Orange School District.
Sylvana is a compassionate and caring nurse. She enjoys taking time to listen to her patients and create the appropriate treatment plan. She believes in creating the right connection and wellness between body and mind. She is fluent in English and Spanish.
She practices yoga and meditation on her free time. Sylvana joined our team at Short Hills Psychiatric Wellness Center on January 2018.