Sara Bagramian

MSW, LCSW, RPT-S, CTS, RYT-200

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Hi, I'm Sara

I am a play therapist and single mom to two young boys. I have over 20 years of experience (post graduate school) working with kids, families and adults and specialize in play therapy for children of all ages, parent coaching, supporting teens, young adults and single parents.

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I knew early on that I wanted to work with children and I spent the early part of my career focused on learning as much as I could about play therapy. Play therapy felt like coming home as a way to connect and engage with children and it made sense to me that play is a universal language that is spoken by all children, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion.

I attended trainings, sought supervision and consultation and after completing 150 hours of play therapy training and 50 hours of play therapy supervision, I became a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) in 2013. I loved having the ability to train and supervise other clinicians to become play therapists and after another 3000 hours of experience, and 30 hours of supervisor training, I became one of 6 therapists in the area to acquire the Registered Play Supervisor (RPT-S) credential in 2018.

Synergetic Play Therapy® (SPT) I am a Certified Synergetic Play Therapist ® and have completed both the 6 month introductory course and the 10 month intensive process of becoming a Certified Synergetic Play Therapist®. SPT is a way of incorporating ones own regulatory nervous system into the process of play therapy with children to assist in emotional regulation. This revolutionary technique incorporates interpersonal neurobiology, attachment, nervous system regulation and mindfulness into the play therapy process.

Population Served

Children aged birth-10
Single Parents
Teens
Young adults

Techniques Utilized

Dyadic Dev Psychotherapy (DDP)
Synergetic Play Therapy® (SPT)
Play Therapy
Theraplay®
Parent Coaching
Art Therapy
Sandtray

Areas of Expertise

Parent coaching
Separation/Divorce
Single parent challenges
Behavior Challenges
Parent/Child Conflict
Trauma
Child Abuse/Neglect
Anger and Aggression
ADD/ADHD
Foster Care/Adoption
Attachment and Bonding
Issues of Adolescence
Depression
Anxiety Phobias

Some of My Training Includes

Level 1 and Level 2 advanced training in Theraplay®, an Evidence Based intervention which is an attachment based therapy. Theraplay is a fun and engaging technique which involves both parent and child and helps to improve the parent/child bond while also restructuring the parent/child relationship. Theraplay is utilized for behavior issues in children including aggression and defiance and is also effective for children who have experienced trauma or who have been adopted.

Level 1 and Level 2 of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) by its founder, Dan Hughes and Dafna Lender, expert DDP and Theraplay trainer. DDP incorporates attachment, neurobiology and trauma and provides a powerful framework for healing the parent/child relationship through its tenets of Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy (PACE).

Synergetic Play Therapy® (SPT) I have completed the 6 month Intro course and the 10 month intensive process of becoming a Certified Synergetic Play Therapist®. SPT is a way of incorporating ones own regulatory nervous system into the process of play therapy with children to assist in emotional regulation. This revolutionary technique incorporates interpersonal neurobiology, attachment, nervous system regulation and mindfulness into the play therapy process.

How I work with parents

I have found that by supporting and holding space for parents, we can access early childhood experiences of being parented which can directly affect how we parent. I help parents to understand how their early experiences can affect their current relationship with their child and how to heal from these childhood wounds. This work has proved to be more transformative to the parent/child relationship than traditional ‘behavior therapy’ or techniques that focus on punishment or discipline.

My Journey as a Therapist

In 2007, I created Oak City Counseling with the goal of providing a teaching/mentoring space for clinicians to learn and grow as play therapists and to provide the community with knowledgeable and competent child therapists.

I provide ongoing training and support to therapists within the practice in addition to professionals within the community in the fields of child mental health, parenting and play therapy.

Additionally, I have been honored to speak and present various topics to agencies and university undergraduate and graduate classes on play therapy and child trauma.

I have the pleasure of providing clinical supervision to new therapists in the field and am qualified to supervise Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associates (LCSWA) pursuing licensure, those pursuing the Registered Play Therapist (RPT) credential and as a qualified supervisor I can provide supervision to Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associates (LCMHCA) in the state of NC.

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Michigan

Licenses, Certifications & Awards

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, State of North Carolina, 2005
Theraplay® Level 1 and Marschak Interaction Method (MIM), 2010
Registered Play Therapist, 2013
Theraplay® Level 2 and Marschak Interaction Method (MIM), 2016
Registered Yoga Teacher - 200 hr, 2017
Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, 2018
Dyadic Development Psychotherapy (DDP), Level 1, 2020
Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), Level 2, 2021
Intro to Synergetic Play Therapy®, 2020-2021
Certified Synergetic Play Therapist ® - 2024
Qualified Licensed Mental Health Counselor Supervisor, 2022
You still have lots of cuddles to give