From a young age, Emily Sabado ’18 (MSW ’19), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) knew she wanted to be in the helping profession, and witnessing her parents build a successful business inspired her in more ways than one.
She had always been interested in human behavior and learning why people behave in the way that they do. When she a child, she was involved in a traumatic car accident. She visited with a therapist who showed her kindness and provided the tools she needed to move forward after that experience. This inspired Sabado to want to become a resource to others.
Sabado participated in a mentorship program while in high school where she’d spend time with school-aged students. She never forgot one student who was only interested in playing games, he never wanted to talk about anything. “I did not think he enjoyed me or our time together,” Sabado explains. “But I remember it was almost summer and our time together was nearing an end, he had a tear rolling down his face.” Although he quickly wiped his tear, she realized the impact she had on him by simply playing “Battleship” with him week after week.
Opening a Private Practice
Serenity with Sabado is a private practice that serves children, adolescents and adults. Sabado works primarily with individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, life transitions, grief and processing cultural trauma.
She takes a unique approach that helps clients process their childhood and life experiences and understand how those have impacted them. “I want my business to be a place where people reach out to find peace and healing in their life.”
As a first-generation college student, Sabado remembers sharing her dream of opening a private practice with Assistant Professor of Professional Practice Sh’Niqua Alford. “She inspired me by letting me know that it doesn’t have to just be a dream; that I can do it.” Immediately after graduating, Sabado worked diligently to get the licenses needed to open a practice.
“TCU provided me with a well-rounded education that allowed me to always align with my ethics and helped me network with others,” Sabado said of her time at TCU. “It taught me about the complex nature of human beings but most importantly, TCU held me to high standards and to deliver nothing but the best of my work.”
Sabado enjoys the freedom that being an entrepreneur brings because it allows her to continue dreaming up ideas to implement in her business. She firmly believes that she was built to help others and do it with integrity. She stresses the importance of setting boundaries and knowing your worth to preserve one’s own mental health. “As a therapist, being in a helping profession can often lead us to compromise boundaries and not take care of ourselves and I believe with owning a business, this becomes exacerbated,” explains Sabado.
Pursuit of Service & Integrity
“I wanted my practice to be a legacy of my last name.”
The name of her practice was inspired by her Spanish last name “Sabado,” meaning Saturday, and the desire to help people reach a state of calm and peace in such a busy world. “I believe that people become accustomed to the chaos that happens throughout their lives as they grow up, to the point that they even almost create it for themselves through self-sabotaging behaviors,” said Sabado. “I believe that what I do helps others take the next step to interject intergenerational trauma that so often occurs in families.”
Sabado credits her parents as her biggest motivators, instilling in her a sense of pride in her heritage, and encouraging her to always work hard for what she has and to do right by those around her.
Her father immigrated to the United States from Chihuahua, Mexico with nothing and built a name for himself. A Mexican American born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Sabado grew up with her mother, father and two siblings. Her parents, who did not attend college, wanted an education for their children more than anything and instilled in them the hard work ethic to acquire one.
“Even if someone took everything away from you, they could never be able to take your education from you.”
Sabado hopes to continue serving the populations that she is most passionate about and achieve additional certification in practices that help dismantle generational trauma. “I want to build a legacy that continues to pass on our name and brings awareness to mental health in the Latino/a/x community.”