Sara Payne, LICSW


Sara Payne, LICSW

Works with:
(all)–Children, Adolescents,
Adults (specialization with young adults)

Therapy Approach:
Individual, Family, Couple’s
CBT, DBT, Psychodynamic,
and Motivational Interviewing

Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar

Get to Know:
Successful therapy has a lot to do with the strength of the relationship between client and therapist. In my opinion, some of the best therapy happens when the connection or rapport between client and therapist is very strong. Some of this is simply about “chemistry” or a way in which the therapist and client “click”. Some of this has to do with having a therapist, who is very present. Being “present” consistently is challenging, because therapists are human too, and sometimes, like you, they have their difficult days, when they may be distracted by various issues in their own lives or in the news. But I believe that we as therapists need to, to the best of our ability, stay closely attuned to our clients throughout their sessions, so that they hopefully feel heard and can express themselves freely. I believe that a sense of feeling heard, being validated, and understood, goes a long way in the healing process. I encourage clients to share with me when they do not feel heard or understood, or when they might feel criticized by me for some reason, because this is a great way to improve the relationship between client and therapist, as well as the outcome of the therapy. It is also great way to practice improving one’s own relationships on the outside.

In addition to the power of a strong therapeutic relationship, I believe in the power of effective tools or skills that can help people achieve their goals and move forward with their lives. Some of these tools are related to implementing relaxation techniques to help people to feel calmer, and to reduce their anxiety. Some of the tools have to do with changing people’s thinking patterns, which research has shown can improve people’s mood.

My belief in the power of the therapeutic relationship has to do with years of psychodynamic training, that I received in graduate school, as well as in my early work experiences. During the past few years, I have also received specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which has proven to me how effective changing one’s thinking patterns can be in improving one’s mood, and consequently one’s behavior. People generally are more social and can make and keep friends and partners more easily, when they are feeling better. They also tend to be able to concentrate, focus, and get more done, when this is the case. Therefore, my approach in therapy tends to blend a combination of psychodynamic techniques, with cognitive behavioral interventions. I know a lot of therapists who tend to stay in one of these two camps, either the psychodynamic, or the cognitive behavioral. However, I find the use of both of these two approaches to be highly effective, in helping people to overcome hurdles and to become their best selves, to improve their personal relationships, as well as their school/work productivity.

I have been practicing as a therapist for about 25 years. I have a lot of experience in working with people who experience depression, anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and issues around eating or weight. I have done a lot of work with individuals, adolescents, young adults, college students, and older adults, as well as with families.

Professional Training:
Earlham College, BA
Smith College School for Social Work, MSW
Boston University, Certification in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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