Sara Joy, MA, LMHC, SUDP
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
(253) 387-7211 | [email protected]
As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, it brings me great joy to be someone you can trust. I am passionate about walking beside you on your healing journey, and will listen with empathy and care for you and your family. Using various therapeutic methods tailored to suit your individual or family’s needs, I will identify effective solutions to help you overcome the challenges you face. Whether you are a child, adolescent, family, couple, or adult individual coping with past trauma, addiction, depression or anxiety-related stressors, life transitions, teenage challenges, relationship issues, or other concerns, I would be honored to work with you. Through God’s abundant love, I am here to support you. With hope and faith through Christ, you have the ability to grow and heal.
Puyallup – Sat
Online (WA residence only) – Mon, Tues, Wed & Thu
I have nine years of experience working in addictions therapy and over four years of experience counseling adolescents and families facing hardships including past and present stressors. In our sessions together, I will help you process your past to see how you have ventured to this present point in time. We will look for the ways you have overcome challenges in order to restore confidence in your ability to manage and navigate your life. I will guide you toward accomplishing your personalized goals and finding inner peace, joy, and self-love for your overall health and wellness—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I look forward to meeting with you, praying with you, and witnessing the Lord’s direction and restoration as He fills and heals your soul.
My Goal as a Christian Counselor
I offer a nurturing atmosphere where you can feel accepted and secure. As your counselor, my goal is to help you look at your life with compassion, optimism, and hope—not just for the future version of yourself, but for the present individual that you are now. My hope is for you to learn how to create, identify, and practice effective techniques to overcome the daily challenges you face so that you are able to enjoy lasting love, joy, peace, and freedom through Christ.
What I Offer in Christian Counseling
My prayer is for you to gain a genuine sense of hope and optimism through the therapeutic process. I may look for times when you were unable to manage your stressors, leading you to uneasy feelings. Acknowledging those feelings can allow you to reflect on those experiences and put faith in God to make personal changes. I also like to emphasize self-empowerment through supportive motivational interviewing techniques that highlight an individual or a family’s strengths. Discovering your strengths is a benefit in knowing what can motivate you or what does not motivate you.
My Approach to Christian Counseling
As a Christian counselor, I believe God is the Almighty and most powerful being, and that He can install His power and will within us and through us. I also believe that our spiritual, physiological, and psychological state of being may fundamentally be healed through your belief in Christ’s will and power. Together as we seek His guidance, direction, and determination, we can trust the Lord to fulfill His purposes in your life through Christian counseling.
Qualifications & Experience
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) with a Master’s in Psychology Counseling from Northwest University in Kirkland. I am also licensed as a Mental Health Professional (MHP), a Substance Use Disorder Professional (SUDP), and a Clinical Mental Health Supervisor.
I have experience working in adolescent and adult addiction counseling, family counseling, child counseling, teen counseling, and adult mental health counseling. I also have experience working with individuals and families in drug court and individuals recently released from prison. I have counseled parents and children brought back together from child abduction, or parents waiting for their child’s safe return.
My Call to Christian Counseling
I knew I would become a therapist early on in my teen years. Becoming a therapist has been my lifelong calling. I focused on raising my kids until my children became older, then decided to counsel teens as a substance abuse counselor. Focusing on the root of the individual’s addiction always led to other areas of their life, such as trauma in childhood, feelings of abandonment from family, an injury that created chronic pain, or overall depression. This led me to graduate school for mental health counseling so I could provide co-occurring care for clients to help treat underlying mental health issues in addition to addiction disorders. From there I ventured into child and family counseling.
More About Me/On a Personal Note
My greatest accomplishments in my life are my two beautiful children whom I love unconditionally. My daughter is 20 years old and recently moved out-of-state to attend college. My son is 15 years old and in high school, and enjoys creating music as his hobby. My kids and I love to kayak and paddle board on the lake, river, or in the ocean—wherever there is water, you will find me!
Areas of Expertise/Specialties
- Abandonment and Neglect
- Aging and Geriatric Issues
- Anger Management
- Bipolar Disorder
- Chemical Dependency (Adolescent and Adult)
- Counseling for Children
- Counseling for Teens
- Family Counseling
- Grief and Loss
- Group Counseling
- Individual Counseling
- Infidelity and Affairs
- Men’s Issues
- Online Counseling
- Personal Development
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Professional Development
- Relationship Issues
- Unhealthy Attachments
- Sexual Abuse
- Spiritual Development
- Women’s Issues
- Parenting Issues
Family of Origin
Looking at your family of origin is an important part of the counseling process. We will look at the way you tell your story, the role you played in your earliest years, and how these relate to the roles you play in current relationships with others. Together we will evaluate the parts of your family system in relation to the whole, acknowledging possible generational influences on families and on individual behavior.
