My Personal Story
My name is Sara Balkanli Watkins. I am the daughter of an American mother & Turkish father. I was born & raised in Houston, TX, spending the first part of my childhood in Alief before moving to Katy in my tween & teen years.
Growing up in a city as diverse as Houston & being the daughter of an immigrant, I often felt like I was growing up with my feet in 2 different worlds. I was trying to find my place among my family & my peers. I constantly grappled with the same questions most of us encounter - Who am I? What's my purpose? How can I fit in?
Where do I belong?
I struggled for years to love myself, fit in, and manage the pressures of being an only child in a culturally diverse family. After years of tough life lessons, time and work in my own personal therapy, and plenty of revelations through reflection, I finally discovered the answer to my question.
Where do I belong?
I belong with those who are also seeking belonging.
I deeply identify with the pursuit of discovering who we are, how we got here, and what we want for ourselves going forward.
My purpose is to help others find where they belong within themselves & in relation with other people.
Real, deep healing is found when we have a safe space to share & live our truth as our authentic selves. It is such an honor and a privilege to bear witness every day to all that makes us collectively human - pain, love, sorrow, grief, doubt, success, joy. It is all welcome in our space together. The creation of community & connection in the name of healing is what inspired me to create Sunstone Psychotherapy.
You belong here.
Get To Know Your Therapist!
Education & Certifications
Texas State University - 2013
Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
Minor in Sociology
St. Edward's University - 2018
Master of Arts in Counseling
Licensed Professional Counselor - 2019
Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator
Certified Keeping The Joy In Relationships Facilitator
My areas of expertise include:
Racial/Cultural Identity Exploration
Self Esteem/Self Compassion
Teens, Adult Women, and Couples/Families
Some of my identities include
LGBTQIA+ Allied & Affirming
Fat Positive & HAES Aligned
Also - I am an enneagram 7, ENFP, and a Leo Sun, Virgo Moon, and Aquarius Rising!
Here are a few fun facts about me!
My husband and I have 2 dogs named Huey & Flynn. They may make a brief appearance in our virtual sessions!
In my spare time I love to bake, hang out with my husband & friends, catch a Houston sports game (Go Astros!), check out new restaurants, travel, and play in my ever growing collection of makeup
I love to explore my spirituality, and at a client's request I can incorporate astrology, tarot, and crystals into our work together
My favorite color is pink (and glitter!)
My favorite animals are lions & sloths
My guilty pleasure is reality tv :)
Therapy as Unique & Special as You!
First & foremost, I am a relational therapist. I believe that the relationship between therapist & client is the most significant and important agent of change. Trust, alliance, and mutual respect are my biggest priority when working alongside my clients. Together, we will co-create a safe, warm, loving space to exist together. We will spend a lot of time at the beginning building rapport, asking questions, getting to know each other, and developing an understanding of your goals and priorities in sessions. As we develop trust, we will delve deeper into your experience & explore your truest, most authentic self. I believe in the value of long term, consistent, therapeutic relationships to support you on your journey to finding ongoing & sustainable healing.
I describe the 3 facets of my therapeutic approach as the 3 C's.
I believe we find healing in connection with other people. I draw from attachment theory, interpersonal neurobiology, trauma informed care, and relational therapy. The greatest gift we have is each other – to be truly seen, heard, and felt by another person. I want to learn about your experience, and learn from your experience. You are the expert on your own life!
I believe that in exploring this connection with ourselves, we are able to then find healing within our community. I am deeply passionate about finding our connection to our communities & exploring the systems that we interact with. We are all shaped by systemic experiences outside of ourselves such as family history, culture, religion, race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Let’s explore all of these intersections together! I am LGBTQIA+ affirming, body positive, and active in anti-racism advocacy work.
I believe that in order to tap into our true potential we have to get creative! Self expression is such an important part of healing & living our truth. Expressive arts activities and humor are staples in our work together. Therapy is a lot of hard work, but I believe it can also be fun! Life isn't always about the tough stuff, but the good stuff too. Let's get creative with our space and celebrate all that your experience brings!
Throughout our time together, I hope you feel safe, empowered, valued, heard, and loved. No two sessions will look the same, just like no two clients are the same. We will work together to create a space that is just as unique and special as you!