ODA Welcomes a Psychologist


Dr. Sakina

Cassandra Ratzlaff, Staff Writer

When passing students around campus you constantly hear conversations about how stressed they are about school.
“Shoot, I totally just failed that math test!”
“I have two classes before English, and I still haven’t finished my homework!”
Many students have been talking about how this year has been the most stressful; teachers just keep piling up the work load! As you continue to let stress affect you, why not seek help? The school has been helpful this year by bringing a psychologist to ODA. Last August, our headmaster, Mr. David Mahler, spoke with her supervisor, Dr. Kanter, director of MedPsych, a local medical group; Mr. Mahler discussed how he wanted to offer students and teachers someone to talk to if they needed another point of view. Is it fate that after of all years we have been granted with the solution to our problems?
Dr. Sakina Butt became our own, on-campus psychologist. Dr. Sakina, as she prefers to be called, is a member of the MedPsych medical group. She works here at ODA and at the IMG Academy. In these places she performs pediatric and adult neuropsychological evaluations, child and family psychotherapy, and child behavior therapy. She achieved her training and degree through graduate school at Tampa Argosy University, where she specialized in clinical psychology. She later interned in pediatrics in Miami.
Dr. Sakina has already had notable input; she consulted with our advisers on how to properly address their student’s problems, how to organize clubs, and she has already had a few walk-ins, unscheduled counseling sessions with students.

If you ever need someone to talk to about coping with tests, making grades, college issues, how to navigate socially, connecting with peers and school, focusing, or overall stress–Dr. Sakina is your go-to person.

She is available for group and solo sessions ranging anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours. She is an easy person to talk to and has more objective perspectives than ones with your parents or your friends; your friends may be your closest allies, but they might not always give you the best feedback as they are also dealing with their own problems.

“My door is always open,” she explained. “This does not have to be big. If it’s [the problem] small, students can stop by once a month and chat for 15 minutes.”

Dr. Sakina typically works in a hospital setting with kids around our age, however she is now available at the Upper School Campus on Wednesday from 8:00 am-5:00 pm, in the middle school locker area, and even travels to the lower campus occasionally.

She loves her new office and the welcoming campus and she already feels “part of the family” and the staff and students have been “great, fantastic, and open.”

“I love kids. I would not be as happy if I was only working with adults,” she added.

When asked what her favorite thing was about her job, she said it was “knowing at the end of the day, that I’ve helped relieve someones stress and made their day a little bit easier.”

So if you haven’t had a chance to meet Dr. Sakina yet, reach out and say hello. Who knows? You might find talking through an issue with a professional might make you feel better.