Dr. Julianna Sapienza, Therapist
Dr. Julianna Sapienza is a child and adolescent therapist who specializes in treating individuals with anxiety (e.g. general worry, specific fears, school refusal, and perfectionism), depression, sleep difficulties, and behavioural concerns, as well as children and adolescents who are struggling with chronic medical conditions or physical symptoms (e.g. headaches, stomach aches, and muscle weakness). She also enjoys working with and supporting parents, who are key players in helping their children manage these difficulties. Dr. Sapienza is committed to using an evidence-based approach to treatment, particularly cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), while recognizing the importance of tailoring her approach to each child and family.
Dr. Sapienza also specializes in assessing developmental, cognitive, and learning concerns, such as learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and ADHD. A typical assessment includes a parent interview, testing with the child/adolescent, and feedback regarding results of the assessment. These assessments can help to determine a child/adolescent’s individual learning profile, strengths, and weaknesses in order to guide parents and educators in addressing a child/adolescent’s unique needs.
Dr. Sapienza recently completed her PhD in Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science at the University of Minnesota. She completed her residency at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, where she specialized in pediatric psychology and worked with children and adolescents with a wide range of mental health conditions (e.g. anxiety, depression, ADHD, behavior problems), and medical problems (e.g. procedural anxiety, coping with chronic illness and hospitalization, chronic pain). During residency, she also gained experience in conducting psychoeducational and neuropsychological assessments with children and adolescents, as well as developmental assessments with children under the age of 5.
Dr. Sapienza also spends a portion of her time conducting research on resilience, or the ability to do well in spite of being at high risk for developing academic, social, and mental health problems. She hopes that by understanding the factors that help children and families succeed, interventions can be developed that will promote healthy development for at-risk youth. Dr. Sapienza has published multiple scholarly articles, presented at many conferences, and received numerous awards for her work in this area. Dr. Sapienza has also taught undergraduate courses on child development at the University of Minnesota.