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What is therapy?

Counseling/therapy/talk therapy/psychotherapy are all synonymous terms. Therapy is essentially talking through one's mental, emotional, and psychological concerns with an objective third-party individual (a therapist) to gain deeper insight, self-awareness, and healing to live a more fulfilling and connected life. Therapy can also include mediation between couples, families, or a parent and child to build communication and connection. Therapy is an investment in yourself and your loved ones.

What iS coaching?

Coaching incorporates more directive approaches and tools versus therapy. In my therapy sessions, I help clients identify the "why" behind their behavior + "how" to change that behavior, whereas in coaching I focus solely on the "how".

My therapeutic approach

My therapeutic approach entails meeting clients as they are and accepting them fully for where they are in their unique journeys. I practice from a humanistic Adlerian approach - grounded in the ideology that all individuals have a desire for significance and belonging. My sessions with clients are centered on the clients' unique needs - exploring and processing whatever is relevant for them in the moment and connecting pieces of their story together over time. I believe all individuals are the experts on their own lives. My role is to help clients identify their choices, identify the possible outcomes of those choices, and then remind them that only they know what is best for their lives. My role entails reflecting back to clients what I am hearing them say from an objective standpoint, asking open-ended questions to help them introspect and explore their concerns more deeply, and bring in some humor and self-disclosure as appropriate and necessary! I may use more directive and guided approaches as suited to the clients' unique needs - particularly in parent coaching sessions. I believe the connection between the client and therapist is most important for change. I invite you to email me with any questions or concerns about my therapeutic approach to see if I am a good fit for you!

My specialties

  • Parenting: teach parents how to build and strengthen their relationship with their children using the Positive Discipline Model and with each other as a parenting team

  • Identity Exploration: self-worth, self-esteem, shame resilience, guilt, life transitions, first-generation concerns, immigrant concerns, minority concerns; building confidence, understanding, and integration of one's various identities: racial, sexual, gender, spiritual, religious, ability, ethnic, national, age, SES, etc.

  • Relationships: (with individuals or couples) domestic violence, healing from abuse, codependence, codependence recovery, sibling rivalry, divorce, family conflict, premarital counseling, communication skill building, boundaries, assertiveness, parent-teen relationship building, rebuilding trust 

  • Behavioral/Emotional Concerns: depression, anxiety, academic concerns, stress management, anger management, coping skills, failure to launch

What iS an LPC-Associate?

LPC-Associates are among the various mental health providers that can provide counseling. As an LPC-Associate I have completed my Master's degree in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling including 600 clinical hours, passed the National Comprehensive Exam, and am currently in a "residency" period where I meet with my supervisor weekly to discuss client cases to make sure I am providing the best care possible to my clients. During this "residency" period, I am completing 3,000 clinical hours and will then apply for full licensure as an LPC. I invite you to connect with me and ask any questions you may have about this!

HOW CAN I SCHEDULE A SESSION?

Once you connect with me - either by phone or email - we schedule a FREE 15-minute phone consultation to see if we are a good fit. During this consultation, I answer any questions or concerns and hear a little bit about your primary concerns. If you decide to schedule an appointment, I take relevant demographic information and email over paperwork through Austin Family Counseling's HIPPA complaint Electronic Health Record software. I have immediate and flexible availability including evening sessions. Prior to the first session, you complete all intake paperwork including my Disclosure Statement

what happens in the first session?

In the first session, I start by reviewing paperwork and answering any related questions. I then invite you to describe as much of your current concerns as you feel comfortable sharing. I then work collaboratively with you to develop workable goals for our sessions and provide "homework" if necessary or requested. I encourage clients to start off with weekly sessions to maintain consistency, build rapport, and put all concerns on the table for quicker, long-term, lasting results. I invite you to discuss any questions or concerns about session frequency in my 15-minute phone consultation or by connecting with me.

CONTACT

Sarah Shah, M.S., LPC-Associate

Supervised by Martha Pasiminio, LPC-S, RPT

      4601 Spicewood Springs Rd.
      Building 3, Suite 200
      Austin, TX 78759​​

      (737) 236-0338

​      sarah@austinfamilycounseling.com

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