Meet the team: Interview with Saira Malhotra, MSW

Tell us what to expect from you as their therapist.

I start out every therapeutic relationship by getting to know my clients. I want to learn about your strengths, your relationships, and what brought you to therapy. My hope is that the process will feel organic and inviting, so our sessions will feel much more like a conversation than an interrogation. During a first session, we’ll work together to create your goals for treatment, expectations for the therapeutic space, and a schedule for follow up sessions.

One of the hallmarks of my practice is the notion that progress is not linear. Every person’s journey towards healing is unique, which means the frequency of follow up sessions may fluctuate with time. That being said, I often find that patients start out by meeting with me weekly and taper off as things improve.

I strive to make my office a collaborative, compassionate, and safe space for patients to explore their thoughts and feelings without judgment. I combine this perspective with evidence-based techniques to help patients grow into the best versions of themselves. Among these techniques, I primarily draw from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. I regularly check in with patients throughout treatment to see what’s working well and what needs adjustment.

What is your general philosophy and approach to helping?

Life is constantly throwing us curveballs. These obstacles can be incredible opportunities for growth – but it’s hard to see that when the emotional pain they cause is overwhelming. to hel

Growing up in an Indian household, I heard the word “shanti” more times than I could count. This Hindi word translates to represent one having the inner peace to come up against difficulty. We all have an inner strength that’s challenging to harness when things get rough. My goal is to help patients find their shanti so they can face and evolve from life’s curveballs.

This process, as I mentioned before, is not a linear one. Each person’s shanti looks different, and it takes courage, vulnerability, and patience to find it. My office will always be a space that honors this courage and prioritizes your unique needs.

What is your specialty (i.e., broadly, who is your ideal client)?

I primarily specialize in working with children, adolescents, and young adults. I enjoy working with children who have difficulty managing behavioral outbursts, big emotions, or general distress they encounter in their lives. I am also experienced in working with adolescents and young adults who are struggling with identity development, life transitions, and relationship challenges. I’ve enjoyed helping patients across age groups heal from anxiety, depression, and sociocultural forces that have impacted their mental health.

What is your educational history (including professional certifications, workshops, internships, etc.)

Eight years ago, I discovered my love for the field of mental health care. I have since practiced in a variety of settings to provide outpatient therapy and crisis management to individuals across ages and demographics. Along the way, I earned my B.A. in Psychology from Boston University (BU) and my Master’s in Social Work from the University of Denver (DU). While earning my degrees, I worked as a peer support counselor, a clinician’s assistant for the Child Program at BU’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, and a researcher for a variety of projects related to positive youth development.

My clinical training took place with the Colorado “I Have A Dream” Foundation (CIHAD) and EMPOWER Centers for Excellence in Family Behavioral Health. For two years, I worked for CIHAD as both a therapist and a crisis response team member. In this role, I primarily served youth and families from low-income and Latinx backgrounds. I expanded on this work as a clinician at EMPOWER Centers, where I continue to provide individual therapy. Throughout these experiences, I earned training in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, Trauma Assessment and Intervention, Suicide Assessment and Intervention, and a variety of therapeutic modalities.

Who was your childhood “hero”?

My childhood hero was my mom. In a culture that frowned upon single parenthood, she raised me on her own – and did so with incredible grace. She has lived most of her life in the face of difficulty, and she’s never stopped growing from it. She’s the reason I’m a therapist, and she’ll always be someone I look up to!

What is the last movie you watched?

The last movie I watched was Jiro Dreams of Sushi. One of my favorite pastimes is watching films and tv about food – whether it’s Chef’s Table or Buzzfeed’s Worth It.

What is your favorite quote and why?

My favorite quote of the moment is from Bob Ross: “There are no mistakes, just happy accidents.” My elementary school art teacher used to tell me this constantly, because I was always so hard on myself when my drawings didn’t come out perfectly. In our perfectionist driven culture, I think it’s incredibly important to remember that a perceived misstep can lead us to unexpected and beautiful new discoveries.

If you are interested in working with Saira, you can reach her directly at (720) 863 6113.

2121 South Oneida St.
Denver, CO 80224
(720) 863-6100

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