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Serena Sullivan

Associate

Pronouns: She/Her

Style: Engaging, Open, and Thoughtful

Works with:

  • Individuals
  • Child/Family
  • Teens
  • Adult Family
Serena Sullivan MA

Who I am as a Therapist

 

I believe that you are the expert on your life, your experiences, and your story. My work is focused on providing a strong, safe, and supportive frame for you to explore your challenges, and collaborating with you to find your path to meeting your goals. As a therapist, I strive to stay curious, open, non-judgmental, and attuned. Our work together can look many different ways, and I draw from a number of theoretical frameworks to find what is most successful for you. My work is trauma-informed, client-centered, and relational, and focuses on your thoughts, feelings, your story, and the relationships you form with others.

 

All of us hold multiple identities, and I stay conscious of how my own identities affect the therapeutic relationship, and how I am experienced by others. I also appreciate how your identities interact to make you uniquely you, as a person and a client. Therapy can be a very personal experience, and it is important to me that you feel safe, and heard, and that your identities and lived experience are respected. I welcome clients from all backgrounds, including BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ folk, and those in gender/sexual/romantic/relationship minorities.

 

I work with compassion, and with humor and empathy. As a therapist, I am flexible, and responsive to what you need as a client. I can hold a strong and steady framework to support with difficult behavioral issues, and I can move gently and carefully, providing a safe and secure space to process trauma.

 

The most important piece in the puzzle is the fit between us as therapist and client. I look forward to meeting you, and developing that therapeutic relationship.

“There have been times, lately, when I dearly wished that I could change the past. Well, I can’t, but I can change the present, so that when it becomes the past it will turn out to be a past worth having.”
Terry Pratchett

Specialty Areas

Mental Health Challenges 

  • ADHD
  • Adoption & Foster
  • Anger
  • Anxiety (General, Panic, Phobias)
  • Attachment & Relational Challenges
  • Behavioral Challenges in Children
  • Biracial Couples/Families
  • Blended Family
  • Chronic Illness
  • Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationships
  • Depression
  • Disability
  • Dissociation
  • Divorce
  • Gender Transitions
  • Grief & Loss
  • Identity Development
  • Learning Disorders
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Life Transitions
  • Managing Stress
  • Mood Dysregulation
  • Neurodiversity
  • Parenting
  • Postpartum Depression
  • School Issues
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Sexual Health
  • Trauma Recovery (PTSD & Abuse)
  • Women’s Issues

    Therapeutic Approaches 

    • Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)
    • Art Therapy
    • Attachment Based Therapy
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
    • Compassionate Communication (NVC)
    • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
    • Emotionally Focused Therapy
    • Feminist therapy
    • Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS)
    • Mindfulness
    • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
    • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
    • Narrative Therapy
    • Play Therapy
    • Solution-Focused Therapy

    Who I am when I’m not a Therapist

    I love the science and art of cooking, and can often be found experimenting in the kitchen, looking up new techniques, or thinking about all the different foods and flavors there are to experience in the world. I am a video gamer, and I play modern board games, especially cooperative strategy games. I love the rain (although not necessarily being IN it), and I love taking pictures of beautiful plants and places, and interesting textures.

    Education 

    • MA in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University, CA
    • BA in Psychology with a minor in Linguistics, San José State University, CA

    Training & Experience  

    • Worked as a therapist for children and families for five years across a number of different settings, including community mental health, the juvenile forensic system, child welfare and foster care system, and clinic- and school-based settings.
    • Worked as a therapist for adults and adult families in community mental health, including those with severe and persistent mental illness and co-occurring alcohol and substance use disorders.
    • Past experience as a domestic violence crisis counselor, and as a counselor in an adolescent residential eating disorder clinic, as well as providing early childhood educational services through First 5 California.
    • Past career in computer software and hardware repair and support

    Get Started Today

    Text or Voicemail

    (503) 349-2281