Saara Muscat, Psy.D.
My Approaches to Therapy
I work collaboratively with clients toward meeting their goals and increasing self-awareness in order to identify and change deeply ingrained patterns that may be negatively impacting them. My approach tends to be action-oriented and solution-focused, while also empathic, genuine, and humorous. I often encourage clients to get curious about themselves and their experiences. I have been told that I “ask the tough questions,” but that this ultimately helps foster insight, understanding, and the development of new perspectives.
My graduate and clinical training has been in evidence-based treatments, and I tend to integrate elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Psychodynamic Therapy in my clinical work. While the brief, present-focused, and skills-based approaches of CBT can be beneficial for immediate symptom relief, I find that psychodynamic and relational/interpersonal approaches add depth to the therapeutic relationship and facilitate our understanding of the influence of one’s past on current behaviors.
My Qualifications as a Psychologist
Prior to entering the field of Psychology, I obtained a BA in Sociology from McGill University in Montreal. It was in my final year there that I discovered my interest in human behavior and desire to help individuals make sense of the ways in which their personalities, life experiences, and relationships with others influence their behaviors and understanding of themselves. This motivated me to pursue another undergraduate degree in Psychology from York University in Toronto, and then fulfill my dream of moving out to California for graduate school, where I attended the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium and received my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
My clinical training includes working with underprivileged populations in community mental health, veterans at the VA, and performing clinical research and neuropsychological assessments at Stanford University. I completed my predoctoral internship at UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services and postdoctoral work at Notre Dame de Namur University Counseling Center, where I developed a passion for helping students navigate stress and uncertainty related to identity development and transitioning from student to professional life.
My motivation to join the Center came from a desire to merge these interests and work with individuals around issues specifically related to stress and anxiety, ADHD, and transitional issues such as dating/relationships and career development/burnout. I specialize in the assessment and treatment of anxiety and related disorders using CBT/Exposure Therapy, including panic disorder, social anxiety, phobias, and OCD.
When I have spare time, I love travelling, spending time outdoors, and indulging my sweet tooth.
Saara Muscat, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist, PSY 29659
(see here for licensure verification)
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