Sarah Tippit, LMFT
I hold compassion for those who struggle with the OCD Spectrum: the persistent, unwanted, intrusive thoughts, the sometimes paralyzing anxieties, the mental rituals, actions, avoidances meant to neutralize the obsessions. I understand how often OCD can be misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and the shame and stigma sufferers sometimes feel. Most of my work involves helping people gain control over their OCD and process associated traumas. I employ an effective type of Cognitive Behavioral therapy called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), which has the strongest evidence supporting its use in the treatment of OCD. I also use Mindfulness/relaxation techniques and ACT. I know that when OCD flares it seems insurmountable, but I have had the personal satisfaction of witnessing my clients’ suffering dissipate – through their own courage, perseverance, and willingness to try something new -- even when the work seemed silly or impossible.
I also work with related issues: body dysmorphia, body-focused repetitive behaviors such as skin picking and hair pulling, people who have both tics and OCD together, specific phobias such as Emetophobia (fear of vomiting) and Misophonia (strong hatred of specific sounds). I often attract clients who have histories of both complex trauma and OCD, and the types of intrusive thoughts involving taboo or self-loathing thought content and less overt compulsions (colloquially known as “Pure O,” or “Purely obsessional OCD)."
My other passions include supporting clients in their recovery from psychological and emotional abuse, bullying, complicated grief. No condescension or criticism here. I strive to provide a safe, respectful space. I believe in post-traumatic growth. I think it's possible to find meaning in one's challenging experiences, to make peace with the past, develop tools to manage the bad stuff, to practice emphasizing the good stuff, to heal, to thrive.
In addition to my training in various forms of cognitive-behavioral therapy, I employ trauma-focused modalities, psychodynamic approaches, Clinical Art Therapy, journalling. My experience includes work in acute-care residential settings, hospitals, with Older Adults, in hospices, and in private practice with people of all ages.
Sarah Specializes in:
- OCD Spectrum
- OCD without overt compulsions including obsessions around taboo subject matter: fear of becoming a pedophile, sexuality and identity obsessions, post-partum OCD (fear of harming baby), fear of harming oneself or others, fear about being in the “wrong” relationship
- Religious/morality obsessions
- Obsessive self-loathing, perfectionism and/or jealousy
- Health anxiety (fear one might contract a dreaded disease)
- Body dysmorphia
- Body-focused repetitive behaviors including skin picking, hair pulling
- General and Social Anxiety
- Recovery from psychological/emotional abuse, bullying
- Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) (trained 4 years under respected OCD specialist Lori Riddle-Walker, EdD)
- Habit Reversal Training
- Art Therapy for groups and individuals
- Therapeutic writing
- Motivational Interviewing
Education and Specialized Training:
MA in Marital and Family Therapy with an emphasis in Clinical Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
BS in Journalism from University of Maryland College Park
Levels I and II for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, (EMDR) Completed training and supervised internship
Trauma-focused CBT, Personality Disorders, Intensive Trauma Treatment, DBT
License and Membership:
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC#103044
International OCD Foundation
Member in good standing with the California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists, (CAMFT)