About Sepideh Saremi

Founder of Run Walk Talk

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About me
Born in Germany and raised in Los Angeles, I am a psychotherapist, certified running coach, and consultant with a passion for combining running and walking with talk therapy. I provide short-term and long-term psychotherapy and consultation to adult individuals and couples. I work with people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, relationship issues, problems at work, and identity concerns.

My specialty area is helping high achievers in transition or crisis. I also love to work with people working in start-ups, including founders, developers, and creatives. As you might guess, there's a big overlap in these two populations.

How Run Walk Talk was developed
I started walking with my patients when I was working in a community mental health setting several years ago. I noticed that being outdoors and walking together seemed to reduce the mental/emotional distress of my patients as well as their general discomfort with talking about their problems. Walking side-by-side helped them to open up in a way that facing each other in an office didn't allow. The symbolism of walking forward was important and helpful, too.

I decided to add running to my work a few years ago, because I found it to be an incredibly effective part of my own mood management, and because it's so well-supported by research as a mental health intervention. I became certified as a running coach so I could safely guide newer runners, but the emphasis of the work is always mental and emotional wellness, not physical fitness or competition training.

Where I work
In the Greater Los Angeles Area, I offer office-based sessions, house calls/concierge care, and Run Walk Talk therapy conducted outdoors. My offices are located in Beverly Hills and Redondo Beach. 

About my training, philosophy, and treatment style
My training and experience includes treatment of mental health issues like depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and substance abuse, among others, but I don't emphasize diagnosis. Instead, I focus on each individual's inherent strengths to promote change. I think about each person in the context of their environment and intersecting identities, including race, culture, gender/sexuality, and socioeconomic background, among others.

My therapy style is empathic, collaborative, and transparent, and I believe the most transformative element of treatment is the relationship I form with each patient. As such, I am active and involved in the process, elicit feedback often, and see myself as a partner in your care.
 
About the psychological frameworks I use (pardon the psychobabble)
I use several frameworks in the way I approach treatment and think about patients. My work is primarily psychodynamic and always integrative, combining various theories and approaches depending on the needs of the individual or couple. Some of the theories and approaches I use include:

  • Attachment/relational - Examining how early experiences shape current relational patterns and using the treatment relationship as a model for how to shift the way we get our needs met
  • Assertiveness - Identifying ways to be more effective in communicating what we want from others, and setting healthy boundaries to protect ourselves
  • Motivational enhancement and harm-reduction - An evidence-based way of helping people make health changes that uses their intrinsic motivation for doing the best for themselves - without shame or judgment - especially helpful for substance abuse treatment
  • Cognitive-behavioral - Discovering the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behavior and learning new ways of thinking and acting that are more aligned with our values rather than our fears
  • Care coordination and collaboration - Working with other treatment providers in a team approach with the patient's participation to provide the best care, and referring to higher levels of care in the best interest of the patient's needs

My education and other experience
I have an MSW (masters in social welfare) with a concentration in Mental Health Practice from UCLA. I received training at the highly regarded UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services center and completed my clinical hours for licensure in a mental health clinic in Los Angeles, where I worked with patients with complex, co-occuring mental health, substance abuse, and medical problems. 

Prior to becoming a psychotherapist, I was a writer and editor who worked in numerous settings, including magazine publishing, advertising, and technology start-ups. I have a BA in English from the University of Southern California.

If you made it this far, I'm impressed and thankful for your interest - give me a call at 424-270-5427 with your questions and let's talk about how I can help you. You can also email me here.