Dr. Sally Mayo

Sally Mayo
Psychologist, PhD

Accepting new clients (updated April 3, 2017)

She is a great listener but more importantly, she has an uncanny talent in being able to help me identify the core of my problems..."

- Female professional, engineer (2016)

Book an initial phone call

Chat briefly to ensure a good match before a full appointment. (Free)

1 Verify insurances & fees.

2 Book a phone call!

If you are a prospective client, please schedule a phone consult above. For other inquiries, you can email Dr. Mayo here.

    About Dr. Mayo

  • Expertise in anxiety, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, and life transitions
  • Sees many Brown and RISD students, and parents of eating disorder clients
  • As a former dancer, understands the struggles and difficulties of performing artists and creative professionals
  • Offers an integrative approach to therapy, using techniques like guided meditation and drama therapy
  • Primarily psychodynamically-oriented, integrates CBT, DBT, and mindfulness practices depending on the client's needs

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PROFESSIONAL STATEMENT

Dr. Sally Mayo is a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of male and female individuals with eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety, relationship difficulties, and life transitions. She received her PhD from Union Institute & University and her BA from the University of Utah. Dr. Mayo also has an MFA in Modern Dance and MEd in Educational Psychology, Boston College.

Dr. Mayo’s approach to psychotherapy is an integrated, theoretical and practical model that accommodates the goals of the patient, individual difference, and readiness for change. Therapy is a co-creative process that honors the mind/body as a unified container for psychological, emotional, and physical life. Thoughts, feelings, and body sensations are understood as expressions of the psyche with multiple modes or ways of making themselves known, for example, talking, crying, writing, moving, drawing, playing, and meditating.  Therefore, it can be useful and effective, although not always necessary, to use action-oriented techniques in service to the process of change.  And often, just talking is good enough.  

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MESSAGE TO CLIENTS

"A good therapist understands that a patient needs to feel like the therapist is a good fit personally, above and beyond the therapist's particular areas of expertise. In addition, because first-time appointments can be anxiety-provoking, you are encouraged to take a deep breath, relax, and only disclose as much as you are comfortable with."

A message for students: "The stress of college academics and social activities can understandably magnify pre-existing problems. This is normal. Getting arranged with a therapist early in the year or as soon as possible is usually the best preventive. If and when a crisis occurs, you are positioned for faster and maximally effective treatment."

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE

Private practice, 2006 - Present
Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Psychotherapy Supervisor for Psychiatric Fellows doing psychotherapy, 2007 - Present
Cambridge Eating Disorder Center, Post-Doctoral Fellowship Intensive Outpatient Clinician, 2005 - 2006
Newport County Community Mental Health Center, Doctoral Internship in Children's Intensive Services, 2000 - 2001

Union Institute & University, PhD, 2005
University of Utah, MFA, Modern Dance, 1979
Boston College, MEd Psychology
University of Utah, BA, English

specialties

SPECIALTIES

Anxiety – Generalized and on-going worries, sudden panic with frightening body sensations, social anxiety are treatable
Eating Disorder – Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating; As a complexity of causes and manifestations, there are ways to be cured and the best way overall is early and experienced professional help
Depression – Problems with lack of motivation, inability to concentrate, feeling like sleeping a lot, social inhibition or isolation, lack of pleasure in activities, low libido are warning signs
Bipolar Disorder – Mood stability can be optimized with attention to contextual triggers and de-construction of problematic events and situations – a cognitive behavioral model using coping and preventive strategies are useful
Family Issues – Family of origin as a system of learning and development is a key to understanding oneself
Parenting – Since there is no explicit training to be a parent, it can be very difficult at times; Support and guidance can be crucial.
Insomnia – Techniques for falling asleep and hopefully staying asleep can be learned if behavioral methods and suggestions are applied
Relationship Difficulties – It helps to discover underlying assumptions that impact clarity of communication and emotional meaning
Sexual Abuse – Abuse of any kind is never okay. Forced intimacy is particularly disturbing because it is violence, and can take away freedom and self- agency
Existential Challenges – Finding a way to make sense of life (and make life fulfilling within the boundaries of life’s circumstances); adjust to college, post-graduation career transitions, and new relationships
Self-harm – As an expression of distress, self-harm can be treated
Trauma – Different types of traumatic experience can impair ability to function, and better functioning is a must

