Pooja Saraff, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Clinical Expertise

Dr. Saraff is a licensed clinical psychologist with extensive experience in working with individuals with debilitating anxiety disorders such as panic disorder and agoraphobia, phobias, health anxiety, social anxiety as well as obsessive compulsive and related disorders (OCRD) using evidence-based cognitive behavioral approaches such as exposure and response prevention (ERP) and other cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT). She has also trained in other evidence-based approaches including cognitive processing therapy (CPT) for trauma and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). She incorporates mindfulness-based strategies and motivational interviewing in her treatment to enhance effectiveness. Dr. Saraff has experience in running CBT for anxiety and DBT skills groups.

Dr. Saraff provides a warm, non-judgmental space for individuals to express themselves, develops good rapport with her clients, and works collaboratively with them. She helps explore and prioritize goals for therapy. Her clinical work is informed by current research and she enjoys constantly updating her knowledge to provide the best treatments to her clients.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Dr. Saraff enjoys working with individuals from different backgrounds and tries to understand the role of these unique experiences while conceptualizing the individual’s presenting issues. She has worked with underserved and disadvantaged populations including ethnic, racial, and gender and sexual minorities. She is passionate about promoting education and awareness of mental health issues in the general public and has been asked to write various articles in newspapers and to talk on the radio about these issues. She presents with curiosity, nonjudgmental attitude, and respect when coming across individuals from different backgrounds.

Training

Dr. Saraff received a strong foundation in evidence-based approaches starting with her training in India, followed by her doctorate at University of Wyoming, and an internship at Baylor College of Medicine. She developed expertise in CBT and ERP at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CARD) at Boston University, which is world-renowned for research on and treatment of anxiety disorders. Most recently, she has worked at UMASS Memorial Medical Center and gained more training and experience in CPT and DBT and with a wide array of presenting issues.

Research & Teaching

Dr. Saraff has conducted research related to non-suicidal self-injury and suicidality, as well as borderline personality disorder. She has collaborated with researchers at UMASS Chan Medical School and is currently leading an NIH-funded research project on suicide prevention in healthcare systems based on the Zero Suicide framework.

Dr. Saraff has provided didactic education to medical residents and is sought for her expertise in applying CBT approaches to various problems. She has provided clinical supervision to residents, psychology interns and other trainees in individual and group therapy settings.

Education

  • St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, India, BA
  • Mumbai University, Mumbai, India, MA in psychology
  • University of Wyoming, Wyoming, USA, MS and PhD in clinical psychology
  • Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA, predoctoral internship
  • Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CARD) at Boston University, postdoctoral fellowship

Areas of Expertise

Anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure and response prevention (ERP), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)

Hobbies

Dr. Saraff’s hobbies include dancing and she learns an Indian classical form of dancing named Kathak. She enjoys engaging in creative pursuits including writing and spending time with her family and friends.