A Personal Note from Sandy
Class of 1989 Superlatives:
“Most Serious: Sandy Wolf”
HUH??! How could someone whose favorite show is The Simpsons and who has yet to meet a fart joke she didn’t love be voted “Most Serious”?!
Decades later, it hit me: when it comes to anything I care about and set my mind to achieve -- be it learning languages, running a marathon or raising my kid--I am dead serious, no joke, all in.
While I do have a great sense of humor - something I think can be especially helpful for a couples and family therapist - I take helping you solve your marital or family crisis seriously. You will get the swiftest, most comprehensive treatment possible to help you and your loved ones stabilize and thrive.
Ready to have someone treat your struggles seriously by treating the whole picture? Let me know, I’m all in.
Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.
- Master Yoda
5 Signs I may Be the Right Therapist For Your Family
- 1You’ve tried “traditional” couples therapy in the past, but feel like you never got to the root causes of your issues because they keep resurfacing. I do a deep dive with you as a couple/family unit and individually to figure out what’s really behind these unhealthy patterns and dynamics so that we can actually fix them once and for all.
- 2You’re considering divorce and need help FAST to figure out what to do next. My Marriage ER process, based on the evidence-based Discernment Counseling model, was designed for exactly this situation. I am one of only a few clinicians in Connecticut trained in this model.
- 3You want a therapist who can be truly neutral and who has a track record of working effectively with and understanding the perspectives of men and women.
No good guys and bad guys in this office. I hold people accountable for their actions, but that doesn’t mean getting into the blame game. My office is a safe, supportive space for BOTH partners. I joke with my clients that I’m “fluent in both male and female,” but it’s true. After 25 years, I have a deep understanding of the different ways men and women often deal with relationship issues, and know how to get through to each side so that you can move forward, together.
- 4You're confused about whether your family needs individual therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, or some combination, and you’re overwhelmed trying to figure it all out on your own. I can serve as a “general contractor” for all my patients’ mental health needs. If we determine that someone in your family needs individual treatment, or if you need more specialized help as a couple (for instance, a sex therapist), I'll coordinate with other providers to ensure everyone stays on the same page and you aren’t wasting time repeating yourself over and over. That way, you can spend less time on the tedious stuff and save your energy for healing and building new skills together.
- 5You and/or your partner dread the idea of spending endless years “on the couch.” Early in my career, I became frustrated with the revolving door of traditional therapy. So I designed an approach that identifies the root causes of a couple’s issues fast and helps us create a road map to get you back on track to living the lives you want. We’ll start with a clearly outlined 4-session assessment and go from there.
Over 25 Years of Experience Helping Couples & Families on the Connecticut Shoreline
People have often asked me, "Why do you do this work? It sounds messy!"
They’re not wrong. It’s messy! Life is messy. Relationships are messy. Families are messy. Nobody’s perfect. Solving longtime issues is not easy or simple. But while this work can be messy and hard, I feel energized to go to my office every day, because I know I’m part of the solution.
When I started my career over 25 years ago, I worked with children and teens. But I quickly realized that my young patients’ behavioral challenges were often linked to what was going on in their family as a whole. The fact is, while most of my work now focuses on couples, everything I do is still pro-child: the child in you that needs healing and compassion, as well as the children affected by marital issues. Often once a couple’s relationship has improved, their children’s troubling behaviors disappear.
I also love my work because I get to time travel, in a sense: I help adults heal their internal struggles from the past, help them and their children relate and function better today, and help the people they will become in the future. (Bet you didn’t know therapists were time travelers, did ya? Where’s my flux capacitor?)
My Professional Journey
Click through the timeline to learn about my education, experience, and professional milestones over my 25-year career.
Where my professional interest in human mysteries began.
Master of Social Work (MSW)
Gained the practical training and theoretical foundation to become a clinical social worker and therapist.
Completed post-graduate training on Yale's Adolescent Inpatient Unit.
After completing my post-graduate fellowship, I served as a clinician working with teens, adults, and families at Wheeler Clinic and the Branford Counseling Center. Through those experiences, I became a skilled family crisis tamer and expert at assessing risk in teens.
After gaining the skills to practice independently, I decided to open my private practice, Sandy Wolf Psychotherapy, in Guilford in 2001. That year, I also worked part-time as a Mental Health Consultant with Yale's Juvenile Detention Center.
In 2015, I discovered Discernment Counseling, a cutting-edge treatment for couples on the brink of divorce. After completing training, I changed the way I work with all clients from an individual focus to a relational one. I am one of just a few clinicians in Connecticut trained in this model. Discernment Counseling later became my Marriage ER service.
In 2016, after twenty years of working with families, I created the Relational Blueprint, a unique tool that tracks and illustrates the root causes of a couple or family's troubles and pinpoints areas of change. I now offer this tool as an optional add-on service to my Couples and Family Therapy clients.
With over twenty years of experience under my belt and innovative new tools in hand, I designed a new treatment approach focused on core individual changes and skill-building.
I'm still feeling energized and inspired by my work with couples and families and looking forward to where the next twenty-five years will take me!
Want to get your relationship back on course?
Schedule a free 15-minute consultation to learn more about working with me.
It's the quality of our relationships that determines the quality of our lives.
- Esther Perel