As a child, Sarah J. Turner, PhD, spent time visiting nursing and retirement homes where she would read and listen to the residents’ stories. This sparked her natural curiosity about human life and ultimately drew her toward the field of psychology. Matriculating at California State University, she first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a minor in education, before achieving a Master of Science in counseling and psychology in 1973. Dr. Turner went on to serve as a teacher in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District between 1975 and 1980, where she was instrumental in the establishment of their special education program, and was licensed in medical hypnosis through the University of California in 1980.
Subsequently joining Children’s Health of Orange County, where she spent 15 years as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Turner continued to further her education during this time as well. In 1987, she obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in clinical psychology from the California Graduate Institute and was certified in bioenergetic analysis in 1993. She also holds certification in cognitive behavioral therapy, marriage and family therapy, learning disabilities, school psychology and as a life counselor and resource specialist. Today, Dr. Turner is noted for her expertise in self-portrait therapy, fall prevention, Reichian therapy, health psychology, therapeutic exercise, learning disabilities, death and dying, and stress management.
Since 2001, Dr. Turner has excelled as a clinical psychologist in her eponymous private practice, where she sees couples as well as individual adults and children. She provides both one-on-one and group therapy sessions, through which she offers a variety of unique therapy techniques, including the previously mentioned self-portrait therapy and body awareness therapies that help disabled individuals manage their physical surroundings. Dr. Turner’s overarching goal is to help her patients with self-awareness and the discovery of their creative selves.
As she looks toward the future, Dr. Turner plans to continue to develop her self-portrait therapy program. In particular, she hopes to leverage her background in education to bring the program to schools, as she feels that it can be useful as a teaching tool. She has also made a name for herself as a public speaker with “The Body Speaks,” a presentation that she originated in 1995. That same year, she was also a contributing author for “Strategic Emotional Involvement.”
In an effort to remain up to date with new developments in her field, Dr. Turner maintains professional affiliation with several professional organizations. These include the California Psychological Association, the Los Angeles Learning Disabilities Association, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the California Society for Hypnosis in Family Counseling. While she has accomplished much in her various roles, she considers her favorite part of her career to be the presentations that she has given over the years to hospitals, medical practices, retirement homes, schools and education groups. Dr. Turner is also particularly proud to have been inducted into the National Registry of Who’s Who in 2000.
Dr. Turner attributes much of her success to the respect she holds for her family legacy and her ancestors. Several of them were notably involved in the foundation of both Yale University and Harvard University. However, she also credits her emphasis on education and the fact that she was encouraged to cultivate her curiosity as a child. Outside of her work, she enjoys writing; historic preservation; painting with oils, acrylic, pastels and charcoal; and playing the piano. Dr. Turner is also the proud mother of two children, a daughter who is a physical therapist specializing in neurology and a son who is a graphic designer, and grandmother to two grandchildren.