About Me and My Services

Therapy for Anxiety

When you picture anxiety, what do you see?  Is it constant dread or concern?  What about sleeplessness, fatigue, and restlessness?  Do you imagine the accompanying muscle tension, headaches, and irritability?  If any of these sound familiar, you may be experiencing anxiety.  You certainly aren’t alone – according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), over 40 million adults in the United States suffer from some form of anxiety.

Anxiety presents differently in each person.  Anxiety can look like …

  • Feelings of exhausted, fatigued, or restless
  • Having tension in muscles, headaches or migraines, or a tight chest
  • Feeling irritable, angry, nervous, or tearful
  • Having trouble controlling emotions or concentrating
  • Feeling like something bad is about to happen 
  • Experiencing panic attacks 

Even within groups like age or gender, anxiety can and does look different for each person.

There are multiple different types of anxiety, all presenting in their very own way.  Whether you’re experiencing frequent panic attacks indicative of Panic Disorder, intense anxiety surrounding being alone like with Separation Anxiety, or undue stress in social scenarios with Social Anxiety, feelings of intense dread and stress are no fun to deal with.  The good news is all of these anxiety disorders have something in common: therapy can help!

Approaches to anxiety treatment vary by which anxiety disorder a person has and the individual themselves.  In my practice, I tend to utilize Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, also known as ACT. In ACT therapy, there is a heavy emphasis on helping the client accept internal events (thoughts, emotions, sensations, images and memories) while also helping the client address their behaviors that reflect personal values. I help the client learn to relate to their internal experiences with curiosity and in a non-judgmental way that actually helps to reduce the amount of suffering endured. This supports the client in finding the freedom to be guided by their values rather than the actual content of emotions and thoughts. I also may borrow from Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) which is an approach that focuses on how you feel and how you control your emotions.

No matter your signs, symptoms, particular type of anxiety, or desired approach, we can work together to alleviate the constant stress and discomfort you’re feeling due to anxiety.  Reach out using our online form today to be contacted about treatment with me for anxiety.

Therapy for OCD

What have you heard about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD?  Chances are, you’ve heard some of the more stereotypical signs of OCD: obsessively cleaning, organizing, and liking things neat.  In reality, OCD is a complex disorder that presents in a variety of ways.

Just some of the signs of OCD include …

  • Unwanted or intrusive thoughts, especially about things you don’t normally think about
  • Feelings or thoughts of aggression, targeted inward or outward
  • Overwhelming desire for symmetry and organization
  • Excessive actions such as organizing, rearranging, or cleaning
  • Compulsive checking or performing actions repeatedly such as looking out for locked doors or touching light switches
  • Having a tic such as throat-clearing, coughing, or sniffling

Not everyone displays all of these symptoms, and the symptoms don’t look the same for everyone.

While we all may have unwanted thoughts or the urge to arrange sometimes, individuals with OCD experience these signs daily and don’t derive enjoyment from doing these things, aside from relief from anxious feelings.  OCD is triggered by multiple avenues, including your environment, genetics, and even brain structure.  Don’t be alarmed, though – therapy is a great way to help relieve how you’re feeling!

At the end of the day, an individualized approach to combating your OCD is one of the best things for you.  If you’re interested in learning how I can help with OCD, please reach out using our online form today to be contacted about setting up an appointment.

Therapy for ADHD

Take a moment to think about what you know about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD.  What do you think?  Is ADHD only found in children?  Do you picture someone jumping out of their seat?  What about someone who can’t focus?  Chances are, we’ve all heard these things about ADHD, but the reality is much deeper than that!

For individuals with ADHD, some signs or symptoms may include …

  • Difficulty concentrating or finishing tasks to completion
  • Bursts of energy or movement without a perceived purpose
  • Impulsive behavior and decision-making
  • Difficulty listening in conversations 
  • Avoidance of tasks due to the perceived difficulty in completing them
  • Difficulty in waiting for your turn in conversation or activities
  • Fidgeting or moving around, especially when seated

These symptoms will typically vary greatly depending on degree of hyperactivity or attention deficiency in each person.

We’ve all had at least one of these symptoms at some point – surely we’ve all had a task we’ve pushed off, or we’ve found it harder than usual to concentrate.  For those with ADHD, however, these symptoms are long-lasting and have a consistent negative impact on their life and wellbeing.  

Though many individuals diagnosed with ADHD are children, people at any age can be diagnosed.  Additionally, as those diagnosed as children with ADHD become adults, the way ADHD presents itself can change.  It’s important to have a mental health counselor that understands how ADHD looks at any age and how it adapts over time.  

However ADHD looks for you, I’d love to talk about how we can make your experience more manageable.  If you’d like to know more about what I can do, please fill out the online form to be contacted for an appointment today.

About Sarah

Sarah Poulos, MSSW, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in North Carolina and Texas. She graduated from The University of Texas-Arlington in 2014 with a Masters in Science of Social Work (MSSW) degree, with a concentration in Direct Practice in Mental Health. Any therapist you come across will have an education and a license, but it helps to know your therapist on a more personal level: Who are they? How did they get to this point in their career?

Sarah completed her internship during grad school at Parkland Hospital, Dallas County’s public hospital, in their psychiatry division. She completed rounds in the outpatient counseling clinic, inpatient psychiatric unit, psychiatric emergency department, and consult liaison psychiatry, which wrapped up her graduate school experience. After graduate school, Sarah worked in a non-profit supportive service program for folks who had formerly been homeless, providing behavioral health services, before obtaining a job as a therapist at a psychiatry clinic seeing individuals with numerous types of diagnoses. This experience led her to discover her passion of treating OCD, ADHD, and anxiety.

Sarah describes herself as “a very curious person. I am more of an introvert. I need lots of alone time to recharge. I enjoy cloudy days more than sunny days. I live off of a good espresso. I’m stubborn. I love witty humor. I have such a desire to read, but goodness gracious, it does not come easy for me to be still and focus, unless I am VERY interested in the subject. I love the outdoors. I love flowers. I’m a lifelong learner; I can never know enough!”

When Sarah describes her therapy style, she says “If you are looking for a therapist to vent to, I am probably not your ideal therapist. I work with my clients to really challenge their thinking and into areas that “seem” impossible with a little bit of humor and a whole lot of authenticity.However, I will never push you to that “impossible” limit too soon, where you feel too uncomfortable. I will make sure you have the healthy coping mechanisms needed before going into that realm. If we need to stop, explore, and address other issues that come up along the way, we can do that too.

Regarding working with individuals with OCD, anxiety, and ADHD, Sarah says “I wouldn’t be here today, and I wouldn’t have had the honor of working with all of my wonderful clients, of whom I have learned so much from. They have so much grit, resilience, grace, and determination. It is inspiring and they are truly my heroes. “

Let’s get together.