Sarah Harris has been in the field of mental health for over 20 years. She began much of her early career as a Counselor in Group Homes for troubled teenagers with behavioral concerns. From here, she received early acceptance to a highly sought after traineeship at a Hospice where she received extensive training as a Bereavement Counselor. During this time, she provided professional individual, family, and group bereavement counseling, and treatment planning for patients and survivors related to grief, loss and bereavement issues (including some Axis I disorders). She assisted clients with easing the anxiety that often accompanies grief and assisted in memorializing the deceased. This included facilitating grief groups for children and adults. She utilized Dream Interpretation, Play, Art & Music Therapy techniques.
Sarah is also highly experienced with providing support to veterans and their families. Some of this experience has come from her work as a Psychology Technician with the VA, where she assessed veterans participating in a Marine Resiliency Study for PTSD, TBI and panic disorders. She also has several years of volunteer work supporting families whose servicemembers have been deployed and also as a financial coach connecting servicemembers to resources.
As a Licensed Therapist, Sarah has honed in many skills over the years. She has facilitated art therapy groups for patients with Axis 1 disorders and some Axis II such as Major Depression, PTSD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She especially enjoyed teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) skills and various breathing exercises which have been shown to decrease symptoms of stress, anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder,, depression, and attention deficit disorder. Her work at a Pain Management Clinic meant that she assessed patients for pain-related behavioral issues. She was a highly valued consultant to team members & worked with an Interdisciplinary Team that included Physician, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapist, Physical Therapist aide, Vocational Rehabilitation counselor, Psychologist, Functional Restoration Program Coordinator.
Helping to educate and inspire others are qualities that Sarah is known for, and not surprisingly, she has also served in the capacity as a College Instructor, teaching classes that ranged from introductory psychology to communication skills to research methods.
Shortly thereafter, she joined a local mental health community agency as a Team Lead Therapist providing child and family psychotherapy to low-income marginalized families. Her caseload consisted of teenagers, primarily African-American males who had behavioral and emotional concerns consistent with ADHD, Anxiety, Depression and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Treatment planning included addressing these diagnoses along with other trauma and identity concerns related to race, sexuality and gender. Inclusive and affirmative mental health treatment is important to Sarah and she has infused this into providing the parenting skills training needed to help the families build skills for coping with their youth’s disorder. At this outpatient agency, Sarah’s exemplary work ethic and leadership skills were soon recognized and she was promoted to a supervisory position where she managed 10 Therapists/Team Leaders and 16 Direct Staff professionals in the provision of all services.
Sarah’s interests eventually led to her transitioning to the private practice setting, where she initially joined a Group Private Practice before eventually starting her own multi-state Group Private Practice business. She maintains her own caseload providing therapeutic services and consultation that includes Intake/Assessment Interviews, Individual Psychotherapy, Couples Psychotherapy, Family Psychotherapy and Play Therapy. She has facilitated numerous Social Skills Groups for children diagnosed with autism and ADHD. She has assisted and led trainings for couples therapists, teaching Emotionally Focused Therapy and Mindfulness. Sarah has been a credentialed Supervisor with the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy (AAMFT) for over 5 years and mentors students and novice clinicians from all over the country.