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Sanjana Rao

Sanjana Rao Karanam

Advanced Marriage and Family Therapy Intern
Couples, Families, Individuals

Positive family relationships are essential for overall happiness and well-being, and we work hard to make our families healthy and secure. Yet, achieving this can feel like an elusive dream.

While our best intentions are to foster good communication and healthy connection in our families, somehow, through the ups and downs of life, we can find ourselves feeling misunderstood, tired, and lost.

I am passionate about helping couples and families find healthy ways to navigate through milestones, life transitions, and the inevitable “bumps in the road.”  My goal is to create a sense of safety and curiosity in therapy, where we can slow down and explore your relationships. This includes strengthening areas that are working well and providing space to address aspects of your family that are challenging and difficult. Together, we will walk through the process of healing wounds of the past and deepening connection now.

Many couples and families reach out for therapy because they feel hopeless. I want you to know that there is help. I have personally seen families grow and rediscover themselves within the safety of therapy.

Getting to Know Me

I am an advanced master’s level intern therapist under the supervision of Dr. Wendy Smith, PsyD, completing my Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy at Wheaton College. Prior to my time here in Wheaton, I earned my Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology at Montfort College in Bangalore, India, and then I worked as an individual therapist in private practice for three years.

My time in private practice was enriching, and I deeply enjoyed walking alongside individuals on their journey toward healing and health. Yet, I found that something was missing. We were focusing on their internal world, which is good, but I could see that there was so much more to my clients’ lives than that. This inspired me to pursue more education in systemic therapy so that I can help clients expand their healing from the inside out, impacting their relationships and systems around them.

I believe that because people do not exist in a vacuum, therapy should take a larger systemic view to promote longer lasting growth and healing. I work from a framework that promotes holistic healing within ourselves (mind, body, and soul) and extends to those around us (family, friends, and other relationships). This approach works well in all types of therapy including individual, couples or family therapy.

I enjoy working with individuals, couples, and families across all ages and stages of life and have a special area of interest working with families of teenagers who struggle with anxiety or depression. Other clinical interests include working with families with adult children, building assertiveness, creating healthy boundaries, deepening attachment bonds between mother and child, navigating interpersonal conflicts, personal development, and life/spiritual transitions.