Sandra Burrows is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states of Virginia, DC and Maryland with more than 30 years of clinical experience working with adults, adolescents, children and families with diverse cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and differing levels of mental health issues in a variety of work settings to include home-based, residential, and outpatient.
My Journey as a Therapist
My interest in helping others began in my teen years as I found myself in the role of counseling my peers who were struggling with family, school and identity issues. I gained insight into my own struggles through the process of helping my peers and from this came my desire to become a therapist. I began my career working with children who had been abused and neglected, helping families to repair the damage to the family system and found this work to be inspiring. My focus was on helping families to build on their strengths and therefore become more functional. Next, I had the opportunity to work with teens in a residential setting, helping teens to reunite with their families and develop a stronger bond and work through some difficult mental health issues. I then moved to South Carolina and worked with teens and their families who struggled with addiction issues. I learned valuable skills working with clients with substance abuse and have used those skills throughout my career with co-occurring disordered clients. I then worked in a school setting and home-based setting with youth and families, some with special needs. This experience humbled me and opened my eyes to all the special qualities that different types of families possess. I then worked in community mental health and helped seriously mentally ill adults to navigate through difficulties and find stability and support in their communities. In this setting I also worked with children, teens and parents developing further my skills in individual, couples and family therapy. My most recent work for the past 8 years as an outpatient therapist working with adults has been invaluable and a great growth experience. I was exposed to a wide range of client issues and situations and was able to expand my expertise in different modalities of therapy. I look forward to the next steps in my career as a therapist as I work with you on your personal journey.
I seek to empower clients to reach their full potential in life by finding purpose and meaning. Through this journey I will help you to learn what your strengths and abilities are and to help you put them into practice. We’ll work together to overcome obstacles and challenges such as past history, relationship difficulties, lack of motivation, life stressors, and other issues that may be holding you back.
Research has shown that having connections with supportive people can help you to overcome obstacles and reach your full potential. If this is an area you want to explore then I will help you to develop the capacity to make those connections in your life.
I am a committed and compassionate therapist that will help and guide you on your journey towards self-actualization, gaining insight, learn coping skills, and making significant changes to live a happier and more fulfilled life.
My approach is to meet you where you are, to create a trusting, empathetic, and safe therapeutic relationship so you can feel comfortable to explore your personal issues in an environment of non-judgment, caring, and support.
I will work with you individually, as a couple, or as a family. We will work collaboratively to identify your goals and determine how best to achieve them. We will formulate a plan and work together to implement your plan.
Credentials, Education, Training
I have more than 30 years of clinical experience working with adults, adolescents, children, couples, and families with diverse cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and differing levels of mental health issues. I have worked in a variety of settings including home-based, residential, and outpatient.
I earned my Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from Virginia Tech. I then went on to earn my Masters of Social Work degree, with a family and child welfare specialization from Virginia Commonwealth University.I have my license to practice social work in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
I continue to broaden and deepen my knowledge and skill base through continuing education. I have had specialized trainings and my skill set includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing, solution oriented brief therapy, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, trauma, attachment, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Areas of interest
My specialties include helping people with issues of depression, anxiety, phobias, OCD, trauma, PTSD, childhood abuse, family of origin issues, couples and relationship issues, parenting, life transitions, work issues, divorce, aging, loss and grief, substance abuse, self-harm and disordered eating.
My overall approach is eclectic and utilizes components of CBT, DBT, Family systems, psychodynamic, mind body practices, trauma informed care, and attachment.
I plan to continue my education and training in the areas of attachment and trauma as well as couples therapy. Family systems is where I started and it continues to be a very critical part of my theoretical base for how I treat individuals and families.
I grew up in Northern Virginia and as a young adult I wanted to explore living in another part of the country so I moved to Charleston, SC. Later I moved from there to Seattle, WA. These experiences helped me to appreciate different peoples and cultures. This also helped me to learn more about myself and to grow as a person.
I returned to Northern Virginia to be near my family and make my life here. I met my husband shortly after returning and we have a built a wonderful life together in Arlington, VA.
I love nature, hiking, wildlife, camping, scuba diving, and traveling. I have traveled throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean Islands, Belize, Honduras, French Polynesia, and Europe. I am an avid reader. I am invested in a healthy lifestyle and am always striving to incorporate mindfulness, meditation, yoga, spirituality, healthy eating, and exercise to create an overall sense of balance and wellness.
So please contact us to schedule an appointment with Sandra. She is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.