Dr. Sara Rosenquist


Dr. Sara E. Rosenquist, PhD, ABPP, FACHP, is a board-certified clinical health psychologist and fellow of the Academy of Clinical Health Psychology (FACHP). She is a sex therapist certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists and an approved consultant, certified in the practice of hypnosis by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.

Dr. Rosenquist graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology in 1986 from the University of Kentucky and completed her internship at Duke Medical Center. She also completed fellowship training in sex therapy and hypnosis. Before opening her private practice, Dr. Rosenquist was Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill where she taught personality and behavioral medicine. She is also a member of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, Sexual Medicine Society of North America and Council for the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology.

Dr. Sara helps families, couples and individuals with hypnosis, sex therapy, marriage counseling, sex addiction, postpartum depression, insomnia and infertility issues. She is the author of After The Stork: The Couple’s Guide to Preventing and Overcoming Postpartum Depression and enjoys working with clients at her office in Cary, NC.

Why I chose this specialty

“I wrote my dissertation on postpartum depression in couples because, after all, women and men become moms and dads together. Whatever stresses burden one, strains the other. I found out that just as many adoptive parents as birth parents suffer from postpartum depression and nearly as many men as women do, too. I started out seeing mostly women for postpartum issues and gradually discovered all the many layers of challenges couples face together. One of the challenges that came up most frequently was sex. When a couple is getting along well enough and sex is happening often enough, it only accounts for about 15% of marital happiness. But when one or the other partner becomes depressed, or anxious, or ill, sex drops out or becomes conflicted. And when sex is absent or conflicted in a relationship, it accounts for upwards of 75% of marital unhappiness. As a health psychologist, I also discovered that sex drops out or becomes a source of difficulty and disappointment when health becomes a problem. So physical health, emotional health, relationship health and sexual health are all intricately interrelated. As a psychologist, I work to marshal the strength of weak forces in the direction of health and vibrancy.”

What I enjoy most about it

“What I love about this specialty is precisely that I don’t know what the problem is really going to turn out to be at first blush. For example, a man might come in with PE, but it might turn out that he’s trained himself over the years to ejaculate quickly because his wife grimaces with pain every time they have intercourse. Or I might see a woman with low desire and maybe it turns out her husband has difficulty ejaculating so she feels ‘selfish’ and loses interest. The point is that I love disentangling the many pieces, solving the mystery of layers and subtle forces that interact to create the problem. I prefer not to make assumptions. Instead, I like to assess a couple first together, then each individually, so I can make appropriate referrals and rule out or in, things that need to be ruled out or in. So often the best answers, the most thorough answers, aren’t ‘either/or’ but rather ‘both/and’ or ‘all of the above.’”

My philosophy/approach to patient care

“I passionately believe in integrative care – the kind of care that takes into account the whole person – mind, body and spirit, in many and varied contexts – family, work, community and culture. I put a lot of time, money and care into cultivating professional relationships with other disciplines and specialists who can help me put mirrors in my blind spots and who value my input as mirrors into theirs.”

What I hope to give my patients

“I hope to give my patients my complete and undivided attention and the benefits of both my training and my many years of experience. There is artistry to doing good psychotherapy. A musician might be classically trained and spend years practicing scales, but there comes a moment when artistry takes over – then there’s jazz. I hope to provide my patients with the artistry that only comes when experience combines with credentials. And I hope to empower my patients to live life more fully and joyfully, even when things don’t go their way.”

Why my practice is different or better than similar practices in our area

“I like to think that what makes me different is that I am a clinical health psychologist trained in the integrative care of complex medical and reproductive health concerns. I like to believe that what makes me better is my unique combination of credentials and experience.”

My personal interests/hobbies & community involvement

“I grew up as a TCK (which stands for Third Culture Kid) as a foreign service brat in Tunisia, Argentina, Uruguay, Thailand and El Salvador. I spoke French in kindergarten and relearned it in college. Although I can travel comfortably in francophone countries, I can’t really do therapy in that language. But I can and do offer therapy in Spanish, as I’ve remained bilingual. I’d love to help expats, immigrants and adult TCKs understand what growing up between cultures does to identity formation – both the challenges and the benefits. I’ve given workshops on the TCK experience and would love to do more since this is such an international area. I love red wine, dark chocolate and food blackened in a 50-year-old iron skillet. I also love to dance the Argentine tango – chest to chest, cheek to cheek, backwards in stilettos.”

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