“I remember my father would hold his two hands out and say to me, ‘One hand is the essence of heaven, the other hell – What kind of life do you want to experience?
What kind of life do you want others to experience?
The choice is always yours. Always be good to yourself and to others.’
The actions of my parents aligned with this principle, and I think that played a huge part in my development. I feel very blessed to have been raised by them.”
-Sarah M. Whitmire, PhD, PLLC
Sometimes life introduces us to reoccurring characters. People whose paths we cross several times over a number of years. Sarah Whitmire is a reoccurring character in my life. And each time we are reintroduced, I am struck by her grace, beauty, and intelligence.
Sarah has a way of immediately putting you at ease. She always offers a helpful hand, kind thought, or reassuring smile. I originally attributed those characteristics to her profession. But since getting to know her better, I now understand that Sarah is the result of fantastic parenting, hard work, and a giant heart.
Sarah! … Thank you for taking the time to share your journey with us. You have crafted a very custom profession, not the typical 9 to 5. Please tell us about it.
I am a business owner/psychotherapist/supervisor. My husband and I have a 1-year-old who I decided to stay home with most of the week, and I work at my private practice on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
I specialize with couples, families, and children experiencing a variety of issues in life. I’ve been a therapist since 2004 and have worked with so many different populations – from psychiatric patients, male offenders, and in private practice. I’ve also been a professor at five different universities. It is my passion to help others develop skills to enhance and heal their lives.
It obviously takes a very strong, very giving woman to dedicate her life’s work to helping others. Where does that motivation come from?
I always knew that I wanted to be in a position of helping others. From a very young age, I remember always saying that I wanted to be a lawyer or a doctor. I think my parents influenced this thinking as well. Since childhood, I can recall my father saying that one day I will be a doctor. My parents are Iranian immigrants, and as a part of our culture, education is placed as a very high priority. As a result, education and working hard was always pushed by my parents and family members.
Well, Sarah, you have certainly made your family proud. What advice would you give to young women thinking of pursuing clinical careers?
If you enjoying helping others heal and cultivate a more fulfilling life, then therapy/counseling is for you!
You may want to visit the American Counseling Association and the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy websites to read more about the profession. O*Net Online serves as a wonderful tool to determine if the mental health profession is for you.
Lastly, I think it is important to determine what your personality style is and what profession it would align well with. I highly encourage taking the following personality assessments: Strong Interest Inventory (SII), Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Strengths Finder 2.0, and How To Fascinate.
That’s excellent advice for young women. How about for those of us who aren’t so young anymore? What wise words to you have for us?
Self-care! Self-care! Self-care!
I have to remind myself of this one often 🙂
Ahh … YES!! Such a simple concept, but SO, SO difficult to practice.
You mentioned your parents, but have there been other influences in your professional life?
One of my best bosses was a Raegan Hart, she was my direct supervisor when I was working with adult male offenders in Texas. The population that we provided services to were, well, hard. And there were some female staff members that really harassed me. My supervisor was always a beacon of light and positivity for me, and she help me navigate through some of the office politics, as well as making boundaries with the other women. She always was professional, ethics, and just in all of her actions. Truly a remarkable woman.
And I can honestly say the same of you, Dr. Sarah Whitmire — truly a remarkable woman!
Sarah is offering a two-day parent workshop called “Bringing Baby Home” on November 4 & 5. The workshop is designed to improve the quality of lives for couples and their babies through strengthening their family. The workshop will teach parents how to: maintain relationship satisfaction after having a baby, enhance communication, manage conflict, foster positive parent-baby connection, enhance quality involvement of both parents, and reduce incidence or severity of postpartum mood disorders.
For more information about this workshop or Sarah’s private practice, please visit www.drwhitmire.com.