Dr. Sarah Neustadter Dr. Sarah Neustadter

bio

Personal

 

A supernaturally-gifted teacher/shaman from Peru told me, upon first sight, that I carried the “mark of death.” Like I’ve been “scratched by death”. He said it was a pattern he recognized in people who’d had a close relationship or brush with death.

 

He was right. The defining moment in my life occurred at age 29: I went to sleep one night thinking everything was more or less the same, but was awakened early the next morning with a phone call, and my worst nightmare had begun. My beloved partner and soulmate had put himself in front of a train and was lying unconscious in the hospital. A couple of hours later, he died in surgery. My grief was severe and unrelenting for several years. It pushed me to the brink of my own mortality. I didn’t want to live in a world without him. I just wanted to be with him in death. And I couldn’t. I could never knowingly inflict that kind of pain on my family and friends whom I’d leave behind. And so, I had to find a way to heal my broken heart and reclaim my will to live.

 

It’s been a challenging bittersweet journey of transformation from despair to love and beauty. My experiences living in darkness and shadow inform every aspect of my work and help me understand and connect with those in deep pain. I’ve learned to appreciate the innate beauty in sadness and how to navigate through the dark.

 

 

Professional

 

I was born, raised, and educated in Manhattan, and received my bachelor’s degree from New York University and my PhD in clinical and transpersonal psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California.  In addition to traditional clinical work, what I find most relevant today is an approach to psychology that includes a conversation around our relationship to the invisible realms of spirit and consciousness.

 

My work integrates my “no-nonsense” New York ethic and sense of responsibility with a humanistic approach to psychology, incorporating psychodynamic depth-work, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, alternative modalities of healing such as meditation, mindfulness, shamanism, and other mind-body practices.

 

My clinical experience as a psychologist includes working with the severely mentally ill population with bipolar and schizophrenia, crisis-management, suicide prevention, and additionally, in the Los Angeles public school system with at-risk teenagers dealing with all kinds of modern-day adolescent issues. I’ve trained at the prestigious Suicide Prevention Center in Los Angeles as well as the the well-known grief center Our House.