I work with individuals, couples, and families to help relationships heal. I seek to help individuals, couples, and families navigate a wide range of challenges pertaining to relationships. I have an interest in relational concerns around sexual dynamics as well as improving relational vulnerability and connection.
I believe that humans are relational beings and relationships play an important role in our everyday lives. When relationships get off track, it can be overwhelming. I also believe that the most important factor in a meaningful and helpful therapeutic experience is the relationship between the client and therapist. I am dedicated to understanding you and for you to feel truly heard, seen, and supported.
I work from both a contextual and systems perspective to honor how an individual’s intersections of identity influence how they interact with and are received by the world.
– Sara Lappan, PhD, LMFT
I received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kalamazoo College. I received a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Western Michigan University followed by a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy at Michigan State University. I then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Health Behavior.
I have worked in a variety of therapeutic settings as both a therapist as well as a clinical coordinator and director over the years, including in private practice, university clinics, and an adolescent partial hospitalization program. My current position is serving as an Assistant Professor in the Couple and Family Therapy program at Alliant International University. I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California (LMFT #133066) and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor.
In my work with individuals:
In my work with couples:
In my work with families:
I hail from the great state of Michigan and was born and raised in a small town in one of the most northern points in the lower peninsula (on the tip of the index finger for anyone who understands the “mitten”). I grew up playing sports and played basketball collegiately, so sports are a huge influence not only in my life, but also in my therapy. After I completed by doctorate, I moved to Alabama to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship where I met my fiancé, Lorenzo. We then made the move to California together for me to start my faculty position at Alliant International University in Los Angeles. In my free time, I enjoy being outside, walking, hiking, and staying active. I also love traveling with Lorenzo whenever we have the chance.
Please complete the online intake paperwork before your first session. It takes a while to complete – plan on about 30 minutes – but having this information prior to your arrival helps me make the most of our time together. If the person seeking treatment is a child or adolescent, please fill out the “child/adolescent” paperwork; otherwise please complete the “adult” paperwork. Lastly, only complete the “Release of Information” if requested once we begin meeting. I will provide you with the password.