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Meet Sara Hulan, Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist/Art Therapist Intern in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sara Hulan.

Sara, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After graduating from college with a major in art and a minor in sociology, I was working in the design and video editing part of the Los Angeles world. I found myself not fulfilled by the work and annoyed at how women were constantly represented in media (not to mention treated in the office). This leads me to fall right into my work at Institute for Girls’ Development in Pasadena.

I worked at the Institute for Girls’ Development as an administrator and helped run their program for elementary and middle school girls. It seems my dismay for lack of reasonable representation could be fueled and used for good. It was there I also discovered SoulCollage(R). SoulCollage(R) is an art practice designed to connect you with your intuition. Ultimately, I became a SoulCollage(R) facilitator so that I could help others have similar experiences. I felt set on a great path with many more opportunities in my future.

At the age of 25, I experienced three grand mal seizures. This was life changing and, at the time, felt life ending. Due to residual partial seizures, there were times where I could not read, speak, or understand when people were speaking to me. It is kind of a problem when you are trying to talk to people about empowering girls and women or facilitating a workshop. I decided to sink myself back into my yoga practice and got my 200-hour yoga teacher training. While I was doing this, I worked with my amazing neurologist who helped me decide to take continuing education at UCLA.

After finishing the required classed, I applied to graduate school and got in. I attend Phillips Graduate University in Northridge because it offered me a masters in Psychology specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy. I am lucky enough to stay in good health to pursue my dreams and be able to give so much back to the world around me.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
If something is a smooth road, that would be boring. I am so happy to have bumps in my path. They help keep me moving forward.

I was dedicated to my work at the Institute for Girls’ Development, but I was also not happy. I felt so good to be giving back to the community and helping girls find empowerment. Yet, I was held back by not having my masters and my license. I wanted to do so much more.

When I had my three grand mal seizures, I was devastated and confused. Even when I tried to go back to my work, I was frustrated by my partial seizures. At the time, it would take me thirty minutes to read ONE email. I felt lost and did not know exactly how to tell the people around me what was happening. In fact, it was not until we found my current neurologist six months after the initial seizures that she explained what partial seizures were.

Since then, I have recovered and become who I am today. I am so happy to have bumps in the road. They have given me a great perspective on being happy with just basic elements of life.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Sara Hulan, Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist/Art Therapist Intern (IMF #97806) supervised by Christina Savalas Kousakis, MA, LMFT, License MFC#48942 – what should we know?
I am a registered associate marriage and family therapist/art therapist intern. I see everyone: children, couples and individuals. What I like about being a psychotherapist is that my work really gets to be specialized around my client. I can adjust what I do base on what they need. Often I see people going through transitions of some sort: going through a divorce, looking for a new career or just not sure what to do next. I also run SoulCollage(R) workshops for companies and parties.

The most unique element of my work is that I am able to offer art therapy. Art therapy is such a unique way to connect with your inner self. Often time, I feel the therapeutic process happens at such a deeper level because of the experience with the art. Art therapy is good for anyone at any age with any to no art experience.

I am so proud to be able to offer workshops all around Pasadena that focus on well-being and helping people flourish.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have so many people along my path that have helped me get to where I am. I think it would take way too much time to list them all. From mentors and teachers at my graduate school to friends in colleagues post-school.

Obviously, my parents have always been my greatest allies and support. They have always been there when I needed them and pushed me when I needed a push.

My husband and my daughter are my currently biggest supporters. I push myself forward in my career hoping that my daughter will see a strong role model as she grows up.

Of course, my supervisor, Christina Kousakis, LMFT, has been among my greatest mentors in this process. She was my supervisor when I was in graduate school and she continues to be my supervisor. Whenever I am stuck or have questions, I know I can always rely on her for support and ideas.

I could list every single one of my friends in my life because they have been there when I needed them. I think that would take way too long.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Shannon M West Photography, Jack and Lola Photography, Jamie Enochs Photography, White Lotus Photography, Apples and Honey Photography

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