About Dr. Sachs
I am a licensed psychologist practicing in downtown San Francisco. I treat adults struggling with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic distress, and stress related to medical illness. I primarily use a goal-oriented, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach.
In addition to my private practice, I supervise psychiatry residents at UCSF and teach graduate psychology courses at the Wright Institute in Berkeley.
MY THERAPY APPROACH
I rely on treatments that are active, present-focused, and informed by research. I have advanced training in evidence-based treatments including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness training, and trauma-focused therapy. I trust these treatments because I have seen my clients make profound changes in weeks or months, instead of years.
It takes courage to ask for help making personal change. As your partner in wellness, I am committed to providing a safe, respectful and comfortable space for you to explore difficult feelings and try out new strategies.
WHAT IS CBT?
CBT is an approach to treatment that helps clients understand how thoughts and feelings influence their actions. When we become aware of our "automatic" thoughts and beliefs, we begin to see that certain emotional and behavioral patterns are just one option for reacting to stress - and we can learn new ones. In many cases, research has shown CBT to be as effective or more effective than drug therapy or other approaches to psychotherapy. It is a collaborative, goal-oriented, and generally time-limited approach. CBT involves work both in therapy and between sessions, so clients can practice new skills.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present moment. When we are practicing Mindfulness, we are observing our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and environment without judging them as "good" or "bad." This allows us to recognize that our thoughts and emotions are transient and do not define us - an insight that can free us from destructive patterns. Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist meditation, but has become an integral part of many secular Western therapies. Clinical research suggests that regular practice improves focus, increases positive emotions and decreases negative emotions and stress, and enhances relationships, among other health benefits.
Education and Training
I received my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fordham University and my B.A. in Sociology from Lewis & Clark College. I completed a Predoctoral Internship and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in trauma and Primary Care Psychology at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.
I have been honored to receive additional training from:
In my own research, I have investigated human adaptation across diverse settings, from a cancer center in NYC to a refugee settlement in Northern India. I share my findings in scientific journals and at international conferences. Click on the links below for a sample:
On Sinking and Swimming: Hope, Hopelessness and Acceptance in Terminal Cancer. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
Trauma and Coping among Tibetan Refugees in India. Journal of Traumatic Stress.