I am a Pakistani-American Muslim Woman of Color, Texan born and raised, and have learned to take great strength from my bicultural identity. I am bilingual, fluent in both Urdu and English. I believe that identity development is a life-long process - one that connects us to our roots, culture, family of origin, and selves. My own journey to connect to my roots after years of attempting to disconnect from them has shown me how much healing can take place in identifying values and traumas passed down through generations. I have learned that actively working toward incorporating what feels healthy and congruent for me and reconciling what does not has helped me on my ongoing journey toward authenticity and confidence in my identities.
Growing up in a tight-knit Muslim community in Garland, Texas, I am familiar with committed, but unhappy marriages, parent-child conflict, and identity struggles. Being a Muslim in the United States, I know what it can be like to feel different, misunderstood, and even unwanted - and I also know how freeing it can feel to learn to accept yourself fully. These experiences sparked my desire to help individuals and families improve their communication skills and build a shared understanding of love and connectedness both with themselves and their loved ones.
To me, my headscarf is a symbol of my ongoing journey and connection with my faith.
I pursued my desire to help others be their most authentic selves by switching my major to psychology from pre-med during my freshman orientation at the University of Texas. Hook ‘em Horns! During my undergraduate experience, I had the opportunity to participate in both relationship and positive psychology research.
I continued my studies by completing a Master’s in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling from the University of North Texas. I have experience working in non-profit, community mental health, and private practice settings. Through my academic training and clinical work, I have learned that all individuals have the ability to reach their full potential — sometimes needing encouragement and validation along the way. I am passionate about helping clients reach their goals while feeling encouraged and worthwhile throughout the entire process by reminding them of their strength and resilience. I work with individuals and couples from various faith and non-faith backgrounds.
Lahore, Pakistan - part of my cultural roots
My hope is to provide a safe, nonjudgmental space of healing for my clients through culturally affirming, trauma-informed practices.
Your unique story and background is important to me.
Certification & Licensure
Licensed Professional Counselor
Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator
Certified Keeping the Joy in Relationships Facilitator
Master of Science in Counseling University of North Texas
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
University of Texas at Austin
Features & Appearances
Voyage Austin: Inspiring Conversations with Sarah Shah
Canvas Rebel: Meet Sarah Shah