Susan Sakamoto, MSW, LICSW
Welcome! My name is Susan Sakamoto and I am a licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in the state of Washington with a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Washington. I also hold credentials as a Child Mental Health Specialist (CMHS), and an African American Ethnic Minority Mental Health Specialist (EMMHS).
I was born and grew up here in the Seattle area, and while I’ve lived in other places, the Pacific Northwest has always been home. After graduating from the UW with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, I spent many years working in the corporate world working for a large technology and online retail company here in Seattle. While working there, I also spent several years volunteering for a mentoring program for “at-risk” high school students. After experiencing connecting with youth in such a positive and transformative way, it became very clear that I was on the wrong career path. I fell in love and became passionate about helping others achieve goals, minimize suffering and in helping them to make positive changes in their lives. That’s when I started my own journey of transformation and went back to school to earn my Master’s degree. While in graduate school and since earning my MSW, I’ve had the opportunity to work in a variety of different settings such as schools, hospitals, medical clinics, and community mental health agencies providing therapeutic services to individuals, couples, families/parents and groups, working with children, adolescents and adults. I love this work because I get the opportunity to empower individuals to develop new skills, improve emotional health, and make positive transformations in their lives.
Practicing psychotherapy as a clinical social worker, I’m always viewing my work through a social justice lens while looking within the systems that impact your emotional health. My therapeutic style is compassionate and warm, yet direct. I also find that I’m most effective when I can be myself, so humor is also a trademark of my therapeutic style. I practice with a client-centered and strengths based approach which means that you determine what you want to achieve out of counseling and what you want to focus on, and I always aim to create a safe and welcoming space for you to explore what you bring to sessions. I will utilize a variety of different modalities that match your individual needs and goals in counseling. I’ll pull from therapeutic approaches that have been shown by research to be effective and valid ways to assist clients in reducing and alleviating intrusive and distressing symptoms in order to improve mood, behavior, and overall functioning to guide our work together. My training and expertise lies in the application of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). In addition to my counseling experience, I also worked in the stressful corporate, high tech world, I know what it’s like to parent children, be married, deal with family and relationship struggles, and work through various life stages. I’ve had my own emotional journeys and feel that this gives me perspective on what many others face. These life experiences along with my experience as a therapist guide and impact my therapeutic approach. It would be a privilege and honor to support you as you take steps toward building the life and relationships you’ve always wanted.
For more information, please visit my website at: www.sakamotocounseling.com