My clients are my
MEET DR. SARAH
Watch this 7 minute mobile-friendly video to get to know me better, or read more about me down below!
Why I Love What I Do
I have two pet peeves:
1. Children feeling that:
-They are innately bad
-They are "broken"
-Something is inherently wrong with them
2. Children hating therapy.
I have extensive experience working with children with high- and low-energy and have a knack for meeting their needs and making them laugh while doing so. I want to ensure that my client's are learning new skills while simultaneously enjoying the journey of improved mental health.
Why I Became a Psychologist
What really ignited my passion for working with children and teens with ADHD was how much these kids lit up after I was able to show them how much potential they have. I soon found that working with children with anxiety offered me the same reward -- these children who felt isolated and alone were able to do amazing things with some support and changes to their thinking, their feelings, and their environment. Overall, I realized that I personally felt passionate about creating an environment where these youth felt success. I also noticed how frequently youth with ADHD also experienced anxiety symptoms -- these children did not want to act impulsively, or get in trouble at home or at school, but feared that it would happen that day and every day, then getting mad at themselves for being told they had bad behavior. I then realized that what motivates me is to help others feel good about themselves, because, let's be honest, there are not many times we are told "YOU are an amazing person" or that we deserve to be celebrated. I want to give that to people; I want to be your biggest supporter.
I have never had a client that did not inspire me. To pursue change, even though change is hard, and to face the challenges that children and families face in order to make that change inspires me everyday. Seeing the immense strength and resilience my clients have encourages me to keep doing what I am doing. I love learning from my clients about how they perceive and interact with the world.
There is something so amazing about showing people just how amazing they are, which tends to be more effective them simply telling them they are incredible.
My Education & Experience
I received my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University at Buffalo. This program was ranked #50 among Clinical Psychology programs in the United States (tied with Rutgers University and U Mass in 2016). Who knew Buffalo, NY was known for more than just snow?
Why this matters to you: You have so many options as various training programs can label themselves "therapists", including social workers, professional counselors, and psychologists. Psychologists spend more years training to be a therapist. More specifically, Ph.D.'s (as opposed to Psy.D.'s) typically has more balanced training of therapy and research, and how to integrate the two. This means that Ph.D.-level psychologists are well-equipped to integrate therapy techniques that are most successful in helping many, many clients like you to meet their goals in a time-efficient manner. Ph.D.-level therapists are also trained to work in multiple settings where therapy is needed, including schools, universities, hospitals, and in the community.
My Work Experience
Hospitals: I have worked in medical settings, including Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), and Erie County Medical Center. This training has provided me with the ability to incorporate treatments for mental health and medical concerns, as mental health concerns are so much more than just mental and often require an integrative approach to be most successful.
Schools: I have experience implementing behavioral therapy in classrooms, providing teachers with various techniques to work effectively with children with different needs in the classroom, conducting classroom observations, serving as a parent advocate at 504 and IEP meetings, and writing up evidence-based techniques that can effectively be implemented by teachers in the classroom setting.
Summer Camps: I have worked in the world-renowned summer camp for youth with behavioral, emotional, and/or learning concerns, the Summer Treatment Program, with the gentleman who created the behavioral treatment. This program has been lauded as "an exemplar of intensive treatment for ADHD" by experts in the field of ADHD treatment.
Universities: I have worked as a therapist at University Counseling Centers and Psychological Clinics including Dickinson College, the University at Buffalo, and at Florida International University.
Why this matters to you: My diverse experiences demonstrates that I can successfully tailor therapeutic techniques to a variety of clients in a variety of settings. This also shows that I have the ability to meet your child's needs wherever they are most needed. Lastly, this variety demonstrates that I take a well-rounded approach towards treatment that incorporates the multiple contexts my clients operate within and their physical as well as mental well-being.
My Demonstrated Expertise
Writing: I have authored an opinion article in The ADHD Report (founded by Dr. Russ Barkley, another expert in the field of ADHD), and I have published research articles looking at the most effective treatments and assessments for children in relation to anxiety symptoms, ADHD symptoms, challenging behaviors, and emotion dysregulation. I have presented my research nationally at conferences. I have also been interviewed for articles in managing behaviors in children at Central Penn Parent (see it here!), the Ephrata Review, and will be giving presentations on ADHD and Anxiety at local libraries.
Mentorship: I have taught a class on effective clinical skills at Penn State Harrisburg, and have mentored up-and-coming scholars in child psychology.
Awards: I received a number of highly competitive awards based on my academic accomplishments, including a National Research Service Award, an Advanced Honors Scholar at the University at Buffalo, I was accepted into multiple prestigious academic societies, including Psi Chi and Golden Key International Honour Society, and I received multiple awards to present my research at conferences.
Why this matters to you: I am not one to brag about my accomplishments whatsoever. My hope is that this provides you with some perspective on how hard I work, and demonstrates my competence as an empirically-steeped clinician within my areas of expertise.