Therapist Sara Tinker Photo

Sara Tinker, LCSW

Stress, Anxiety Relationships Trauma, Abuse Bipolar disorder Depression
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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.

Professional experience

25yrs in practice
Stress, Anxiety Relationships Trauma, Abuse Bipolar disorder Depression

Additional areas of focus: Addictions, LGBT, Family conflicts, Grief, Intimacy-related issues, Sleeping disorders, Parenting issues, Anger management, Self esteem, Coping with life changes, Compassion fatigue, Abandonment, Attachment Issues, Blended Family Issues, Body Image, Caregiver Issues and Stress, Chronic Pain Illness and Disability, Co-morbidity, Codependency, Commitment Issues, Communication Problems, Control Issues, Coping with Natural or Human-Caused Disaster, Dependent Personality, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), Dissociation, Divorce and Separation, Domestic Violence, Drug and Alcohol Addiction, Eating and Food-Related Issues, Emptiness, Family of Origin Issues, Family Problems, First Responder Issues, Forgiveness, Guilt and Shame, Impulsivity, Infidelity, Isolation / Loneliness, Jealousy, Life Purpose, Midlife Crisis, Military and Veterans Issues, Mood Disorders, Narcissism, Obsessions, Compulsions, and OCD, Panic Disorder and Panic Attacks, Paranoia, Personality Disorders, Phobias, Postpartum Depression, Post-traumatic Stress, Pregnancy and Childbirth, Prejudice and Discrimination, Process addiction (porn, exercise, gambling), Self-Harm, Self-Love, Sex Addiction, Sexual Assault and Abuse, Social Anxiety and Phobia, Somatization, Women's Issues, Workplace Issues, Young Adult Issues

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

Services offered

Live Chat

License information

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.

Great quality talks and advice.

Written on Jul 21, 2023 after therapy with Sara for 2 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, and self esteem

Ms Tinker is kind and understanding. I believe she cares about her patients and goes above and beyond to help them. I am thankful to have her.

Written on Apr 11, 2023 after therapy with Sara for 2 weeks on issues concerning stress, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma and abuse, and grief

Sara is outstanding. She listens, is supportive and routinely checks in with me between therapy sessions. I definitely feel she has greatly improved my mental well-being. She was able to get me to view things from a healthy perspective, I do feel that my sessions with her have enriched my overall wellness.

Written on Jan 24, 2023 after therapy with Sara for 1 year and 3 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, family conflicts, and grief

Sara is understanding and easy to talk to.,

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

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 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

Not yet

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