Get to Know Me
Artist - Educator - Witness - Guide
Sam has over 20 years social work experience, varying from non-profit management, state government, workforce training, research, program development, and health education/sexuality. This allows her to provide clinical interventions rooted in understanding how structures from the physical (such as how our nervous system responds to stress) to the social/systemic (such as how healthcare systems are financed) impact issues of social justice, and support clients in navigating those systems.
Sam has a strengths-based and humanistic approach to supporting client & community growth, balancing playfulness and accountability. She focuses first on building safety and connection, and then expands into curiosity, helping clients identify the narratives that support them or hold them back, and gently encourages and witnesses the risks necessary for growth.
While she has capacity to work in individual sessions with adults of all ages, she’s particularly interested in working with the themes and challenges of early adulthood, whether college stressors, career exploration, and identity. Specific areas of concern she focuses on include anxiety and various forms of trauma, whether accidents/falls or traumatic loss, as well as chronic health conditions, sexual assault, and developmental trauma. She’s comfortable working with people of many identities, backgrounds, and orientations, and attunes to the way that identity impacts all areas of life.
In work with communities, non-profits, and businesses, Sam utilizes deep understanding of hierarchies of power & oppression, participatory action research, and gentle relational approaches to support teams to create radically hopeful visions of success. She prefers to work with local organizations that represent the complex diversity of their communities and helps navigate smaller groups, such as boards and leadership teams, toward resilient growth. Her expertise in this comes from her early career, where she founded three youth-led nonprofits including Youth MOVE National.
Sam earned her Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers University in 2007, and has continued to pursue post-degree specialty training with a focus on trauma interventions for diverse populations. She is currently a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and approved Assistant for the Somatic Experiencing Training Institute.
Sam continues to learn and contribute to the field, and has collaborated on several publications. These included co-authoring Flux: Life After Foster Care, a no-nonsense yet compassionate handbook on the emotional transitions of young adulthood, and contributing to Queer Magic: Power Beyond Boundaries. In her free time, she can be found reading, gardening, gaming with friends, or working on some sort of participatory community art project.
Sam's use of video and other virtual technologies grew from her recognition and respect for the efforts her clients make to pursue their own healing. There are many barriers in seeking effective care, from lack of adequate transportation, rigid work schedules, chronic illness, family responsibilities, or the clustering of quality care in urban centers. Online services align with Sam's values, including economic/social justice and environmental stewardship.
Sam travels frequently in the US, and utilizes video technology for most sessions, and you can direct book some appointments through this site. You can track Sam on social media to find out where she is traveling next, or consider inviting her to your location for a combination of personalized offerings.
Some identities and intersections that are important to Sam include: immigrant/third culture, foster care alumnus, widow, military family background, queer, health-impaired, anti-racist white. Sam has no pronoun preference, and defaults to she or they based on other's perceptions.
Sam can be found on several social media sites, more information about her social justice approach to services is available on Sam's Patreon at patreon.com/nerdsomatics