Self-care and wellness are not luxuries to be pursued after all other work has been accomplished. They are a crucial part of daily life necessary to function in this stressful world. However, most of us become so bogged down in our work, our debts, our responsibilities, and our future plans that we forget to provide for our own needs in the meantime. We spend much fruitless time and energy struggling to avoid certain feelings and thoughts we do not want to have because we falsely believe that we cannot begin live our lives until we feel better. I have found, though, that it is precisely in this time of struggle that people find richness, fulfillment, and contentment by giving up the struggle to avoid and instead start showing up as the person they want to be while allowing all thoughts and feelings to be with them. Only when people set aside their preoccupation with how their lives are not how they want can they show up to the lives they are in and to act in meaningful ways in each day. Meaningful actions combined with self-compassion can lead to an improved sense of self and fulfillment in your work, your relationships with friends and family, your hobbies and interests, your intimate and romantic relationships, and your physical and mental health.
I see therapy as a space where you and I can work talk about life's stresses and what has been unhelpful in managing them. Utilizing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), I can guide you through actively paying attention to the here-and-now, setting down the fruitless struggles with what is outside of your control, recognizing the choices you have in your actions, stepping outside some of the ways life has felt limited, and taking actions in line with the person you would like to be. You will learn to see your distressing thoughts and uncomfortable emotions as less threatening than they have appeared, you will learn to see yourself as greater than the sum of your struggles, and you will learn to see meaning in your life beyond the daily grind. My role is to help you learn about yourself by challenging your worries and predictions, clarifying the values that have helped you through times of hardship, and encouraging you to be a willing participant in your life. I am not here to provide judgment about what you have done or where you have struggled, but rather to provide compassionate feedback and guidance toward effective long-term strategies that can help you be who you want to be. In addition, I may also teach you to employ Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills during times of crisis to help you weather difficult situations and return your attention to the here and now as quickly and naturally as possible, as well as improve interpersonal relations.
I also provide sex therapy for people struggling in their sexual functioning. Many people find themselves with stressful or unfulfilling sex lives due to physical pain from injury or illness, mental distresses from depression or anxiety, or frequent fatigue due to the stressful demands of daily life. Struggles may appear as reduced desire, difficulty becoming physically aroused or achieving orgasm, or worrying too much about pleasing one's partner, even when partners deeply desire one another. In the interest of pursuing a fulfilling and pleasurable sex life, I utilize ACT to help people pay attention to the present moment with their partners, to be honest about what they need to ensure physical and emotional safety with their partners, and to explore all options of both expressing and receiving sexual fulfillment in their relationships accounting for any physical or psychological hardships. I provide a non-judgmental space where people of all gender expressions and sexual orientations can voice their concerns, ask questions, and explore their wants and needs in their relationships.
I have honed my skills in these areas through two years of training at therapeutic day programs for adults with severe mental illnesses based in ACT and DBT, and five years of employment at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health in the anxiety program and the psychological testing program based in ACT and DBT. I have had many opportunities to share my knowledge with adolescents and adults struggling with anxiety disorders, depression and mood disorders, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, and psychotic disorders, and to guide them toward finding helpful ways to account for and manage their struggles while taking committed actions toward their goals and values. I have performed psychological testing to help clarify diagnoses for treatment planning and to recommend accommodations to help people function at work, in school and at home. I have seen time and again that anyone is capable of being true to themselves and their values regardless of their means and backgrounds, especially when using ACT to acknowledge the difficult aspects of their lives and to choose to act in accordance with what matters to them. I look forward to helping you to do the same.
Sara is the best therapist I have ever been to. I was able to speak to her easily, which I have never been easy for me to do with other therapists I have seen. I recommend anyone who is looking for counseling to see her!AG!