About me

Sara Jane Tinker, MS, MSW, LCSW, EMDR, SEP (SE) is a licensed Clinical Psychotherapist and trauma counselor licensed in the state of Tennessee with over twenty-five years' experience, offering trusted, confidential, personalized, and effective research supported interventions. An interesting mix of professional training, skills and life experience adds a unique richness to what I offer clients. Crossroads experiences in my late teens got me onto a path of self-discovery that led to my present career, which I love and consider my true passion. I love to stay up to date and learn new techniques that can help clients, so more recently I trained in EMDR through the Personal Transformation Institute and am enrolled in the two-year Advanced EMDR Certification program approved by EMDRIA. I am also enrolled in Dr. Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing, gentle and effective treatments for trauma resolution. I am a member of the Southern Sandtray Institute Group and work with all ages in sandtray therapy as well as family & couples therapy. Psychodynamic, Self-Psychology, Object Relations, Systems & Family Therapy are my foundational lens while utilizing Somatic Experiencing (SE), EMDR, Person Centered, DBT, and Attachment work. My counseling style is warm , interactive, and engaging and I believe a trusting, therapeutic relationship is the foundation for the therapy. I treat everyone with respect, dignity, sensitivity, and compassion. I view people as more than stigmatizing labels, diagnoses, past "mistakes" and instead, build on your strengths, your hopes, and the possibilities.
In the 1980’s my love for the mind-body-spirit connection led me to a graduate degree in Exercise Physiology & Wellness, completing my research thesis on Aerobic Fitness & Stress Perception. Next, I studied Yoga & Meditation at the Pennsylvania Himalayan Institute, later traveling & studying in India and Nepal. My graduate training at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville included stints at a clinic for victims of sexual abuse, community mental health, and later after working in acute adolescent psychiatric/A & D and in-home adolescent/child treatment, I opened a private practice in 1992. More recently, I had the opportunity to train with Rev. Becca Stevens, Founder of Magdalene in 1997, now called Thistle Farms, designed to heal, empower, and employ female survivors of human trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. I also worked with Mending Hearts, whose mission is to provide shelter, hope and healing to women who may be homeless due to addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Other common issues brought to therapy: Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorders, Trauma, Relationship problems, Mood Swings, Stress, Chronic Pain, Communication issues, anxiety, depression, premarital counseling, spiritual or church trauma, gender identity issues, family problems, raising teens /children, and chronic pain due to autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia, lupus, arthritis, Crohn’s, and Sarcoidosis.

One of the reasons I connect so well with my clients is that I’ve had such a diversity of experiences. I know the stress of the work, a long-distance relationship, losing family, career confusion and change, chronic pain, loss, dealing with a loved one’s addiction, recovery, blended families, spiritual crisis & searching, divorce after a long marriage, and dealing with aging loved ones and dementia. I have experienced the healing of therapy, support groups and body-energy work, and can offer hope from my own experience, as well as from my professional training. I help clients create a life of joy despite the challenges. I genuinely enjoy helping people, and have both the tools and the experience to help guide you through better communications, deeper connections, family issues, healthier boundaries, major decisions, health problems, becoming your authentic self, and most importantly the healing process.

It takes courage to pick up the phone and call when there is this feeling "I should be able to handle this myself." Being strong doesn't mean you don't get help; it means you know when to ask for help, you can face your fears and anxieties about actually asking for help, and you're willing to look at yourself, your relationships, and your life honestly. Just give me a call; we can see if we are a good fit and if we think we can work together to help you make the changes you want to see in your life.


  • Stress, Anxiety
  • Relationship issues
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
Also experienced in:
Addictions , LGBT , Family conflicts , Grief , Intimacy-related issues , Sleeping disorders , Parenting issues , Anger management , Self esteem , Coping with life changes , Compassion fatigue , Abandonment , Aging and Geriatric Issues , Read more...

