Sarah Peterson-Guada is a full-time psychology instructor and the Chair of the psychology department at College of Alameda. Her intention with teaching is to provide a space for people to apply psychological tools and knowledge to themselves in hopes of increasing personal awareness to empower themselves and better their personal and professional lives.
She uses the framework of mindfulness in her psychology classes to help students learn to become more present and fulfilled. She teaches effective communication techniques in each class because she believes that relationships are more fulfilling if people’s needs are met: including the self-awareness of what one feels, the courage to speak one’s truth in a kind and direct way to increase the likelihood of the individal’s needs being met instead of acting out in unhealthy ways to get her/his needs met unconsciously. She takes a client-centered approach to her teaching where active listening, reflections, and empathy are practiced. She also helps students bring awareness to their internal dialogue in order to be able to shift their thoughts to healthier, more supportive ones, as well as helps students make connections between their past and present — each classroom activity, lecture and course project is designed for students to gain a deeper awareness about themselves to experience greater emotional and psychological freedom in their own lives and then be of greater service to their communities and world.
Likewise, Ms. Peterson-Guada prizes cultural diversity and inclusion, including and not limited to: ethnicity/race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, socio-economic and age. From her lived experience, she understands what it feels like to be “othered” and welcomes people of all backgrounds where their lived experiences are welcomed in the classroom to process, heal from, and increase awareness around.
She aims to create a nurturing, welcoming, safe, and fun environment where profound learning occurs.
In her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with her three children, dancing, traveling with her family, walking in nature, and cooking healthy, nutrient-dense foods.
“Thank you for joining us in this course and bearing witness to our readings, journeys, and more. I appreciate you, and the additional insights—the reflective readings prompted an unexpected, yet healing experience through deeper academic understandings of tools, techniques and core schools of thought when integrating healing, therapy, and coping to my life” – Student
“There are some teachers that help you, but don’t sock themselves in your soul. I can truly tell you that you are a professor I will never forget and you will always live in the warmest places in my heart and mind. You have also prepared me with new understanding that will help me in my future.” – Student