Sara Bailey, PhD, LCMHC-A, LCAS-A

Sara Bailey (she/her/hers)

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou

Stories are powerful. As a counselor, I believe that the stories we tell ourselves are the most powerful of all. My greatest privilege is to journey with my clients as they share their stories with me, sometimes speaking them aloud for the very first time, in the sacred space of the therapeutic counseling relationship. My counseling philosophy is grounded in reality and is strengths-based, growth oriented, and person-centered. I believe that you are the expert of your own life, and that my role is to provide a safe space within which you can discern your own path toward living the life you desire. I am reflective in my counseling practice, honest in my appraisals, eclectic in my interventions, and tenacious in my belief that healing is possible.

I am a reunited adoptee, a mid-life career changer, a parent, a partner, a counselor educator, a Peloton enthusiast, and a work in progress. I think in metaphors; consider words my playthings; laugh with abandon; am easily distracted by dogs, cats, hedgehogs, and other pets; love a run-on sentence; and believe that we are all worthy of respect and love. I specialize in working with clients experiencing anxiety, depression, career stressors, substance use, recovery, adoption, considerations of aging, and dementia and caregiving concerns. I am a counselor educator at the University of Lynchburg in Lynchburg, VA, and see my Full Life clients in telehealth sessions.

The process of counseling is a lot like the process of life. Progress is sometimes painful. There will be times in a counseling journey when things feel worse before they feel better, especially when bringing more challenging narratives out into the light. Within a collaborative therapeutic relationship, for clients who are willing to take the risk, temporary discomfort can inspire lasting transformation.

I’m a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University, and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and am married to and the parent of North Carolina State University graduates, so I have no opinions about sports. I read crime fiction and psychological thrillers, am a sometimes-social introvert, have two monster kittens who enjoy helping me write, and believe chocolate is a vegetable.

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