Learning to Love the Parts of Yourself Others Said Were Unloveable
With over 15 years working in the mental health field, Sarah Nealy has their second Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and works as a Mental Health Therapist and Adjunct Professor at Marymount University in Arlington, VA. Sarah also owns and founded the LGBT Counseling Collective in Arlington, VA (www.lgbtcounselingdmv.com) which connects queer therapists to queer clients and their families. Sarah identifies as queer, non-binary, and is married with two children in Northern Virginia.
With a person-centered, emotion-focused approach aimed at finding solutions, healing trauma, building resilience, improving interpersonal relationships, connecting the mind and body, and working through triggers and past trauma, Sarah wants their clients to feel heard, understood, and valued in the therapeutic space and in their lives. It is important to Sarah that clients learn how to love all parts of themselves, including the parts that they might think are unloveable.
Sarah Nealy currently specializes in religious trauma or "church hurt," group therapy, sexual trauma and other trauma, complex PTSD, childhood trauma, body image issues, women in military/law enforcement, resilience building, depression/anxiety, mindfulness, LGBTQIA+ issues (especially premarital/couples counseling in LGBTQ+ relationships), couples counseling, premarital counseling, & women's issues.
Sarah Nealy is currently accepting new VA or DC based clients via telehealth or in person in Arlington, VA. Session costs are flexible and sliding scale is available. This practice does not take insurance, but provides superbills for insurance reimbursement.
CURRENT GROUPS OFFERED
20s/30's Women's Process Group: Sarah Nealy leads a weekly process group for those identifying as female in their 20s and 30s on Fridays at 4p in person. This group is capped at 8 participants and focuses on self-compassion, trauma, self-esteem, relationships, interpersonal skills building, self-advocacy, identity formation, and more. Please email to join the waitlist today.
Mixed Orientation Couples Process Group: Sarah Nealy leads a virtual process and support group for couples who identify as mixed orientation, whether sexually or gender identity every other Monday at 12p. This group is capped at 8 couples. Please email to be considered for membership today.
14-week Religious Trauma Process & Support Group: Returning June 2024 virtually, this group will focus on psychoeducation around religious trauma, breaking down shame/judgment, restructuring relational patterns, exploring identity outside of religious doctrines, purity culture, perfectionism, boundary setting, and increasing autonomy in individual choices toward or away from spirituality and/or religion. This group is open to anyone from any religious background and is intended to help clients reach their own personal goals for religion which may include staying in a religion, growing in a religion, or leaving a religion. All our welcome. Please email to be added to the waitlist for the summer session.
I Am Normal: A Female Sexual Wellbeing Group: This is an 8-week sexual wellbeing and acceptance psychoeducational and therapy group for women and AFAB utilizing the Come As You Are Workbook by Dr. Emily Nagoski. The next session begins February 13, 2024 and is VIRTUAL ONLY on Tuesdays at 12p-1p. Email to be considered for membership today.
NON-FAITH BASED PREMARITAL / PRE-ENGAGEMENT ASSESSMENTS
A comprehensive psychological assessment can be a very important tool in deciding to get engaged or go into marriage with another person, but it can be difficult to find secular or non-faith based avenues to do this type of work. Utilizing the SYMBIS pre-marital/pre-engagement assessment tool, Sarah Nealy works with couples over a 2-hour session(s) to go over their assessments and begin conversations with one another that otherwise might not have come up until later. Couples are also provided with a 17 page report to take with them and refer back to in the future. This can be a one-time thing, or lead to short/long term couples counseling afterwards.
DISCERNMENT COUPLES COUNSELING & UNCOUPLING
Some couples counseling is less about repair and growth as a duo, and instead exploring whether or not the partnership should continue at all. Sarah works with couples to assess this and, if needed, how to amicably end the relationship with healthy closure. This can also include exploring appropriate co-parenting boundaries and dynamics.
PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH CARE FOR PARENTS
As a board member for Postpartum Support VA, Sarah frequently works with birthing parents during pregnancy and the postpartum period, as well as around fertility issues. As a parent to 2 children themselves, they have a heart for the struggles around pregnancy and parenthood, particularly with queer-identifying families. Pregnancy and the postpartum period is something no parent should face alone.
COMPLEX TRAUMA & TRAUMA-INFORMED COUNSELING
With a vast educational and professional background in trauma-focused and trauma-informed studies, Sarah is passionate about working with clients with extended and complex traumatic backgrounds, including childhood abuse, neglect, and more.
RELIGIOUS TRAUMA EXPLORATION AND RECOVERY
Religious trauma is a vastly under-diagnosed experience and can be defined as experiencing, witnessing, or participating in ideologies, doctrines, and/or religious practices that lead to feelings of shame, humiliation, degradation, abuse, etc. Sarah works with clients to help process these experiences and the clients role in it, as well as explore steps forward to healing that can include faith recovery or departure from religion depending on client preference.
QUEER COUPLES & MIXED ORIENTATION COUPLES COUNSELING
Sarah Nealy specializes in working with couples who fall anywhere in the queer and gender diverse population, including couples in which only one partner identifies as queer, or there are different types of identities together. This also includes couples where one or more people in the couple is going through gender transitioning, or considering their gender identity. All couples deserve a safe space to be able to proactively work on creating the healthiest relationship dynamic they can, and/or working through crises or painful areas toward a resolution.
QUEER & GENDER DIVERSE CONSULTING FOR BUSINESSES AND/OR ORGANIZATIONS, CHURCHES, ETC
Sarah Nealy works with businesses and organizations to help improve, repair, and/or build a structure of safety and acceptance for queer employees. On a retainer basis, Sarah can assist companies in creating a stronger and more positive work morale for employees as well as offer one-on-one sessions and reviews with current staff, including conflict resolution.
PRIVATE PRACTICE THERAPIST & GROUP PRACTICE CONSULTATION
Sarah also provides private hour long consultations to group practices and solo mental health practitioners on how to build one's practice, including marketing, SEO, website improvements, and digital footprints. Sarah is deeply passionate about empowering other therapists to avoid burnout, work smarter, not harder, and find a healthy balance of work and financial security.
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT PET THERAPY
Sarah Nealy has a 20lb white/brown Shih Tzu/Bichon mix dog that is usually in the office with them named Elly. Elly loves to lay next to clients and be pet, but can also stay in her dog bed if preferred. Elly is a breed that is considered hypoallergenic and is up to date on all vaccines and vet care. Please contact clinician if there are any concerns about their presence in the office.
Sarah Nealy, LPC