About Sarah Ross

My intention is to accompany you in a collaborative, receptive, and active way in moving towards the goals that bring you into therapy. I view therapy as a joint creative process interwoven with depth and humor. I believe that the resources to move and shift in the ways you desire exist within you, and the potential for healing is held within the very “symptoms,” that bring you into therapy. AND, I know that the work of healing cannot be done alone and requires the context of relationship and steady guidance.

I earned my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University with an emphasis in child and family psychotherapy. I spent 13 years working primarily with young children and their families, first as a preschool teacher, and then as a home-based psychotherapist for children ages 0-5 and their families living in Oakland, CA. I also provided preschool mental health consultation in Oakland, collaborating with directors, teachers and families to improve the quality of early experiences for young children. I have a clear understanding of the profound impact of early life experience on adult functioning based on my background. This enables me to sensitively guide adult clients in moving towards acceptance and repair of unresolved experiences from the past, in the present.

I have found working with the body to be an invaluable component of healing, which lead me to the study and practice of Somatic Experiencing (SE). SE is a powerful, body-oriented method for trauma resolution developed by Peter Levine, Ph.D.. Based on his observations of animals in the wild fully recovering and “moving on” immediately after experiences of threat, Dr. Levine developed a theory and method to aid people in achieving resolution from traumatic experiences. The practice and study of SE is a great passion of mine. You can learn more about how this method informs my therapeutic approach here.

Nature connection is at the heart of what I offer. For the past 10 years, I have facilitated therapeutic experiences for children in outdoor and farm-based settings, combining the restorative effects of natural environments with clinical work. I view our environmental crisis as an inherently psychological issue that stems from a failure to know and experience our connectedness to the natural world. In the words of Joseph Campbell, “If you will think of ourselves as coming out of the earth, rather than as being thrown in here from somewhere else, you know, we are the earth, we are the consciousness of the earth. These are the eyes of the earth, and this is the voice of the earth. What else?” I believe that integrating nature connection into healing work is a necessity, with incredible benefits to human well-being. I’m delighted to guide you in your healing work out of doors if you choose that experience.

I acknowledge that we exist within a deeply ingrained cultural context of structural inequality, where all lives are not equally honored, protected, and given opportunities to thrive. This causes tremendous harm, with impacts on individual and collective well-being. I welcome honest exploration around topics of power, privilege and culture to the extent you would like to in your healing work.