Sammy Jo Diffendaffer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate. Sammy Jo obtained her Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Human Development and Family Studies and a minor in Spanish. After four years of undergraduate studies at Oklahoma State University, she went on to complete her clinical masters at Texas Woman’s University, where she graduated with a Master of Science degree in Family Therapy.
While at Texas Woman’s University, Sammy Jo served as a graduate assistant to head faculty members and professors of the TWU Family Therapy program. Sammy Jo completed her clinical internship conducting couple and family therapy at the UT Southwestern Family Studies Center where she gained experience in working with individuals, couples, and families facing a wide variety of medical illnesses and psychological disorders, as well as marital/couple and family conflicts.
Through her research, academic, and professional backgrounds, Sammy Jo has gained specialized knowledge and experience working with clients facing the following issues:
- Depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders
- Issues with family of origin or childhood abuse
- Couple conflict (mending/establishing trust, communication, infidelity, sexual intimacy, emotional intimacy, parenting or co-parenting, and uniting blended families following remarriage or divorce)
- Parent-child or sibling relationship conflict
- Clients and family members adapting to terminal or progressive diseases, chronic health problems, or life-changing medical procedures (muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, sickle cell, Alzheimer’s disease, autism spectrum disorder, sexual dysfunction, and bariatric surgery)
- Grief (adjusting to loss of relationship, loved one, health, or occupation)
- Families or partners of individuals struggling with addictive behaviors or substances
- Adult children of alcohol or drug abusing parents
- Issues of sexuality, gender, or identity confusion
- Victims of racial, gender, sexual orientation or religious discrimination
- Trauma following rape, abuse (physical or verbal), molestation, or other disturbing or life threatening experiences
- Eating disorders, self-harming behaviors, and suicidality
- Adjustment disorder or stress due to major life changes
- Goal setting and assertiveness training
- Adopting healthy lifestyle changes in one or more of the following areas: eating, sleeping, exercise, social connectedness, spirituality, and self-care routines
Sammy Jo dedicates herself to providing clients with the highest quality of care by practicing therapy in a manner consistent with current research and ethical guidelines. With training and emphasis in couple and family therapy, Sammy Jo believes that interventions involving a spouse, family member, or other significant person of support often bring about the best results and most lasting change.
Sammy Jo creates an atmosphere of warmth and compassion as she extends hope to each individual, couple, and family in their battle against overwhelming problems or life situations.
FUN FACTS ABOUT SAMMY JO
Favorite quote: “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.” – Zig Ziglar
Career goal: To establish a reputation of being an effective, compassionate, and well-trained mental health professional and couples counselor in North Texas.
Coolest travel adventure: In 2010, I spent two months traveling and competing against some of the professional softball teams in China. I loved the experience of trying new foods, connecting with Chinese athletes, and being forced to adjust to various aspects of Chinese culture (like eating every meal with chopsticks and going to most places on foot rather than by car).
Greatest achievement: Competing in the Women’s College World Series with my 2011 Oklahoma State softball team.
Passions (other than therapy): Staying active (running, lifting weights, spending time outside), grilling out with friends and family, watching sports on the patio, teaching/training youth softball players, and reading research (particularly in the field of mental health or medical advancement).