Sara Sundstrom, Ph.D

Office Location

2700 Westown Parkway, Suite 425,
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

Phone:+ (515) 672-8766
Fax:+ (515) 528 -7771

Email Sara

Sara Sundstrom, Ph.D

For many years adults have come to see me for reasons such as grieving the loss of a loved one; reeling from a broken relationship; difficulty remembering the last time they had fun; feeling anxious and scared; being fed-up and angry; feeling exhausted and unmotivated; drinking too much alcohol; unhappiness with their work situation or agonizing about a career change; stuck in a deep psychological rut; trying to come to terms with past events; feeling a sense of despair about their life.

The prospect of seeing a psychotherapist for help with issues like these can feel scary. Making the call for an appointment can take a lot of courage, and sitting in the waiting room before meeting your therapist can be nerve-racking. That said, most people feel a sense of relief after talking about their concerns with a mental health professional. This relief, I believe, is due to experiencing what it is like to talk to someone who listens carefully to you in a way that indicates genuine interest, compassion, acceptance, and a strong desire to help you figure out how to feel better. I strive to give all my clients that kind of experience so that they can work through their issues in such a way that they are able to chart a path forward that leads to a more contented life.

A famous psychologist, Mary Pipher, once wrote, “Psychotherapy is a way of exploring pain and confusion to produce meaning and hope.” I agree wholeheartedly!


Dr. Sundstrom earned her Ph.D. in psychology from Iowa State University. She has been licensed to practice psychology for almost 30 years and has worked in Iowa, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Germany, and Texas. She worked in two federal Department of Defense (DOD) intelligence agencies counseling employees and consulting with supervisors and managers. Two postings were on military bases. Dr. Sundstrom also worked in the career development department at the World Bank Group and at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, both in Washington, DC. For three years, she was an adjunct instructor for Johns Hopkins University in their master’s degree program in organizational counseling. Before moving back to Iowa in December, 2023, she was a psychotherapist in private practice in Austin, Texas.

Dr. Sundstrom is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Iowa Psychological Association.