Sara Ouimette, MA
Marriage and Family Therapist
People come to see me for individual psychotherapy with an emphasis on psychedelic integration (including difficult psychedelic experiences) or psychotherapy that is cannabis-friendly. Primarily, my approach recognizes the benefits and challenges that can come from accessing altered states of consciousness. Clients describe me as warm, compassionate, interactive and non-judgmental. My style focuses on developing trust so we can enter into a co-exploration of you and what you want and need. I prefer to do longer-term, weekly "depth" work in order to uncover the roots of symptoms such as depression, anxiety or chronic pain that often lie somewhere in the past (outside of awareness). I believe it is important to spend time exploring early memories and experiences, looking closely at how they shape current reality. Dreamwork can also be especially helpful in gaining access to our deepest wishes, fears, unmet needs, complexes and defenses. Finding compassion for yourself often begins with acknowledging where your wounds came from. In gaining insight into yourself and what causes you the most suffering, you can come to trust and follow your inner compass, your soul, or your true self. I’ll also be very interested in what comes up when you’re with me; I work intuitively and will respond to you with presence, interest, authenticity and empathic attunement.
Sara Ouimette (pronounced “we met”) is a licensed psychotherapist located on the Oakland/Berkeley border specializing in psychedelic integration, spirituality, cannabis use and abuse, highly sensitive people, and various forms of trauma. She helps people make the changes necessary to feel more joy in their lives. Often this involves a paradigm shift: a realization that the deeply held fears and beliefs that hold people back can be dispelled. Sara was first introduced to the potential power of plant medicine during her undergraduate studies at Claremont McKenna College. It was in a class about Amerindian Psychiatry that Sara first was introduced to native peoples’ concept of soul loss and soul retrieval. Inspired by her Peruvian Indian professor, Sara wrote her thesis on Susto (the equivalent of P.T.S.D.), and the ancient South American treatment using ayahuasca with a shaman. After graduation, Sara worked in a series of counseling positions. Her decade of experience with children and their families now informs her work with adults (and the wounds often left by early experiences). From this work, Sara also developed a special interest in developmental trauma and attachment trauma (often resulting in complex PTSD). Sara received her M.A. in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and went on to pursue intensive training in psychodynamic psychotherapy at The Psychotherapy Institute in Berkeley, CA. Sara is a member of The Society of Cannabis Clinicians is also an adherence rater for the studies on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD at MAPS.