Sarah Ordaz, Ph.D.

Sarah Ordaz, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist

Sarah Ordaz, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Ordaz is a licensed psychologist (PSY28826) who is passionate about helping children, adolescents, and adults thrive.  She conducts neuropsychological assessments (learning, attention, behavioral, emotional testing) and/or implements psychotherapy.

Dr. Ordaz believes it is essential to utilize research-based assessments and treatments that have also been tailored to the individual needs of her clients.  She uses a collaborative approach so that clients can leverage existing strengths and reach their full potential.  Dr. Ordaz’s goal is to develop a treatment plan that combines the client’s (or parents’) expertise about themselves, data from assessment tools, and her knowledge of the clinical research. When possible, she also engages teachers, psychiatrists, and pediatricians.

Dr. Ordaz has extensive experience in conducting neuropsychological and socioemotional evaluations for ADHD, learning disabilities, concussions, and medical conditions.  Her therapeutic specialty is in working with depressed adolescents, including those who have struggled with attentional and learning difficulties.  Dr. Ordaz also helps clients who struggle with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, trauma, and oppositional behavior.  She utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Parent Management Training (PMT), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). 

Dr. Ordaz brings to her practice over a decade of experience as a clinician and researcher. She has been a member of the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, where she researched: (1) the impact of life stress and positive parenting on neurodevelopment, (2) neurodevelopmental markers of depression and suicide, (3) brain function supporting the development of executive function.  She has also worked as a staff psychologist at Morrissey-Compton Educational Center, conducting comprehensive assessments and consulting to schools. Her training includes a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford, a residency at the University of Washington, a joint Ph.D. in Clinical and Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, and a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.  These enabled her to work with international experts in ADHD and adolescent brain development.  She received a B.S. in Psychology with Distinction from Duke University.  Importantly, Dr. Ordaz has been a 7th grade science teacher, providing her with insight into the unique demands and perspectives of educators.  

In her free time, she enjoys biking, swimming, and hiking with her husband and daughter.


Selected Publications

Ordaz, S., Goyer, M., Ho, T., Singh, M., Gotlib, I. (2017). Salience network coherence is associated with suicidal ideation in depressed adolescents. Journal of Affective Disorders, 26, 92-99. 

Ordaz, S., LeMoult, J., Colich, N.L., Prasad, G., Pollak, M., Popolizio, M., Price, A., Greicius, M., Gotlib, I. (2017). Ruminative brooding is associated with salience network coherence in early pubertal girls. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 12, 298-310.

Gotlib, I. & Ordaz, S. (2015). The importance of assessing neural trajectories in pediatric depression. JAMA Psychiatry, 73, 9-10. 

Ordaz, S., Foran, W., Velanova, K., Luna, B. (2013). Longitudinal growth curves of brain function underlying cognitive control through adolescence. Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 18109-24. 

Ordaz, S., Luna, B. (2012). Sex differences in physiological reactivity to acute psychosocial stress in adolescence. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 37, 1135-57. 

Padmanabhan, A., Ordaz, S., Geier, C., Teslovich, T., Luna, B. (2011). Developmental changes in brain function underlying the influence of reward processing on inhibitory control. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 1(4), 517-529. 

Ordaz, S., Davis, S., Luna, B. (2010). Effects of response preparation on developmental improvements in inhibitory control. Acta Psychologica, 134(3), 253-263. PMC20347061.

O’Hearn, K., Asato, M., Ordaz, S., Luna, B. (2008). Neurodevelopment and executive function in autism. Development and Psychopathology, 20, 1103-1132. 

Ordaz, S., Lenroot, R., Wallace, G., Clasen, L., Blumenthal, J., Schmitt, J., Giedd, J. (2009). Are there differences in brain morphometry between twins and singletons? A pediatric MRI study. Genes, Brain, and Behavior, 9, 288-295. 

Wallace, G., Schmitt, J., Viding, E., Rosenthal, M., Molloy, E., Ordaz, S., Lenroot, R., Clasen, L., Blumenthal, J., Kendler, K., Neale, M., & Giedd, J. (2006). Genetic and environmental influences on brain morphometry: A pediatric twin study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 987-993. 


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