Sarah Xavier, DO

Sarah Xavier

Psychiatrist, DO

Accepting new clients


 
 

Clientele

Children (<12)
Teenagers (13 - 18)
Young adults / college students (18 - 24)
Adults
Couples
Parents

Specialties & expertise

  • Professional challenges
  • Existential challenges
  • Difficult life transitions
  • Individuals in crisis
  • Grief and coping
  • Children and adolescents
  • Medication management
  • Family issues
  • Relationship challenges
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Depression
  • ADD / ADHD
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Chronic illness
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Professional statement

Dr. Sarah Xavier has been a physician for over 15 years, with advanced training in Adult, Child & Adolescent, and Forensic Psychiatry from Yale University. Since her training, Dr. Xavier has worked extensively and directly with clients of all ages in a wide variety of settings and roles, including as the Medical Director of Psychiatric Services at Rhode Island Training School, the Associate Chief Psychiatrist at PAS at Butler Psychiatric Hospital, and presently, as the attending psychiatrist at the Bryant University Counseling Center. Her depth and breadth of training and positions have allowed Dr. Xavier to develop a uniquely rich perspective and an extensive treatment toolkit that she brings into her private practice. She offers the option of providing both medication management and psychotherapy together, or medication alone, in concert with a separate therapist.

Dr. Xavier recognizes that medication is not for everyone, and therefore she offers long sessions with the goal of knowing the client well. Dr. Xavier skillfully treats clients who are in crisis, professionals who are functioning well, adults and adolescents experiencing major losses and difficult life transitions, as well as young children.

Dr. Xavier maintains a focus on ethics and evidence-based treatments while providing compassionate care. She places a high value on helping her clients become educated collaborators in the process of treatment. She develops carefully crafted treatment plans that are tailored to one's specific needs, fears, abilities, and motivation level.

Note: Osteopathic physicians (DOs) are fully licensed medical doctors who practice the entire scope of medicine that allopathic physicians (MDs) practice.


Specialties

Anxiety – Generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks; performance anxiety; feeling overwhelmed from writing many lists
Compulsive behaviors, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Including compulsive overeating, compulsive spending; Using exposure and response prevention to help clients confront OCD, e.g. concern with and/or fear of germs and becoming 'contaminated'
Depression – Inability to get out of bed, lack of motivation; sleep and energy disruption, overall mood disturbance
Grief and Coping – Processing the loss of a loved one or any form of grief
Life transitions –  Adjusting to college, new relationships, career transitions and direction; mid-life existential, relationship, and career challenges; losing one’s drive or burn out; learning self-care
Medication management – Conducts risk-benefit analyses when prescribing medication, working with patients as their consultant, offering information about benefits and side effects
 

General expertise

ADD / ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) – Managing ADHD and its effects on decision making, studies, relationships, and work
Bipolar disorder – Using coping and preventive strategies to stabilize swings between elevated mood or irritability and depressive episodes
Chronic illness – Managing chronic illness ; receiving a diagnosis, contemplating and processing related emotions, viewing through a holistic lens
Existential challenges / crises – Questioning purpose, spirituality, existence; finding one’s path and voice, especially when it differs from society's expectations
Family issues – Helping young adults navigate family issues; helping parents with their own issues within the context of supporting children
Relationships –  Feeling unsatisfied in your partnership; communication challenges; addressing issues of power and voice; contemplation of separation; questioning one’s place in the relationship; breakups, friendships, dating


Insurances

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

Out-of-pocket fees

First appointment: $350/session (45min) or $600/session (90min)

Ongoing medication management: $200/session (25min)

Ongoing therapy sessions: $350/session (45min)


Message to clients

For students:

"As high school students, you are leaving what it is familiar (rules, friends, a secure base) and heading off into a time of much change, uncertainty, and much less oversight. You will be tasked with fitting in and possibly jockeying for academic or athletic rank. You will be learning who you want to be and how you wish to soothe yourself in the context of new opportunities, pressures and stressors (alcohol, overnights, drugs, sex, food, heartbreak, academic demands).

As a college student, you are experiencing much of this in real time. You may also be figuring out if you can sustain yourself after college (independent of your family of origin), if you can achieve status, happiness, or love. For all of these reasons, this time period in your life is considered a major life transition.

For medical students, you may experience the pressure of making decisions that may have a high risk for grave consequences. Given the complexity of these factors, introspection via therapy allows you to dictate who you want to be during this time, rather than being dictated by your changing emotions."


