Sarri Gilman, LMFT…

has been a licensed marriage and family therapist since 1986, during which time she was also an Executive Director for several non-profits for 20 years and worked seven years teaching leadership to managers and executives. She is an author, TEDx Speaker, presenter, community leader, SoulCollage® Facilitator and creator/founder of the Transform Your Boundaries® workshop and Naming and Taming Overwhelm workshop.


I have lived and worked on Whidbey Island, Washington USA - in the Langley community since 1986. I raised my family on Whidbey Island. I have also been deeply involved in Snohomish County.

I work as a private practice therapist and I work on issues that are important to me in the world. Being a therapist is deeply satisfying. There is a momentum in a therapeutic contract with clients and it allows me to join with people eager to make changes. I am skilled at navigating through pain and it is satisfying to travel with people to the other side of pain. I enjoy focusing my attention on a single person or a single family during therapy sessions. Watching someone heal or have an insight is a profound experience, unlike any other.

Community work is a different experience than private practice. In community work, I get to apply my skills to large-scale issues.

In 1991 I founded Cocoon House, a teen shelter and housing program for youth who have been homeless. I served as Executive Director of Cocoon House for ten years. This organization continues to provide services to teens and holds a very special place in my heart and in the Snohomish County community where it operates.

After leaving Cocoon House, I started a non-profit called One Childhood Lasts a Lifetime. I was given a one million dollar grant to work for three years to improve conditions for children in family shelters. I worked with two housing authorities, 10 family shelter programs, a YMCA and a birth-to-three program, to improve their services for children who were exposed to homelessness. This model was the first of its kind and leveraged tremendous ongoing support for the children in shelters.

After the One Childhood project, I served as the Executive Director of Leadership Snohomish County for 7 years. I worked with leaders from different companies, seeking to identify ways they can make a difference in their communities and teaching leadership development.

In 2012, I created the Transform Your Boundaries® Workshop. This workshop is something I customize for people and organizations, in a wide variety of settings. The workshop is used for professional and personal development.

In 2014 I completed the book Transform Your Boundaries® and I bring this work to any community, workplace, conference and private group, to create better lives, better work and a better world, through our relationship to our boundaries. I continue to write and teach on the subject.

In 2014 I also closed the chapter in my life on running organizations. I retired with lots of hoopla and fanfare from 20 years of non-profit leadership. I decided that I wanted to focus solely on people-development, rather than organizational development.

In 2017 I completed the book Naming and Taming Overwhelm For Healthcare and Human Service Providers.

In 2020 I completed the book The Mystery of Knowing Journal: A writing odyssey to be true to who you are.

In 2023 I completed my memoir: Cocoon: How One Woman Created a Shelter for Teens and Found Hope Along the Way

I continue to work in my private practice, speak at events and teach workshops.

Sarri Gilman TEDx talk on Boundaries

With over 1 Million views!