Choosing a Therapist

Every therapist gets into this job because we “want to help people.”  After that, we are all drastically different.  We all bring our own experience, personal history, further training and values to the job.  Because of that, choosing a therapist can seem tricky and confusing. Use my website to get a flavor for who I am, and what I do. If you are interested in getting to know me more feel free to call on the phone, or schedule an initial appointment to meet face-to-face.

Dr. Sarah Griesemer, psychologist

About Me

I became a therapist because I want to help people.  (ha-ha).

If I could teach every woman to love and honor herself I would be a happy therapist.  This is the value that pervades my personal and professional life the most vividly.  I frequently work with women who are adjusting to motherhood — both those experiencing post-partum depression or anxiety, and those who are trying to navigate the huge shift in lifestyle, roles and identity.

Similarly I work with children and teens to learn to hold in themselves self-compassion, kindness and strength.  The families I work with are interested in learning to understand and communicate with one another better.

I find myself frequently wishing folks who are starting out in therapy could glimpse the process from my perspective. I know first hand the remarkable changes my clients make, the supportive relationship we form to help them on their journey, and the joy we share when they end therapy having met their goals. Therapy is rarely a quick fix, unfortunately. But it can be a lasting fix, which in terms of time and money and stress can be well worth it.

My approach to therapy is based in relationships and research. I believe strongly that it’s the relationship with your therapist that helps you to make changes. Finding someone that can support you while helping you to grow and change isn’t always easy, but I think it’s vital. Disclosing your problems to a stranger makes most of us feel uncomfortable at first. If you are going to go on this journey, it needs to be someone you feel comfortable with and trust.

That said, I strongly believe that for therapy to be effective, it must be rooted in current research and thorough training. A kind word and smile will only take you so far. Because of that, I spend a lot of my time keeping up on current research and contributing to the field as well. You’re trusting your time, money, and innermost thoughts to the process. The very least you deserve in return is a therapist that has training in techniques supported by the field and by research.

My training

I am a licensed psychologist with a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin and owner of Psychology Center of Austin, PLLC. My training has focused on working with children and families in school, outpatient, detention, and residential settings. I offer child, adult, and family therapy, as well as psychological and psychoeducational assessments for children and adults. For more on my services, go to my “Therapy Services” tab. I work out of two offices for my clients’ convenience: one in south Austin by the Central Market, and one in North Austin at 183 and Lake Creek Parkway.

I have taught Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT) to graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin and have a commitment to research. I have strong training in both insight-oriented approaches as well as CBT with my clients. My personal practice of mindfulness meditation and yoga informs my work. Although mindfulness meditation has many western studies supporting its use in combination with psychotherapy, the use of yoga in psychotherapy is largely antecdotal. Because of my committment to using research-supported approaches to therapy I am currently the principal investigator for a study investigating the effect of using yoga in combination with CBT to treat depression.

I started Psychology Center of Austin, PLLC to put together a great team of people I trust who are highly trained. If you don’t think I’m a fit for you, check out the other therapists to see if you might fit better with one of them.

In addition, specific areas of expertise include:

  • Work with traumatized children and adolescents (PTSD, domestic violence, physical and sexual abuse, etc.)
  • Parenting and behavior management skills
  • Social skills
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Collaborative Assessment
  • Special Education and 504 services, as well as school consultation
  • Play therapy