About Me

The therapist

Sara DochtermanI bring a soulful approach to therapy, working with clients to create satisfying, purposeful lives, intimate relationships and an inner sense of joy and peace. My clients tell me that they find me to be gentle and supportive, but they also know I hold them accountable. As they see their lives improving, they express gratitude for that approach. I see therapy as a collaboration between my clients and me, so I am committed to working hard for them and believing in them throughout the journey. For me, little is better than the satisfaction of watching someone transform and build a life that is deeply meaningful and fulfilling for them.

I earned my Master of Social Work from Florida Atlantic University and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Florida. I am trained in both EMDR and DBT, two therapeutic modalities that have been shown to help with a wide variety of challenges, including trauma, anxiety, depression and addiction. I incorporate these in an eclectic approach to therapy, utilizing the tools and skills that best support my clients in moving from where they are to where they want to be.

The left brained side

In addition to my private practice as a therapist, I am the Assistant Director for my Alma Mater, the Sandler School of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University, a position I accepted after teaching there for a couple of years. The left brained side of me that earned an undergraduate degree in computer science and electrical engineering comes in handy here, as I am often creating spreadsheets to organize and crunch lots of data! While managing the operations of the School, I serve as the coordinator of the Professional Development program, giving me the opportunity to help other therapists become the best professionals they can be through post graduate training. Today’s world needs us all to be on top of our game!

The labyrinth

When time permits, I also facilitate workshops and retreats focused on creativity, mindfulness and spirituality. A focal point of these events is always the labyrinth. The labyrinth is an ancient spiritual tool that is thousands of years old, walked by millions of people of all cultures and traditions.

For years, after starting my career as a therapist in two substance abuse treatment centers, I facilitated labyrinthChartres Labyrinth walks for clients at many treatment centers in South Florida, so much so that I became known as “the Labyrinth Lady.” I am so in love with labyrinths that I became a Certified Labyrinth Facilitator and have two portable labyrinths and an almost uncountable collection of hand labyrinths. Labyrinths are a simple, yet deeply powerful tool for meditation, for healing, for finding clarity, for simply relaxing. Click here for instructions in walking a labyrinth, as well as a resource to find labyrinths near you to walk.

The great outdoors

ButterfliesGrowing up in the Deep South, I grew to love nature. As a child, I spent hours on end exploring the neighborhood on my bike, finding little creeks filled with tadpoles and the seemingly mysterious woods of undeveloped residential lots. The walking trails of a nearby park were an occasional treat, as well. Today, a bit of nature in every day fills me up, whether it’s a walk through my neighborhood, digging in the dirt to create a new flower bed in my yard, or my greatest love, a long hike in the Smokies, whenever I can get to Georgia, Tennessee or North Carolina. It’s even one of the things I love about being on the campus of FAU, where my phone has been filled with pictures of raccoons, Egyptian Geese, iguanas, and even big garden spiders. The nature photos on this site are all from those adventures.

The caregiver

When relaxing at home, my lap is often occupied by a snuggling kitty, while a bunny is at my feet begging for treats. Another of the joys of childhood for me was helping with the animals at the local animal shelter, where my aunt served on the Board and often volunteered on Saturday afternoons. It seems only natural that I have always found joy in being mom to several rescue animals through my adulthood! I like to believe that it was at that shelter that I discovered my heart for helping, whether human or animal.