Paul Sanders, MA Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Paul Sanders, MA

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Paul Sanders, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Hiromi Paul Sanders (Paul for short) began his therapy career in 1992 and has been working with adolescents, teens, adults and families ever since.  He graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine in 1986 and graduated from National University in 1992 with a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology.

For the last 30 years, Paul has gained a wide variety of experience by working in a runaway shelter, a non-public school, a psychiatric hospital and in several group homes, both as a therapist and a Clinical Director.  He has also worked for Orange and Placer Counties as a CPS social worker as well as providing wraparound and mental health services.  These job experiences have helped Paul to better understand and treat the struggles of children, adolescents, teens, young adults and families.  More importantly, his strength-based approach facilitates the building of trust and rapport quickly, particularly with reluctant, suspicious, or resistant clients of all ages. 

Paul has extensive experience serving the children and families of Placer County (including foster/adoptive children, probation youth and mental health clients through the Placer County Children’s System of Care).  He specializes in children and teens with self-defeating thoughts and behavior, such as self-harm, suicidal ideation/attempts, as well as those that present with emotional volatility, aggression, assault and/or property destruction.  He is learned in working with clients who have experienced significant depression and trauma.  He also has decades of experience partnering with school districts to support 504’s and IEP’s.

Paul has an eclectic therapeutic orientation, blending psychodynamic and family systems theories together.  Accordingly, he views most clients' struggles as coming from their childhood experiences, including their relationship with their parents.  He helps clients with their day-to-day struggles at home, at school and in the community, while remaining mindful that past experiences may color perceptions or influence behavior.  Therapy with Paul involves the ability to discuss concepts in the abstract, versus concrete and as such, he is the better fit with youth older than 12 years old.

Paul has been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 1997.   He has been a local resident since 2001, has been married for twenty-seven years and has a successful twenty-three-year-old daughter.  He enjoys music, photography and anything outdoors. 

  • 30 years of experience working with troubled CPS, Mental Health and/or Probation youth in hospital, school, residential and in-home wraparound settings.
  • Extensive experience treating severe psychopathology, including self-defeating thoughts/behavior, self-harm/cutting, suicidal thoughts/behavior.
  • Lengthy experience working with conduct disordered, threatening, assaultive &/or property-destructive youth.
  • Years of  experience providing individual and family therapy.
  • Extensive experience with chronic parent-child conflict, including finding common ground between parents and their children.
  • Experience with Special Education, 504’s / IEP’s / Accommodations.
  • Working knowledge of Energizing Negative Behavior, Contingency Contracting, Reinforcement/Reward for Desired Behavior, Natural Consequences Application.
  • Highly familiar with Placer County Mental Health Programs.

Certifications / Specialties / Trainings:

  • Ongoing member of CAMFT – California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Trained in Nurtured Heart Application
  • Trained in Strength-based Wraparound principles
  • Trained in CANS – Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Inventory
  • Trained in ASIST – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training


Even though in therapy we talk about serious issues,
counseling doesn’t need to be scary.