Is This Counselor a Good Fit? Featuring Sarah Harrison, MA, LMFT
Sarah Harrison, MA, LMFT is a new addition to Grace Counseling’s team. We are incredibly grateful to welcome her to Colorado! Her experience working with children, teens, families, and couples as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Florida makes her a valuable part of our group, and a comfortable, welcoming therapist for our clients. She offers morning, daytime, afternoon, and evening hours for your convenience.
Tell me a little bit about yourself:
I’m a military spouse and mother to two girls! My favorite thing to do is spend time with my family. I find the deepest connections with my family when we eat dinner together (a meal I likely burned) as a family. We try to spend as much time as possible outdoors and Colorado is a great place for exploration and adventure.
How long have you lived in Colorado?
I am a Florida native and just moved to Colorado a few months ago! I am loving the change of scenery. I wish a prairie dog would let me be its friend but so far no success. Also, I’m still adjusting to the fact that the waters are not full of alligators and sharks, and I hear it’s possible a bear might break into my car.
What clients are you best suited to help?
I do my best work with children, adolescents, families, and couples. I work best with helping children/adolescents process strong emotions that can leave them feeling confused and frustrated. I work with parents to assist in behavior modification and finding more effective parenting techniques. I also enjoy working with couples to help them become a solid co-parenting team to provide consistency and agreed upon expectations. I enjoy all of the challenges of working with blended families as they often have so many unique combinations of circumstances and struggles to be untangled.
What would you say to parents who are nervous about family counseling?/What would you tell parents to tell their children about family counseling?
I completely understand the apprehension of coming into counseling. I take time explaining what families can expect from me and from the process to feel more comfortable. I always seek to provide education and normalization for anyone considering coming on this journey with me. I would encourage parents to prepare children in advance coming to see me. I always tell my younger clients that they aren’t in trouble with me, but that I am here to help, and this is a safe place to talk about the difficult issues that they might be struggling with. I understand that some children take longer than others to warm up to the idea of talking to a stranger and work at each individual’s own pace.
What can a client expect in their first session with you?
During our first session I conduct an in-depth assessment with the client and other family members to get a big picture of everything that has been going on in their world leading them up to arriving in my office. Clients can expect to explore their history and tell me about their current symptoms so that I can properly diagnose and created a mutually agreed upon treatment plan. This is also an opportunity for them to come to me with any questions/concerns for me to answer. I also make sure to take time so we can get to know each other better!
Do you offer any specialized types of therapy?
I am certified as a Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy therapist (this is a modality of treatment specifically for children/adolescents but requires parent/guardian participation as well) and a Level 1 Certified Gottman therapist.
How do you meet the needs of an entire family during family counseling?
Every family member has a voice and in each session I seek to maintain controlled conversations so that everyone has the opportunity to be heard. As needed I can meet with just the parents or children to work on separate issues that might be affecting the overall functionality of family dynamics. I seek to illuminate to families what the purpose of each behavior might be that is affecting their ability to communicate and what part they may play in reinforcing unhealthy patterns.
What drew you to become a counselor?
I feel that I have been called to serve and this is God’s purpose for my life. I am here to do HIS work! I feel that he has given me the natural talents that come with being a therapist such a genuineness and empathy and it is his purpose for me to utilize them to best serve him. Clients come to me because they are broken. And when standing before someone who is broken you understand why God has let you suffer. He broke me at times so that I could understand how to help heal others who are broken. I am thankful for all the adverse circumstances God has allowed me to go through. For without them I could not do the work He has called me to do.
What is your favorite part of being a counselor?
My favorite part of being a therapist is the deep connections I am able to make with my clients. Being able to achieve a strong therapeutic bond is incredibly rewarding to both the client and therapist and allows for the most progress and success to be made. I have been told by previous families that I was able to get through to a child/adolescent when others had not been able to ever before, and that was really rewarding.
What is your favorite book to recommend to parents going through a divorce?
Dating and the Single Parent by Ron L. Deal.