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Stephanie Sandbergen, LMFT

Stephanie Sandbergen, LMFT

she/her

I genuinely care for my clients and show them empathy, acceptance and validation with a sense of humor.

My Therapy Style

I have over 10 years of experience working with clients from various backgrounds, including children, teens, adults, the elderly, parents, couples, families, and LGBTQIA+ clients. I have a passion to learn and have attended dozens of training courses on various topics such as art therapy, narrative therapy, spirituality, support group facilitation skills, anger management, working with LGBTQIA+ clients, and trauma-informed care. I work from humanistic and systems approaches which include helping the client gain a healthier understanding of self, helping gain meaning in life, and exploring the client's roles in the systems they are a member of.

I genuinely care for my clients and show them empathy, acceptance, and validation with a sense of humor. I am patient and will also challenge my clients to step outside of their comfort zones with the goals of incremental progress and improved quality of life. I focus on the entire person: physical, mental, social, and spiritual. I utilize a variety of approaches such as mindfulness, expressive arts, journaling, and nature while also challenging my clients and modifying my approaches to be more eclectic depending on what is helpful for the client.

I specialize in depression, anxiety, loss, grief, attachment, emotional intelligence, effective communication, and mindfulness. One approach I use is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which explains that our thoughts can influence our emotions which then influence how we behave. With this modality, one can learn to identify negative or distorted thinking patterns and challenge them. Another approach I use is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, which teaches skills to regulate emotions, tolerate distress, communicate with others, and be more mindful in your everyday life.

Education & Training

BA - Sociology, University of California

MA - Psychology, St. Mary's College

Get to Know Me

Why did you become a mental health professional?

At a very young age, I was told I was a good listener. Friends and acquaintances would tell me their stories and struggles. I enjoyed listening. I saw how impactful it was for people to feel heard and cared for. I knew I wanted to be a counselor since I was in elementary school.

What are your interests outside of work?

I love spending time with my family, friends, and cats. I enjoy nature, travel, sports, music, photography, and eating out. I collect coins, postage stamps, and stickers. I love to bake, cook and of course eat!

What is one thing you do daily that supports your well-being?

Having a strong support network and practicing self-care.

What book have you read more than once?

The first book that came to mind was Crabby Crab, a children's book we purchased on a vacation in Hawaii. We met the author and she signed our copy. I read this almost nightly to my daughter. It was such a fun book and my daughter's face lit up every time I read it.

Favorite organization/non-profit?

St. Mary's Center serves the elderly homeless in Oakland, California. My family has been involved with this organization for a number of years. We bake, cook, serve, and donate items a few times a year. I believe in serving others and sharing the gifts we have.

How do you recharge?

Sleeping in, watching something funny, getting outside, spending time with my family and friends, and practicing mindfulness.

Do you have any pets?

I have two cats, Charlotte and Wilbur. They have their own unique personalities. I am always entertained by their daily antics from chasing each other to napping near each other to talking with us to following us around and to snuggling with us.