Vidhya Prakash, M.D.
Director AWIMS, SIU School of Medicine
Dr. Sarraf hosted a physician retreat on the topics of trauma and toxic stress as it intersects with secondary trauma in physicians and impact of the #MeToo movement. Her presentation was enlightening and deeply meaningful. Her strong command of the subject coupled with her personable and humanistic approach make her an invaluable teacher and champion of our organization and physicians as a whole. She not only enhances awareness and understanding of very timely and important topics, but also brings hope and peace to all those she touches.
Physician, Internal Medicine
Coaching sessions have become the most important hour of my week. The moment I turn down the drive to Dr. Sarraf’s farm, I feel my mind begin to clear and my blood pressure drop – she has created an environment that is welcoming, calming and that allows me to immediately shift into a space where I can think and talk through things logically. My personal accountability has increased, my communication skills have improved, and my work relationships are noticeably better. Most importantly, my productivity has increased even while my work-life balance improved. This investment is worth every moment and every penny.
It wouldn’t be too much to say that Dr. K has changed the way I move through life, both at work and in the world as a whole. I’m more contemplative, more resilient, and more aware of the realities and traumas of the modern practice of medicine. I would encourage every practicing physician to book a series of sessions with her - whether you know you are carrying trauma, or you just need some coaching and direction towards your “true north,” she’ll help you get where you want to be!
Physician, Family Medicine
Dr. Sarraf’s insight and strategic approach to work life integration is a breath of fresh air. My criteria for a coach was a person who gave me hope, made me feel fearless, allowed me to be vulnerable, and was willing to have authentic conversations that led to transformative decisions. I found that with Dr. Sarraf.
As a life strategist, she partners with you and helps you excavate your personal GPS. Each session reconnects you to your purpose and establishes a connection driven by accountability and respect. It is rare to find a coach with the willingness and understanding to dig into the complexities and challenges of being a woman physician who works two shifts everyday: one at work and one at home with children. Her expertise in vicarious trauma provides a unique lens for those of us working with the most vulnerable populations.
Two years ago I was at the end of it all. My career was disintegrating, my marriage was in trouble, my finances were unraveling. I’d been in therapy for a year at that point -nothing was better. I was encouraged to work with Dr. Sarraf; initially I did so both reluctantly and resentfully.
I signed up for 6 months of intensive work.a By the end, I’d set and achieved a series of significant goals. We worked together for another year until she told me I was ready to simply check in as needed. That was a scary moment, but I appreciated her honest assessment of my progress.
Everything has improved. I trust my judgment, and am listening to my instincts. I set boundaries, critical to achieving goals and finding balance in life and marriage. I recognize triggers in myself and other people, and move through them rather than being derailed.
Do this - you’re worth the investment.
Sgt. Gerry D. Castles #392
Springfield Police Department, Crisis Intervention
I have been in Law Enforcement for twenty-eight years, and my experience covers a wide variety of the various aspects of Law Enforcement. Trust me when I acknowledge how difficult it can be to train Police – my Lord we are a difficult group. After a brief discussion with Dr. Sarraf, I warned her about the target audience. Specifically I focused on the difficulties with police training and my concerns about capturing their attention and engaging them successfully. She bravely agreed to conduct three sessions, 4 hours each, covering roughly 70 personnel.
My worries were for naught. With any training the burden of getting the message is entirely on the messenger, and Dr. Kemia did exactly this. She presented the program in an interactive way, making it relevant and personal and connecting us to the information in a meaningful way.
Dr. Sarraf’s passion for the subject matter comes through, and her personal experiences and method of presentation created an engaging course that kept my officers talking long after the training was over.
Dr. Sarraf coached me through a number of tough projects and sensitive presentations – she has a gift for cutting through mental blocks to help me think expansively, creatively and to get the job done.
Dr. Sarraf came highly recommended by someone I trust. I expected she would be insightful and empathic - and she was. I didn't expect to undergo a seismic internal shift. I didn't expect to rediscover my passion. And I certainly didn't expect her to be so damn funny! I have remembered how to laugh - with joy and at myself. This has been time and money well-spent.
Life doesn’t always proceed as smoothly as we envision. Thanks to the guidance, insight and support I received from Dr. Sarraf, I was able to navigate an extraordinarily trying season in my life. She helped me to identify a new set of skills, plot a new course and discover a path that is rewarding to me both professionally and personally. She was a true lodestar when I most needed direction.
Dr. Sarraf is a remarkable professional. Her consultation is practical and insists on engagement and personal accountability. She had a unique way of cutting directly through my attitude without being abrasive or condescending, and she helped me to develop a method of communicating that is effective with patients and staff – and even my wife!
Physician, Family Medicine
Surgeon, Gen. Surgery