The director of counseling services at the Manhattan School of Music since 2012, Shara Sand, PsyD, is renowned for her work in psychology. Having begun her professional journey with the intention of becoming a musician, she eventually accepted a job with a psychotherapy institute in order to support herself. In the course of her affiliation there, Dr. Sand developed a genuine interest in human behavior and in the process behind decisions that either enhance or inhibit life.
Dr. Sand decided re-attend school in order to enhance her understanding of the field and her ability to contribute. Since then, she has served in a variety of positions, including as a member of the faculty at Yeshiva University, an adjunct clinical supervisor at the Pace University Counseling Center and the president of the Social Issues Division of the New York State Psychological Association. In addition to her current position with the Manhattan School of Music, she also remains involved as an assistant director of clinical training at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, an associate professor of psychology at LaGuardia Community College, co-chair of the sexualities and gender identities committee of Division 39 of the American Psychological Association, and a psychologist at her own eponymous practice. Dr. Sand has likewise excelled in a pro bono capacity with HealthRight International and Asylum Evaluations.
Dr. Sand is especially proud to have received the Diversity Award from Division 39 of the American Psychological Association in 2019. Being recognized in the field to which she has devoted so many years of her life has been immeasurably gratifying for her. Another considerable achievement was receiving a Certificate of Appreciation from Division 44 of the Society for the Psychological Study of LGBT Issues in 2014. Dr. Sand attributes her success to her flexibility in thinking and her openness to people’s experiences.
To prepare for her professional journey, Dr. Sand earned a Bachelor of Music in trombone from the Manhattan School of Music in 1983, a Master of Arts in trombone performance from the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music in 1985, a Master of Arts in psychology from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in 1990 and a PsyD in clinical psychology from Yeshiva University in 1993. Dr. Sand ensures she keeps up with developments in her field by affiliating with the American Psychological Association, the New York State Psychological Association and the Musicians Union Local 802. Looking toward the future, Dr. Sand would like to grow the counseling center at the Manhattan School of Music and maintain her private practice. She likewise aspires to continue her work with the LGBT community, wishing to help facilitate the growth and confidence of the community she belongs to in the face of a hostile world.
Ms. Sand tends to work with people who consider themselves on the margins; they tend to have autistic backgrounds. She works a great deal with gender and sexuality, especially transgender population, seeing people through their transitions all the struggles and strife that involves it. Ms. Sand would like to be remembered by her peers as someone who is kind, compassionate and smart. She is motivated by the satisfaction of helping people get to where they want to be in life. The most important thing to her is that she actually respects the people she works with and her patients.
Moving forward, Ms. Sand always wanted to write a book and might start one this year. It would be something pertaining to a clinical book about the different types of treatments, and why they worked for someone she was treating and why it did not work with someone else.