Identifying multi generational behavioral patterns such as anxiety management can help people see how their current problems may be rooted in previous generations.
As your therapist, I believe there is power seeded within truth. Unlocking hidden realities will serve to help you overcome personal obstacles with the goal of moving forward. Acknowledging your history and where you come from is of most importance, as this will allow you to move past your origin and to become the version of yourself that you choose to be in the here and now. Together, we will create a plan that will allow you to break the bonds from the past and work toward living the life you want to live, making choices that get you closer to the story you desire and a future with hope, grace, and forgiveness.
Life is a journey that is full of unexpected changes. Sometimes these changes can be overwhelming, and it helps to have someone without judgment to talk to. It’s perfectly normal to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and even fearful during times of great change. Life-changing transitions like moving, having children, changing careers, or losing a loved one can be hard to adapt to.
If you are struggling with making a smooth transition into a new chapter of your life, we will discuss how you can better cope with the stressors that are afflicting you. Sometimes understanding that everything that happens in your life is part of God’s plan can help you find peace in these times. The changes you are experiencing are making you into the person you are intended to be. I’ll provide you with support each step of the way until you are comfortable with where your life is heading.
Trauma and Recovery
Life can be traumatic. It can be hard to understand why things have happened to us or those we love, why we end up in situations we cannot explain, or how making simple choices led to difficult predicaments. We cannot pinpoint exactly what the cause is for our fear, anxiety, or reactions. We might even begin to wonder if there is something wrong with us. You may face nightmares of an event that is haunting you and want it to stop, but do not know how to make the thoughts go away.
You are not alone, and this suffering happens to more people than you realize. In the counseling office, I will help you explore those hidden places of your heart that you might be unaware of. Through a trauma-focused lens, I will help you look at yourself without judgment so you can come to a deeper self-awareness and acceptance of the life that you have. In the safety of this therapeutic relationship, we will explore different situations or circumstances that might be the root cause of your emotions. I will use a variety of techniques to assist you in recovering from the trauma. We may use deep-breathing exercises and centering activities that can reduce stress, lower heart rate, and aid in recovering traumatic memories. Once we are aware of the cause, we will begin the healing process for you to mend from those painful memories. There is hope for healing and restoration.
Chemical dependency is a disease that thrives in secrecy and shame. I will help you to deconstruct the behaviors that no longer serve you and show you how to replace them with new behaviors that will result in forgiveness and the restoration of healthy relationships. Whether you are an adolescent or adult struggling with addiction, I assure you that you are not alone in this journey of healing and recovery. I have been a licensed addiction professional for nearly a decade and believe that God has the power to help you overcome this difficult disease. You can be free from addiction, and I am here to help you through the recovery process without judgment.
The therapeutic relationship between counselor and client is of most importance and an enlightenment for healing. Helping people understand themselves better through guiding and process relay may unfold true healing and create profound deliverance through God. I believe my role as your therapist is to walk with you through this journey in which you receive clarification and better understanding of yourself in what you achieve and choose to acknowledge. Discovering that you can live according to your personal values, belief system, and desires for yourself can help to reduce your stressors. You harbor the ability to create a compass for the decisions you make in life. Individual counseling is a place that encourages and facilitates you in your journey with confidentiality, empathy, and safety.
Availability (by office location):
- Puyallup – Saturdays
- Online (WA residence only) – Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
Fees: I offer a Risk-Free Initial Session for individuals and families looking to pursue counseling with me. Please note that there is a fee for the Risk-Free Initial Session as it is a clinical hour and reimbursable to most insurance companies, but if you choose not to reschedule and continue therapy after the initial session the entire fee for the session will be waived. For ongoing treatment the full fee per session is required at the time of service.
Insurance: As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), most insurance companies will reimburse for a portion of my services (as an Out of Network Provider). Please consult with your insurance provider as to whether they specifically cover adolescents, individuals and couples.
Receipts/Statements: In the event you require a printed or digital receipt, I will provide receipts for personal use, insurance reimbursement, Flex Spending Accounts (FSA), and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
Payment options: Cash, Check, or Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & American Express). A fee of up to 3.7% plus $0.15 per transaction will be added for credit card payments.
Abandonment and Neglect
Aging and Geriatric Issues
Counseling for Children
Counseling for Teens
Infidelity and Affairs
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder