Sara Azarshahi

M.Ed, Doctoral Candidate

Sara Azarshahi is an Ed.D candidate in Counseling Psychology at the University of Toronto. She received her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at the University of Toronto and her Honors Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

Sara works with individuals experiencing a range of issues, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety, grief, relationship issues, identity issues, and work/school-related concerns. Her theoretical orientation is grounded in evidence-based approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and emotion-focused therapy while integrating self-compassion and mindfulness. Ultimately, she will tailor treatment to best meet the needs of the people she works with.

She has worked with individuals with a wide range of OCD presentations, such as contamination concerns, harm-related thoughts, sexual-related thoughts as well as feelings of “just rightness” and perfectionism.

Sara has worked in a variety of settings that include hospitals, outpatient treatment programs, and university/community clinics. She was trained at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) where she supported individuals presenting with complex mental health issues. She also worked with students and members of the community at the OISE Psychology Clinic.

Currently, Sara is working as a mental health clinician at Sunnybrook Hospital where she works with individuals with varying presentations of OCD. Here, she is also developing their Aftercare Program. This involves creating, expanding, and implementing new services for people who have completed the Intensive Services OCD program.

Additionally, Sara facilitates research at Sunnybrook Hospital where she is exploring the facilitators and barriers of mental health care, with the goal of enhancing treatment for all individuals in need. She has been a speaker at various conferences such as the International OCD Foundation conference and the Canadian Psychological Association conference. She continues to present her research interests as a guest lecturer to Master’s and Doctoral level classes at the University of Toronto.

Sara is passionate about helping her clients lead more fulfilling lives and she is dedicated to providing the highest quality care to her clients.

In her spare time, Sara enjoys cooking, exploring new fitness activities, and traveling. 

Sara Azarshahi’s practice includes the following services:

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Selected Publications

Dunn, N.S., McVittie, J., Ansloos, J., Azarshahi, S. (2023). First Nations and Inuit mental health and the Non-Insured Health Benefits program: Urgent priorities for evaluation. Canadian Journal of Public Health.

Read the abstract here

Moodley, R., Azarshahi, S., Raghunadan, S., Bojuwoye, O., & Zhang, Y. (2022). Beyond the Talking Cure: Global South Psychologies . In A. Kassan & R. Moodley (Eds.), Diversity and social justice in Counseling, psychology, and psychotherapy: A case study approach (pp. 369–387). Cognella Academic Publishing. 

Find the textbook here

Ahmadian, S., Azarshahi, S., & Paulhus, D. L. (2017). Explaining Donald Trump via communication style: Grandiosity, informality, and dynamism. Personality and Individual Differences, 107, 49–53. 

Read the abstract here

Presentations and workshops

Rine-Reesha, N., Azarshahi, S., & Mangotich, H. (2023, June). The Rashomon Effect. [Oral presentation]. The 10th Critical Multicultural & Diversity Conference. Toronto, ON. 

Chapman, L., Richter, P., & Azarshahi, S. (2022, November). Art Therapy with OCD – An experiential workshop. [Oral presentation]. The International OCD Foundation Conference. Virtual. 

Watch the video here

Ahmadian, S., Azarshahi, S., & Paulhus, D. (2016, June). Analyzing personality from campaign speeches: Donald Trump Stands out. [Poster presentation]. 77th CPA National Convention. Victoria, British

Columbia. Grewal, P., Azarshahi, S., Paulhus, D., & Ahmadian, S. (2016, June). Staring in a competitive context: prosocial and antisocial functions. [Poster presentation]. 77th CPA National Convention. Victoria, British Columbia.