About

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Sarah Kamens, PhD (she/hers) is a clinical psychologist in private practice and an interdisciplinary scholar. She is a member of the National Register of Health Service Psychologists.

Education and Training

Dr. Kamens completed predoctoral clinical training at the Yale University School of Medicine / Connecticut Mental Health Center, where she focused on recovery-oriented approaches to adult community mental health. Her postdoctoral clinical training took place at the Yale Specialized Treatment Early in Psychosis program. She received her MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from Fordham University, where she studied qualitative research methods with Frederick J. Wertz, PhD. Prior to that, she obtained an MA in Communication from the European Graduate School (EGS; Saas-Fee, Switzerland) in what is now the Division of Philosophy, Art & Critical Thought. She graduated from New York University (summa cum laude) with a BA in Psychology and English & American Literature.

Private Practice

In her psychotherapy practice, Dr. Kamens specializes in working with people who have experienced difficult events such as trauma, as well as with people who are struggling with their beliefs or the meaning of ‘home.’ She also works with people experiencing a broad range of challenges including difficulties in relationships or at work, family conflict, depression, anxiety, life transitions, social marginalization and oppression, cultural discrimination, and existential concerns. Her integrative practice is grounded in humanistic-existential, person-centered, trauma-informed, and neurodiversity-affirming approaches. In addition to working with adults of all ages from various backgrounds, Dr. Kamens has a special interest in working with medical/health providers, including other mental health professionals.

Dr. Kamens believes that every person is unique and tailors her approach to each individual client. Using integrative and person-centered approaches, Dr. Kamens supports clients in both exploring the meanings of experiences and implementing concrete strategies. She believes that therapy is about improving individual lives and about addressing the problems in the world that lead people to therapy in the first place. Dr. Kamens is honored to support her clients in feeling more at-home with themselves and in the world.

Research, Writing, and Teaching

In her research, writing, and other scholarship, Dr. Kamens focuses on the conceptualization of psychological distress and alternatives to the contemporary diagnostic paradigm in mental health. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed and invited journal articles, book chapters, and editorials. Dr. Kamens is the current Editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (SAGE publications). Her book, Reconceptualizing Schizophrenia: The Phenomenology of Urhomelessness will be published in April 2023 (Routledge). Dr. Kamens spent two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Professor in Psychology at Wesleyan University, and three years as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the SUNY College at Old Westbury. 

Service

Dr. Kamens is the Chair of the Diagnostic Dialogues Task force of the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of the American Psychological Association, or APA), which focuses on identifying and advocating for diagnostic alternatives. As part of this task force, she co-authored the Open Letter to the DSM-5 (2011) and the Open Letter Regarding the Reform and Revision of Diagnostic Systems (2020). She also Co-Chairs the APA Division 32 Standing Committee Against Hate Incidents, which utilizes the tools of humanistic psychology to understand the meanings of hate incidents and hate crimes. Dr. Kamens is a Co-Chair of the Global Psychosocial Network, a network of professionals who support other professionals working in zones of conflict and distress.

Awards

Dr. Kamens is the recipient of the 2021 Carmi Harari Early-Career Award American Psychological Association (APA) Division 32: Society for Humanistic Psychology. She also received the 2019 Sigmund Koch Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology from APA Division 24: Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology. In 2016, she received a Leadership Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology from the Yale University Department of Psychiatry. Her doctoral research from 2012-2013 was supported by a Distinguished Research Fellowship from the Fordham University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She is also the recipient of the 2011 Sidney Jourard Award for Student Paper in Psychology from APA Division 32: Society for Humanistic Psychology. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from New York University (2002), where she also received the Lawrence Erlbaum Book Award for Distinguished Honors Thesis. 

Personal Life

In her own life, Dr. Kamens is a parent and a dog lover. She transitioned from a career in academia into private practice and is familiar with issues facing students and faculty in higher education. She has lived abroad in Europe and the Middle East and draws on those experiences when working with clients facing migration, ‘culture shock,’ and discrimination. Dr. Kamens is a member of the LGBTQ+ community and is proud to support clients in this community as well as all those who believe that love is love. 

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