Sara Zandford, MSW, Supervisee in Social Work
My name is Sara Zandford and I have a Master’s in Social Work. I am a Clinical Assistant at Beach Therapy & Consulting, which I joined at the end of 2022 as a member of the residency program. I am currently a Supervisee in Social Work working on my hours currently engaged in training, supervision, and gaining experience in an outpatient practice utilizing evidenced based treatment with patients.
I once read that the most important step one can take is not the first step, it’s the next step, always the next step. Although this was in a work of fiction, I found that there was so much truth in these words. Too often in life we are faced with obstacles that make that next step seem so difficult, if not impossible. My goal is to walk alongside you, as we all do our best to navigate the obstacles life puts in our path. To help you always continue to take that next step.
I have worked with a wide variety of populations ranging from within the school system, those experiencing grief, significant medical issues, those impacted by domestic violence, anxiety and depression, and the criminal justice system. For the past six years I have worked as a hospice and bereavement counselor, helping individuals and families navigate the journey of grief as either they or a loved one go through the process of coping with a chronic or terminal illness, death, and/or dying. In this role I have worked with pediatrics, teenager, and adults within the school, individual, family, small group, and large group settings. I have collaborated with pain doctors and my patients’ treatment teams to integrate the counseling care. I also have an interest in maternal health and have worked with many women that have experienced loss through pregnancy or whom have a child with an illness.
I most enjoy working with children and their families. I believe it is so important to help give children and those around them the skills they need to help understand, process, and cope with the wide range of challenges and emotions they experience. During and following COVID, we saw a significant increase in the number of children experiencing anxiety both at school, with their peers, and at home. I have seen an increase in bullying in the schools and many children develop social anxiety in response. I have been utilizing my training in mindfulness to address the struggles that so many of our anxious patients experience of remaining in the moment and not allowing worry thoughts to creep in. Over the past year, I have offered after school groups for children and teenagers to learn how to use mindfulness-based skills to target their anxiety symptoms and have enjoyed watching the relief this can offer to so many of our young ones.
I have completed my educational requirements for Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) and currently am in the supervision process to obtain my certification. I have worked with many different types of traumas from violence in the home, abuse, neglect, chronic pain, bullying, and the trauma of losing another to death either through an illness, violence, or suicide.
I have completed certificate-based trainings in ADHD and Autism spectrum and work with my patients and their parents to collaborate using a CBT approach. I will attend 504 and IEP meetings and advocate in the school setting as is reasonable and able. I believe in a systems approach to treatment and engage the parents in parent coaching or engage with them and their child in treatment.
I have consulted with Hampton Roads public schools to provide trainings in Working with kids (Counseling kids with grief). I also have experience providing ELNEC trainings for nursing schools related to grief and bereavement module. I am available to create a training that meets the audience needs within these issues.
- Mood disorders including depression and bipolar
- I work best with children’s ages 8+, young adults, parents, as well as those experiencing grief, chronic, and/or terminal illness.
- Anxiety disorders including social phobia/social anxiety, school anxiety, and trauma
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in children utilizing TFCBT up until age 25 yo
- Adjustment disorder
- School related issues
- Parent coaching
- Grief and loss related to a death, loss of functioning, medical disorders , difficulty with social skills, and Postpartum adjustment.
- Maternal health related to loss of a pregnancy, child, or chronic illness of child
Education & Licensure
- BS. Behavioral Sciences, Wilmington University – Georgetown, DE 2012
- MSW, DePaul University – Chicago, IL 2015
- Supervisee in Social Work
- Foundationally Trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Children and Adolescents
- Foundationally Trained in Prolonged Grief
- Certificate training in ADHD and Autism Spectrum through PESI
- TFCBT educational requirements met and engaged in supervision for my certificate
National Association of Social Workers
National Alliance for Children’s Grief