hi, I'm SARA 

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I am an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and Associate Professional Clinical Counselor. I have always had a sensitivity and genuine care towards others. At a young age, I felt drawn to be an advocate for other beings, for the smallest of creatures like worms and snails and the quieter children in school. My curiosity to learn beyond my own perspective has inspired me to travel. Through my experiences, I have gained a greater respect and appreciation for other ways of life, human resilience, and it continues to deepen my empathy. I truly believe that everyone is doing the best they can given their circumstances. I am passionate about guiding and supporting individuals to hone in on their strengths, navigate the stressors of life, and live mindfully to reach their full potential. 

 

Prior to attending graduate school, I worked in a residential treatment center for adolescents. This program provided treatment to adolescents struggling with issues such as anxiety, depression, school-related behaviors, self-image, self-injurious behaviors, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse. Working as a residential counselor, I felt and observed the positive impact of being an active listener, offering support, providing an alternative perspective, and the benefits of laughter. This experience reaffirmed my desire to work in the helping profession.

 

I earned my MA in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy at Pepperdine University. During this time, I worked as a school-based therapist providing both individual and group psychotherapy for children and adolescents. I also worked as an equine-assisted therapist for kids, teens, and adults. Currently, I work at Pepperdine University's counseling center. I meet with the undergraduate and graduate students and help with crisis management, suicidality and risk prevention, safety planning, and a variety of other concerns.

 

In my free time, I enjoy being in nature, dancing, being around animals, spending time with friends, family, and my cat. 

 

I believe it is important to honor each individual’s experiences and provide mental health interventions utilizing an integrative model based on unique client needs.  I have a holistic approach and draw upon mindfulness, solution-focused therapy, psychodynamic theory, attachment-based theory, and Dialectical Behavioral therapy (DBT). I hold certifications in Seeking Safety, Clinical competence working with LGBTQ youth and families, Trauma-focused CBT therapy, and Trauma-focused CBT for LGBTQ youth. 

I am additionally excited to offer walk-and-talk therapy. Have you ever gone outside, went on a walk, and/or experienced the after effects of movement and exercise? I am of the belief that nature and movement can be so grounding and beneficial to our mental health. There is a lot of research that goes into how our “body keeps the score ”and holds onto stress and trauma (Bessel Van der Kolk). By incorporating walk-and-talk therapy, it can increase endorphins resulting in feeling happier.  Spending time outside also can quiet down a part of our brain called the subgenual prefrontal cortex and can reduce negative self-talk and rumination. It can improve symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, depression, enhance our ability to problem-solve, boost creativity, and people often report and experience improvements in self-esteem. Providing walk-and-talk therapy, I can help individuals find ways to ground themselves and cope in nature and in the “real-world.” Walk-and-talk therapy can be for anyone who is open and willing to try it. I am happy to find ways to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Walk-and-talk therapy is a module that can feel less stigmatizing and feel less directive to help individuals feel more comfortable to open up. I offer walk-and-talk therapy as a primary form of therapy and adjunctive depending on the individual’s need and preference.

My fees are $125/45 minute session or $230/90 min session. 

 

Contact me at Sara@thrivearttherapy.org or (818)208-0134

to set up a brief consultation to see if we are a good fit. 

Sara is an Asssociate Marriage and Family Therapist 120291 and Associate Professional Clinical Counselor 8113​ in the state of California, practicing under the supervision of Rachel Del Dosso, LMFT 111589.