© Sarah Atkins, PhD, LP

In my initial sessions with clients, we collaborate to explore their concerns and develop a shared understanding of the changes they want to make in their life. This process enables us to develop an individualized plan for therapy that meets each client's needs. From the start, I strive to help clients recognize and utilize their strengths, as they take steps toward their goals

I believe that early in life we develop ways of coping and patterns of relating that may meet our needs then, but may not serve us well in the present. Often, we are not fully aware of the impact of these patterns. It is my intention to create a compassionate and safe space for us to explore and make meaning of how your patterns of thinking, ways of coping, and experiences in relationships may relate to your current struggles. 

 

Through the process of therapy, you can expect to expand your self-awareness, learn new ways to cope, and develop new, more adaptive ways of relating to others. My goal in our work together is for you to not only decrease your negative symptoms, but to help foster your feelings of connection, balance, and fulfillment.  

Psychodynamic and relational theories serve as the foundation of my therapeutic approach, and I also incorporate aspects of family systems, developmental, and cognitive behavioral theories. My approach is considered integrative and combines these various theories, current psychological research, and a warm, collaborative interpersonal style to provide effective, individualized treatment. 

 

 

  • Trauma recovery

    • Childhood abuse or neglect

    • Relationship violence

    • Sexual assault   

  • Anxiety and panic

  • Depression

  • Grief and loss

  • Identity and gender issues

  • Relationship Concerns

    • Family

    • Romantic or Peer relationships

    • Divorce

  • Life transitions

    • Pregnancy and postpartum

    • College

    • Parenthood

Addressing These Common Concerns

In my work with couples, I utilize an emotion-focused approach. Within this approach I initially help the couple identify the underlying patterns in their relationship that tend to contribute to emotional distance, distress, and/or conflict. As we gain a clearer understanding of the couple’s patterns that can leave them feeling stuck, I work with the couple to notice and change these patterns in session. I also strive to help each couple recognize and utilize the strengths within their relationship to aid the change process.

 

My overarching goals in my work with couples is to enhance each partner’s feelings of safety within their relationship, help each partner feel more understood, increase the couple’s feelings of closeness, and improve communication within their relationship. I have extensive training working with couples from diverse cultural backgrounds, and I am an LGBTQ ally.

 

I have experience providing developmentally-sensitive therapy for children 7 years and older who are experiencing a variety of concerns including anxiety, perfectionism, family stress, or difficulty coping with life transitions (e.g., new school, family relocation, divorce). I strive to tailor my approach to each child’s unique needs and utilize an array of activities, art, games, and experiential or “hands on” techniques.

 

Although the therapy process can vary, often, therapy is most effective with children when caregivers are included in the process. Generally I tend to meet together with you and your child at the beginning of session to get updates on progress and observations from the week. I then meet with your child individually and we engage in a variety of therapy activities to develop trust and rapport, build their emotional awareness, and learn coping skills. I tend to save the last few minutes of session so parents can return and learn how they can support their child’s progress at home. With my adolescent clients, trust and privacy can be very important; therefore, parental involvement may be less and may vary case-by-case.  

Providing Informed & Compassionate Therapy Services