Meet the Team: Sara Paterson, LMSW
We are thrilled to have Sara Paterson, LMSW on board as our newest therapist at Georgetown Counseling and Wellness! Sara has a very warm and personable style, lots of training and experience, and feels called to help her clients heal from past losses that may be affecting their current well-being and relationships. Here's more about Sara:
What ages do you work with?
I work with children, teens and adults – with clients of all ages and all developmental stages, as life is full of ups and downs at all times in our lives, and depression, anxiety and trauma and the like do not discriminate by age. I work with individuals, couples and families on a broad range of issues.
Who else do you enjoy and feel confident working with?
I have a passion for working with children, adult children of emotional neglect, the “highly sensitive person” personality as well as others with intense emotions, and those going through loss, grief and chronic or invisible illness. I also help clients who have experienced narcissistic abuse and emotional abuse from parents or partners. Because of my own journey through chronic illness, loss and trauma, I have become extremely passionate about working with clients who going through chronic pain, illnesses and complex PTSD, with a personal understanding of how individuals experiencing these issues experience so much invalidation in the current world we live in.
Your approaches and how you help:
Each person I work with is unique, and I take that into consideration in my work with clients, creating a treatment plan that is unique to each individual, using approaches or a combination of approaches that is specific to each individual client, taking into account their history, their current circumstances, and what they want out of therapy.
I seek to see my clients concerns through multiple lenses – understanding their external environment, biological vulnerabilities, and the inner and subconscious world of my clients. I aim to understand the social contexts of race, class, gender, age, culture, and sexual orientation, the biological determinants of genes and brain chemistry, and the complexity of people’s inner world and psyche.
With children, I use play therapy, including sand tray therapy, helping to build coping skills, emotional expression, self-esteem, communication skills, and overall aiding in their improvement in a healthy development.
With adults, I am interactive and engaging with my clients, and allow clients to process what they are going through -- often helping them to identify what is going on under the surface and put words to their experiences and feelings. I help my clients to develop and apply the skills they need to put into practice in their everyday lives in order to live a more fulfilling, joyful life.
In addition to talk therapy, I often use somatic therapy, using mind-body exercises and other physical techniques to help release the pent-up tension that is negatively affecting my clients’ physical and emotional wellbeing.
Core Treatment Modalities:
· Mindfulness Based
· Somatic Therapy
· Attachment- Based
· Interpersonal Neurobiology
· Trauma Focused
· Crisis Intervention
· Informed Practice with LGBTQ+ Population
What can a client expect if they work with you:
I value being able to provide a safe, non-judgmental space to my clients to be able to process. I provide a warm, empathetic atmosphere where my clients feel comfortable to bring whatever feelings and circumstances they are experiencing to our sessions. I sit with them and hold space for difficult emotions, allowing them to go deep, and giving them the freedom to be honest and vulnerable with me. I ensure client’s feelings and needs are validated and at the same time work with my clients to grow and work on achieving holistic wellbeing.
Clients can expect in their first sessions a full biopsychosocial history, in which I will inquire about all aspects of their lives and histories so that I can learn about them on multiple levels and better understand their perspectives in order to come up with the most effective treatment plan for each individual or couple. In following sessions we will work together as a team to achieve the goals we set together.
What do you like about being a counselor?
I truly believe being a therapist is my life’s calling – it is something that comes natural to me and that provides me with such genuine joy. I absolutely love my job and working with incredible people who are brave enough to face life’s struggles and brave enough to come to me to ask for help. I feel so honored to work with my clients and that they trust in me to be on their team to help them get through whatever it is they struggle with. Helping my clients’ fills me up with energy and when I know I have helped one of my client’s or when I have provided the validation that they so deserve, it fills me up with so much joy.
If you could meet one author who would it be and why?
This is such a difficult question because I love to read and have so many author “heroes”. Right now in my life I would say I would want to meet Glennon Doyle, because her words in her most recent book “Untamed” have meant so much in my own personal journey as well as helped many of my clients to understand and grow in their own journeys. Her beautiful words of wisdom have provided so much inspiration for me and so much validation for women who struggle with feeling.
Unique fact about Sara:
I spent a few months living in the jungles in Paraguay, South America for a few months where I lived with monkeys and studied animal behavior – and it was there that I actually met my now husband!
Schedule a free 10-minute consultation or an appointment with Sara here.