Sarah Russell, Ph.D

What to expect in therapy

In counseling, psychologists may practice from a variety of clinical frameworks. When conducting psychotherapy, I practice from a cognitive behavioral perspective.  What this means is that I believe our thoughts impact our behaviors and emotions.  Thus, in therapy, you will explore the interaction between your thoughts, emotions and behaviors to develop a healthier and more effective approach to living your life. Therapy is a collaborative relationship where you and I identify the thoughts, behaviors, and patterns of interactions that are causing you distress or negatively impacting your quality of life. Counseling will then focus on developing healthier ways of understanding and addressing these difficult areas of your life.  The goal of treatment is always to minimize the impact of negative thoughts and disruptive behaviors while increasing an individual's quality of life. 


When working with children, I actively engage both the child and parents in treatment. Therapy sessions are a blend of assisting the child to understand problematic thoughts and behaviors and make appropriate changes.  Parents help to facilitate the therapy process by supporting their child and making necessary environmental changes.


When working with adolescents, I provide the teenage client with a confidential environment to explore his or her thoughts and feelings. Parents are involved in a teenager's treatment as needed to facilitate appropriate emotional and behavioral changes so that their teenager may enjoy a higher quality of life.


When working with adults, I help the individual identify the stressors, problematic thoughts, and/or behaviors that are causing her distress.  In therapy, clients will be encouraged to challenge previously held beliefs that may be contributing to their distress.  As these negative thought processes are identified, individuals will be encouraged to try out new ways of interacting in an effort to improve their life satisfaction.