but they don’t have to be.

My work is dedicated to helping parents to climb out of these holes they may have dug with their children, to reestablish the foundations of trust, respect and cooperation, and to repair whatever might have been broken along the way. I want to help you feel confident in your role as the calm, steady, tuned-in leader of your child. To be able to trust your own instincts and those of your child. To slow down and really listen and really see who your child is and what they need from you to become the authentic, confident, independent, and kind person they want to be. 

If you have ever felt like your child’s emotions confuse and overwhelm you; if you have ever felt like your frustrations with your child were driving a wedge into your relationship with them, you are not alone. These feelings are all too common among parents... 

If you have ever felt like your worth as a parent was determined by

how “well behaved” your child is; YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I worked with patients who had experienced pervasive childhood trauma, disrupted attachment, and limited exposure to healthy coping strategies. In order to get better, they needed to learn how to connect to their own experience in the moment, be able to name what was happening, calm their nervous systems, identify the appropriate coping strategy from the tool box I helped them to build, and use it effectively. When I became a parent, I began really studying the psychology of parenting.

If I can help parents to help their children feel safe, secure, understood, and validated, I would be helping those families to support the kind of healthy childhood development that leads to lifelong emotional wellbeing and the capacity to build meaningful relationships throughout life.

I also found that these practices help to reduce the stress, pressure, doubt, and martyrdom that is so often experienced in today’s mainstream parenting approaches, which by extension helps to reduce psychological distress in parents as well, resulting in families that are healthier, calmer, and more aligned with one another. 

It became clear to me that the work I had been doing with my adult patients was in many ways related to the kind of work I was doing with my son in order to help him to feel safe and secure in his relationships, to feel confident in his ability to move through his emotions--no matter how big or uncomfortable they might be, and to develop a solid sense of who he is as a person. It was this awareness that led to a pivotal shift in the focus of my clinical work.

Before becoming a parent myself, my clinical work was primarily focused on helping adults learn to regulate out of control emotions.

I help my clients first and foremost by working with them wherever they are on their parenting journey--from preparing to become parents, to the postpartum period, and all the way through teen years. Wherever you find yourself today, I help you by identifying precisely what you and your family’s unique concerns are, how those concerns came to be, and what needs to change in order for you to find the balance and satisfaction you are seeking. 

I'm here to help

Wherever you are in your journey,

"Sarah Bren, PhD is a brilliant clinician who has synthesized the child and adult evidence to create practical and understandable tools to help navigate the terrain of parenting."

— Sarah Adler, PsyD

Chief Clinical Officer, Octave Health - Professor, Stanford Psychiatry - Founder, Peninsula Behavioral Health    

I received my doctorate in clinical psychology from the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University. I completed a pre-doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship in clinical psychology at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, where I obtained advanced training in psychotherapy and neuropsychological assessment. I previously held a faculty appointment at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital and as a Supervising Psychologist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, where I provided clinical supervision to psychiatry residents, psychology interns, and psychology externs and oversaw the DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) program.  

Member of Westchester County Psychological Association

A bit more about me

I am trained in psychodynamic and relationship based approaches, behavioral therapies including CBT and DBT, as well as mindfulness techniques.

I have a decade of experience working in diverse clinical settings, including hospital inpatient and outpatient clinics, college counseling programs, and faculty private practice. I currently see clients at my group practice Upshur Bren Psychology Group in Pelham, NY 

Member of Women’s Mental Health Consortium

I am a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Westchester, New York.

I am a student of parenting. I have studied relationships. I have studied secure and insecure attachment styles. I have studied child behavior and motivation. I have studied the nervous system and emotion regulation. I have studied effective communication and coping strategies. You are the expert on your child, on your family, on your values, on your goals. I am here to share information that is based on psychology, neurology, and human development.

I don’t like to call myself a parenting expert.

I believe you know best

To help you apply that information to your unique parenting goals for your unique family in a way that feels authentic to you and attuned to your child. I want to help you learn how to observe, how to let go of judgement, how to slow down, and how to connect. I believe you have the innate capacity to parent effectively and authentically. My job is to help you filter out the noise, tune in to that part of yourself, and truly trust it. 

You are the expert, I am here to help you actualize that fact.

explore my services ⟶

You already are the parent your child needs.

Let's connect to that part of yourself, trust it, and help it to shine the brightest.