Dr. Samiram (Sami) Saghafi is a postdoctoral fellow at CBC where she works primarily with adolescents, young adults, and adults. Sami has experience providing evidence-based treatments to a diverse group of clients across a variety of settings, including community mental health clinics, college counseling centers, and inpatient psychiatric hospitals. Sami has a particular interest in working with young adults and adults with suicidal ideation and behavior, self-harm, posttraumatic stress, and mood disorders. Her overall approach to treatment is cognitive-behavioral in nature, with a specific focus and expertise in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Sami has been intensively trained in both Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and DBT. Sami received her BA in Psychology from American University and a Master’s degree in Psychology from Catholic University, both in Washington DC. She also earned a Master’s degree and Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA.
Throughout her graduate training, Sami completed externships at various outpatient mental health centers across Philadelphia. Sami completed an externship at at the University of Pennsylvania outpatient clinic where she provided CBT and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) to adults presenting with a broad range of mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress, mood and anxiety disorders, personality disorders, suicidality, substance use, and comorbid health issues. Sami also completed an externship at the Josephs J. Peters Institute where she learned extensively about the assessment and treatment of trauma in children, adolescents, and adults. Sami completed her final externship at an outpatient program at Drexel University where she provided comprehensive DBT, including phone coaching, DBT skills group, and individual therapy, to adults presenting with both medical and psychological difficulties such as HIV, chronic pain, obesity, self-harm behaviors, suicidality, substance use, personality pathology, and trauma. Sami also participated as a student clinician on three specialty outpatient mental health treatment teams, including La Salle University’s Anxiety Disorders team where she administered assessments to patients with anxiety disorders. She also served on the Health Psychology and Mindfulness teams where she provided individual therapy to adults with both health and mental health difficulties. Throughout each training experience, Sami dedicated herself to increasing competencies in the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as culturally diverse populations.
Sami completed her pre-doctoral internship at Ancora State Psychiatric Hospital and Rowan University’s College Counseling Center. At Ancora Psychiatric Hospital, Sami conducted assessments and provided inpatient therapy to young adults and adults presenting with bipolar disorder, personality disorders, substance use disorders, and psychosis. At Rowan University, Sami provided treatment to a college-aged population who presented with a range of mental health issues. During internship, Sami was trained and supervised in Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) and utilized both RO-DBT and DBT as her primary treatment modalities.
Sami’s research interests include the study of suicidal behavior and ideation. She worked as a research assistant at the Catholic University’s Suicide Prevention Lab for two years. Sami’s doctoral dissertation at La Salle University specifically examined the relationship between racial discrimination and suicidal ideation among Black pregnant women. Although Sami is first and foremost a clinician, she always uses research to guide and inform her treatment approach. Sami is currently a member of the American Association of Suicidology and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT).