Sarah Bren, PhD

Sarah Bren

Psychologist, PhD

Accepting new clients for morning and daytime appointments



Young adults / college students (18 - 24)


Mon: 8:00am-4:00pm
Tue: 12:00pm-8:00pm
Wed: 8:00am-4:00pm
Thu: 8:00am-4:00pm
Fri: Closed
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Specialties & expertise

  • Relationships

  • Trauma

  • Emotion regulation

  • Life transitions

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

Professional statement

Dr. Sarah Bren is a clinical psychologist at the group practice Octave in Midtown Manhattan. Dr. Bren specializes in relationships, trauma, emotion regulation, life transitions, anxiety, and depression. She is a highly knowledgeable therapist with extensive experience in both individual and group counseling. Dr. Bren focuses on empowering each client with strong interpersonal skills for effective communication.

She is an expert in using dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) to support individuals with personality disorders including borderline, narcissistic, and dependent personality disorders. She also works with many clients who have a trauma background, providing them with the emotional support, coping skills, and psychoeducation needed to progress toward a place of healing. 

Dr. Bren takes an integrative and flexible approach to care, providing an open, supportive, and reflective environment to optimize personal growth. She is especially passionate about working with young adults facing a transition in their lives, such as the transition from college to the working world, helping them learn to better manage the resulting stress. Her practice in Midtown is conveniently located a short walk away from Grand Central.


Relationships – Understanding one’s wants and needs in relationships; exploring patterns of interaction, addressing concerns, and strengthening satisfaction in relationships and dating
Trauma – Coping and healing after threatening or scary events, such as witnessing accidents or experiencing sexual, verbal, emotional, or physical abuse
Emotion regulation –Learning how to identify, express, and manage feelings in safe, in-control ways
Life transitions – Coping with difficult or impactful life changes, such as moving to a new area, relationship transitions, child rearing, or career changes; learning self-care to better manage resulting stress
Anxiety – Coping with excessive worry, nervousness, or stress; intense discomfort in social settings (social anxiety); sudden and intense feelings of panic (panic disorder)
Depression – Providing support and promoting healing through hopelessness, low motivation and energy, sadness, irritability, sleep disturbance, and loss of interest and pleasure in life

General expertise

Academic issues – Addressing underperformance in coursework, school avoidance, and procrastination
Anger management – Addressing sudden outbursts of anger or sustained resentment; developing healthy anger expression and outlets
Compulsive behaviors – Coping with overwhelming urges and impulses, such as hair pulling or skin picking; developing alternative ways to reduce stress and alleviate suffering
Couples counseling – Addressing relationship challenges and life transitions; strengthening communication and feelings of security, desire, connection, and love
Personality disorders – Support reducing emotional suffering and addressing relationship challenges
Self harm – Building skills and supports to cope with emotional pain, suffering, and numbness; increasing positive meaningful life experiences
Transgender & gender identity topics – Exploring gender identity, including trans, non-binary, and gender variant identities; support throughout the process of transition


Dr. Bren is not in-network with any insurances.

Read about the benefits of seeing an out-of-network provider here.

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Individual therapy: $250/session (45min)

Therapist's note: Dr. Bren can provide you with paperwork for your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network reimbursement.

Message to clients

"My goal is to help individuals become more attuned with themselves, others, and their environment in the service of increasing personal and interpersonal satisfaction and getting one's needs met more effectively. I believe that no feelings are off-limits, and that a supportive space to work through challenging emotions, thoughts, and conflicts can be tremendously therapeutic. I offer a non-judgmental, open, and safe space where individuals can process what they are struggling with and work towards change. Many of my clients struggle with anxiety, depression, issues in relationships, trouble working through life transitions, and difficulty feeling in control of their emotions.

I work with adults in individual and group therapy. I am trained in psychodynamic and behavioral therapies, including CBT and DBT. My approach to treatment is integrative, flexible, and tailored to the specific needs of each person.

I see private clients through the group practice Octave, an innovative clinic with a focus on accessible and quality care located in Midtown Manhattan.

Treatment approaches

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)In cognitive behavioral therapy, you work with a therapist in a structured way, attending a limited number of sessions. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking, so you 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)
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)
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)

Education and work experience

Octave, Clinical Psychologist 2018 - Present
Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Supervising Psychologist and Associate Professor 2016 - 2018

Long Island University, PhD, 2016
New York University, BA, 2007