Hello there...my name is Susan O'Connor and I have an MS in Community Counseling. I'm a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) with over 14 years of experience in the mental health field. My professional career started at a busy community counseling center where I had the privilege for 3+ to treat every mental health condition in the under the sun...following this I worked primarily with individuals and couples for several more years in a busy therapeutic practice...the last 2 years I provided therapy to families and individual adolescents in a private practice, in addition to adolescent counseling in two local high schools 2 days per week. As a result of these experiences I have a deep sense of gratitude for the encompassing variety of people I was honored to learn from; I am also a Certified Alcohol and other Drug Counselor (CADC) and have worked extensively with people presenting with co-occurring disorders including eating disorders, mood disorders, self-injury and eating disorders. Some of my areas of expertise include depression, anxiety, addiction, ADHD, and survival of emotional and sexual abuse, post traumatic stress and separation/divorce and loss. I have worked with individuals presenting with cancer, loss of motor function and end of life issues. I have had extensive experience in treating clients who are survivors of sexual assault and chaired a weekly women's group for several years for survivors of trauma of all kinds. I have worked with individuals dealing with gender dysphoria and identity issues and have provided support to multiple individuals throughout the entire trans-gender process.
I believe that while the presenting issues provide a starting point to what isn't "working", it's been my experience that for therapy to impart a lasting contribution it's important to treat the entire condition, My honest style is warm and caring. My focus is on developing a space of trust and respect so that my client quickly feels a sense of safety, what I have found to be the single most effective step in the therapeutic process. This sense of safety is reinforced by compassion and vital interest in my client's well-being. That non-judgmental space provides a place for one to express all they're experiencing. I have found again and again the relationship that transpires from this unique place provides a sense of relief many of my clients have described as nothing short of miraculous. I find the greatest joy in participating in this transaction and it's what has kept me committed to the process.
I have as a frame of reference an existential philosophy: we're all in this together, all of us, no matter who we are, will experience profound and difficult experiences, and I have found the cognitive behavioral approach highly effective when dealing with deeply ingrained and intractable issues that come up time and again "and never seem to go away." Engaging in this process gives one the opportunity to review what hasn't been working and why, and then try out new behaviors with support and encouragement. However, this is just one approach; I will work with you in tailoring a supportive process that feels both natural and comfortable. Ultimately this approach will enable you to becomes strong and resilient in learning new ways to cope and ultimately, to thrive. I would be honored to be your guide in this process, helping you any way that I can! It's important to add that some come to counseling to work on a specific issue only; if that's the case, Brief Solution Focused therapy is an equally effective and proven option.
Through my own therapy I experienced firsthand how effective it was in learning how to deal with problems and live a creative and fulfilling life with joy, one that gives me a profound sense of gratitude for just how precious life is. I've since had a couple of "tune-ups" when life's gotten too crazy to go it alone, so I know first-hand how well it works (I also know the true worth of a great therapist!) I started out in the helping field by volunteering at homeless shelters twenty-five years ago...it gave me the sense of how much we ultimately depend on one another. Establishing a connection to the community has been for me a vital key in feeling a sense of well being. I enjoy interior design, baking, gardening, reading, writing, massage and long walks in nature; I used to run but cervical disc surgery put an end to that. My partner and I get away from it all by taking long trips - we've seen much of the US - on his Harley! I also love to scuba and sky dive - I am something of an adrenaline junky! Time spent with my partner, family and friends is the most rewarding but I advocate time spent alone as well to recharge as I believe balance is the key. I am currently at work writing a novel, a fable really, about loss and redemption through the healing power of love. I attend weekly self-help groups and a therapist's group to keep me grounded & healthy so I can continue to serve my clients from a place of optimum mental, emotional and spiritual health!
- Stress, Anxiety
- Trauma and abuse
I also have experience in Addictions, LGBT, Relationship issues, Family conflicts, Intimacy-related issues, Eating disorders, Sleeping disorders, Parenting issues, Anger management, Self esteem, Career difficulties, Bipolar disorder
LCPC #180011934 (Expires: 2019-03-31)
First impression of Susan is she knows her stuff, is also kind, giving and compassionate.