treatment-orientation

TREATMENT ORIENTATION

Psychodynamic TherapyThe aim of psychodynamic therapy is to bring the unconscious mind into consciousness - helping individuals unravel, experience and understand their true, deep-rooted feelings in order to resolve them. It takes the view that our unconscious holds onto painful feelings and memories, and that the defenses we develop to ensure these difficult memories do not surface from our unconscious often do more harm than good. (learn more)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), patients works with a therapist in a structured way, attending a limited number of sessions. CBT helps patients become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking, so they can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way. (learn more)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment that often used to treat disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, and particularly chronic borderline personality disorder. It teaches skills such as mindfulness, pain tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotional regulation. (learn more)
Existential Therapy Existential therapy is a therapy approach that both embraces human potential and recognizes human limitation. The breadth of existential theory falls into four major themes, which it sees as the root of most psychological problems: 1) Death, 2) Freedom (& Responsibility), 3) Isolation, and 4) Meaninglessness. (learn more)
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a time-limited psychotherapy that focuses on interpersonal issues, which are understood to be a factor in the genesis and maintenance of psychological distress. The targets of IPT are symptom resolution, improved interpersonal functioning, and increased social support. (learn more)
Mindfulness PracticesMindfulness practices include but are not limited to developing awareness, attention, and remembering. In mindfulness-informed therapy, clients develop tools to become aware of what is occurring within and around them, so they can begin to untangle from mental preoccupations and difficult emotions. Self-acceptance and compassion are also core elements of mindfulness-informed therapy. (learn more)
Supportive TherapySupportive psychotherapy is used primarily to reinforce a patient’s ability to cope with stressors by giving clients the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts about the issues. Clinicians help patients learn how to move forward and make decisions or changes that may be necessary to adapt, either to an acute change, such as the loss of a loved one or severe disappointment, or to a chronic situation, such as an ongoing illness. (learn more)

clientele

CLIENTELE

Young adults / college students (18 - 24 years old)
Adults
Couples
Families
Parents
Seniors (65+ years old)
Performing artists (dancers, actors, creative professionals)

Languages

LANGUAGES

English


Sally Mayo is very adaptable to your own needs and is totally willing to change her methodology to what works best for you. I’ve found that she’s great at deeper psychoanalysis and offering higher level academic explanations of processes. That works well for me, and hopefully for other people too. She’s also very open to learning.
— Brown University student (2015)
I was experiencing disordered eating as well as depression and anxiety. A lot of things were going on in my life, including continuing to involve myself in unhealthy relationships which just made me feel worse and exacerbated all my other symptoms.

Dr. Mayo is great. She is a great listener but more importantly, she has an uncanny talent in being able to help me identify the core of my problems. She would be able to distill the key parts from my speaking and help me to truly identify the keys to what I would be feeling at the time, as well as helping me to identify the true cause of my depression and anxiety.
— Female professional, engineer (2016)
I was going through a difficult time having ended a five year relationship, my first post-divorce relationship after 20 years of marriage. At 48 years old, I decided I needed a better understanding of myself and myself in a relationship context.

Dr. Mayo listens. Dr. Mayo listens carefully. She doesn’t give answers. Instead, she teaches you how to learn.
— Trial Attorney (2016)
I was struggling with anxiety and family issues stemming from my grown daughter’s substance-abuse.

Dr. Mayo initially helped me cope with the immediate situation and then worked with me to provide tools for me to handle future encounters. She adapted to my needs at every session by listening, aiding in breathing and relaxing techniques, offering sample dialogues, etc,.
— 65 year old, actor, mother/grandmother (2016)