Meet Dr. Carpenter

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Dr. Carpenter contracts with Wellness Psychological Services to offer services in both our Tampa and St. Pete offices.

Welcome, I am Dr. Sarah Carpenter, Licensed Psychologist. I work with adults experiencing a variety of life difficulties and mental health concerns. While I am trained to treat an array of psychological conditions, I have a passion for and found my niche working with individuals struggling with substance abuse, trauma, and chronic pain issues. I provide both individual and couples psychotherapy.

I strongly value the therapeutic relationship and the way it can be used to bring about positive change. At the core of my treatment approach lies the belief that mental health concerns stem from a lack of secure connection with others. I believe the therapeutic relationship is a great place to start understanding how you relate to yourself and those around you. It can also offer a safe space to explore yourself in a more meaningful way. In addition to focusing on the processes that unfold within the therapeutic relationship, I adopt an integrative style and often draw upon interventions designed to change the way you view yourself, others, and the world. Such interventions may explore your early life experiences to help you understand your present psychological issues. I seek to help you fill in the gaps of your life to change the way you think, feel, and behave in a more cohesive kind of way. In doing so, you learn how to express your avoided emotions in ways that are healing and corrective. I can also incorporate a more cognitive approach to treatment, to include focusing on identifying and challenging unhelpful beliefs and thoughts that keep you stuck in problematic ways of thinking and acting. Additionally, I offer skills training to enhance mindfulness, communication within relationships, and the ability to tolerate distress and intense emotions. I will ensure that my treatment approach is flexible and tailored to your individual needs and specific concerns, as it is important that I meet you where you are at in your healing process. I respect individual differences and am best known for taking a nonjudgmental and open-minded stance when getting to know you and what you have been through.

I commonly work with clients who struggle with coping with life’s stressors and seek to learn more healthy and adaptive ways to improve their quality of life. In doing so, people become stronger and experience more fully what they value in their lives. I seek to bring you closer to what brings you meaning and purpose, which often means reconnecting with yourself and other people. Using the approach and interventions mentioned above, we will collaborate on a treatment plan that consists of goals aligned with how you envision your mental and physical well-being.


I specialize in the assessment and treatment of substance abuse problems and/or substance use disorders, regardless of your substance of choice. Living a life consumed by addiction can be painful and feel hopeless at times. I have helped many individuals who genuinely believed they were incapable of achieving abstinence and regaining control of their lives. I have a deep respect and appreciation for those struggling with substance abuse issues, and if you are motivated and ready to take action towards recovery, I can help you take those challenging, yet rewarding, steps.

I will guide you through several steps towards your preferred goal – whether that be a total abstinence (stopping the use of substances completely) or harm reduction (reducing the amount of substance use gradually) approach. Those steps, which vary by individual, can include increasing motivation and readiness to change, managing cravings and temptations to use, developing a relapse prevention plan, improving self-efficacy beliefs, enhancing relationships, and finding a greater purpose in life. If you happen to be a supporter of the 12-step program, I will gladly collaborate with you to incorporate that as part of your treatment. I strive to provide an empathic approach to understand your mental health conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety, or more serious concerns), as I believe many choose to self-medicate to treat their emotional and psychological pain. As such, I seek to treat the core issues at hand, as well as substance abuse behaviors. If preferred or recommended, engaging your spouse/significant other in your substance abuse treatment process can also be a highly effective treatment option.

It is common for substance abuse problems and trauma to go hand in hand. I aim to integrate treatments so that the two can be treated together at the same time. It is important to note that the treatment of both issues can be quite challenging; however, I seek to provide the support and tools necessary to increase your success. I previously mentioned the importance (and potential necessity) of exploring core issues underlying substance abuse problems, and there often lies a history of trauma. I follow a stepwise approach to treating both substance abuse and trauma issues, to include (1) establishing safety/stabilization, (2) processing the trauma, and (3) community/relationship reintegration.


I specialize in the assessment and treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other trauma- and stressor-related disorders. I am a certified Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) provider and also offer Prolonged Exposure Therapy. CPT and Prolonged Exposure are first line, evidence-based psychotherapies for the treatment of PTSD and trauma-related issues. Processing and approaching one’s most feared memories and symptoms can be a very difficult task; therefore, I strive to create a safe, nonjudgmental therapeutic environment to help you work through your emotional and psychological pain, as you deserve to regain control of your life.


Living with chronic pain is like living with an invisible illness. Not only is it almost unbearable at times to manage the physical sensation of pain, but also challenging to deal with the associated emotional pain and how it has pulled you away from relationships and activities you value. I specialize in a multidimensional framework for the treatment of chronic pain that integrates the relationship among physical, psychological, behavioral, and social factors that may impact the development and maintenance of pain symptoms. I do not address medication issues as part of treatment, as that is better addressed by your physician. Rather, I can teach you alternative strategies (aside from medication) to manage and tolerate chronic pain. I use several approaches to help you relate to your chronic pain in a different way. By definition, there is no cure for chronic pain, but there are ways for you to live a more meaningful life with chronic pain.


  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression and Bipolar Disorder
  • Emotionally Focused Couples Psychotherapy
  • Life Transitions and Adjustment Disorders

Contact Today

205 S. Hoover Blvd. Ste 202
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 563-1155

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