Treatment approaches

Insight oriented Psychotherapy
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)
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)
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)
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)


Education and work experience

RI Training School, Director of Psychiatric Services
Butler Hospital, Patient Assessment Services, Associate Chief Psychiatrist
Bradley Hospital, Pediatric Partial Hospital Program (Children ages 0-6), Attending Psychiatrist
RI Family Court, Mental Health Clinic, Weekly Psychiatric Consultant
Butler Hospital, Risk Manager
Bryant University, Counseling Services, Attending Psychiatrist
RI Psychological Association, Seminars on Psychopharmacology, Invited Speaker
CT Mental Health Clinic, State Psychiatric Hospital, Chief Resident
Yale University Mental Hygiene Clinic, University Student Counseling Services
US Dept. Of Affairs, West Haven VA, National Center for PTSD, PTSD Clinic
Death Row, Livingston Texas

Yale School of Medicine Division of Law and Psychiatry, Forensic fellowship, 2006 - 2007
Yale Child Study Center, Child psychiatry fellowship, 2004 - 2006
Yale School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, Adult psychiatry residency
The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, DO, 2000
Bowdoin College, BA, Lucien Howe Prize (faculty nominated award for 4 year career of highest conduct and character), 1996


Languages

English


Client testimonials

Dr. Xavier is a very knowledgeable, professional individual whom I highly recommend being a patient of hers now for several years. She respects my input when deciding on whatever treatment plan she advises and is cautious in managing that plan. She solicits the right questions in determining a proper diagnosis and provides resolutions objectively. A very cheerful, empathetic, and positive individual that a person with clinical depression can appreciate.
— Providence College graduate, cum laude (2016)
Dr. Xavier is phenomenal. She has an expansive knowledge of meds and their effects and explains it all in layman’s terms so I can participate in the decisions made on meds. I wish I had found her sooner!
— Working professional (2017)

Professional endorsements

Why would you recommend this therapist? Dr. Xavier is a very kind and compassionate person. She is extremely well-liked by her patients. Her fund of knowledge is immense and she is constantly broadening it. Dr. Xavier has a gift for connecting with patients, both children and adults. I would be very comfortable referring a family member to her. I’ve worked with a lot of psychiatrists over the years and Dr. Xavier is truly outstanding.

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for? Mood disorders (depression/mania), personality disorders, eating disorders, thought disorders, developmental disorders.
— Walter D. Fitzhugh, MD, MPH, FASAM. Psychiatrist and Medical Director. Co-worker (2016)
How do you know this therapist? I have worked closely with Dr. Sarah Xavier for many years. I have referred many of my clients to her for psychiatric evaluations and medication management. I have also heard her lecture on psychopharmocology for the Rhode Island Psychological Association

Why would you recommend this therapist? Dr. Xavier is one of the most thorough psychiatrists I have met. She has excellent diagnostic skills, has a broad knowledge of treatment options, is personable and her follow up is impeccable. Whenever I have a psychiatric question or need a psychiatric consult she is my “go to” person.

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for? Dr. Xavier has a broad base of experience and I have referred children, adolescents and adults to her. I trust that, given her strong adherence to good practice standards and ethics, that she would let me know if someone I referred was beyond her expertise.
— Louis Turchetta, Ed.D, Director, Strategic Psychological Services (2016)
How do you know this therapist? Dr. Xavier has provided two CE programs on psychopharmacolgy in the past 4 years for the Rhode Island Psychological Association. We have also collaborated on clients in my care whom I have referred to Dr. Xavier for medication consultation and management.

Why would you recommend this therapist? Dr. Xavier’s approach to her patients both behaviorally and with regard to medication, as well as her wealth and breadth of knowledge regarding various psychotropic medications and their effects, side effects, benefits, and limitations, and their interactions with other psychotropics and other medications prescribed for other medical conditions, have led me to develop great trust in her judgment, insight and care for patients.

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for? Any of the mental health conditions for which I suspect medication might be helpful to my client would lead me to consider a referral to Dr. Xavier. I would contact her to discuss her knowledge and confidence in dealing with a particular individual and/or problem. Certainly, any one with issues of anxiety, depression, ADHD, etc. would be reasonable referrals to her,
— A. R. Hamel, Ph.D., retired from full time clinical practice (2016)
Why would you recommend this therapist? Dr. Xavier is an insightful, compassionate, and intelligent therapist. She is both deliberate and patient with her clients. Her warmth and her expertise makes her a valuable asset to those she serves.

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for? Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, relationship issues, personality disorders, OCD, PTSD. I am unable to identify an issue for which I would NOT refer.
— William C Phillips, Director of Counseling Services at Bryant University (2016)