About Clinical Director Sara Varga:
Hello! I am Sara, and I am so grateful you are visiting my profile. I’m excited about being a therapist and clinical supervisor with MCCC. Laura and I got to know each other well when we both worked for the same program several years ago and I am thrilled to be working alongside her again. (Psst… I used to be her boss.)
Sara ‘s take on therapy
Let’s acknowledge it… therapy can be scary. It is difficult to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. And change is HARD. When working with me, I first and foremost prioritize building a trusting relationship. As a therapist who has worked mainly with adolescents and families, I understand that this can be hard. Especially when things need to be said that people may not like to hear. But no matter how many years a therapist has been practicing, and no matter or what style of therapy they do, all the evidence (and my personal experience) shows that therapy is not effective if there is not first good rapport. So this is always my first priority.
I work in session to balance both validation of your emotions and challenge to change the behaviors that keep you stuck. That is why I believe so much in the value in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. In my life and my professional work, I see that we humans have adapted various ways of avoiding uncomfortable emotions. Healing happens when we can address those unhelpful, unhealthy and sometimes dangerous ways of avoiding our pain. I can help you navigate change for unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving, as well as help you accept and validate the feelings that cause them.
We become the people we were meant to be when we allow ourselves the space to feel through our feelings.”
Sara ‘s take on clinical supervision
As a clinical supervisor, I enjoy being able to help other therapists develop a deep understanding of themselves. This way, they can help others lead a fuller and more healthy life. I bring to the table a wealth of experience in working with children, adolescents, and families in a variety of settings. I find it fulfilling to use some of my experiences (and mistakes) to help other clinicians grow in their profession.
Growing in this profession often involves cultivating our own resiliency. I find it ethically imperative that clinicians continue to create avenues not just for self care, but for burnout resistance. We need to be our best selves in order to serve our clients as best we can. I believe in this so strongly that I emphasize compassion fatigue resilience in supervision, and provide trainings to for other therapists and organizations.
Education and Experience as a Therapist
I am an Almuna of Syracuse University (Go Orange!), where I completed my undergraduate education in public policy and women’s studies. After working in a domestic violence shelter in Fairfax County, Virginia, I obtained my master’s degree in Social Work from The National Catholic School of Social Service in 2006. I simultaneously obtained a Certificate in Domestic Violence Policy from the University of Colorado at Denver.
I soon realized a desire to work with young adults and adolescents who struggle with substance abuse and mental health challenges. I have worked in every setting across the continuum of care: I have worked as a wilderness therapist in two programs. I’ve worked in PHP programs. I created an Intensive Outpatient Program for treating dual diagnosis (substance use and mental health) for adolescents and young adults. Then I served as that programs’ clinical director, specializing in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. I was trained in DBT by the Linehan Institute in 2014.
I have served my community of Frederick, MD by co-founding a non-profit that opened the state’s only Recovery High School. After helping to establish and open the Phoenix Recovery Academy, I had the honor of serving as the Head of School for the first year of its operation.
- Tweens and Adolescents
- Young Adults & Adults
- Parent Coaching & Family Therapy
- Transitioning Home from Treatment (inpatient, residential, substance abuse)
- Substance Use Disorder and Dual Diagnosis
- Anxiety, Depression, and Bipolar Diagnoses
- Eating Disorder*
- Clinical Supervision
*While I am not a specialist in those areas, I do have a plethora of experience in continuing to monitor symptoms and help sustain remission once primary stabilization is achieved or is being concurrently addressed by a specialist.
What Clients Say About Working With Sara Varga
I was really nervous/overwhelmed to start therapy and Sara made me feel comfortable and like I could be open without judgment, and take things one bite at a time.
I grew up in Syracuse, New York and often spent time vacationing and hiking in the Adirondack Mountains. My life and career path has allowed me to have the opportunity to bounce back and forth between the DMV area and Central & Northern New York State. Currently, my family and I are settled in Frederick County and enjoy doing anything outside. I feel at most peace when in nature, especially the mountains.
Contact Sara Varga