Welcome! I'm sure you're wondering, "what does this practice offer?" and/or "Why should I choose this practice?" "Who is this person?" My name is Katie Sandler, I am a Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern. My life experiences, my trainings and education, and my approach to therapeutic counseling make me very different from most mental health therapists.
As a young child and adolescent I endured difficult medical conditions and had a hard time feeling like I "fit in" (only a small piece of my picture). As a result, my personal experiences in life lead me into the field of helping others. I know first hand what it's like to be in the position of seeking help; and because of my own life experiences, I have an authentic intuitive and empathic ability to put myself in my clients’ shoes, which allows for a “real” relationship to form between us and an effective treatment plan to be created. I want to understand who you are and what it's like to be you so I can help you in the best way possible.
I have had the pleasure of receiving formal education in the field of Psychology for over 8 years. It is truly a passion of mine. Call me a dork or nerd and I am proud of it! I also have a medical background and a background in neuroscience and physiological psychology. It's not enough to just understand cognition, emotions, behaviors, and social aspects; I find it necessary to understand how and why our bodies and minds "tick" the way they do.
I obtained significant training and experience as a research assistant and student at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, one of the top hospitals and universities in the country for psychiatry/psychology. During my time at Hopkins I had the invaluable opportunity to learn from pioneers and influential figures in the field of psychology, psychiatry, and mental health, as well as work along side some of the most challenging mental/phsyical health cases to occur. I spent time learning and working with patients on a chronic pain unit, a mood disorders unit for adults and adolescents, a unit for geriatric patients enduring dementia and mental and physical decline, and an eating disorders unit. I cannot begin to explain to you the intrinsic rewarding feelings I receive from working with those in need. From putting a smile on someone's face with a silly joke, which distracts them for 5 min from their horrible day; helping someone who couldn't move their arms be able to clap to a song they love; being there for a young girl to actually enjoy eating a meal, for the first time, without the fear of "getting fat", every client and situation presents me with an honorable opportunity to help someone feel better and make a positive difference in this world.
In 2013 I decided to take all of my knowledge and experience and pursue my Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling in order to obtain a License as a Mental Health Counselor. I needed to fulfill my purpose in life of helping people in a one-on-one setting, instead of feeling stuck in a research position. I believe in helping people help in a "holistic" manner. I have found that if we only focus on the mind, a true sense of well being is hard to establish; because the mind and body are not separate. The body cannot function without a healthy mind, nor can the mind function without a healthy body. And that is where I come in, to guide and assist you in achieving mind-body harmony and ultimately happiness and well-being.
My training and work experience also includes training in crisis stabilization and trauma cases. While working at Broward Health Inpatient Crisis Stabilization Unit, I became familiar with treating a diverse population of cultures, socioeconomic statuses, genders, sexual orientations, and diagnoses. No matter who you are, where you come from, or what your concerns and issues may be, I am more than qualified to assist you in receiving the best quality of care possible. (If I feel I cannot do so, it is my ethical obligation to refer you to a qualified specialist. Rest assure, you will get the help you need if you seek it. I'm just keeping it real). During my time at Broward Health, I was reassured in my choice to work as a mental health counselor and integrative health consultant. Even on hard days where I walk away crying because someone's life story and struggles pulls at my heart strings, I know I am doing exactly what I am meant to do.
I am currently in the process of becoming EMDR certified, as I have already passed my basic training. I am enrolled in Tufts University's Nutritional Certification Program and University of California - San Diego’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction training. As a care provider, I see it as my job and obligation to be the best mental health counselor for you that I can possibly be.
Subsequently to my experiences, knowledge, and abilities, I have assisted clients in successful lifestyle change, management of chronic pain, and weight loss, as well as helping people heal eating disorders, deal with sexual dysfunction, career guidance and manage relationship issues.
I am particularly qualified to work with clients who are experiencing suicidal thoughts and feelings, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and chronic or acute medical conditions (ex: Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, and uncommon things like Hashimoto's Disease, Lymes Disease, Autoimmune Disorders, etc.). Most importantly, I provide the guidance, motivation and necessary qualities to be your biggest supporter so you can experience more than happiness, a true sense of well-being.
I promise to make you feel comfortable and safe. Working together will allow you to know that you really can feel better, even on difficult days and through hard times. It is not to say that life can be "perfect", but you can enjoy it to your fullest ability and be able to manage during hard times. It's all about achieving a realistic and high quality of life. Though therapeutic counseling may seem difficult at times, if you are willing to make regular appointments and put in some work, I promise I can help you, help yourself.