Sarah Sullivan-Singh, PhD
Address: 1700 Westlake Ave N, Suite 400 |
Seattle, WA 98109
Personal experience and empirical research align to tell us that time seems to move more quickly with each passing day. From the beginning of my studies in psychology as an undergraduate student, I’ve focused on how the perception of time informs our goals and emotional experience. In graduate school, I had the opportunity to explore how perceptions of time change in the face of living with cancer and to learn about these journeys firsthand from people receiving care at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. In the face of our awareness that, regardless of age and health, our time here is limited, I am committed to asking the question with you: How can we make our time meaningful?
That’s no small question! Especially when life has a way of throwing a variety of challenges, small and large, at us on a daily basis. Whether you’re confronting a large mountain, such as a new health condition, or finding yourself mired in in the muck of daily life and uncertain of how to plant your feet, my goal is to throw on a backpack of evidence-based tools and start exploring your landscape with you, including where you’re coming from, where you are now, and where you’d like to go.
In the service of this pursuit, I employ techniques from several therapies that fall within the broad school of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT describes an interrelated set of therapies all based on the idea that our cognitions (the thoughts in our minds) and our behaviors (the actions we take in the world) are intricately related to our emotional experience, including emotional distress, that we experience. Specifically, the frameworks of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) guide my approach to therapy. ACT contends that the mental wiring put in place to help early human beings survive under harsh circumstances often does us a disservice by keeping us fighting against uncontrollable pain (emotional and physical) rather than helping us learn how to make space for pain to come and go in its own time, thereby freeing us up to learn, connect, play -- and wash the dishes. In ACT, we practice mindfulness strategies to help us relate more openly and flexibly to our internal experiences (thoughts, emotions, sensations) and to the environment around us so that we can focus our attention and efforts on investing in our chosen purposes in the world. FAP is a sister therapy to ACT and invites us to use the relationship that we’ll be building in therapy to enhance your growth by observing how the problems you’re encountering in daily life may show up in some form in our relationship. Then we can work together in the safe harbor of our connection to experiment with new ways of being in the world that ideally serve your values and needs more effectively.
My overall hope is build a genuine connection with you that allows us to tap into your personal wisdom and integrate it with the best of what my training in evidenced-based psychotherapy can offer. Time moves quickly, so I value slowing down to witness your experience, to find play amidst the work of life, to seek sweetness even in the presence of pain, and to make meaning with the time we have together.
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