Sarah Allen, Psy.D, Licensed Psychologist
I completed my doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D) at Antioch University New England in Keene, NH and am a licensed psychologist in Washington State. I consider myself to be a general practitioner, so I work with a wide range of diagnoses and issues. I provide individual psychotherapy, couples therapy, and psychological assessment with adults and adolescents (16+). My areas of focus include young adult/adult development, anxiety, depression, gender identity and sexuality issues, grief/loss, trauma experiences, relational functioning, and personality development.
I recently returned to the Pacific Northwest after spending 25 years living and learning in different parts of the country. Since I grew up in the Seattle area, I am happy to be home. I went to college in New York, and graduate school at Antioch University in New England. During my training years, I worked in several settings. I spent one year at a university clinic that served both graduate students and the uninsured in a semi-rural community in Keene, New Hampshire; two years at a college counseling center with adolescents and young adults in Western Massachusetts; and three years in a community mental health center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where I completed my predoctoral internship. Then I moved back to Washington State and worked in private practice in Longview for three years.
Along the way, I was privileged to encounter people with vastly different life experiences, identities, and beliefs. My training and experience has led me to value inclusivity and diversity. I believe that each and every person’s life has value and I am passionate about helping people who are poorly represented and often misunderstood. The culture and population in semi-rural New Hampshire is very different from those with which I was previously familiar. I gained experience getting to know folks who may be characterized as White and working class. In Longview, Washington, I grew that expertise by learning more about how unions and churches influence people’s lives and mental health. I believe that this background makes me unusually adept at helping people navigate an increasingly complex world.
I have a client-centered interpersonal orientation that integrates evidence-based interventions ranging from mindfulness and narrative to emotion-focused and contemporarily relational. My clinical style has been particularly effective with clients with a history of trauma, identity issues, relationship problems, and interpersonal difficulties.
When I work with clients, I focus on developing a safe and strong relationship that creates the necessary environment to facilitate positive change. Through this focus on our relationship, I am able to honor your knowledge of your own life and experiences. I have expertise, but I am not the expert when it comes to what you have been through. When you feel truly heard, it becomes easier to be honest with yourself. I hope that together we can confront whatever is getting in the way of you fully realizing your potential.
While there are patterns that commonly occur in human experience, we all have unique histories that influence how we encounter life in the present. I work to connect the two so that you can gain a sense of control, acceptance, and freedom in your life. I am non-directive; that is, I will allow you to set your own goals for therapy and we will address where you are in the moment. The relationship we build together may provide insight about other relationships in your life. If you have relationship difficulties, a safe therapeutic relationship is an excellent way to gain understanding about yourself as you work to establish trust.