Founder and Director of PhIIRST, Chris Fariello has over 30 years of experience as an educator, trainer, public speaker, writer, and therapist. Dr. Fariello specializes in working with individuals and couples on issues such as communication, sexuality, parenting, anger, affairs, life transition, separation, and divorce.

Dr. Fariello is recognized nationally as a relationship and Sexuality expert and has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC and CN8 news and talk show programs. He’s also been featured on numerous radio programs, and in newspaper and magazine articles. For almost two years Dr. Fariello had a very popular weekly column in the Philadelphia Daily News called “Good Sex” that was often a topic of discussion on other news and TV shows.

Active in both practice and academia, Dr. Fariello currently holds the position of Visiting Assistant Professor at Jefferson University as the Sex Therapy Coordinator for the graduate students in the MFT program. Other positions include being the Past-President of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors & Therapists (AASECT) as well as a Board member for 9 years, a former Board member of the America Association for Marriage & Family Therapy (AAMFT), and a Trustee on the Foundation for AAMFT. Dr. Fariello remains active in other leadership roles in his professional field as well. He has contributed to several videos and books, including Dr. Ruth’s Sex for Dummies, and has written the books 99 Things Parents Wished They Knew Before Having THE Talk and The Lovers Guide Illustrated Encyclopedia.

My Qualifications and Areas of Practice

I hold a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Hahnemann University (now Drexel); a second Master’s degree in Human Sexuality-Marriage and Family Life Education from New York University; and a doctorate in Human Sexuality Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Florida. I am an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Board Certified Marriage and Family Therapist and Supervisor.  I am also Certified as a Sexuality Educator, Therapist and Supervisor from the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and certified as a Diplomat in Sex Therapy through the American Board of Sexology. My practice includes work with individuals, couples, and their families. I have particular expertise in relationships and sexuality issues however, I work with many psychological issues including persons experiencing affairs, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, adjustment disorders, life challenging illness (self or others), bereavement, trauma, divorce, marital, family, or relationship problems, assertiveness issues, anger management, career adjustment or indecision, and other mental health disorders and issues as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association.

Theoretical Orientation

My primary theoretical orientation is Systemic/Integrative.  This theoretical orientation allows for me to apply components of several major counseling and psychological theories including Cognitive-Behavioral, Contextual, Bowenian, Emotion Focused, Existential, Solution Focused, and traditional Psychodynamic Theory and other disciplines within the field of psychology and counseling to allow for maximal results based upon the specific needs of the client. Issues are viewed within intergenerational and contextual paradigms. Each of these approaches is well established, researched, and respected therapies.

Therapist and Client Responsibilities and Expectations

I have found that psychotherapy is most effective when it is a collaborative process.  Within the first few sessions we will establish goals for your counseling/therapy.  I will use these goals to develop a treatment plan that seems likely to assist you in meeting them.  We will make adjustments to treatment plans, goals, and methods as needed.  We will also agree that I reserve the right to refer you to another mental health or medical professional if, in my professional judgment, there is a need for medical or other interventions that I cannot provide.

You can expect that I will provide compassionate, empathic, and sensitive counseling that is specific to your experience of your life problem or transition.  I expect you to come to sessions on time, to complete any tasks we agree upon, and to do your best to talk about those concerns, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that are bothersome.  If anything about what occurs in our sessions or about the therapy process itself troubles or disappoints you, I strongly encourage you to talk about that in our sessions so we can address your concerns.

You will be asked to work both in and outside the sessions. Most likely, you will find that our sessions provide a safe place to share thoughts and feelings, act out behaviors, and plan for the future.  You may find that therapy provides rapid relief, or that the work is arduous and painful.   At times, you may feel that progress has been made, and at moments feel that nothing has been resolved.  This is a normal part of the process.  My goal is that your psychotherapy experience provides you with an opportunity for growth and healing.

Role of Diagnosis

As a Marriage and Family therapist, I typically do not prefer to create a label for my clients unless it will aid in the treatment process (or for insurance reimbursement purposes). If need be, I use the most current ISD published by the American Psychological Association to assist in coding any diagnosis I may determine to be appropriate to your situation.  This coding serves the purpose of providing a framework upon which I can view your situation and plan treatment.  In the event a diagnosis is appropriate, I will inform you of the diagnosis I render.

I am also available for case consultation, supervision, training, and other educational activities. To make an appointment, find out more information or just ask a question, please call me at: 215-514-6954 Or email me at:

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Chris Fariello

Media PA

Media PA
Media PA
Licensed In


verified by Psychology Today

verified by Psychology Today Directory

verified by Psychology Today

verified by Psychology Today Directory