Sarah Perry is a primary therapist at the RTC level of care in St. Louis, MO. She takes a relational approach in her work with clients and believes that connection, safety, and trust in the therapeutic relationship are integral for change and healing. Sarah is passionate about working with members of the LGBTQ+ community and is developing the gender, sexuality, and identity group at our St. Louis program location. We are honored to work with Sarah and hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we have!
Why do you work at Alsana?
I work for Alsana because I fully believe, with my whole being, that recovery and healing are possible for every human. I also think it is imperative to look at the whole person, not just the eating disorder, which Alsana’s Adaptive Care Model fully embodies.
When did you start working for Alsana?
I started working at Alsana in January 2016, not long after graduating with my master’s degree in social work. I was job hunting, and I saw an opening for a direct care position; I had never worked with eating disorders, or in a residential setting, and I decided I wanted to challenge myself by doing something I had never done.
What words of hope/encouragement would you give to someone with an eating disorder?
I would remind that person that they aren’t alone in their process, no matter how dark and lonely things may seem.
How would clients describe you?
Authentic, goofy, personable, direct. Still goofy.
What’s your favorite part of helping clients?
I have seen and experienced the profound injury that can occur from not being able to be oneself. That being said, my favorite part of helping clients is being able to witness clients allowing themselves to be vulnerable enough to really be seen, understood, and accepted for who they truly are.
What do you specialize in at work?
I am trained in EMDR and have begun Somatic Experiencing training, and I often work with clients with attachment and relational trauma, as well as personality disorders. I am also developing the Gender, Sexuality, and Identity group at the Saint Louis RTC program, which I am passionate about.
What would you tell a client on their first day?
I typically commend them on making it through the door—this can be a monumental feat in and of itself.
What’s your favorite hobby?
Oh man, I have so many favorites! I really enjoy dancing, being outside, reading, and spending time with people I love.
Do you have any pets?
My partner and I are currently in the process of adopting a sweet, good-natured, precious pitt-mix! I have been living vicariously through other peoples’ dogs for long enough!
When Alsana clients see you, what are you most likely to be doing?
I am probably chatting with clients or co-workers if I’m not in my office doing notes or hunting down coffee.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love that I get to connect and develop relationships with clients and coworkers every day.
What was the best concert you’ve ever been to?
I’ve been to a fair number of good concerts, but I think my all-time favorite was seeing Green Day on their American Idiot tour. I’m pretty sure that concert changed my life.
What do you do on the weekends?
One of the things I look forward to most on the weekends is the ability to have my favorite meal—brunch! I also typically spend some time outdoors, I take naps, and I catch up on whatever show I am watching currently, usually something dark and scary and/or a cheesy drama.
Where is your favorite place on earth?
I think I have two favorite places on earth; one is Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. The hike to get there is kind of daunting, yet so worth it. There are two other lakes along the way, which are almost equally as stunning, too. The other would be the Mayan ruins in Tulum, Mexico. I remember feeling so whole and humbled in both places.
How do you keep yourself occupied on a long flight?
I am a sucker for word or number game, and burying my nose into a good psychological thriller are the best ways to keep me entertained!
What could someone do to make you feel really appreciated?
Simply tell me so! A few kind words have such an impact on me.
“Let your light shine” is a foundational principle of Alsana’s culture. We expect employees to come as they are and bring their whole selves to work, just as we want our clients to feel comfortable bringing their whole selves—exactly as they are—to their eating disorder treatment.
Alsana’s staff spotlight series highlights the way our employees let their light shine and the unique attributes only they can add to our clients’ recovery experience.