What I Am About.

My passion is to help families in the midst of crisis and transition establish a healthier balance, families being the fundamental unit underlying all of society. The unit of the family is dynamic, continuously undergoing dramatic change and evolution. I want to play a role in these cutting-edge, evolving definitions of family. Families consist of couples, individuals, and children. From which angle we approach relationship issues will depend on your most pressing needs. 

 

Theoretical Approach.

I use psychodynamic (attachment theory, object relations) theory, systems theory, a client- centered/experiential approach, and basic neurobiology to help clients, a blend inherent within Emotionally Focused Therapy. Throughout my education, training, and experience, I have worked with clients suffering as the result of past traumatic experiences, acute and complex. Focusing on emotion, our primal teacher, together we will go to the water’s edge to help you reconnect with your senses and breathe in the awe abundant in life past your fear.

 

Collaborative.

My clients' comfort, self-discovery, and growth are my greatest priorities. I'm especially adept at handling cultural issues with sensitivity and competence, having worked with the underserved for many years, edited a cross-cultural psychology textbook, and written my own memoir of my personal struggle to integrate my conflicting cultures. I have combined my legal experience as a family law attorney with psychotherapy because of my fascination with human behavior, relationships, and with storytelling. As an artist at heart, I study and observe the world around me, using my curiosity and appreciation for diversity as a tool to explore how we can manifest the best, truest, and most unique parts of you, both individually and together in relationship.

In treatment, we will work together to collaboratively construct a narrative of your life that richly taps into your creative possibilities and development potential. It is my deepest conviction that every person stands to benefit from therapy. That said, I work to keep clients focused on treatment goals, to ensure that they are benefiting from services. Although I approach therapeutic work from an artistic and spiritual standpoint, my foundational training was in a more scientific, result-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. Therefore, I am able to strike a balance between nourishing the inner wisdom and guidance inherently within each of my clients and modeling more hands-on, practical life skills and problem-solving techniques.

Connection.

When working with couples, I focus on helping them access vulnerable emotions underlying their protest-withdrawal dynamics, exploring the impact of partner’s family background/history and childhood upbringing on their relationship skills and capacities. As adults, we seek to substitute the secure base we needed in a caregiver as a child in a mate. Just as this is fraught with complexity in childhood, it’s typically even more complicated in adulthood. Being aware, on some level, of the imperfect nature of love, people often grip onto dysfunctional relationships, afraid to be alone. As your couples therapist, I will help you challenge self-perpetuating patterns in order to establish genuine intimacy. I will help the child within each of you reach out to one another for connection through your adult’s fearful defenses.

 

"Love" by Alexandr Milov, Burning Man 2015

18429 Bryant St., 2nd floor
Northridge, CA 91325 

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© 2020 Sandy Sayah-Pedram, JD, LMFT

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