Dr. Francine M. Roberts Psy.D.
About Dr. Roberts
About Dr. Roberts
Having been in practice for many years, it has been my pleasure to walk with clients
as they move through a journey of transformation.
As we talk, we connect. Through connection, we change.
In therapy you have a unique opportunity to share thoughts, experiences, vulnerabilities and concerns. Our work is dedicated to helping you achieve your identified goals.
My clients come from a wide range of life circumstances, diverse cultures and varied work and family settings. I have a background is in nursing, psychology and teaching.
My experiences and education have prepared me to assist with complex issues
that arise across the lifespan.
As a dedicated lifelong learner, I have always worked and attended school. After earning an associate degree in nursing (Gwynedd Mercy College 1984) and a bachelors degree in nursing (Thomas Jefferson University 1987) I attended the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology at Widener University and competed my masters, doctorate and internship in clinical psychology (1993).
As part of my continuing education I attended an honors program at the University of Maryland-Baltimore College with the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. This post doctoral training prepared me to provide Critical Incident Stress Management services and granted certification (completed 2008) as a specialist for first responders including
fire, ems, dispatch, medical and police service providers.
I began working as a nurse was on a medical-surgical (neurology/orthopedics/ENT) unit at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. My patients taught me how powerful words can be in the healing process. Eager to learn more, I transferred to psychiatry and worked with people experiencing mental health challenges, sometimes complicated by substance use disorders. In addition, I worked in the psychiatric crisis center at Jefferson providing emergency stabilization, assessment admission and referral. These experiences allowed me to see clients with diverse psychological conditions and introduced me to the resources available for treating these difficulties. We also assisted with treatment and collection of evidence for patients who experienced sexual assault.
After moving to New Jersey, I accepted
a position at the Virtua Health System in the emergency department. I was introduced to critical and emergency care for patients of all ages in a fast paced setting. After many years at Virtua, I transferred to Capital Health Regional Hospital in Trenton which offered experiences in a high acuity, urban emergency department setting.
My time in emergency services profoundly influenced my psychology practice. I learned about working on the 'front lines', and gained an appreciation for the unique role and contribution of each member on the emergency response team. I enjoyed the camaraderie of working in a high demand environment and learned about resilience in the face of daily exposure to trauma, violence, and controlled chaos.
I established my private practice in clinical psychology shortly after becoming licensed as a psychologist (1995). Since that time, I have offered outpatient individual and couples psychotherapy for adolescents, adults, and seniors. My philosophy has always been to deliver quality affordable care in a welcoming setting that protects your privacy and comfort. In addition, having worked in hospital, community, university and private practice settings, I understand how the 'system' operates; where it works well and where it is broken. If I do not offer a particular service, I am usually able to find resources that can address diverse client needs.
Early in my career, the focus of my private practice was general clinical psychology. More recently in addition to working with general psychology clients, I specialize in working with the unique concerns of first responders. I have developed an expertise in working with firefighters, emt's, medics, public safety and law enforcement providers, dispatchers, nurses, physicians and military personnel at all phases of their careers.
For the past 15 years has been my privilege to work as a clinical associate and a clinical director for multiple Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Teams including Southwest Ohio CISM, Mercury CISM in South Jersey, and Alpha CISM team serving all of New Jersey.
We are not superhero's. On a daily basis, those in care giving careers must practice self care and "put our own oxygen mask on first".
Current world events including the pandemic, an ongoing dialogue regarding racial bias, and growing economic challenges provides a unique opportunity for us to respond more effectively to stress, anger, addiction, hopelessness, and despair. Don't become a casualty. We can and do find ways to maintain compassion, seek understanding and offer kindness to each other.
I am able to help most clients make improvements in symptoms, habits, behaviors, thoughts, and mood. My work in psychology has allowed me to witness the strength that composes the human spirit, and the amazing possibilities of change available in psychotherapy.
Throughout my career, I have been invited to teach. I've worked with undergraduate, graduate and academy students. I have been a guest lecturer, adjunct faculty and an associate professor in nursing, clinical psychology and law enforcement instruction programs. I have enjoyed teaching at Widener University, Thomas Jefferson University, University of Cincinnati and Camden County Police Academy. My students challenge me to find relevant ways to present material and engage them in meaningful learning experiences.
Teaching First Responders
Teaching First Responders
For the past 10 years I have been teaching law enforcement providers and emergency medical service members how to respond more effectively to calls when a person is experiencing a behavioral health crisis. I have taught throughout the state of New Jersey with the Center for Excellence - Crisis Intervention Team. This is a 40 hour course which follows an international model first developed by the Memphis police department after the officer involved shooting death of a man with mental health issues . Half of all officer involved shootings that result in the death of a detainee involve mental health clients. In this course police and emergency service providers are taught how to de-escalate a situation, accurately identify mental health concerns and to assist finding appropriate mental health resources that address core problems rather than implementing an inappropriate arrest response. At it's core, CIT training is a pre-arrest jail diversion program that allows people with mental health needs to get treatment rather than incarceration.
More recently I have been teaching De-escalation training with the Camden County Prosecutors office. This 8 hour class is mandated for every law enforcement officer in the state of New Jersey in an attempt to improve recognition and response to mental heath complaints and to decrease inappropriate use of force techniques.