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Meet Sabrina

Sabrina Zitzelberger__Headshot_edited_ed
East
End

Sabrina Zitzelberger
MS, LAPC

she / her / hers

Therapist

Specialties:

Trauma & PTSD

Gender Identity

LGBTQIA+

Anxiety

Relationship Concerns

ENM Relationship Structures

Adolescents

Neurodiversity

LGBTQIA+ Affirming

   Services Offered:    

  • Individual Therapy

  • Relationship Therapy

  • Family Therapy

  • Telehealth Therapy

    Insurances Accepted:    

  • Highmark BCBS

  • Anthem BCBS

  • (UPMC in progress)

  • Aetna

  • Cigna / Evernorth

  • Geisinger

  • Private Pay

   Ages:   

  • Children (6-10)

  • Preteens/Tweens (11-13)

  • Adolescents/Teens (14-18)

  • Adults (18+)

Who I Help

 

I'm a queer, polyamorous, person-centered therapist. I love working with folks surrounding  LGBTQIA+ related concerns, gender identity, trauma & PTSD, neurodiversity, and relationship concerns, with a further specialization in ENM/poly/non-traditional relationship structures.

I also work with those struggling with anxiety, depression, family conflict and dysfunction, codependency, intimacy concerns, parenting, ADHD, body image, and grief & loss. I am relationship affirming, as well as kink/fetish affirming. You are welcome--and encouraged--to bring your entire self into the room with me.

Relationship Counseling

I believe that one of the things that makes us human is the need to have relationships with other people. When I was in graduate school, I was always the odd woman out because I refused to call what I wanted to do "couples counseling" for two key reasons:

 

1) As someone who is happily polyamorous, I am well aware that not all romantic attachments involve exactly two people. In fact, I am well aware that we can't and shouldn't assume that only two people are involved.

 

2) Romantic relationships are not the only types of relationships that matter. Ruptures in your relationship with your parents, your best friend, or a colleague can be extremely painful, and sometimes talking to a third party can help that relationship be repaired.

 

For relationship counseling, I draw upon Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) most often. This modality explores the ways that all parties form attachments, and how they feel secure (or insecure) in them. It helps us dissect the current pattern (which Sue Johnson, creator of EFT, calls "the tango"), and then together, we develop new steps for the next time a disagreement occurs. It is impossible for two (or more) people to be close and never disagree with each other. It is, however, both important and possible to have disagreements that are healthy.  When disagreements are worked through in a way that is both emotionally safe and healthy, all parties involved feel understood and closer to each other.

Trauma

Trauma rewires our brains. It can change us into people we no longer recognize. Healing, however, will also rewire us. What doesn't kill us often makes us hypervigilant and untrusting--it's the healing that makes us stronger.

 

While my specific approach for supporting you will be based on what you need, I generally start by exploring with you what gives you a sense of safety. Feeling safe in the room is a necessary and important first step.

 

We will explore your past at your pace. It will be uncomfortable at times, but I will be with you every step of the way. It is also important to me to do our best to make sure our sessions end on a note that feels most comfortable for you. (Before I became a therapist myself, I had a therapist who consistently ended sessions while I was highly agitated and stressed--even after I pointed out this was happening and asked her to stop. I vowed to never do that to someone else.)

Gender Identity

Gender is complicated, and societal expectations are a big part of why that is. Regardless of whether or not the doctor guessed your gender correctly when you entered the world, exploring the ways in which you express your gender is often an ongoing, and sometimes complex, process.

 

I use inclusive Feminist Therapy along with my Person-Centered Approach when talking about gender. I have supported people both in my personal and professional lives, as they've navigated their own relationship with their gender. As a cis woman, I am honest about and acknowledge that I do not have lived experience. However, two of my partners are trans women, which has given me a perspective that I've found helpful to bring into the therapy room--when it is appropriate and you believe it would benefit you.

What Can You Expect?

While I do still read academic articles and books, I am far more likely in session to reference a meme or Tik-Tok I just saw that feels relevant to the situation being discussed. I draw upon multiple modalities, depending on the concern we are working through and what you believe may work best for you. Person-centered Therapy, Attachment-Based Therapy, EFT, Feminist, and Humanistic approaches are some of the approaches I align with and utilize.

 

Person-centered therapy is all about congruence, which means accepting ourselves fully and being our authentic selves. The process of becoming congruent is similar to forming a deep bond with someone else--your best friend has flaws, sure, but you don't try to change them because you love them how they are. Watching people learn to love themselves that fully is one of my favorite things.

 

I have been "on the other side of the couch" a few times, and I have had amazing, horrible, and mediocre experiences as a client. In fact, I became a therapist in part because I'd had a bad experience, and recognized an enormous need for more relationship counselors who understand polyamory. Even better would have been a relationship counselor who was actively practicing ENM. Cue the realization that I could be that someone, add a very supportive wife who was willing to take on student loans, and here we are.

"When I look at a sunset as I did the other evening, I don’t find myself saying, 'Soften the orange a little on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color.' I don’t do that. I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch it with awe as it unfolds."

-Carl Rogers, A Way of Being

 When I'm not at Open Space CCW, you may also find me...

Online playing or running a social deception game (like "Are You a Werewolf?", "Witch Hunt", etc.) While the games themselves are fun, I have made some extremely close, supportive friendships there. When I'm home I tend to read, binge watch tv shows, and sometimes play video games.

Call us, send us a message via our contact form below, or email us to get started.

724-777-1433

hello@openspaceccw.com

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