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Island Waters Counseling

Adults, Adolescents, Children

Hope, compassion, healing

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Sarah Thiessen, Ph.D., LMHC, LCPC

EMDR Certified Therapist/EMDR Child Specialist Certificate 

Sarah works with adults, children, and adolescents addressing issues such as trauma/abuse, PTSD, divorce, family conflict, parenting, anxiety, grief/loss, depression, life transitions, self-harm, and relationship challenges. Sarah specifically uses EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy), TF-CBT (Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), and techniques from DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) in her work. She believes in a client-centered approach within a trusting, warm therapeutic relationship to address issues affecting the people she sees. 

Sarah is certified in EMDR and also offers intensives for those seeking prolonged, efficient sessions. 

Sarah is passionate about helping others and considers it a privilege to witness the growth and healing that occurs in therapy. She has a Ph.D. in counseling and is currently licensed in Florida and Maryland and offers telehealth for residents of both states.  

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Peaceful Candle and Flowers

Psychotherapy Services

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Trauma Therapy

Sarah is certified in EMDR, a highly researched and supported therapy for trauma and PTSD. EMDR enables people to heal from symptoms and emotional pain and is also used to address multiple mental health issues. Using techniques that align with neuroscience, this therapy uses the body’s ability to heal, often producing relief from many symptoms quickly. For children, Sarah integrates play techniques with EMDR because children heal through play and imagination. The effectiveness of EMDR results in clients who feel empowered rather than paralyzed by life experiences that in the past caused them great pain. EMDR does not require extensive homework or hours of talking about the pain to find relief.  Simply said, talk therapy helps clients handle emotional pain, but EMDR removes the emotional pain! EMDR is often Sarah's go to choice for most of her clients regardless of therapy issue. 

For more information, check out this video.


Children and Adolescents

Sarah has specialized training in directive and non-directive play therapy techniques for children, as well as sand tray therapy and mindfulness techniques for clients of all ages. She earned the EMDR Child Specialist Certificate from the Agate Institute. She believes in the power of therapeutic play in the healing of the children she sees. Sarah emphasizes the importance of encouraging and teaching parents how best to help their children and teens thrive by strengthening their relationships using Theraplay informed techniques.  After all, parents know their children best! She has a passion for helping single parents and blended families thrive. She uses the identification of family patterns to help each member thrive in their relationships. She also emphasizes the importance of parental self-care.

EMDR Intensives

EMDR Intensives are appropriate for clients who might have experienced a recent traumatic event, or for someone seeking quicker results than weekly sessions provide. Intensives can be either half or full day and 1-3 days depending on your needs. A full assessment would be completed to determine if you are a good candidate for an EMDR intensive or if weekly sessions are a better fit for you. If you choose to seek an intensive, you'll want to block out this time just to focus on your healing, and use the time between EMDR processing to relax and just focus on you. Thankfully the SWFL area offers plenty of spots for peaceful R&R.

Relationships and Life Transitions

Sometimes life's struggles and transitions have led to pain and feelings of being paralyzed and lost. You are not alone even though day after day it might feel like a battle. Counseling can be the answer to finding hope and a new beginning to finding answers, self-awareness, and self-compassion for making new choices and having a new outlook. Sarah helps you find connections between your thoughts, feelings and actions to be emotionally healthy and face past hurts that are holding you back. Thoughts aren't facts and you can learn to change that inner voice that criticizes you and shed faulty beliefs that lead you down the wrong path time and again.

Insurance and Fees

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• Sarah is happily in network with many insurances including Aetna, Cigna, Oscar, Oxford, Optum, United, Carefirst Blue Cross Blue Shield (coming January 2024), BCBS of Massachusetts, UnitedHealthcare Shared Services (UHSS), GEHA, UHC Student Resources, UMR, All Savers (UHC), Surest, Meritain, Nippon, Allied Benefit Systems,Trustmark, Health Scope, and Christian Brothers Services. Sarah also participates with Optum EAP. 

• For other insurances, Sarah will provide you with a superbill to submit for out of network benefits. Please check your policy to determine out of network coverage.

 • Self-pay fees are as follows: $150 for 60 minute intake session, $135 for 60 minute session, $115 for 45 minute session and $180 for 80-90 minute EMDR session. Intensives are $500 per half day, $1000 for full day.

Good Faith Estimate/No Surprises Act 



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Contact Me

Florida MH21376
Maryland LC9546


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