July 31, 2024, is the deadline to apply for CFR’s Fall 2024 Postgraduate Certificate Program cohort in Marriage & Family Therapy and Clergy track. Apply here.

Meet August’s Featured Staff Therapist, Elyse Stein Batoff

Every month, Council for Relationships highlights one of our Staff Therapists on the Expert Voices blog. Elyse Stein Batoff, MA, LMFT was named this month’s featured Staff Therapist. Learn more about Elyse in the quick introduction below. If you are interested in therapy with Elyse, request an appointment today.


What is the goal of therapy?

I believe the ultimate goal of therapy is help people understand themselves and their true potential with the hope that it will bring them more contentment and fulfillment in their lives. Although difficult situations from the past cannot be changed, the goal of therapy is to provide the support, insight, and coping strategies that can help enhance one’s personal growth and greatly improve their interpersonal relationships. As one unearths long-standing behavior patterns, and negative perceptions and emotions that are hindering their lives, it often leads people towards making healthier choices.

In addition, to restore healthy relationships with others, one must learn to connect through trust, compassion, and empathy. These are skills that can be learned through therapy.


What is your background?

In 1983, as I was starting a new transition in my personal life (the pregnancy of my first child), I began the Post Graduate Certificate Program at Council for Relationships, which was called Marriage Council at the time. Over the years, I have become licensed as a psychologist as well as a Marriage and Family Therapist. The 30 plus years has enabled me to work with many professionals of diverse backgrounds and skills, to change and grow my own professional identity, and to work with many upcoming therapists through CFR’s educational programs. The diversity of clients that I have worked with over the years has provided me so many valuable lessons. I have been able to witness the true resilience of people. I really enjoy working with people of all ages, from young adults to senior citizens. As they transition through the different stages of life, each stage brings its own vulnerabilities and highlights.


What is something your clients would say about you?

I believe they would say that I am caring and compassionate and that I am genuine in my desire to help them achieve their goals. I have had clients tell me that I seem able to gain an accurate insight into them as individuals as well between them and their relationship or systemic patterns from early on in the therapeutic process. This helps them to feel hopeful that their situation will improve.


What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is struggling but not sure about therapy?

I like to encourage people to think of the first step as empowering. Taking a step towards the possibility of positive change is emotionally helpful in itself. These simple, positive actions are the beginning of healing.

Making an appointment is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. And it may lead to long lasting benefits in your life. The most important thing is to take the first step- one step at a time.


Elyse is the Office Director and one of the Staff Therapists at our Oxford Valley office. If you’re interested in therapy with Elyse, Request an Appointment today!