Hi! My name is Sarah Pendleton and I'm a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW #2103C AL). I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Family Studies and a Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Tennessee. I have worked with children, youth and adults throughout my 15 years of clinical social work experience. I have primarily worked with adults over the past few years who are going through a wide range of concerns including stress, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, life changes, and relationship issues including blended family and step-parenting specific issues. My passion is to see individuals and couples live life to the fullest and to build or restore healthy relationships.
I do this through a variety of approaches. I am person-centered, meaning I focus on the person and their inherent value and strengths-I don’t just focus on the problem or concern. I believe each person has the strength and skills to search out and implement solutions for healing and growth that can transform their life. I have been trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior therapy as well.
I view my work with clients as being very collaborative; in order for counseling to "work" the client must be more invested in it than I am. I want change and growth and healing for you, but you have to want it more. But even that, the wanting it more, is part of the counseling process and often takes some time to get there, and that’s OK. I will offer support and encouragement and space to process thoughts and feelings, but I will not shy away from giving direct feedback and ideas and challenging you and your thoughts if necessary. Stretching and doing uncomfortable things is truly the only way growth and healing can take place. I will ask a lot about relationships in your life, past and present, as I think those answers can reveal the key to breakthroughs in areas that you feel stuck.
I love to travel and enjoy working with and knowing people from all different cultural and religious backgrounds. As a Christian, I specialize in counseling from a Christian perspective when requested. I view myself as a counselor who is a Christian, not a "Christian counselor."
Whatever your role(s) in a blended family there can be challenges unique to your situation. You may struggling to adapt to your new role as a single parent, a stepmom or a son who is feels his life just turned upside down following his parents’ divorce after 40 years of marriage. You may be looking for a place to sort through all the feelings (and there are many!) that come with this new territory. You may feel alone and not sure who to talk to. You may feel like no one really understands you. You may be intentionally seeking out techniques and skills in order to be the best person you can be for your blended family. Whatever your role(s), whatever your experience, Journey Clinical Services is here to help. We explore family dynamics, family structure, expectations, boundaries and many other aspects that can greatly increase your understanding of the things that cause you the most stress, anxiety or pains, where or how they originated and, ultimately how to heal them.
Life is constantly changing and sometimes we can go for months or years and feel like we are handling all the changes pretty well. But often times we come to a point where we feel like we are stuck or unable to cope as well as we would like to with these changes. Many new phases of life like marriage, or children, or job change can be exciting but they can also trigger painful memories of our past that are affecting our current relationships or decisions in life. This is a signal that counseling would be a proactive step and often general life adjustment issues can be effectively treated in shorter term treatment (10-12 sessions).
Each stage of life brings its own joys and challenges and whether you’ve been married one or twenty years, marriages can experience seasons of doubt and disillusionment. Our own pasts and baggage we carry from childhood and other life experiences can conflict with the baggage of our spouse and sometimes the weight just feels too heavy to carry alone. Conflict resolution skills may have been absent in your home growing up and so you don’t know how to really ever fully solve a problem with your spouse. There may have been infidelity in your past and you are trying to learn to trust again and work to restore a broken relationship. Or you may just feel stagnate in your relationship and want to get back to how you used to be. Whatever the reason, couples counseling can help and there are practical and useful tools and tips that are proven to help with communication, intimacy and trust in marriage. Journey Clinical Services believes a firm foundation is key to any strong relationship and so pre-marriage counseling is also available.
As a licensed independent social worker, I am licensed to treat all mental health disorders within my scope of abilities, training and experience. This includes, but is not limited to, issues of or relating to: Depression, Anxiety Disorders (including phobias and obsessive/compulsive disorders and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), eating disorders and other mood disorders.
If you have any questions related to Journey Clinical Services ability to help you, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.