Dr. Sahar Khoshakhlagh, Psy.D, MA, LMFT

Reminiscences of hide and seek with friends on the streets of Tabriz, ice cream in the park with my grandfather in Tehran, and summer nights by the shorelines of the Caspian Sea continue to place a smile on my face when I recall my childhood memories in Iran.

My family and I immigrated to the United States when I was six years old. I grew up in California, but fell in love with New York City in 1999 as a bright eyed graduate student at New York University (NYU). This was an exciting time for me because I was one step closer to actualizing my dreams of becoming a Relational Therapist in the state of New York.

I founded Common Ground Counseling Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC (also known as CGC or Common Ground Counseling) in New York City in 2010. With over a decade of experience in the field of behavioral health, I gained valuable skills and techniques while overseeing behavioral health programs ranging from a 24-hour supervised mental health residential facility, to assertive community outreach, to family reunification.

My pursuit in the field of behavioral health began with an aspiration of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Peace Studies from California State University, Fullerton. Shortly after my undergraduate degree, I furthered my studies in Applied Psychology with a Master of Arts degree from New York University (NYU).

During my formative years at NYU, I discovered a unique interest in relational systems so I furthered my education in Couples and Family Systems, earning another Master of Arts degree in 2005 and a Doctorate of Psychology in 2013 from the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Having a keen interest in intimate relationships, I wrote my dissertation on Adult Attachment as a Predictor of Intimate Relationships and Sexual Behavior. My poster was presented at the National Council on Family Relations Conference in 2013 and at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy in 2014 and in 2016.

In 2014, I earned an Honorary Citation from the Office of the President of the Borough of Brooklyn for my assistance in the implementation of Trauma-Informed Care at the Institute for Community Living. Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) is a framework that involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of trauma. I was honored to be recognized by New York State Senator Kevin S. Parker for my efforts.

State Senator Kevin Parker noted, " Sahar Khoshakhlagh is being recognized for her exemplary efforts...to change the way trauma is viewed by ending isolation, exposing misconceptions, and working collaboratively to develop strategies that enable individuals to live productive and healthy lives in their communities...and has demonstrated her commitment to social justice...for all behavioral health providers in New York City and the State of New York."

I also received a Certificate of Recognition and Gratitude by John Volpe, Special Advisor DOHMH and Theresa Tobin, Deputy Chief NYPD for supporting the NYPD Crisis Intervention Program, and its mission to train NYC police officers to effectively interact with individuals with behavioral health issues in 2015.

In summary: My academic and experiential background in mental health has fueled my passion in psychology so I can support you on your journey. During my 15+ years of experience, I had the privilege of establishing therapeutic working relationships with resilient children, adults, couples, and families struggling with a multitude of challenges, such as homelessness, abuse, abandonment, violence, severe mental health issues, and more. Their perseverance continues to inspire me today.

For this reason, I am relational and supportive and I utilize an eclectic systems approach, including mindfulness, trauma informed care, attachment and emotion focused therapy when I address my clients needs. I will meet you where you are at. I work with individuals, couples, and families with a variety of challenges, such as anxiety, communication challenges, relationship and family problems, intimacy issues, grief, and more. I am equally passionate about working with the LGBTQIA community, especially in relation to identity development.

When working with couples, I help each partner learn to build compassion for the other’s journey and empower couples to break negative cycles that keep the relationship stuck. My practice is open to all couples, including those in polyamory and non-monogamous relationships. Most importantly, I focus on enhancing my client’s strengths by helping clients get in touch with who they are so they can attempt to identify what they want out of life.

I look forward to meet you.