Meet Sam

Trauma-informed and LGBTQIA+ competent. Capable of treating anxiety, neurodivergence, and life transitions.

Sam Sheppard, LMSW


Pronouns: She/Her/They/Them
Modalities: Psychodynamic, Attachment, Mindfulness Based/MBCT, Recreational/Play, and CBT 
Languages: English
Email: Hello@spokenbalance.com

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Taking the courageous step to begin therapy, whether for yourself or your child, is a significant moment. Building a new relationship and sharing vulnerable moments of your life is never an easy task, and I am honored by each one of my clients for the opportunity to support them on their journey. During the phase of adolescence through our young adulthood, we are faced with new information about our emotions and inner worlds on what sometimes feels like a daily basis. This time of life is often a fast paced, changing roller coaster during which we build the foundations of our self-esteem, values, and future.


As a therapist, I am empathetic, trauma-informed, and welcoming to all in my sessions. I am trained in a relational and psychodynamic approach to counseling supported with DBT, CBT, and ADHD informed skills and coping strategies. I often utilize art, nature, and play therapy activities in session and believe in the importance of joy and mindfulness for people of all ages. I specialize in working with youth in middle and high school on handling the many challenges of this difficult life phase, as well as young adults in their 20s navigating the new experiences of college, first jobs, and launching into their adult lives.

Sam's focus areas
  • Trauma and Attachment | Attachment is the foundation of our relationships and I have helped many youth, families, and young adults work through early childhood experiences that have impacted their attachment styles, communication, and self-esteem. Understanding your own attachment styles or the attachment styles of your children can be invaluable to healing gaps in family relationships, improving communication, and building greater understanding of yourself and others.

  • LGBTQIA+, Neurodivergence, and Identity | Our identities are deeply important to understanding our self-esteem. As a queer therapist with lived experience in ADHD and anxiety, I bring a unique and authentic approach to supporting youth and young adults process their experiences. It is crucial to have a supportive and understanding space to explore emerging identities and process our feelings related to how our identities impact us.

  • Nature-Assisted Therapy, Art Therapy, and Play | Therapy does not have to look like the traditional experience, sitting and talking the entire session. I love to use play and recreational therapy approaches in my sessions, engaging with clients through their favorite activities, whether that is taking a walk together, painting, or playing a favorite game. I have training and experience with many different recreational approaches to therapy both online and in person. In addition to bringing a fun approach to telehealth sessions, I will be offering walk-and-talk nature assisted therapy sessions in person in the Southern Illinois area beginning late Summer - Fall 2024.

Sam's Ideal Client 

My ideal client is ready to explore difficulties in their life and work together to build new skills and confidence to overcome future challenges. Many clients and families I work with may have had unsuccessful therapy experiences in the past but are ready to try new approaches and have an open mind towards understanding themselves or their children.

What kind of therapy does Sam offer?

  • Individual therapy for young adults aged 18 +

  • Individual therapy for youth 10+

  • Family therapy for families with youth 10+

  • Individual therapy for parents of youth 10+ dealing with neurodivergence, school issues, or exploring LGBTQIA+ identity

Sam’s practice locations

  • Connecticut: Sam is currently only providing tele-health appointments in the state of Connecticut, available throughout the state.

  • *Beginning Summer 2024* Illinois – Telehealth throughout the state and in-person services located in Southern Illinois near Carbondale.

Who is Sam in-network with?

Sam accepts private pay and the following insurance plans, please reach out for up-to-date information!

  • Aetna

  • Cigna

  • Husky

Out of Network Insurance Benefits

Sam verifies Out of Network (OON) insurance benefits for reimbursement on behalf of the client through Reimbursify. Out of Network Insurance benefits can be reimbursed from 30-80% depending on your plan.

Click Here To Verify Your OON Benefit

Sam’s qualifications

Sam graduated in 2021 from Smith College School for Social Work, a program focused specifically on clinical practice and anti-racism. Prior to achieving her master's degree, in 2017 she received her bachelor's in counseling psychology from Lesley University, in which she focused on holistic psychology and alternative approaches to therapy. During her years of training, Sam gained experience working with diverse populations through her work in an intensive in-home therapy (IICAPS) with youth and families and providing group counseling at a young adult intensive outpatient program (IOP) and an afterschool youth extended day treatment program (EDT).


 Sam has been trained at some of the most well-known mental health programs in the New England area, including McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, as well as Institute of Living and The Village for Families and Children both in Hartford, Connecticut. Sam has lived experience with LGBTQIA+ identity, neurodivergence (ADHD and anxiety), educational challenges, and social justice.

Licensure

  • State of Connecticut | License Number: 19175307

Education

  • 2021 | Masters of Social Work | Smith College School for Social Work

  • 2017 | Bachelors of Science in Counseling Psychology; Holistic Psychology track | Lesley University

Sam’s Personal Information

Sam grew up in north-central Massachusetts and has lived in central Connecticut for the past six years with her two cats, Blue and Simon. Sam loves hiking, biking, and being outdoors. When not able to be outside, you can find Sam playing her favorite video games, watching sci-fi and fantasy dramas, or playing board games with friends. Sam is excited to be relocating to beautiful Southern Illinois in summer 2024 and exploring a whole new region!

Ready to book an appointment with Sam?

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Spoken Balance