Taking the first step in tackling your issues is courageous and scary. My hope is that I create an environment in which you feel a sense of safety and comfort to share the difficulties you are facing. I want my clients to know that there is someone in the world who understands them and is willing to work collaboratively to release the shackles of stress and pain, and that it is possible to find the peace they have been seeking. There is a line in a poem by Robert Frost that, in my opinion, captures the essence of therapy: “The only way out is through.” It is only by facing your issues that you can create change in your life.
My Approaches to Therapy
I bring compassion, creativity, honesty, and levity to therapy. I draw on my intuitive nature to help clients break negative cycles that are impacting their ability to be present in their own lives. I believe that the relationship between the therapist and client is most helpful in collaboration. Although I tend to use Emotionally Focused Therapy with couples, I understand that all clients are different and therefore tailor my approach to what I believe will work best for the individual(s). I often use strength-based approaches with my clients as focusing on what resources a client already possesses is essential while also considering what is causing them stress. I encourage my clients to develop their mindfulness while in session, and build their resiliency by practicing this skill in their daily lives. All in all, most of my clients gain a sense of relief, feel less alone and gain new perspectives about themselves and others through therapy with me.
My Qualifications as a Psychologist
I have extensive experience working with couples in conflict as well as adults with varying ethnic identities, genders, as well as the LGBT community. I work with many people who have experienced trauma, and am a published author (both a peer-reviewed article and my master’sthesis) regarding helping victims of drug-facilitated sexual assault. I worked at PlannedParenthood for 2 years, which gave me the opportunity to work with a lot of women’s issuesincluding assault, harassment, infertility, chronic pain, and life transitions.
When not working at SF Stress and Anxiety Center, I work in private practice and am alsoadjunct faculty at Saint Mary’s College in the Graduate Counseling Department, teaching Theoryand Practice of Couple Counseling, Human Sexuality, as well as supervising students in the fieldand assisting in the reading and editing of various masters’ theses.
Outside of work I play the piano and am an accomplished vocalist. I enjoy performing and listening to many different types of music. I am an avid walker, and love being in nature when I get the opportunity. I am also passionate about working with and teaching graduate students who are striving to become therapists themselves.
Sarah Blackley, LMFT
Licensed MFT, 97201
(see here for licensure verification)
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