Clinical approaches:
Attachment-Based Therapy, Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Psychodynamic Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Somatic Therapy, Trauma-Focused Therapy

Years of Experience: 25

Services Offered

  • Messaging

  • Live Chat

  • Phone

  • Video


TN LCSW 1046


These quotes represent just a few of the many positive reviews that we have received for Sara Tinker. We don’t pay anyone to provide their review and they are all made voluntarily. Some people's experience receiving therapy with BetterHelp might be different.

Written on Dec 01, 2022 after therapy with Sara for 2 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, trauma and abuse, grief, and self esteem

Sara is understanding and easy to talk to.,

Written on Oct 05, 2022 after therapy with Sara for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, family conflicts, grief, intimacy-related issues, sleeping disorders, parenting issues, anger management, coping with life changes, and adhd

Very knowledgeable, she seemed to know my life right off the bat and she was right on Tracy and gave me great advice so that I no longer felt like I was about to have a nervous breakdown

Written on Jun 30, 2022 after therapy with Sara for 9 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, family conflicts, and grief

Sara has been terrific in helping me address my issues and keeping them managed

Written on May 14, 2022 after therapy with Sara for 3 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, self esteem, and career difficulties

Not yet

Written on Apr 07, 2022 after therapy with Sara for 2 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma and abuse, grief, intimacy-related issues, self esteem, career difficulties, and coping with life changes

She is an exemptionally knowledgeable trauma therapist

She sends me tons of extremely educational information and even talks on a case basis explaining how to apply it in situations to have healthier outcomes witther that be with myself or others

Written on Feb 07, 2022 after therapy with Sara for 3 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, lgbt, family conflicts, eating disorders, self esteem, anger management, career difficulties, coping with life changes, and adhd

Talking to her has definitely helped me out a lot to get things off of my chest and has helped me on understanding my chronic pain. The videos she sends are also really helpful.

Written on Dec 08, 2021 after therapy with Sara for 1 month on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, grief, self esteem, career difficulties, coping with life changes, coaching, and compassion fatigue

Sara is a wonderfully empathetic and honest therapist who helped guide me through one of the most profoundly painful seasons of my life. She was able to quickly understand the traumas I am navigating by actively listening to my issues and seeking to understand my whole person, and has provided clear guidance to help me grow through these challenges. Sara brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her clients that encompasses traditional therapies as well as holistic practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and yoga. I am confident the tools she has given me will help me not only presently but also for years to come. Thank you for your kind support and insights, Sara!

Written on Dec 04, 2021 after therapy with Sara for 1 month on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, lgbt, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, intimacy-related issues, eating disorders, self esteem, and anger management

Sara has been so helpful and non judgmental. I struggle to find comfort with therapists and she really makes me feel comfortable and able to speak about my thoughts and emotions!

Written on Dec 01, 2021 after therapy with Sara for 1 month on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship issues, family conflicts, anger management, and bipolar disorder

Working with Sara T has-been a great experience. I'm particularly going through a rough patch in life and she has helped a lot guiding me through some things. Very grateful for her and highly recommend.

Written on Nov 24, 2021 after therapy with Sara for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, grief, self esteem, anger management, career difficulties, bipolar disorder, compassion fatigue, and adhd

Sara has been amazing! I have had many therapists, none of which I had any confidence in, or even felt they understood why I was seeking help. They prescribed me every cocktail of medication they could think of, which was counterproductive for me. So I quit trying for more than a decade and swore I'd never seek professional help for my mental health again.

Sara has been on point, from day one. I specifically enjoy that she explains the "why", without me having to ask, as well as passes NO judgement. She's given me hope when I had none left. I have full confidence that, provided I put in the work, she will be able to help me heal from my traumatic childhood. I just want to hug and thank her after each session. And if you've read this far, don't give up. You deserve to be loved, happy, and healthy too ❤

Written on Nov 07, 2021 after therapy with Sara for 1 month on issues concerning relationship issues, and sleeping disorders

I have only met with Sara once so far but she was great, understanding and very helpful

Work with me!