Saira E. John, Ph.D.
I completed my master’s degree in Community Agency Counseling at Auburn University and a pre-doctoral internship at the University of Notre Dame. I earned my doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from The University of Memphis (American Psychological Association approved program) in 2001. Over the last two decades, I have worked in various settings (community mental health centers, elementary/middle/high schools, in-patient hospital units, college campuses, group homes, and private practice). I eventually honed in on private practice because it seems to be the setting that allows time to develop a solid therapeutic relationship where I can assist clients through many phases of life.
I took a professional hiatus for a few years to have children and spend time with them at home. During this “break,” I developed a keen interest in caring for other mothers (nurturing nurturers). I couldn’t help but notice the increasing number of families turning to fertility assistance to make their family dreams come true. Also, I became aware of the high incidence of general pregnancy challenges associated with miscarriages, high-risk pregnancies, advanced maternal age, as well as mental health issues during and after pregnancy. Though I’d describe myself as a generalist, I do work with men, too, and address issues like depression, anxiety, relationships, etc. I’ve also developed a specialty focused on reproductive psychology. Overall, my private practice has evolved into working with professionals, stay-at-home-mothers, adults in transition and those needing support for personal growth and development.
My community involvement includes volunteering as a provider for The Pregnancy and Postpartum Health Alliance of Texas. This non-profit organization offers services to mothers from low socioeconomic levels who are dealing with postpartum depression and other mood disorders. I’m also a member of the Austin Perinatal Clinicians Group that’s comprised of a multidisciplinary team of professionals. We staff cases, advocate on behalf of mothers, plan outreach efforts, as well as educate other professionals and the public on mental health issues that impact pregnant women and new mothers.
Since I was raised in Louisiana, I consider the South to be my home. My family and I have lived in Austin since 2003 and count ourselves lucky to have discovered this wonderful city. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, entertaining and taking on challenging dessert recipes. In 2010, I joined a local running group and regularly participate in half and full marathons. Overall, my entire family appreciates the active lifestyle that Austin offers, friendly folks and warm weather.