Samantha Kountz-Edwards, Ph.D.
Many people experience anxiety or sadness at some point in their life. Sometimes these feelings are related to a big change, a new stressor, or a longstanding challenge that has left you feeling overwhelmed and stuck. Regardless of what’s going on in your life, my goal is to help you better confront, cope with, and recover from difficulties, so that you can live a more fulfilling life.
I understand that the idea of therapy can seem intimidating, and I recognize that it takes a lot of courage to seek help. I see your decision to engage in treatment as a true testament to your strength. It is important to me to meet my clients where they are at. This means that I will be supportive through all phases of our work together!
My Approaches to Therapy
Throughout my career, I have worked with children, adolescents, adults, and families ranging in age from 2-years-old to 90-years-old who present with a wide range of challenges. I utilize various evidenced-based treatments, but I most commonly integrate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques, Dialectical Behavioral skills, and Solution-Focused approaches within a broader Psychodynamic and Family Systems framework. I typically take a client-centered, direct approach to treatment. I feel comfortable asking my patient’s tough questions that can be really difficult to talk about. This has helped me develop a strong therapeutic relationship with the majority of my patients.
I also have experience treating couples who experience communication issues, intimacy challenges, concerns surrounding trust, financial difficulties, and other problems that couples commonly experiences. When working with couples, I draw upon techniques from Gottman Method Couples Therapy and Emotionally Focused Therapy. My goal is to help partners turn towards one another during difficult times rather than away. To that end, I initially use assessment measures, such as the Gottman 19 Areas Checklist, to evaluate each partner’s perception about various facets of the relationship. I also use tools such as genograms to explore each partner’s emotional availability and interactions with early caregivers, and to consider how their childhood experiences may have shaped their relationship styles. These techniques ultimately enhance each partner’s understanding and compassion for one another.
Regardless of the particular framework I am using, I always create a trusting and safe relationship with each of my clients. I have been told that I am compassionate, reliable, trustworthy, and humorous, which has helped me successfully treat individuals across the lifespan.
My Qualifications as a Psychologist
I earned my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Child and Family from Palo Alto University. I completed my pre-doctoral internship at Community Health Awareness Council in Mountain View, California, and my post-doctoral fellowship at Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department. Upon completing my postdoc, I transitioned into a full time psychologist at Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara.
During my graduate training, my main interests were working with children and families, trauma, and health psychology. This led me to serve youth with multifaceted needs in outpatient clinics, various homeless shelters throughout the Bay Area, an elementary school, and within an integrated health care setting at Kaiser Permanente. I also worked in the Stanford Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Lab at Stanford University School of Medicine where I administered neuropsychological assessments to screen for math disabilities in second and third graders with ADHD, and speech and math difficulties in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. My research in graduate school focused on the psychosocial family impact that chronic illnesses can have on family members. I particularly enjoy working with individuals who are going through vulnerable time periods, as that is sometimes when people are the most open to making big changes.
I look forward to working with you and helping you overcome whatever challenges may be preventing you from reaching your goals.
Samantha Kountz-Edwards, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist, PSY 28660
(see here for licensure verification)
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