Sarah O’Brien is the founder and clinical director of Thrive & Shine Counseling (TSC). Sarah completed her Bachelor’s of Science (Psychology & Sociology) at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, otherwise known as Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!). She went on to complete her Master’s in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University.

After spending nearly 9 years of her early career in public mental health and surrounding area Community Services Boards, she decided to open her own private practice and finally live out the dream written in her college application essay. Sarah opened her private practice in 2016. She currently enjoys providing treatment for Adults ages 18-100. She focuses on clients with anxiety disorders (Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, OCD, Panic Disorder, and Panic Attacks) and substance use disorders (chemical addiction/dependence). Sarah is personally affected by substance addiction and is passionate about serving the family members/spouses/loved ones of someone with a substance addiction. Sarah practices using a variety of evidence-based approaches. Her Anxiety Treatment Certification offered her a refined view of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy which allows applying Neuroscience as the basis for understanding the CBT approach. She also uses Psychodynamic, Ego Psychology, and Narrative Therapy techniques to explore self, history, relationships, views, patterns of behaviors, and thoughts. She uses Motivational Interviewing and Psychoeducation to address Substance Use/Addiction concerns. She uses DBT and other trauma-informed approaches to address relational/betrayal trauma. Although her specialties listed above remain the focus of most of her practice, she also enjoys working with individuals struggling with toxic relationships of any kind, life transitions, Mood Disorders, new and single parents, LGBTQIA+, couples, grief/loss, codependency, and sleep issues.

Sarah is currently an active member of the Virginia Society for Clinical Social Work, Richmond Chapter, and has held the board position of Membership Chair for over 5 years. She participates in several affiliate programs for mental health use products. She enjoys writing and has been featured in several published articles about mental health. She has a passion for helping other mental health professionals start up their own private practice and is available for consulting.

Practice Areas:

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Substance use and addiction disorders
  • Non-using Partner/Spouse of someone with SUD
  • Relational/Betrayal Trauma
  • Mood Disorders
  • Relationship issues/codependency/boundaries
  • Life transitions

Why I Love Belongly

“Belongly is a new platform designed for mental health professionals to connect, share, learn, grow, and care for one another. I love all the free resources they provide. Also, the team at Belongly is committed to providing valuable resources, news & information, professional collaboration, and opportunities specifically to address the unique needs of today’s mental health professionals and their practice. If you’re looking for a safe place to say, “Hey, I struggle with this _____as a provider or practice owner,” or “I don’t know how to ______.” This community is the trusting and supportive environment for you!”

State(s) where you practice:

Virginia & Maryland

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